Shibdas Ghosh

Call of the hour

Source: Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) (used with kind permission)
Date : June, 1962
First published : Socialist Unity, June, 1962
HTML Markup : Salil Sen for October, 2007
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2007). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

The national situation in the aftermath of the elections to parliament and state assemblies in February 1962 and the principal features of the international situation at the time are the topic of this article. Its exposition of fascism growing into a general order in all capitalist countries in the post-second world war period and the revisionist character of the Khrushchev leadership of the CPSU glares as self-evident truth in today's perspective.

The third general elections in India are over. Exasperated under the grinding weight of economic exploitation, political persecution and cultural suppression, the toiling millions of our country, naturally, want to see the end of the Congress rule. The results of the last general elections have no doubt belied that hope of the people to disappoint them greatly. But howsoever distressing the results may be, it is fruitless to cry over spilt milk. It has to be understood that all is not lost, though the elections are lost. There are many matters, much more important than idle prating over the gains and losses in the elections, that call for serious attention of the people. These matters relate to the vital question of emancipation of the exploited masses from the existing oppressive capitalist rule in our country. And that requires a correct analysis of the present international situation, keeping in view the principal characteristics of the vital changes brought about in it by the second world war. For, only on the basis of a correct understanding of the present international situation can we make an objective assessment of our national situation, realize the real implications of the various plans, programmes and slogans of the ruling class, study the dominant tendencies therein, scientifically formulate the future course of action and ultimately lead the people of our country to power.

Socialism has become a world system

Before the second world war the whole world, with the solitary exception of the Soviet Union, the only socialist country then, was under the rule of the capitalist-imperialists. The solitary socialist republic also was, at that time, encircled by world capitalism. Besides, before the last world war capitalism on the whole, in spite of its crisis, was growing far more rapidly than before and, even in the midst of an acute crisis, the capitalist market enjoyed a relative stability. The USSR was then the lone traveller along the path of peace. But notwithstanding its best efforts to preserve world peace the USSR had not enough strength to thwart the sinister war drives of the powerful imperialist states. On the contrary, since the imperialists were the determining force, they had, practically speaking, the final say in the matter of war and peace. Consequently, wars broke out as and when the imperialists wanted to start them.

The end of the second world war has brought a vital change in the international situation. The most important political change is that it has polarized the world social forces into two distinct camps, namely, the imperialist-fascist war camp led by the USA and the anti-imperialist socialist peace camp headed by the USSR. The capitalist-imperialist countries throughout the world constitute the imperialist war camp, whereas the people's democratic republics of Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, the German Democratic Republic, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the Korean People's Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Poland, Romania and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic along with the great Soviet Union and China form the mighty camp of peace and socialism. The emergence of the socialist camp after the second world war has freed socialism from within the bounds of a single country and transformed it into a world system. This is no doubt the main feature of the present era, distinguishing the present from the past, the prewar era. The economic consequence of it is that the single, all-embracing world capitalist market has disintegrated, so that we have now two parallel world markets, the capitalist and the socialist, one confronting the other.

Triumph of national liberation movements

The next distinguishing feature is the unprecedented growth, development and triumph of national liberation movements in the colonies and semicolonies for complete national independence and the consequent disintegration of the imperialist colonial system. In the sequel of the mighty surge of these movements the face of the world is rapidly and radically changing. The face of Asia has radically changed. The imperialist colonial order in Africa is tottering on its last legs. The peoples of the Latin American countries are coming out increasingly against the USA, the mainstay of imperialism today, for complete national independence. The extent and intensity of the national liberation movements in the colonies and semicolonies in recent times can very well be realized from the fact that during the fifteen or so postwar years about forty-two new sovereign national states, having more than 1200 million people or nearly half of the world population, have come into existence, throwing off the shackles of imperialist rule. The total collapse of the imperialist colonial order is now not a matter of distant future; it is knocking at the door.

The imperialists cannot but take note of this writing on the wall. They have learned to their dismay that it is impossible in the present-day international situation to crush the national liberation movements of the peoples in the colonies and semicolonies by sheer brute force which they could in the prewar days. The application of brute force in such cases, the imperialists have bitterly experienced, is sure to add fuel to the fire, which will not only trounce the imperialist rulers out from power but will also create conditions too hot for them to keep their economic interests going in these countries. Guided by pragmatic considerations, the imperialists are changing their old colonial policy. They are handing over power to the national bourgeoisie of the colonies and making agreements and treaties hedged with onerous terms that will go to maintain the economic interests of the former rulers of the newly independent countries. Colonial exploitation without direct rule over the colony—this is the new form and new method of colonialism today.

Deepening crisis of world capitalist system

Before the second world war, too, in spite of the all-embracing world capitalist market, the powerful capitalist countries were suffering from want or shortage of market. Each of the two imperialist power blocs that locked horns in the last world war was actuated by its desire to defeat its adversary in the war, capture the market of its enemy, gain world supremacy and get out of the capitalist crisis of overproduction and excess capital. But the outcome of the war did not justify their hope; rather it has aggravated the crisis of the market further. The loss of the vast territory, which now comprises the world socialist market, from under the capitalist system has contracted the world capitalist market appreciably. Over and above this contraction of the world capitalist market as a whole, the sphere of exploitation of the world's resources by the major capitalist-imperialist countries has contracted further, inasmuch as many of their colonies have gone out of their monopoly control by gaining national independence. The bourgeoisie of these newly independent former colonial countries are not only reconstructing the national economy of these countries, which is resulting in a continuous contraction of the market of the powerful capitalist countries, but in some cases are also coming out as competitors of the major capitalist countries in the sphere of international trade. All these factors—the emergence and existence of a parallel world socialist market confronting the world capitalist market, the loss of the traditional markets of the former colonies, the emergence of the bourgeoisie of the former colonies as competitors in the world market—taken together have had the effect of contracting to a very large degree the market of the powerful capitalist countries. If the all-embracing world capitalist market, which was under complete control of the major capitalist-imperialist countries before the second world war, proved too small a place for the capitalist-imperialists to live peacefully together, it is but logical to conclude that the present contracted market (which is sure to contract further with more and more colonies gaining national independence) is by far too small compared to their increasingly growing need for larger shares of the market. The result is that the antagonism between the major capitalist-imperialist countries has intensified immensely.

It is true that the USA still now remains the main economic, financial and military force of modern imperialism. It still enjoys the lion's share in world capitalist exploitation and commands supremacy in the imperialist war camp. But the junior partners in that camp are least willing to take the US supremacy lying down. The British and the French imperialists are making stubborn efforts to oust the US monopolists and regain their lost market. The monopolists of West Germany and Japan, who, immediately after the second world war, were languishing under the jackboot of US imperialism, have recovered much of their former might, though they have not yet been able to come out of the US tutelage completely. The different blocs, for example the Commonwealth Bloc, the European Common Market Bloc, etc., operating within the imperialist camp itself are a manifestation of the various antagonistic interests of the powerful capitalist-imperialist countries. In fine, the second world war has, to the discomfiture of the capitalist-imperialists, deepened the general crisis of the world capitalist economy further when the law of relative stability of markets in the period of the general crisis of capitalism expounded by Stalin and the thesis of Lenin that "on the whole, capitalism is growing far more rapidly than before" have lost their validity owing to the new economic conditions obtaining at present. This is no doubt the third distinguishing feature of the present era.

Militarization of economy and arms race

This precarious position of theirs is felt by the imperialists themselves and naturally they are making desperate attempts to get out of the burning pyre. They are trying to offset the difficulties by having recourse to frantic rearmament and militarization of industry and through more and more capitalist concentration. True, it is much like a drowning man catching at a straw. Nevertheless, the imperialists are doing all this to stave off the crisis and maintain the boom of the capitalist market, at least temporarily, by artificial stimulation of increased military consumption. But far from easing the situation, militarism is aggravating the capitalist contradictions and crisis further still. And the more acute the crisis, the more militarized is becoming the economy. There is thus a vicious cycle going on, leading to an unbridled arms race.

Question of war and peace

Not only has socialism emerged as a world system but it has also made remarkable progress in all directions in a historically short period. The socialist economy is making continuous expansion and improvement of production by developing, and on the basis of, a highly advanced technology. Grounded on the unity of will and action of the members of the society as a whole, which has become a reality for the first time in history, it has unleashed an inexhaustible source of creative human energy and harnessed it most effectively for uninterruptible progress. Closer cooperation, mutual assistance and the common objective of establishing a world communist society are consolidating the socialist camp everyday. Indeed, the present combined strength of the socialist countries alone, which are pledged to maintaining world peace because of the very nature of their economy, is superior to that of the bellicose imperialist powers taken together. On the top of it, in the interests of development of their capitalist economy, which will be hampered in case another world war breaks out, the newly independent bourgeois national states in Asia and Africa are in favour of maintaining world peace for the present. Besides, common men of the whole world are against all unjust wars today and they heartily support the drives of the socialist camp to safeguard world peace. On the other hand, the antagonism between the powerful capitalist countries has become more pronounced; the working class movement in the advanced capitalist countries is constantly gaining in strength; the national liberation movements in the colonies and semicolonies are making tremendous headway. All these factors combined together have weakened the strength of imperialism greatly. As a result, the forces of peace are stronger at present than the forces of unjust war. Now it is possible for the peace-loving people of the world to thrust peace under the leadership of the socialist peace camp on the bellicose imperialist powers and prevent them from interfering into the domestic affairs of other countries. The resolute stand of the Soviet Union, China and other socialist states against the Anglo-Franco-Israeli intervention in Egypt [1] is a glaring instance of it. As a result of these favourable conditions, there now exist real possibilities for maintaining world peace. It is another distinguishing feature of the present era.

But it will be wrong to conclude from this that Lenin's thesis that imperialism inevitably generates wars has become obsolete owing to the development of new international conditions. Because, though capitalism-imperialism now does not exist as an all-embracing world system and is much weaker than before, there is yet no reasonable ground to believe that imperialism will die out automatically or that it has lost all its power to strike and start war. For, imperialism does not only exist as a world system today but it also continues in force. Hard-pressed on all sides and rent with mounting crises, imperialism is turning more and more to militarized economy. And the more militarized the economy is becoming, the more rabid is imperialism prone to be in its adventurist acts. The capitalistically most developed country, namely the USA, has become a country of the most powerful, militarized economy. It is now the bastion of world reaction and international gendarme. The US imperialists, together with the imperialists of Britain and France, have drawn many countries into aggressive blocs like the NATO, CENTO, SEATO, etc., constructed hundreds of military bases all around the world to encircle the socialist countries, stockpiled nuclear and other lethal weapons of mass destruction and kept them ready for action at a moment's notice against the socialist countries. They have revived German revanchism in West Germany and Japanese militarism against world public opinion. The imperialists have, in fact, gone the whole hog in their preparation for war, breaking all their past records of arms race. And this makes the danger of a new world war very real. Historically speaking also, the world is witnessing even today various types of wars, localised though. Are not the imperialists still carrying on aggressive wars in Laos and West Irian[2]

It is one thing and a very good thing, too, to stress the point that in the changed present-day international situation war is not fatalistically inevitable. But it is quite a different thing to say that Lenin's thesis about the inevitability of wars between capitalist countries in the epoch of imperialism has become obsolete. Marxism-Leninism regards all laws of science, be they laws of natural science or laws of political economy, as the reflection of objective processes which take place independently of the will of man. "Man may discover these laws, get to know them, study them, reckon with them in his activities and utilize them in the interests of society, but he cannot change or abolish them. Still less can he form or create new laws of science." (Stalin) The law of inevitability of wars in the epoch of imperialism is a law of political economy which arises from the special economic conditions of the epoch. These conditions are mainly the competition between different capitalist-imperialist countries for market and the intensification of this antagonistic contradiction in the epoch of imperialism. So long as these conditions will remain, the law of inevitability of wars between capitalist countries will continue in force. Only when these conditions will be replaced by new economic conditions, then and then only will the law of inevitability of wars lose its validity owing to new economic conditions. Some people argue that since the contradictions between the imperialist war camp and the socialist peace camp are more acute than the contradictions between the capitalist countries, and since the USA has brought other capitalist countries under its influence to be able to prevent their going to war between themselves and weakening one another, wars between capitalist countries will no longer take place, and hence the law of inevitability of wars between capitalist countries in the epoch of imperialism is not valid today. Theoretically, of course, it is true that the contradiction between the two camps is the principal contradiction in the world which principally determines the course of world events now. It is equally true that, outwardly, everything seems to be going well between the capitalist countries. But neither does the root cause of wars lie in the contradiction between two camps nor the 'going well' between the capitalist countries reflects the reality. The antagonistic contradictions between the capitalist countries have already become very sharp. And the root cause of wars lies precisely in these antagonistic contradictions between the capitalist countries which are becoming, in practice, stronger than the contradiction between the imperialist war camp and the socialist peace camp. So, notwithstanding so many vital changes in the international situation since the second world war, the economic conditions which led Lenin to formulate the law of inevitability of wars between the capitalist countries in the epoch of imperialism still exist. The law, therefore, cannot be obsolete. And so long as the law of inevitability of wars will remain in force the danger of war will be there. These wars may be wars between two individual capitalist countries, as is the case between Holland and Indonesia which goes on now in West Irian. They may take the form of wars between one capitalist country on the one hand and several capitalist countries on the other, like the war between Egypt and the Anglo-Franco-Israeli combine. There may be wars even between countries belonging to the two camps. North Korea's heroic struggle against the imperialist-fascist camp is to the point. They may take the form of civil wars and wars of liberation, like the war of liberation now going on in Laos against the exploiting class there backed by the SEATO powers. Whatever the changes, these facts prove that wars between the capitalist countries are not a rarity even now. They are taking place in accordance with the law of inevitability of wars between capitalist countries. These wars, though localised, may take the form of a world war even. And if a world war breaks out, involving only the capitalist countries at the beginning, it will not remain confined to the capitalist countries themselves only. It will, in all probability, lead to the decisive class war between the two camps. It will be possible to eliminate wars when imperialism will be abolished, when socialist revolution will be victorious throughout the world, or even when the present capitalist encirclement will be replaced by a socialist encirclement; in short, when socialism will command as the determining force and, consequently, have the decisive voice on the question of war and peace.

Thus, in the existing changed international situation, the possibility of preserving peace and the danger of outbreak of wars are both equally real. It will be an unpardonable mistake to put unnecessary emphasis on the one and underestimate the other. Lack of a balanced view will lead to either doctrinairism or revisionism. And both will render the working class ideologically impotent.

Peace movement

It goes without saying that the present-day peace movement is a new type of mass movement which has no parallels in the pre-war days. It expresses correctly common men's hatred for another world war and their longing for preservation of world peace, and hence it is gaining momentum everyday. What are the objectives and the limitations of the present-day peace movement ? Stalin had dealt with this question in his characteristic lucid manner, in his Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR. It is so clear and precise that we cannot help quoting him at length. "The object of the present-day peace movement is to rouse the masses of the people to fight for the preservation of peace and for the prevention of another world war. Consequently, the aim of this movement is not to overthrow capitalism and establish socialism—it confines itself to the democratic aim of preserving peace. In this respect, the present-day peace movement differs from the movement at the time of the first world war for the conversion of the imperialist war into civil war, since the latter movement went farther and pursued socialist aims. It is possible that in a definite conjuncture of circumstances the fight for peace will develop here or there into a fight for socialism. But then it will no longer be the present-day peace movement; it will be a movement for the overthrow of capitalism. What is most likely is that the present-day peace movement, as a movement for the preservation of peace, will, if it succeeds, result in preventing a particular war, in its temporary postponement, in the temporary preservation of a particular peace, in the resignation of a bellicose government and its supersession by another that is prepared temporarily to keep the peace. That, of course, will be good. Even very good. But all the same it will not be enough to eliminate the inevitability of wars between the capitalist countries generally. It will not be enough, because, for all the successes of the peace movement, imperialism will remain, continue in force—and, consequently, the inevitability of wars will also continue in force. To eliminate the inevitability of war, it is necessary to abolish imperialism." And even with that limitation the present-day peace movement has a revolutionary significance. A Marxist-Leninist's approach to any problem is always guided by the sense of revolutionary necessity. And this makes all the difference between the revolutionary understanding of the peace movement and a pacifist illusion. To a revolutionary peace is not the end in itself, the summum bonum of life. As such, he is not opposed to all types of war and not in favour of any kind of peace. He is against unjust war but supports just war, meaning war of liberation of the masses from exploiting system. He is, likewise, against pacifism but favours peace that helps the revolution. The present-day peace movement, if correctly understood and conducted, has a tremendous revolutionary significance. At the time of the Great October Revolution the working class and other exploited masses of the people in Russia had to fight not only their capitalist rulers but also the powerful imperialist interventionists in the course of consolidating the fruits of revolution. The Chinese workers and peasants, too, had to overthrow not only the Chiang regime but also the military might of the USA backing the Chiang clique. But in the changed international situation it now may be quite possible to prevent the imperialists from interfering into the revolutionary struggles, which are the internal affairs of other countries, by the pressure of peace movement which makes it easier for the working class and other exploited masses of the people in a capitalist country to overthrow the bourgeoisie through revolution. The revolutionary significance of the present-day peace movement lies, precisely, in the fact that it has created that very favourable condition in the international situation which makes it possible for the revolutionary forces in the advanced as well as the dependent countries to conduct revolutionary battles against their respective enemies without foreign intervention and interference. Thus the world-wide peace movement led by the working class or the policy of peaceful coexistence pursued by the socialist states is neither a political manoeuvre nor a subtle device to gain time for war preparations; on the contrary, each of them is one of the complex revolutionary means to accelerate the course of socialist revolution in the advanced capitalist countries and the national liberation movements in colonies and the semicolonies. As a result of the superiority of the forces of peace over the forces of war and of the strength of the socialist countries over that of the imperialist powers, the objective conditions for speedy growth and development of revolutionary struggles in the capitalist countries and colonies have now come into being. But, unfortunately, in spite of these favourable conditions, little progress in revolutionary preparedness is noticed. A close examination of the nature and character of the mass movements by the peoples in the newly independent former colonies will testify to the truth of the statement. The working class movement in these countries has indeed been rendered ideologically impotent. One of the reasons for it is that the anti-imperialist role of the ruling bourgeoisie of these countries of Asia and Africa and those acts of it which are helping in the maintenance of world peace alone are being ostentatiously highlighted, while nothing is being done to show the fundamental difference between the consistent peace policy of the socialist states and the undependable policy of peace of the newly independent capitalist states. No notice is taken of the increasing tendency of fascization which is growing in the state structure and administrative apparatus of these countries and no attempt is being made to expose the increasing imperialist-expansionist tendency of the bourgeoisie of these countries. No serious Marxist can ignore the fact that the ruling bourgeoisie of newly independent former colonial countries in Asia and Africa is anti-imperialist and peace-loving today not because it is basically anti-imperialist and peace-loving for the economic basis of these countries but because it wants to develop rapidly as a powerful capitalist-imperialist power in the realization of which the interests of the present imperialist powers and immediate breaking out of world war present insuperable obstacles. The national liberation movements in colonies and semicolonies have, undoubtedly, been playing significantly revolutionary role, inasmuch as they are breaking the chain of world imperialism. They are also contributing no less to preservation of world peace. But it must, at the same time, be kept in mind that in the present era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, the national liberation movement in colonial and dependent countries is part and parcel of the world proletarian revolution. If the working class in the newly independent former colonies in Asia and Africa forgets this and fails to lead the national liberation movement to its logical conclusion, namely, accomplishment of proletarian revolution, and if the national bourgeoisie of these countries is able to consolidate its position by taking advantage of the weakness and failure of the working class movement then the bourgeoisie, in time, will be the virtual agent of world imperialism in the latter's crusade in Asia and Africa against the struggle for socialism. This aspect of resurgent nationalism ought not to slip the notice of the communists.

Heavy economic centralization

In the changed situation, distinguished by absence of relative stability of capitalist market and faced with ever-increasing internal and external antagonistic contradictions, the powerful capitalist countries find it impossible to get over their crisis otherwise than by an all-out concentration of capital, enhancing thereby their power of competition in the field of international trade. As such centralization of capital is gaining unprecedented dimensions, the development of monopoly capital into state monopoly capitalism is being accelerated; the interests of the monopolists are, more commonly, being identified with the interests of the state. But all this exactly constitutes the rock-bottom foundation of fascism.

The problem of the capitalistically underdeveloped countries like the newly independent former colonies is different from that of the powerful capitalist countries. Theirs is not the crisis of overproduction and excess capital from which the advanced capitalist countries are suffering. Their immediate problem is how to achieve industrial development and emerge as powerful capitalist countries in the shortest possible time. In the present era of imperialism and proletarian revolution and in an atmosphere of rapid centralization of capital and advance of state monopoly capitalism in the capitalistically developed countries, the impact of which is sure to influence the economy of the backward capitalist countries, industrial development in the capitalistically undeveloped or underdeveloped countries is impossible, unlike in the past, through the policy of laissez-faire and free competition. These backward countries, compared to the advanced capitalist ones, are late by more than one hundred years in the field of industrialization. The backwardness and deficiency born of this late appearance in the domain of industry could be overcome, had it been possible to develop the industries on the strength of internal consumption. But that road is closed, inasmuch as the home market of these backward countries is extremely contracted owing to unimaginably low purchasing capacity of their peoples. So the only alternative left open to the ruling bourgeoisie of these countries for industrialization is to capture the external market. But the external market is more or less the close preserve of the powerful capitalist countries and, unless they can be pushed out, there is little chance of capturing the foreign market. That requires, mainly, a strong competitive power. It is well-nigh impossible to reach that level of competitive power, unless the time-lag of a century and corresponding industrial backwardness are rapidly covered. No amount of effort by individual capitalists alone can achieve it. So the state has to come forward. And the same process of concentration of private capital, development of state capital, fusion of the two into state monopoly capitalism and reduction to the minimum of mutual competition between individual capitalists through recourse to planning, etc., as is found in the advanced capitalist countries, is at work in the backward countries also, though for different purposes. The powerful capitalist countries have taken to militarized economy and centralization of capital to get out of the crisis of overproduction, excess capital and the market, whereas the backward capitalist countries are after concentration of capital and planning in order to achieve rapid industrial development, catch up with the powerful capitalist countries and emerge as their strong competitors in the foreign market. But, all the same, both the advanced and the backward capitalist countries are thereby laying the economic base of fascism.

Distinguishing features of fascism

Fascism is a historically conditioned form of counter-revolution in which capitalism seeks to stave off revolution by an anticipatory move. It is designed to save the crisis-ridden, chaos-discredited capitalist order from collapse in the face of mounting dissatisfaction of the people against the existing system. In a definite conjuncture of circumstances, when the normal form of its economic organization, political institution and administrative apparatus fails to cope with the mounting capitalist crisis, when it becomes next to impossible to maintain any amount of stability of market and earn maximum profit, when the masses of the people, hard-hit by insecurity in life owing to crisis, feel the necessity for change in the existing conditions, the bourgeoisie, in order to maintain the most effective operation of the basic law of maximum profit of the capitalist economy under the circumstances, throws aside all veils from class dictatorship which parliamentary democracy puts on. These historical conditions impart to fascism some common characteristics which are its distinguishing features. They are mainly economic centralization, maximum concentration of political power in the state, rigid firmness in administration—all this leading to more and more identification of the interest of the monopolists with that of the state—and cultural regimentation. The degree of centralization, concentration, administrative rigidity, regimentation and identification of the two interests is not the same in all the countries. Dependent on the internal conditions in a given country as it is, it naturally varies from country to country.

As to its form also fascism presents no stereotyped pattern. It has assumed different forms in different countries to suit the local conditions. Somewhere it has adopted the form of individual dictatorship, somewhere the autocratic rule of a military junta and yet in some other countries it has assumed the democratic garb, keeping the parliament still alive but limiting its power by way of economic and political centralization. The appearance of fascism in a 'democratic' form through the two-party parliamentary system of government is certainly a postwar social phenomenon, having no historical precedent. Because of its seemingly democratic appearance it is, at the same time, the most deceptive. And in fact, it has been able to deceive many so-called intellectuals, who try to recognise fascism by its form and not by its content or its distinguishing features as discussed in the preceding paragraph.

Old concept of fascism

The distinguishing features of fascism, namely, economic centralization, maximum concentration of political power in the state, administrative rigidity, cultural regimentation and identification of the interests of the monopolists with that of the state are no doubt discernible in varying degrees in all the capitalist countries of the world, not excluding the backward countries in Asia and Africa. This historical experience of the age calls for a revision of the classical concept about fascism. In the prewar days, with the establishment of fascism in Italy and Germany, both of which were developed capitalist countries with practically no colony, the idea gained ground that fascism could grow and develop in the powerful capitalist countries alone. Highly developed capitalist economy suffering from severe want of the market and strong military might were considered essential requirements for the establishment of fascism. The growing tendency of fascization in some of the economically and militarily weak capitalist countries in Asia and Africa and the establishment of military and fascist dictatorship in some such other countries prove the incorrectness of the old postulation today.

Fascism, masses and mass movement

It has been stated earlier that fascism is the naked dictatorship of the capitalist class. From this definition some people conclude that fascism has only one means to keep itself in power and that is ruthless suppression of the masses of the people. Such an idea actually prevailed at the early stage, when fascism was trying to raise its head for the first time in the world in Italy and Germany during and after the first world war. The fascists were then painted as bloodthirsty hounds inclined to sadistic oppression of the people. When facts proved otherwise the unconscious masses of people took this characterization as a piece of blasphemy by the communists with regard to the fascists and reacted to it indignantly. The fascists availed themselves of the indignation of the people against the communists and proceeded with their well chalked out plan for physical annihilation of the communists.

Fascism always and everywhere adopts a dual policy of suppression and persuasion or deception. Its aim is not so much to ruthlessly suppress the mass force as to win it over to its side as volunteers who will be willing to carry out the fascist plans and programmes for 'national reconstruction'. Without a cooperating mass force at its back, fascism can hardly hold its sway. Fascism, therefore, adopts social democratic plans, grants minor economic concessions to the people, tries to control anarchy in the capitalist economy and the insecurity in life flowing therefrom like unemployment, etc. In its drive to save the aggregate interests of the capitalist class it even imposes restrictions on individual capitalists and their freedom of anarchical production. In short, a fascist state takes the position of a so-called bourgeois welfare state. Along with these so-called welfare measures, it carries relentless ideological battles to weed out the revolutionary ideas. And when the unconscious masses take these measures to be anti-capitalist and pro-people and lend the fascists an enthusiastic support in the carrying out of their plans and programmes, the fascists concentrate all their powers to exterminate communism spiritually and the communists physically. In its crusade against communism fascism advocates its own fascistic culture, a queer admixture of social democratism, national jingoism and mysticism.

Fascism and culture

Fascism is a peculiar fusion of spiritualism and science. The adoption of the technological aspect of science in its bid to develop the economic and military might of the fascist state and the dishing out of all sorts of antiscience religious fads and idealistic jugglery as the panacea for all the ills that are the concomitant evils of the exploiting capitalist system and the present society, go together in the name of national culture and heritage. Fascist culture is thus a queer admixture of scientific or truthful and illusory elements. The scientific element is stronger in its views about natural processes while the illusory element is stronger in its views about social processes. The aim is to turn the mental process of the people from the scientific path of causality to the mystic alley of blind faith, preconception and obscurantism, ultimately developing contempt for social action. In keeping with its unscientific, illusory social outlook, fascism rejects the socio-scientific law of class struggle as the motive force of development of society and, in its stead, postulates the theory of class harmony and class collaboration. As such, non-class or supra-class ideas dominate the fascist culture.

National jingoism has always been a powerful instrument in the hands of the bourgeoisie to poison the mass mind against the ideology of class struggle and proletarian internationalism. The fascists make the best use of it to further their ends. It must be borne in mind that reactionary nationalism, as preached by the bourgeoisie, and patriotism of the masses of people are not one and the same. They are different in content and character. Patriotism of the masses has no conflict with the ideology of proletarian internationalism; rather without being an upholder of the ideology of proletarian internationalism, one cannot be truly patriotic today. But reactionary bourgeois nationalism is incompatible with the ideology of proletarian internationalism. Furthermore, while reactionary bourgeois nationalism is an expression of the bourgeois world outlook and a weapon in the hands of the exploiters to exploit the patriotic sentiment of the people in the interest of the bourgeoisie, patriotism guided by the ideology of proletarian internationalism is a powerful instrument in the hands of the exploited people to liberate themselves from the exploiting system of capitalism-imperialism. Whereas reactionary bourgeois nationalism derives from the selfish bourgeois interest of perpetuating the obsolescent capitalist order which stands in the way of social progress, patriotism fortified by the ideology of proletarian internationalism flows from the fount of true love for people and aims at battering all barriers of social progress. So fascism can ill-afford to tolerate the real patriotic feelings of people.

The idea of class harmony, union of all classes or of supra-class national interest as advocated by the fascists requires a concrete expression for presentation to people. Fascism sometimes, therefore, propagates the idea of the superman, the superman being the embodiment of national will and interests. No wonder that decaying capitalism is falling back, more and more, on absolutism and mysticism, overt and covert, against which capitalism had to wage a struggle in the beginning to gain its foothold.

Fascism, social democracy and right reaction

It is often argued that the danger of fascism comes from the right reaction. If by right reaction is meant social democracy then we do not see any error in this formulation. But the term right reaction is not being used in this sense; it is being used to mean conservatism. At least in our country this is the current connotation of the term. The Communist Party of India has seen the danger of fascism in the growth and development of right reaction, represented, according to it, by the Swatantra Party[3], the Jana Sangh[4], etc. These parties are conservative parties and not the rightwing social democratic parties. Hence, in the opinion of the Communist Party of India, fascism grows and develops from conservatism. This, according to us, is absolutely incorrect.

As already explained, fascism requires mass backing for its growth and development. It is impossible to have the support of the people unless their imagination can be captured and sentiments won over. Conservatism has nothing to offer to people to drag them towards itself. It is the outmoded outlook of the discredited class or a section of the class and is hated by the toiling millions for its open and blunt advocacy for the vested interests and their old privileges. To capture the imagination of people and enlist their voluntary support is needed a relatively radical programme containing socialistic promises to the people and patriotic platitudes, which social democracy furnishes. In fact, it is not conservatism but social democracy that has the potential danger of fascism in it.

Historically speaking, right reaction, meaning conservatism, never and nowhere gave birth to fascism. It was the social democracy which prepared the ground for the emergence of fascism and fostered it. Out of the school of social democrary was born the philosophy of fascism. Take the case of Italy, Germany, Austria, etc. In all these countries fascism originated in 'social patriotism' preached by the social democratic parties during and after the first world war in order to exploit the patriotic and socialist sentiments of its people in the interest of the imperialist war or the capitalist state. The originators of the fascist movement, who all were social democratic leaders, took up the cudgels left by the social democratic parties and incorporated social democratic measures in their party programmes. Take, for example, the case of Italy. Mussolini, the founder of the fascist party in Italy, was a leading socialist of syndicalist leanings. His programme contained almost all the major formulae of syndicalism. In Germany and Austria the fascist party was nominally socialist, in the former country it was National Socialist Party, while in the latter country it was Christian Socialist Party. Examples can be multiplied but there is no need for that. Then again fascism bases itself on nationalism, class harmony and the so-called need for union of all classes as also on hostility to all non-nationalistic socialism, especially to communism. Social democracy, on these points, hardly differs from fascism. Before the rise of fascism, social democracy had propagated these very ideas and thereby prepared the ground for fascism. In conclusion, fascism grew and developed in the womb of social democratism. If it was true in the prewar days, it is thousand times more true now. Because, social democracy is the last prop of capitalism in the present era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. And we have shown that fascism has become the order in all the capitalist countries now. The two now have fused together. Fascism is entrenching itself through social democratic plans and programmes.

Base and superstructure

Thus it is clear that in all the capitalist countries, advanced or backward, big or small, fascism is making rapid strides. Even the old and traditionally parliamentary democratic countries are not immune from it. Parliament is fast losing its utility even to the bourgeoisie who brought it into being. But why is this change ? To have a clear idea about this change, it is necessary to understand the relation between the base and its superstructure at a given stage of development of society and, in the context of that, to examine the history of the growth and development of the parliament.

Every student of social science knows that the base of society at a given stage of its development is its economic structure and that every base has its own corresponding superstructure. The political, administrative, legal, religious, artistic, philosophical, cultural views, institutions, forms and norms are the superstructure which grows on the base precisely in order to serve it, actively help it take shape and consolidate itself and to strive for the elimination of the remnants of the old moribund basis together with its superstructure. Now capitalist economy, which is the basis of the capitalist society, is governed by its basic law of maximum profit. The superstructure in the capitalist society, therefore, aims at ensuring the most effective operation of this law. But the conditions necessary for the best operation of the law do not always remain the same. The conditions having changed, it may be necessary for the capitalist class to change the superstructure, the form and norm of its economic organization, political institution and administrative apparatus, etc., so as to ensure the most effective operation of the law of maximum profit in the changed situation. It goes without saying that in capitalism, whatever be the changes in the superstructure, its fundamental character is not altered thereby. Because, notwithstanding the changes, the superstructure is to conform with and serve its base, which all through remains the same in the capitalist society and is governed by its basic law of maximum profit.

The parliament is a historically conditioned bourgeois political institution, a political superstructure of the basis of the capitalist society. It was not in existence before the advent of the capitalist society, nor will it remain in existence after the capitalist society will be replaced by the socialist society. It has a definite beginning, a definite end and, in between the beginning and the end, a definite historical role. Every student of history knows that the parliament came into being with the fall of absolutism. The bourgeoisie, which then played a revolutionary role against absolutism, was the champion of individual liberty, equality and fraternity. Peace and free competition were then the basic requirements for the development of its economy. The parliament was the ideal political institution that could satisfy these requirements of the bourgeoisie then. With the development of monopoly capitalism free competition yielded place to monopoly and peace to militarism. The parliament, the forum of individual liberty and free competition, in the bourgeois sense of the term of the past, is, therefore, gradually becoming an anachronism to the monopolists of the present time. Consequently, the parliament is losing fast its utility to the bourgeoisie and fascism is manifesting itself more pronouncedly in diverse forms in the state structure and administrative apparatus in the capitalist countries.

Peaceful revolution

In this connection we consider it worthwhile to discuss another question, albeit it is not so directly connected with the issue under discussion. The question has gained added importance, since it is being frequently referred to in the speeches and writings of many communist leaders of repute. The question relates to the possibility, in the changed international situation obtaining at present, of peaceful realization of socialist revolution in a number of capitalist countries. Comrade Khrushchev[5] is of the opinion that in the present favourable international situation such a possibility is real and does exist. Elucidating this point he says : "Relying on the majority of the people and resolutely rebuffing the opportunist elements incapable of relinquishing the policy of compromise with the capitalists and landlords, the working class can defeat the reactionary, antipopular forces, secure a firm majority in parliament, transform parliament from an instrument serving the class interests of the bourgeoisie into an instrument serving the working people, launch extra-parliamentary mass struggle, smash the resistance of the reactionary forces and create the necessary conditions for peaceful realisation of the socialist revolution." In his earlier speeches, particularly, in his report to the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union he has stated : "In this connection the question arises of whether it is possible to go over to socialism by using parliamentary means. No such course was open to the Russian Bolsheviks, who were the first to effect the transition. ...Since then, however, historical situation has undergone radical changes which make possible a new approach to the question. ...In these circumstances the working class, by rallying around itself the toiling peasantry, the intelligentsia, all patriotic forces, and resolutely repulsing the opportunist elements who are incapable of giving up the policy of compromise with the capitalists and landlords, is in a position to defeat the reactionary forces opposed to the popular interest, to capture a stable majority in parliament, and transform the latter from an organ of bourgeois democracy into a genuine instrument of the people's will." Thus it is crystal clear that the present leaders of the CPSU believe that it is possible now to go over to socialism from capitalism by parliamentary means. Though they have not altogether discarded the law of violent revolution, they are giving more emphasis on the possibility of peaceful realization of socialist revolution in the capitalist countries as a general rule in the changed situation today.

In our view this formulation of peaceful realization of socialist revolution in the capitalist countries is due to a confusion. Khrushchev and other leaders have confused the relative weakness of world imperialism in unleashing a world war against the opposition of the tremendously mighty forces of peace with the power of the bourgeoisie and its state to suppress the revolutionary struggles of the working class and other exploited masses of the people in a given country. These leaders have failed to notice the grim reality that, notwithstanding the superiority of the forces of peace over the forces of war and many spectacular victories to the credit of the forces of peace, the world situation has not changed to such a stage that the capitalist class, in recognition of the might of the socialist countries, is afraid to forcibly crush the revolutionary struggles in its own country. There is not a single instance in history that can prove our above statement to be incorrect; rather, even the movements for realization of extremely modest economic and democratic demands by the peoples in the capitalist countries are being ruthlessly suppressed in the typically fascistic way by concentrating all the state powers against them. Even in countries with parliamentary tradition like Great Britain, France, the USA, parliamentary rights and privileges are being systematically withdrawn without compunction to deprive the workers of the meagre democratic rights won by them earlier. Fascism has become the general order in all the capitalist countries. The imperialists today even dare to foment and organize counterrevolution in those countries where popular revolution has succeeded. In the face of this reality, is it correct to harbour the illusion that it is possible to go over to socialism from capitalism by peaceful means ? The answer is an emphatic No.

It is true that the possibility of peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism is not absolutely ruled out by Marxism-Leninism. Marx himself conceded that possibility when he, in the year 1872, after The Hague Congress of the International Working Men's Association declared : "We know that special regard must be paid to the institutions, customs and traditions of various lands. And we do not deny that there are certain countries, such as the United States and England, in which the workers may hope to secure their ends by peaceful means. If I am not mistaken, Holland belongs to the same category." Firstly, Marx did not advance the theory of peaceful revolution as a general rule; he conceded the possibility of it in the case of the USA, England and Holland. Secondly, Marx had reasonable grounds, of course, to concede the possibility of peaceful realization of socialism in the three above-mentioned countries in the seventies of the last century when monopoly capitalism, i.e. imperialism did not exist and when these countries, owing to special conditions of their development, had not then developed militarism and bureaucracy. In the era of imperialism this observation of Marx has lost its validity due to the changed situation. Lenin in his work Proletarian Revolution and Renegade Kautsky gave a strong rebuff to the habit of quoting Marx without having any regard to the concrete situation when Marx had said that. Lenin said: "Kautsky, the 'historian', so shamelessly falsifies history that he forgets the fundamental fact that pre-monopoly capitalism which reached its zenith in the seventies of the nineteenth century was, by virtue of its fundamental economic traits (which were most typical in England and America), distinguished by its relative attachment to peace and freedom. Imperialism, i.e. monopoly capitalism, which finally matured only in the twentieth century is, by virtue of its fundamental economic traits, distinguished by the least attachment to peace and freedom and by the greatest and universal development of militarism everywhere. To 'fail to notice' this in discussing the extent to which a peaceful or violent revolution is typical or probable is to stoop to the position of a common or garden lackey of the bourgeoisie". It is true that since Lenin's time the situation has undergone so many changes to which Khrushchev has alluded. They are vital changes, no doubt. But have those changes stripped imperialism of its attachment to militarism or, compared to 1918, when Lenin wrote it, have not the imperialists developed more attachment to militarism ? Have the imperialists grown more peaceful or have they grown more fascistic in their attitude towards revolutionary struggles waged by the workers and other exploited masses of the people ? Has bureaucracy been liquidated or has it entrenched more in state structure than before ? These are cardinal questions in discussing the extent to which peaceful revolution is feasible now. The answers to these questions indicate the absurdity of the thinking that the capitalist-imperialists will surrender their power to the working class voluntarily without putting up any resistance now.

Whether in the changed international situation now peaceful realization of socialist revolution in capitalist countries is possible or not is a debatable question. We do not consider it possible now; the law of violent revolution is still, in our view, the general law of revolution in the capitalist countries. We have, hereinbefore, given reasons in support of our view. But even if it is assumed, for the present, that peaceful socialist revolution is possible now, it is non-Marxian to think that it can be done by "capturing a stable majority in parliament and transforming parliament from an organ of bourgeois democracy into a genuine instrument of the people's will", as Khrushchev has said and been quoted earlier. To a Marxist-Leninist 'peaceful realization of socialist revolution in a capitalist country' means peaceful capture of power by the working class, the bourgeoisie offering no resistance, and peaceful destruction of the bourgeois state machine and its replacement by a new state, a new type of state, the proletarian socialist state. It does not mean peaceful transformation of the bourgeois state into the proletarian state, which can never be done. It also means the peaceful dissolution of the parliament and its replacement by the worker's democratic political institution and not peaceful transformation of parliament, which is a bourgeois political institution, into an organ of people's will which also can never be done. These leaders have slipped the point that the superstructure of the base of the capitalist society cannot serve as the superstructure of the base of the socialist society. Parliament, which is the political superstructure of capitalist economy, the basis of the capitalist society, not only cannot serve socialist economy, the basis of the socialist society, but also has got to be eliminated. In the socialist society a different type of superstructure corresponding to its base, namely socialist economy, will develop in order to help the base take shape and consolidate itself and to strive for the elimination of the remnants of old moribund base with its superstructure. If it is possible to "transform parliament, an organ of bourgeois democracy, into a genuine instrument of the people's will", it is equally possible to transform a bourgeois state into a proletarian state, a bourgeois party into a proletarian party, so on and so forth. This is no Marxism-Leninism. It is vulgarization par excellence of Marxism-Leninism.

National situation

In the context of this international situation we are to examine the national situation. It is known to all how India gained national independence. The end of the second world war saw the end of the supremacy which British imperialism enjoyed in the economic, political and military spheres in the prewar days. Its economy was on the verge of collapse which hit the people hard. As a result they grew restive. In the colonies also huge tides of national liberation movements were going on. The patriotic people in India were conducting mighty struggles against imperialism for complete national independence. This movement, started by the people themselves without a call from the Congress, was gradually taking the form of national democratic revolution which, in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, is part and parcel of the world proletarian revolution being invariably linked with the aim of not only overthrowing the imperialist rulers from power but also carrying the national democratic revolution to its logical conclusion of socialist revolution. The British imperialists, in the changed postwar international situation, therefore, felt the necessity of finding out an ally in India to whom they could amicably hand over power, retain their imperialist economic interests in cooperation with that ally and thereby frustrate the national liberation movement. The national bourgeoisie of India, which had a reformist oppositional role against imperialism, was also mortally afraid of the movement, as it was gradually going out of its hand and control and was taking a revolutionary shape. It, therefore, felt the necessity of anyhow settling its dispute with the imperialists amicably, capture power and put a stop to the national liberation movement. In the mutual interests, therefore, both the British imperialists and the Indian national bourgeoisie came to terms—the imperialists were able to retain their economic interests in India while the Indian bourgeoisie was able to capture power, though at the cost of dismemberment of the country.

Compared to other countries that gained national independence in the postwar period, capitalist development was the highest in India. The second world war further increased the strength of the Indian bourgeoisie. After achieving power its only concern was how to get over the relative deficiency and weakness in the shortest possible time and develop India as a powerful capitalist country. Though closely linked with imperialism (during the period of twelve years ending in 1960 the amount of foreign private finance capital in India has risen from Rs. 2558 million to Rs. 6550 million), the Indian bourgeoisie could not, all at once, take up a pro-imperialist position in the face of the anti-imperialist tradition of the Indian people. Secondly, it realized that very little help could be obtained from the imperialists in its drive to cover the time lag of about a century in the field of industrial development, catch up with the advanced capitalist countries and develop India as a powerful capitalist country, if it completely aligned itself with the powerful imperialist powers. The Indian bourgeoisie, therefore, by maintaining a show of neutrality, is utilising to the utmost the present balance of world social forces to secure maximum help from each of the two camps in its above-mentioned drive. Thirdly, the limited industrial development which India has been able to achieve during the fifteen years of independence has already brought the Indian capitalist class face to face with the problem of the market. The internal market having extremely contracted owing to extremely low purchasing capacity of the Indian people because of unemployment, underemployment, heavier burden of taxation, high cost of living, fall in real income and non-introduction of radical land reforms, the Indian capitalist class is in search of external market, particularly in the newly independent former colonial countries. But the market there is not an open field; the powerful western imperialist countries and Japan are already there. It is almost impossible for the Indian bourgeoisie to oust these powerful capitalist countries and capture their market single-handed on the strength of its relatively less advanced economy. The Indian capitalist class knows that the peoples of these newly independent countries have bitter taste of ruthless exploitation and oppression by the above-mentioned imperialist powers and hence bear strong hatred against them. With a view to intensifying this feeling against these powerful imperialists and ultimately to oust them from the market in southeast Asia and the Middle East, the Indian bourgeoisie is therefore playing on the genuine anti-imperialist sentiments of the peoples of these countries. In its bid to establish its leadership over these capitalistically weak countries and thereby to facilitate capture of the market there and to enhance its bargaining capacity in the matter of securing concessions from the imperialists, India is actively striving to form a bloc of weak Afro-Asian capitalist countries and become its leader. The Afro-Asian Conference, Bandung Conference, etc., are attempts in that direction. But the urge to capture the market in southeast Asia and Middle East has led to the accentuation of antagonistic contradictions between the Indian bourgeoisie and the imperialists. All these three factors taken together are responsible for the anti-imperialist role of the Indian bourgeoisie. The desire for peace also is actuated by the same motive. Immediate world war will deprive the Indian capitalist class of the advantage of present balance of world social forces and retard the drive for industrializing India and developing it as a powerful capitalist country; for the very interest of its rapid development as a powerful capitalist country India requires a peaceful international situation. This practical necessity has made the Indian bourgeoisie peace-loving and an advocate of panchsheel, i.e. five principles of peaceful coexistence and cooperation.

But this is only one aspect of the character of the Indian bourgeoisie. There is another aspect which is being unfortunately neglected. Every capitalist state, and for that matter the Indian capitalist state also, has in it latent imperialist tendencies, which are inherent in the capitalist economy itself. Under favourable conditions and in accordance with the scope and strength of the country concerned, these tendencies take an open shape and assume dominant characteristics. In the policies of the Indian government these imperialist tendencies can be traced. With the passage of time they are manifesting themselves more pronouncedly. Of course, they have not yet assumed dominant characteristics. The dominant characteristics of the Indian bourgeoisie are still its relative attachment to peace and anti-imperialism. But they are fast fading and yielding place to big power chauvinism and expansionist attitude. The increasingly soft attitude of the Government of India towards colonialism, expressed in its differences with Yugoslavia, Indonesia, Egypt and other newly independent Afro-Asian countries on the question of attitude towards colonialism and the imperialist powers at Belgrade Conference, is an indication of its declining anti-imperialist role. It is nothing astonishing; since, India is fast becoming an imperialist country with millions of rupees of its finance capital already exploiting the peoples of Nepal, Ceylon[6] , Burma, and the countries of southeast Asia and the Middle East. A country that is desperately attempting to extend the sphere of exploitation by rupee-capital, i.e. to become imperialist, can hardly fight in right earnest for liquidation of colonialism.

The difficulties of the contracted internal market are being sought to be relieved by the Indian bourgeoisie by more military consumption. It goes without saying that for strengthening its class rule and developing India as a powerful capitalist country, as also as a measure for forcible suppression of people's revolutionary struggles, the Indian bourgeoisie cannot but extend its military might. But since in normal times increased defence budget and establishment of military industry are likely to be opposed by the people as out of tune with the policy of peace which they want the government to follow, the ruling bourgeoisie, by raising the catchy slogans of 'nation in danger' and 'danger of foreign aggression', is trying, and has been able, to a large extent, to create a sense of emergency in the country when militarization can be pursued smoothly. The necessity of maintaining an artificial stimulation to the contracted internal market by increased military consumption as well as of strengthening the military might of India impels the Indian bourgeoisie to keep hanging, as long as possible, the border dispute with China, the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan and its contending claims to other neighbouring countries. It is likely that the more acute will be the crisis of economy, the greater will be the hullabaloo over these issues by the ruling class in order to divert the attention of the people and proceed with arms race.

Concentration of Indian capital

It has already been discussed that in the present era distinguished by complete absence of stability of the capitalist market, it is impossible for a relatively less advanced capitalist country like India to emerge as a powerful capitalist country other than by an all-out centralization of the powers of capital. In our country the process of this all-out centralization is distinctly in evidence. According to Mahalanobis Committee[7], 18 Indian families control 78 per cent of the total wealth and property in India. A census conducted by the Reserve Bank of India discloses that 9 of the 1001 joint-stock companies covered by the census have each a capital of 30 million rupees or more that account for 53 per cent of the total capital of the companies. Even the Congress, in its organ Economic Review, dated 22nd September, 1960, admitted that 50 per cent of the total national income was appropriated by a small section of monopolists, representing not more than 20 per cent of the capitalists. The Indian capitalist state is rendering all help to the monopolists so that they can proceed with their combination-movement, developing state capital by constructing heavy and basic industries which the individual capitalists are not willing to undertake, making a fusion of private monopoly capital and state capital, and thereby taking to the path of state monopoly capitalism. At the same time, in the aggregate interest of the Indian capitalist class it is imposing restrictions through planning on the freedom of the individual capitalists of anarchic industrial development and production. The resolution on 'socialist pattern of society' adopted at the Avadi session of the Congress sets out these very objectives which form the economic base of fascism. The resolution, inter alia, states : "The state will initiate and operate large schemes providing services, such as power, transport, etc., have overall control of resources, social purposes and trends and check and prevent evils of anarchic industrial development by maintenance of strategic controls —"

Socialist pattern of society

The oft-repeated slogan in India is the 'socialist pattern of society'. What is the aim of it? The resolution on it speaks for itself. The Communist Party of India, originally found in this slogan a recognition by the bourgeoisie of the people's demand for socialism. A strange power of sight indeed! Because, in that case Hitler's national socialism also, for its use of the word socialism, is to be explained in the same light. Later on, it revised its previous stand and characterized the slogan as a hoax. So much the better. It is, no doubt, a hoax, in so far as socialism is concerned. But to explain the slogan as a hoax, pure and simple, is to suffer from myopia and one-sidedness. Every question has two aspects. Distinguishing a thing is not merely an act of mentally separating a thing from what it is not; determination does not consist in negation alone. It is simultaneously a process of distinguishing a thing from its opposite of that from which it is distinguished, which is a positive process. Socialist pattern of society is not socialism. But what is it? The Communist Party of India is silent on this point, on the positive determination. The 'socialist pattern of society' is a positive plan of the Indian bourgeoisie to strengthen the economic base of capitalism by setting up heavy and basic industries under the public sector, give the existing productive power, however weak, a monopolistic shape, bring about a fusion of private monopoly capital and state capital, minimize the contradictions between the individual capitalists as far as possible, and thereby set a strong and united face of the Indian capitalist class against the dissatisfied people struggling against it inside the country and the competing powerful capitalists abroad. It is thus a replica of Hitler's national socialism, though much weaker than the latter.

The first point that needs clarification is whether state ownership by the Indian state of industries can be called socialism. If not, why not? Society rests upon a basis of production. Capitalist society rests upon commodity production by wage labour for maximum profit. The ownership of industries by a capitalist state does not alter the production relation which, notwithstanding state ownership, remains a capitalist production relation based on wage labour or the motive force of production which in a capitalist society is production for profit. Socialist society rests upon a different basis of production, the production relation being social ownership and the motive force of production being social satisfaction. The capitalist relationship, far from being abolished, is strengthened by state ownership in a capitalist society. Engels in his Anti-Dühring said : "But neither conversion into joint-stock companies and trusts, nor conversion into state property deprives the productive forces of their character as capital. In the case of joint-stock companies and trusts this is obvious. And the modern state, too, is only the organization with which bourgeois society provides itself in order to maintain the general external condition of the capitalist mode of production against encroachments either by the workers or by individual capitalists. The modern state, whatever its form, is an essentially capitalist machine; it is the state of the capitalists, the ideal aggregate capitalist. The more productive forces it takes over, the more does it become a real aggregate capitalist, the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage-earner, proletarians. The capitalist relationship is not abolished; it is rather pushed to an extreme". How refreshingly clear! Engels wrote it in 1878. How much more true is it now! So state ownership in a capitalist society is not socialization.

Another point needs some discussion. Is not the industrialization, which the Five Year Plans aim at achieving, a step forward and hence supportable by our people? Such is the question posed by some people. The question is being posed in such a fashion, because the demand of the people for industrialization is confused with support to government's policy of industrialization. The Communist Party of India answers the question, because of this confusion, in the affirmative and, accordingly, has asked the people not to do anything that hampers the scheme for industrialization in the plans. This attitude of the Communist Party made it conclude an agreement with the Birlas[8] to the sacrifice of the workers' interests while it was in government in Kerala[9] Dialectics teaches us to see things in their entirety, in their mutual connection and dependence. As such, the scheme for industrialization cannot be singled out from the general objectives of the plans and so cannot be judged singly and separately. In a class-divided society every activity, and for that matter, industrial development also serves the interests of some class or classes. There is nothing which satisfies the interests of all the classes equally at any given stage. Whose interests do the Five Year Plans, their scheme for industrialization included, intend to serve? Definitely, the interests of the Indian bourgeoisie. In such a case how can our people be asked to sacrifice their struggle for betterment of their lot in the interests of the plans? Everyone knows that it is the British imperialists who established modern largescale industries and means of communication and transport, for the first time, in India. If industrialization and modernization of the means of communication and transport by themselves are laudable activities demanding mass support then the British imperialists should have been supported, and our national liberation movement to end the imperialist rule ought to have been sacrificed in recognition of establishment of industrial concerns, railways, etc., by the Britishers. But none but the comprador bourgeoisie and lackeys of imperialism could dream of it. Why? Because, no patriotic person made the mistake in understanding the aims of such industrialization and modernization of the means of communication and transport by the imperialists and in finding out the tasks of the people with regard to them. The imperialists established manufacturing industries and modern means of communication and transport in India not for improving the lot of the Indian people but for exploiting them more and consolidating their rule, whereas the task of the freedom-loving people of India was to end the imperialist rule, capture power and build their life in whatever way they liked. So no patriotic man could support the imperialists for industrialization, etc. The same is the position even now. The Indian people have not captured power ; power has been captured by the Indian bourgeoisie. The Indian capitalist class and its state have adopted the course of planning for industrial development, not for freeing the Indian people but to exploit them more and consolidating and strengthening the capitalist rule, whereas the task of the people is to overthrow the bourgeoisie from power, smash the bourgeois state machine, set up its own state and proceed along the path of socialism, that alone can guarantee real freedom. This task of the Indian people can, on no consideration, be deferred or abandoned. The people, no doubt, need industrialization but they need so many other things too; they need freedom from capitalist rule, first of all, without which they cannot build their life and society in their own fashion. It is one thing to mobilize the masses and force the government to proceed with industrialization but it is quite a different thing to ask the people to strengthen the hands of the government of the capitalist state in India in the latter's drive for industrial development. The Communist Party of India is failing to mark the difference between the two.

Thus, by the slogan of 'socialist pattern of society' which is being concretely expressed in the Five Year Plans, the Indian bourgeoisie is laying the economic foundation of fascism in our country.

Dual role of Indian capitalists

In the wake of economic centralization in our country, political power is being increasingly concentrated in the state. Reflection of concentration of political power in the state is noticeable in the day-to-day administration. The dual policy of fascism of suppression and persuasion or deception—attempt to win over the masses of the people by allowing minor economic concessions and through propagation of ideas of class harmony and reactionary nationalism, on the one hand, and brutal repression of militant mass movements on the other—is being pursued by the Indian capitalist class no less dexterously than the originators of the Blackshirt Association[10] As a result, we find that trade unions, which are organs of class struggle, are being converted, through interference by the government, into institutions of economism and litigation. Strike has been virtually banned by enforcing the Code of Discipline. Those trade unions which have not signed this Code are being harassed in innumerable ways. Even the meagre democratic rights, which have found a place in the constitution, are systematically curtailed on the plea of 'imposing reasonable restrictions' by administrative orders, acts, ordinances, etc. The Government Servants Conduct Rules, Preventive Detention Act, Security Acts, Restriction on Meetings and Processions Bill, Essential Services (Maintenance) Ordinance and such other draconic legislative measures are to the point. Even the right of association is being denied to the government employees. Registration of trade unions of government employees is being cancelled. Government employees are even being compelled to spy on their colleagues, nay, on their family members also and to report to proper authorities the anti-government activities on the latter's part, if any. A provision to that effect has been dug out from the dungeon of administrative orders framed by the imperialist rulers of India. The present rulers of our country do not feel ashamed to employ regular army, armed police and semimilitary National Volunteer Force to suppress ruthlessly the democratic movements of the people, including peaceful strikes by workers. Merciless and en masse killing of men, women and even children, without the least provocation, on the hackneyed plea of maintaining law and order has become, in the postindependence period, almost a daily affair. The killing of about 350 persons in West Bengal alone during the fifteen years of Congress rule is a glaring instance of the fascistic attitude of the government towards the people.

Slogan of national unity for national interest

The complement in the political sphere of the economic slogan of 'socialist pattern of society' is the slogan of 'national unity for national interest' thrown by the Indian bourgeoisie. It aims at bypassing the issue of class struggle and disarming the working class and other exploited masses of the people in our country in their ideological struggle against the bourgeoisie. In a class-divided society a nation is not a homogeneous whole; it is divided into different classes. The Indian nation, too, is not an undivided homogeneous whole; on the contrary, it consists of the Tatas, Birlas, Dalmias, Singhanias and other capitalists, the jotedars[11], the kulaks, the big officials occupying the upper rung of the bureaucratic ladder and the lackeys of the bourgeoisie on the one side, and the workers, middle and poor peasants, agricultural labourers and other exploited masses of the people on the other. Thus the social forces in our society are historically divided into classes with definite and distinct class interests and historical roles to play. One may like it or not but there is no escape from it. It is the result of a law-governed historically-conditioned process and not the creation of the communists. The 'fault' of the communists is that they recognize the objective fact and, understanding the law of development of society, try to advance the society. In a bourgeois society like ours, the interest of the capitalist class is always projected before the people as the national interest. The slogan of 'national unity for national interest' is not a new slogan; it had been raised by the fascists all over the world at different times. Paradoxically enough, the Communist Party of India which, we believe, wants to resist the march of fascism in our country, is playing the tune of 'national unity for national interest' to the great damage to the cause of class struggle and revolution in our country.

Indian National Congress, a fascist party in the making

Thus we find that the social democratic plans and programmes for 'national reconstruction' of the Congress are laying the economic foundation of fascism in India. The slogan of 'national unity for national interest' is aimed at bypassing the question of class struggle. Strong current of reactionary national jingoism is also being fanned up. And even the idea of a superman as the symbol of 'national unity' and 'national interest' is being subtly propagated. The placing of Pandit Nehru as a 'national leader' and embodying the 'supra-class national interest' is to that end in view. Thus all the ingredients of fascism are there. The only want was the existence of a fascist party. That, too, is being rapidly fulfilled. During the third general elections the Congress has emerged as a party much more fascistic in nature and character than before. It is a fact that it has not yet acquired the monolithic character of a fascist party. There are still much looseness, open group rivalry and other organizational weaknesses, which fascism seldom tolerates. But it is in the process of being developed as a fascist party. Threat and intimidation of voters, purchase of votes, impersonation of voters, administrative interference and what not, in furtherance of the Congress party's interests, which characterised the last general elections almost in all the states, have smashed the myth of a 'free and fair election' in our country. The general democratic atmosphere, which is necessary for a relatively 'free and fair election' in a capitalist country, was conspicuous by its absence in our country during the last election. All the well-known tactics of fascism were adopted by the ruling party. No amount of loud denial can prove to the contrary. Even Pandit Nehru could not but express, at the end of the elections, his shocked feelings at the amount of lies told and amount of money spent to win the elections. This gentleman kept absolutely mum, when his party was indulging in all the above fascistic methods. He even allowed the government machinery to influence the voters in favour of Congress. Large sums of public money were spent by way of granting loans and giving out doles; free tube wells were sanctioned; licences and permits were issued indiscriminately— all with one object in view, namely, to influence the voters in favour of the Congress. And when the elections were over, he simply expressed his shocked feelings. A pretension of the highest magnitude! What had taken place in the third general elections is only an indication of what is yet to follow. With the passage of time and accentuation of capitalist crisis, the leopard will show its spots more prominently. There is no doubt about it.

Dictatorship of a single party

Votaries of parliamentary democracy boast of 'the biggest democracy the world has ever seen' being practised in India. Apart from the fact that this 'biggest democracy' is nothing but the veiled dictatorship of the Indian bourgeoisie, the reality is that we are living, today, under the dictatorial rule of the Indian National Congress. The absence of any effective all-national party in the parliament in opposition to the government has reduced parliamentary democracy in India to virtual dictatorship of a single party. How ? The success of parliamentary democracy depends on the effective role of the opposition in the legislature, the relative independence of the judiciary and the impartiality of the executive in its dealings with the people and the political parties. In our country all these factors are almost absent. In the legislature—whether in the parliament or in the state legislative assemblies—the Congress commands overwhelming majority. In a house of 494 elective seats in the Lok Sabha, the Congress, according to a provisional figure, corrected up to 7th March, 1962, published by the government, had captured 353 seats; of the 2904 state legislative assembly seats it had won about 1800 seats in the last general elections. Backed by brute majority, the Congress exercises unrestricted power in the legislature and pays no heed to the suggestions, which are of vital nature, made by the opposition. The uninterrupted rule by the Congress for so long a period and the absence of any probability of any other party coming to power in the foreseeable future have already created in the judiciary and the executive the apprehension that it is not safe to show independent or non-party spirit, because that means the courting of displeasure of the ruling party under which they are to work, perhaps, all through their life. The result has been that the judiciary thinks twice to pass judgement against the government and the executive has, more or less, become the yes-man to the ruling party, always at the beck and call of the Congress. This is no wild accusation of ours. It is the objective reality, the anathema of the uninterrupted rule of the Congress for so long a period,  without  any effective all-national opposition party to curb its despotism. Every honest man is feeling it everyday. Even men like P. B. Chakravarty, former Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, could not help bringing in this charge openly.

In our view there is little prospect of any major change in near future, in the party position on the national plane though the possibility of defeat of the Congress at the polls in one or several states is not ruled out. Unlike in Great Britain or the USA, small producers are to play an important role in the economy of our country for a pretty long time to come. Consequently, petty bourgeois parties that represent the interests of the small producers, who have local, regional or state interests, are still going to exist for some time more, making the emergence of two all-national bourgeois parliamentary parties impossible. It is only when complete polarization and consolidation of class forces will take place through the concentration of capital, when small production will lose much of its present importance in the economy of the country, and when the Indian capitalist class will be represented, principally, by two groups of monopolists that a two-party democracy will be a reality. Only then there is the chance of the emergence of an effective all-national parliamentary party in opposition to the Congress. Without the patronage of the Indian bourgeoisie on an all-national basis no party is in a position to occupy that status. However much the Communist Party of India may woo the Indian capitalist class by supporting its planning, its foreign policy, its drive for national integration and its national chauvinistic stand in respect of border dispute, however much it may try to win the confidence of the ruling class by placating Pandit Nehru as the messiah of the people, there is little chance of its getting the desired support of the Indian bourgeoisie, unless it drops the name 'communist' and severs connection with the international communist movement and leadership.

Parliamentary democracy reduced to virtual dictatorship of a single party and the tendency of fascization growing and developing at a rapid rate, the future of parliamentary democracy in India is, no doubt, very bleak.

Praja Socialist Party — an agent of  international reaction

The Praja Socialist Party is a right wing social democratic party, having close contacts with international social democratic leadership, which, in the present alignment of world social forces, has become more social-chauvinist and social-fascist than before. The Congress having adopted social democratic programmes, the Praja Socialist Party has no basic difference with the Congress and hence, nothing to offer to the people as alternative to the Congress plans and programmes except that while the Congress, because of its official position as the ruling party, is less outspoken in its anti-communist campaigns, the Praja Socialist Party, being out of government office, is rabidly anti-communist. For its anti-communist activities it is now the most trusted friend of US imperialism in India. There being no fundamental difference between the Congress and the Praja Socialist Party in ideology and programme, continuous desertion of members is going on from the Praja Socialist Party to the Congress. As the Congress will adopt more and more social democratic plans and programmes, the disintegration of the Praja Socialist Party will gain momentum—the third general elections have confirmed this analysis of ours. In the first general elections in 1952 the Krishak Majdoor Praja Party and the Socialist Party, which later on fused to form the Praja Socialist Party, together captured 21 parliamentary and 202 state legislative assembly seats. In the second general elections in 1957 its share came down to 19 parliamentary and 195 state legislative assembly seats. In the third general elections the party had captured 12 parliamentary and 149 state legislative assembly seats. The state-wise break-up figures show that, whatever strength the party possesses, it is limited to Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Mysore and Uttar Pradesh, which account for 120 of the 149 legislative assembly seats won by it in the last general elections. To a revolutionary party reverses in the elections mean very little. But to a parliamentary party they mean almost everything, even death. The Praja Socialist Party is proceeding towards it.

Swatantra Party and Jana Sangh — one a conservative party, the other a Hindu fundamentalist party

It has already been discussed that fascism, in the general aggregate interest of the capitalist class, imposes restrictions on individual capitalists and their freedom for anarchical production. In some cases these restrictions are not favourably looked upon and even resented by individual capitalists. The conflict between the Indian National Congress and the Swatantra Party represents this conflict between the aggregate interests of the Indian capitalist class and the individual capitalist interests, the Swatantra Party representing the latter. It, not doubt, represents the conservative section of the Indian bourgeoisie and the former rulers of native states in India. The Swatantra Party, founded less than three years ago, had captured 18 parliamentary and 164 state legislative assembly seats in the last general elections. The state-wise position is that the party had won 144 of the 164 legislative assembly seats from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The Jana Sangh had, on the other hand, captured 14 parliamentary and 115 state legislative assembly seats. Of the total 115 legislative assembly seats won by it, 112 had come from Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, three of which were, till recently, hotbed of communal disturbances which the Jana Sangh fanned and fully exploited.

Communist Party of India not a genuine communist party

The Communist Party of India has, undoubtedly, improved its position in the legislature. In the first general elections it won 16 parliamentary and 106 state legislative assembly seats. In the second general elections they were 27 and 161 respectively. In the last general elections it had captured 29 parliamentary and 166 state legislative assembly seats. The statewise position in the last general elections is that out of 166 state legislative assembly seats won by it six states, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Punjab, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh together with the Union Territory of Tripura had returned 155 candidates. This improvement of position in the parliament and state legislative assemblies is advanced by the leaders of the Communist Party of India as an evidence of the party's correct political stand and growing organizational strength. In our opinion such a conclusion cannot, scientifically, be drawn from the election results; popular support and victory in election do not, ipso facto, establish the correctness of the political line of the Communist Party of India nor do they measure organizational strength. The increasing popular support in the election for the Communist Party of India does not prove that the people of India are becoming more and more communist-minded or that the revolutionary preparedness is advancing. All it means is that the common men of our country are increasingly becoming anti-Congress (this anti-Congress feeling does not necessarily mean socialist consciousness) and finding that the Communist Party of India is the most organized and strongest of all the anti-Congress parties, they bank their hope of defeating the Congress at the polls on this party. The growing extent of popular support for the Communist Party of India is, therefore, no indication of its correct political stand to end the present capitalist order and usher in a socialist society. It, at best, indicates the left social democratic parliamentary swing in our country. The absurdity of the claim that the growing popular support in election is a proof of correct political line of the party can easily be understood, if we do not forget the lesson of history that it is not uncommon for the people to be led astray even by the most reactionary party. Our country had witnessed such incidents in the past. During the period of our struggle for national independence, most of the Muslims wholeheartedly supported the Muslim League, resulting in resounding victory of the League in elections. Notwithstanding the huge popular support and spectacular election results, the political stand of the Muslim League, however, was, all through the period of anti-imperialist struggle for national independence, anti-national and reactionary. Look at the latest situation; the Jana Sangh has improved its position in the legislature. We think that no conscious man will say that it is because of Jana Sangh's correct political stand. Do not the results of the three general elections show that the Congress still commands huge popular support? Are we then to admit that the political line of the Congress is correct and supportable? The argument that improvement of position in the legislature is a proof of correct political stand is simply childish. Correctness of the political stand of a party can never be established by election results; it is to be established scientifically. Likewise, victory in elections does not necessarily mean growing organizational strength. For, success in election may be due to so many factors, which may not have any bearing on organization. The results of the last general elections in a number of constituencies in West Bengal show that the candidates of the Communist Party of India got elected where the organization of the party is relatively weak, whereas defeated where it has comparatively strong organization.

It is our considered view that the Communist Party of India is not a genuine communist party. It is a petty bourgeois left social democratic party with the name 'communist' attached to it. It must, at the outset, be realized that the name communist does not, by itself, make a party a genuine communist party. The name of Tito's party is the Communist League of Yugoslavia. But the name communist, has not converted this party into a genuine communist party. The parties of the Fourth International are named either revolutionary communist or Bolshevik Leninist; but they are neither communist nor Bolshevik Leninist. They are veritable Trotskyites. Similarly, the parties that owe their allegiance to the Second International are nominally socialist. But the use of the term, socialist, does not establish these parties as really socialist. A good number of communist parties are not even named communist. Some are United Labour Party, some Party of Labour, some Socialist Unity Party, so on and so forth. Thus the name of a party is no indication of its class character. To judge whether a particular party is a communist party or not, it is indispensably necessary to examine its theory, methodology, process of thinking, process of movement, organizational principle and modus operandi on the anvil of Marxian logic. No communist party can deviate, on these fundamental questions, from Marxism-Leninism.

Let us, first of all, take up the theory. "Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary party", said Lenin. And how does the Communist Party of India stand on this vital question? For a reply to this question we shall now quote an admission by the leaders of the Communist Party of India and request the members of the party to correctly think of its implication. Ajoy Ghosh, the late general secretary of the Communist Party of India, while he took over the leadership of the party, confessed that the entire activities of the party, from the beginning to the present time, had reflected a non-working class outlook and process of thinking. It is so good of Ajoy Ghosh to have admitted this truth. But this is only a negative admission. What is the positive determination that emanates from this admission? The level of political consciousness of the members is so low that nobody put this question to Ajoy Ghosh. For an answer to this question let us look to Marxism-Leninism. Marxism teaches us that every idea, outlook, process of thinking or process of movement, invariably reflects the idea, outlook or angularity of some class or classes. So if the entire activities of the Communist Party of India, from its inception till the time of Ajoy Ghosh's leadership, had reflected non-working class outlook and process of thinking, even according to the confession of its general secretary, then they must have reflected the outlook and process of thinking of some class or classes other than the working class. That means that their activities reflected the outlook and way of thinking of either the petty bourgeois or bourgeois class. Can a party, that is guided for about twentyfive years since its birth by petty bourgeois or bourgeois outlook and process of thinking, be a genuine communist party? Marxism-Leninism answers the question in the negative. Thus, our analysis that the Communist Party of India is not a genuine communist party is also confirmed by the admission of the late general secretary of the party. An examination of the history of the party will show that the Communist Party of India has been guided by either right reformism or left adventurism and not by correct Leninist theory. From 1928 to 1934 the party adopted an ultra-left adventurist policy. The result was that the Communist Party of India, far from isolating the national bourgeois leadership from the anti-imperialist masses of the people, struggling for national independence, and establishing the hegemony of the working class over them, pursued a sectarian policy, kept itself isolated from the struggling people and thereby helped the bourgeoisie indirectly to carry on propaganda against communism as such. Above all, this sectarian policy gave full opportunity to the compromising national bourgeoisie to have its leadership firmly established over the anti-imperialist forces struggling for national independence in our country. The people are still paying for this blunder.

In the name of rectifying this wrong policy, the Communist Party of India, thereafter, made an about turn and swung to the other extreme of right reformism. It adopted, in actuality, though not in writing, the much condemned, thoroughly rejected policy of 'united leadership of the national bourgeoisie and the proletariat, and democratic dictatorship of the national bourgeoisie and the proletariat in national democratic revolution' as deduced by Plekhanov and for all intents and purposes, abandoned the Leninist strategy of the 'democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry of national democratic revolution' in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. This period, particularly the period of war, is conspicuous by the party's rejection of the theory and practice of class struggle. It, then, threw to the winds the Marxist-Leninist teachings on national question and the right of nations to self-determination and supported the Muslim League's demand for Pakistan. After the transfer of power to the national bourgeoisie, the same reformist outlook pervaded the entire activities of the Communist Party of India. It acclaimed the transfer of power as a 'step forward' and, in violation of the fundamental concept of class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat, formulated the main political slogan as 'All support to Nehru, build up People's Democratic Republic'.

In the characteristic petty bourgeois fashion the party reacted to this putrid reformism by left adventurism again. This situation continued from 1948 to 1951. The position, during this time, was so anomalous that while the party thesis formulated the strategy of anti-imperialist bourgeois democratic revolution, the practical movements were directed with the aim of overthrowing the bourgeoisie from power, a programme of socialist revolution.

After the hectic days of Ranadive leadership the Communist Party of India again lulled to right reformism. The Palghat congress went so far as to declare the national independence, as fake, which India had achieved in 1947, holding that India was still a colony guided by the British imperialists. But when the Soviet leaders spoke from the state plane, of 'independent foreign policy of the government of India', it became very difficult to reconcile this analysis of the Soviet leaders with the party's political line. According to the formulation of the Communist Party of India, our country was still then a colony of British imperialism. But how can a colony have an 'independent foreign policy'? So the Delhi plenum of the central committee of the party had to change the party thesis.

Thereafter, the current of right reformism is flowing on continuously. It has now permeated the entire activities of the Communist Party of India with anti-working class ideas and outlook. If the Joshi[12] leadership was condemned for its 'non-working class outlook and process of thinking' (of course it was a perfectly correct characterization), is not the present leadership more condemnable for the same fault ? Has not the present leadership bogged down deeper into stinking filth of right reformism than Joshi's? Its formulation of the strategy of revolution, its advocacy for the theory of peaceful revolution by parliamentary means, its support to the Five Year Plans, its unstinted support to the foreign policy of the India government without explaining to the people the motive of the Indian bourgeoisie behind its 'peace' policy and its difference with the consistent policy of peace followed by the socialist countries, its all-out backing for the bourgeois drive for national integration without the least reference to its difference with the proletarian concept and drive for people's unity, its agreement with the bourgeoisie on slogans like 'national unity', 'national interests' etc., its national chauvinistic stand in respect to border dispute, its demand for strengthening the military might of the Indian capitalist state by equipping the armed forces with modern means of warfare, its call for increase in defence budget by the members of the party inside the parliament, to mention only a few, are instances of the non-working class outlook, way of thinking and process of movement of the party. No genuine communist party can ever commit this type of mistakes concerning the fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism. The organizational strength and party structure built up through the practice of this anti-working class ideology, process of thinking, process of movement, and angularity can, in no way, be characterized as of a communist party, that represents the most conscious and advanced section of the working class.

At the time of criticism and self-criticism (in the Communist Party of India criticism and self-criticism, as understood by a Marxist-Leninist, have never been conducted; all that is done is unilateral discussion and making an individual the scapegoat) the leaders of the party keep up the morale of its members by saying that as a communist party it is never afraid of admitting mistakes. But does the admission of mistakes ipso facto establish it as a genuine communist party? Definitely not. For, a party can commit two types of mistakes, namely: (1) mistakes in the fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism, mistakes in the formulation of strategy, methodology, process of thinking, process of movements and organizational principle; and (2) tactical mistakes, mistakes in applying a correct theory, in day-to-day movement. The first type of mistakes, if committed by a party, signifies the non-proletarian character of the party. In other words, it proves that the party committing this type of mistake, irrespective of the name of the party, is not a genuine communist party. And since it is not a communist party, no question of rectifying its mistakes and strengthening it can arise; inasmuch as the party of one class cannot, by rectification of its mistakes, be converted into the party of another class, far less into a communist party. The duty of its members, who in good faith wrongly nurse the idea that it is a communist party, is to dissolve the party and build a genuine communist party. The task of all members of the Communist Party of India, who want the establishment of communism in India, is to follow this course. Since it is not a communist party at all, to think of rectifying its mistakes and strengthening it means to strengthen the party of another class.

So far about theory. Now a few words about practice. It is true that a communist party takes part in parliamentary activities. But though participating in parliamentary politics a communist party always tries to educate the people about the futility of parliamentarism and build up extra-parliamentary mass movements as a means to instil revolutionary consciousness in them. The activities of the Communist Party of India, however, are just the reverse of it. It not only does not endeavour to build and develop extra-parliamentary militant mass movements, it moves in such a way as to curb the extra-parliamentary militant movements of the people. Look at the democratic mass movements conducted by our people, such as the anti-tram-fare-increase movement, teachers' movement, food movement, central government employees' movement etc. In every case the people were ready to come out in larger and larger numbers and conduct militant mass struggles. And on every occasion instead of sharpening this militancy and leading them correctly in the extra-parliamentary movements, the Communist Party of India had thrown cold water on the militant mood of the people and subtly led them into the channel of parliamentary politics.

Apart from these fundamental mistakes in theory and practice, the methodology of the party also betrays its non-working class character. The methodology, process of thinking and process of movement of a genuine communist party are always dialectical. But in the understanding of the relationship between the leading communist party in the world communist movement and any other communist party, between the general programme of world proletarian revolution and particular programme of revolution in a given country or between the Soviet foreign policy and the programme of revolution, general or particular, the behaviour of the Communist Party of India is noted for its non-dialectical, formalistic or mechanical approach.

In its understanding of the relationship between the leading communist party and any other communist party, to be more precise, between the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of India, the mechanical concept of prime mover was and still is at work. The idea of the leading communist party in the world communist movement does not presuppose an unchangeable and permanent leadership of the leading communist party on every question; nor does it signify blind obedience to the leading communist party and blind acceptance of whatever it decides. It, on the contrary, presupposes struggles, non-antagonistic in nature, and interaction of ideas with the leading communist party so as to ensure the dialectical process, indispensable for collective leadership. But the mechanical concept of prime mover in the matter of understanding the relationship between the CPSU and the CPI reduced the latter to the status of a vassal, to the detriment of the cause of the revolution in India. Besides, in the understanding of the relation between the general programme of world proletarian revolution and the particular programme of revolution in India, the same mechanical and formalistic process of thinking and methodology is noticed in the activities of the Communist Party of India. Dialectics teaches us to study the contradiction of the particular with the general. The general programme of world proletarian revolution, as every serious communist knows, gives the general guiding principle of world proletarian revolution, which is to be applied in different countries creatively, according to the objective and concrete conditions prevailing in the countries. Now the concrete conditions differ from country to country and hence, the concrete and creative application of the general guiding principle of world proletarian revolution cannot be the same everywhere. It differs from country to country. As a result, a contradiction always exists between the general programme of world proletarian revolution and the particular programme of revolution in a given country. Anyone, who loses sight of this contradiction, commits the error of formalism and reduces Marxism-Leninism to a lifeless dogma. The Communist Party of India has exhibited this formalistic approach in place of dialectical approach, to the general programme of world proletarian revolution. The same non-dialectical formalistic process of thinking is noticed in the subjective and objective behaviour of the Communist Party of India in its understanding of the foreign policy of the USSR directed from the state plane vis-a-vis the general programme of world proletarian revolution. The CPI considers the two as one and the same and, in the manner of a robot, makes a parrot-like repetition of what the CPSU says or does in furtherance of the Soviet foreign policy. The aim of the Soviet foreign policy is to consolidate the forces of socialism, create further and deeper antagonism between the capitalists and imperialists, isolate the less adventurers from the greater adventurers in the imperialist war camp, defend and maintain world peace and thereby create objective conditions for the growth, development and success of world proletarian revolution. Its aim is not to organize revolution in India, which the revolutionary working class party in India is to do. To refuse to take advantage of the international and national situation, rendered favourable by the Soviet foreign policy, in furthering the preparedness for revolution in our country, and in its place, to move like a robot and make parrot-like repetition of what the Soviet leaders say or do, are nothing short of bankruptcy in political thoughts and actions. No genuine communist party can exhibit such a formalistic approach in methodology, process of thinking and process of movement.

In organizational principle also the Communist Party of India betrays its non-working class character. Democratic centralism is the Leninist principle of party organization. And what is democratic centralism? Lenin said: it is a fusion of centralism and proletarian democracy. It must be realized that proletarian democracy is not formal democracy. Proletarian democracy is the outcome of proletarian world outlook, while formal democracy is a reflection of bourgeois social order. So the most formally democratic party constitution even cannot achieve democratic centralism in the party. It is primarily dependent on the necessary standard of ideological consciousness of the members of the party so as to ensure struggles of ideas and opinions, i.e. 'discussion in dialogue' in the party bodies, not on paper only but in actuality as well as on the conscious proletarian revolutionary role of the members of the party. Without the necessary standard of ideological consciousness, struggles of ideas and opinions virtually cease to exist in party life and democratic centralism, objectively, boils down to practice of centralism based on formal democracy, which, in its wake, gives birth to bureaucratic leadership at the top isolated from the rank and file at the bottom and replaces the dialectical process of thinking by a mechanical process of thinking and the dialectical relation between the leaders, on the one hand, and the ordinary members, on the other, by a mechanical relation between the two. In the absence of any strong personality, in the circumstances, groups and factions sprout in the party bodies and party unity is maintained, and party leadership operates, through adjustments and compromise between different groups. The leadership thus formed and functioning is, needless to mention, contrary to the Marxist-Leninist concept of collective leadership and party organization. The unimaginably low level of ideological consciousness of the members of the Communist Party of India, proved by the unending series of mistakes made by the party in the fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism, has brought about these very things in the party. Groups and factions do now exist in the Communist Party of India. Party bodies are not elected on the basis of the principle of 'proper man at proper place' but are formed on the basis of compromises and adjustments between the groups. Who does not know that the Communist Party of India now is divided into the rightist group of Dange[13], the leftist faction of Ranadive[14] and the centrist group of the late Ajoy Ghosh[15], now led by Namboodiripad[16] The formation of party bodies, therefore, takes place through adjustments between these factions. It is now too wellknown a fact. There are, thus, on the one hand the bureaucracy and the mechanical discipline based on blind loyalty and party fanaticism of the members; there is, on the other hand, the existence of factions. And still it is a communist party! Stalin, elaborating on Lenin's principle of party organization, said: "But from this it follows that the existence of factions is incompatible either with the party's unity or with its iron discipline. It need hardly be proved that the existence of factions leads to existence of a number of centres and the existence of a number of centres connotes the absence of one common centre in the party, the breaking up of the unity of will, the weakening and disintegration of discipline, the weakening and disintegration of the dictatorship. Of course, the parties of the Second International, which are fighting against the dictatorship of the proletariat and have no desire to lead the proletarians to power can afford such liberalism as freedom of factions, for they have no need at all for iron discipline. But the parties of the Communist International, which base their activities on the task of achieving and consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat cannot afford to be 'liberal' or to permit freedom of factions". (Problems of Leninism) The Communist Party of India, by affording to be liberal and to permit freedom of factions, is proving its petty bourgeois social democratic character as a party of the Second International. Stalin has, further said: "It means that the parties of the Second International are unfit for the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat, that they are not militant parties of the proletariat, leading the workers to power, but election machines adapted for parliamentary elections and parliamentary struggle — It goes without saying that under such circumstances and with such a Party at the helm there could be no question of preparing the proletariat for revolution". (Ibid) But without a revolution, without the overthrow of the bourgeoisie from power, without the capture of power by the proletariat in alliance with the peasantry and other exploited masses of the people in our country, there is no other way of attaining real emancipation of the people. And that requires a genuine communist party.

Build a genuine communist party

Hence the toiling millions of our country have, finally, to decide what course they will adopt, whether they will allow themselves to be drifted along the path of parliamentarism and caught, helplessly, in the rising tide of fascism or prepare for a victorious socialist revolution in India. They are to choose either the one or the other course, since there is no via media. Only the people and their organized struggles, developed on the basis of true patriotism, quite distinct from reactionary bourgeois nationalism, and the ideology of proletarian internationalism can stem the tide of the approaching catastrophe, the rapid growth and development of Indian fascism. Only a revolutionary working class party, equipped with revolutionary theory and organized on the Leninist principle of party organization, can lead such struggles to their logical goal—the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and capture of power by the proletariat. However much adapted and efficient it may be for conducting parliamentary elections and parliamentary struggles, the Communist Party of India is not such a party. It is a petty bourgeois parliamentary party, like the parties of the Second International incapable of conducting the revolutionary struggles of the proletariat and leading it to power. The present period, in which we are living, is a period of "open class collisions, of revolutionary action by the proletariat, of proletarian revolution, a period when forces are being directly mustered for the overthrow of imperialism and the seizure of power by the proletariat. In this period the proletariat is confronted with new tasks, the tasks of reorganizing all party work on new, revolutionary lines; of educating the workers in the spirit of revolutionary struggles for power; of preparing and moving up the reserves; of establishing an alliance with the proletarians of neighbouring countries; of establishing firm ties with the liberation movement in the colonies and dependent countries etc., etc. To think that these new tasks can be performed by the old social democratic parties, brought up as they were in the peaceful conditions of parliamentarism, is to doom oneself to hopeless despair and inevitable defeat. Hence the necessity of a new party, a militant party, a revolutionary party, one bold enough to lead the proletarians in the struggle for power. Without such a party it is useless to think of overthrowing imperialism and achieving the dictatorship of the proletariat". (ibid) Compared to the time when Stalin wrote it, the situation has become ten times more complex, necessitating a more militant organization of the proletariat for seizure of power. As such our people need a new party, the militant party of the proletariat. The Socialist Unity Centre of India is that party. It fulfils all the characteristics of the new type of party, though it is small. Help it develop as an effective party. That is the call of the hour.


1. Refers to Suez crisis, 1956.

2.Dutch New Guinea.

3. A conservative party, now non-existent.

4. A Hindu fundamentalist party, parent to present Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

5. Later turned a renegade.

6. Now Sri Lanka.

7. Committee formed under chairmanship of P. C. Mahalanobis, distinguished statistician and educationist.

8. Leading industrial house in India.

9. In 1957 CPI had formed a government in Kerala state.

10. Fascist and Nazi marauders.

11. Rich landowners, i.e. rural bourgeoisie.

12. Late P. C. Joshi, one time general secretary of CPI (undivided).

13. Late S. A. Dange, one time general secretary of CPI (undivided), later formed another party, AICP.

14. Late B. T. Ranadive, general secretary of CPI (undivided) in late forties and later theoretician and politburo member of CPI(M).

15. Late Ajoy Ghosh, general secretary of CPI (undivided) in fifties.

16. E. M. S. Namboodiripad, former general secretary of CPI(M), now its politburo member

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