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Editorial MARXIST INTELLECTION 21.02.2015

Prasanta Roy

 

The communist movement in India has been passing through an unprecedented crisis for the last few decades. Neither is there the existence of a real communist party, nor can there be found a communist centre showing advanced ideas. Under the circumstances, all attempts of the communist revolutionaries of India should be directed towards building up a communist party in our country. But it is a very difficult task considering the serious ideological, theoretical and political confusion reigning throughout the camp. This has generated a kind of frustration too, which has been debarring the communist activists from vigorously applying themselves to revolutionary practice, without which no development of theory is possible. Added to this crisis in theory is the very long-standing problem of the proper recognition of the role of the working class in forging the correct orientation of the communist party, particularly at its incipient stage. That the activities of the communists should be concentrated among the working class at the initial stage of building up a communist party, even in a backward country is still hardly recognized. This neglect has resulted in the deep-rooted petty bourgeois bias in the communist movement of our country. Another impediment is a very mechanical approach towards the concept of democratic centralism. It is generally not admitted that according to varying conditions the aspect of democracy and that of centralism may preponderate over each other and that while the political ideas are in great confusion the aspect of democracy should be broadened for providing sufficient space for different ideas to contend with one another. The general trend of sticking to the conventional ideas that always centralism will dominate has been doing much harm to the development of theoretical understanding. In brief, these are some problems that are creating obstacle to the building up of a real Communist Party in India.MARXIST INTELLECTION will devote itself primarily to deal with these questions and try to create an atmosphere where reviews and evaluations of and investigations into generally accepted views of international communist movement will be made and new areas of theoretical understanding explored.

First, of all, we should recognize the fact that this plight of Indian Communist movement is not an isolated phenomenon. The international communist movement as a whole has been going through the same experience long since. The erstwhile Soviet Union and the East European Socialist states took the course of reversion to capitalism long ago. Despite the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, China, too, followed the same track. The fall of the two great socialist states gave birth to the idea, not only amongst the general sympathizers of socialism, but also a great many communist workers, that there must have been serious limitations in the Marxist theory itself; and that is why the proletariat can seize power from the bourgeoisie, but cannot retain it anywhere in the world. Add to this, the general weakness of communist revolutionary movement or the lack of intense working class movement led by any communist centre. The exceptional struggles of Nepal and other various struggles that are still being waged in different countries could hardly change the general atmosphere of despair prevailing in the communist camp of the world. This is at the same time, the most opportune moment for the reactionary bourgeois ideologues to descend gleefully on the scene with all their pernicious theories including ‘post-modernism’. Nobody can deny that these apparently fascinating but essentially faulty ideas had extremely harmful effects, particularly on the students, youths and nascent intellectuals. A sort of cynicism pervaded among these young people who formerly used to form the target group for recruit in the communist parties. This long-standing crisis had its direct effect on the rank and file of the communist forces who are still striving for socialism in their respective ways. A large section of them have been suffering from inertia and aversion to revolutionary practice. This rightist tendency is generated from the belief that class-struggle is for the present relegated to secondary position due to immense development of modern technology. Now it is time to pause and ponder. It is now the time to concentrate only on theoretical work and patiently wait for the fresh accentuation of the crisis of capitalism before we take a plunge into the whirlpool of class-struggle. Exactly the opposite danger comes from the dogmatists, who think that there is hardly any problem of theory. The problem, they believe, lies solely with the communists who, too squeamish about theoretical questions, are reluctant to put their shoulders to the wheels. The theoretical and political weapons at our disposal are already sufficiently strong to go ahead with our task of making a revolution, they assert.

All the abovementioned factors, national and international have combined together to create a grave crisis in the world communist movement and to stall the building up of a real communist party in our country.

This clear recognition of the existing reality points that for furthering the world communist movement, a qualitative leap in the development of Marxist theory is the need of the hour. Unlike the dogmatists, we believe that the failure of the Marxists theory to solve the problems of class-struggles arising in the new situations obviously indicates a sort of stagnation in the development of the Marxist theory. If for a relatively long period of time this condition persists, we must have to admit that it is a crisis in development and at such moments to deal with this crisis takes the position of prime importance. This of course, does not mean that revolutionary practice has been subordinated to secondary position. Since Marxist theory of knowledge believes in the primacy of practice in the spiral movement of knowledge from lower to the higher, no Marxist theoretical exercise can be done being divorced from the direct experience of class-struggle. MARXIST INTELLECTION will try its best to fight the wrong trends that are sweeping not only the communist movement of our country, but also the world communist movement and try to the best of its ability to address itself to the critical areas of the theory and practice of Marxism.

The attacks by the bourgeois theoreticians on Marxism-Leninism are very harmful, but no less harmful is the cult of holding fast to Marxism-Leninism with blind adoration. We are strongly opposed to such tendencies. We think that Marxism teaches us to be critical of Marxism itself. A philosophy which has been constantly developing in accordance with the changing objective conditions of class-struggles must always go forward by negating itself, which means whatever formulations in the theory were almost unquestionable at a given point of time in the history of the communist movement, may become questionable at some later time and in a different context. A re-evaluation and a reformulation of the past theories will always become necessary. MARXIST INTELLECTION emphasizes on this basic approach with the strong conviction that only by creatively putting this idea into practice can Marxism Leninism be saved from the decay that it has been suffering from for the last few decades.

An uninterrupted churning of thoughts, clashes of ideas and conflict of opinions combined with corresponding revolutionary practice will contribute to the development of Marxism to-day. MARXIST INTELLECTION believes that for the facilitation of the sense of freedom required to cultivate this practice, every political organization should adopt special measures, so that within the general framework of democratic centralism, they can broaden the base of democracy. Reviews and reformulations of the past political and theoretical understandings and forays into unexplored regions can save Marxism from ossification. Our magazine believes that only this process will help the Marxist theory take a qualitative leap which is so necessary for the development of correct orientation of class-struggles and building up of the communist parties the world over including ours.

In this our first issue of the magazine we have tried to be faithful to our basic ideas.

The first article is named, “Marxist Philosophy and the Problems of Development of Marxist Theory”. In this article the author has described in detail the role of dialectical materialism in the transformation of ‘Marxist Philosophy’ into ‘Marxist World outlook’. In the process, the problem of stagnation of Marxist theory has been dealt with, with particular reference to the inconsistencies in the exposition and practice of the generally accepted revolutionary theory in the post-Lenin period. The author has averred that much of what was accepted generally in the international communist movement was far from correct both from methodological and epistemological points of view.

The second article is, “Practice of Soviet Socialism in Thirties: Successes and Failures”. The main focus of this article is on the underlying causes of the failure of soviet socialism. The author has tried to establish how the entire Stalin period of Soviet Union failed to properly handle the interrelation between the communist party and the working class and how it failed to develop the independent class-organisation of the proletariat. The author concludes that the result was disastrous, for these two failures inevitably led to the increase of alienation of the direct producers from the means of production. But the key to the success of socialism lies in how much the direct producers can establish their control on production and distribution of the social produce. Judged by this criterion, soviet socialism was a great failure, from which many historic lessons have to be learned for future endeavours.

The third and last article is named, “The Courage to Climb the Unexplored Mountain”. We have mentioned at the outset of this introductory note that Nepal is an exception in the world communist movement where the communist party has been able to make a real headway. The communist revolutionary movement of Nepal has become the major source of inspiration in the present day world for those aspiring for revolution in their own countries. The author believes that astounding courage and innovativeness of the comrades of CPN(M) has created history in our neighbouring country. Their courage is not confined to the battle-fields alone, but it is spread to their critical attitude towards all that are generally held in unquestionable esteem in the international communist movement. The author shows great admiration for their creativity in applying Marxism to the concrete condition of Nepal, while, at the same time he is critical about their assertion that every back-ward country (semi-feudal semi-colonial) is ripe for armed struggle and their unwillingness to critically review the GPCR.

Marxism-Leninism has bequeathed to humanity the greatest of ideological guidelines. The reactionaries and rightists are trying to destroy it by head-on attacks and subtle revisions. The dogmatists are sapping its vitality by doctrinairism. It is the imperative task of all of us to save this greatest treasury of mankind from destruction and decay.

 

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