Guest post by RAVI SINHA
Note: The text below was presented on 27th October, 2013, at the “Echoes of Ghadar” Convergence, Organized by South Asia Solidarity Initiative (SASI) in New York, USA.
Transformative Politics is a large subject and one always runs the risk of stating the obvious while dealing with such things. One can also go entirely wrong. But there is an even greater danger. One may end up offering banalities that are – to borrow a phrase from a famous physicist – not even wrong. In these brief comments, I will try to state what may be obvious but useful to keep in mind nevertheless. And I will also stick my neck out enough to be proven wrong if that serves a purpose.
Transformative politics, in my opinion, is necessarily the politics of the Left. In the era of capitalism, Left is necessarily Marxist, although the term is interpreted variously. In today’s world, Left, despite its historic achievements of the past and despite its global spread now, is not doing very well. Capitalism, on the other hand, despite its recurrent crises and despite our daily declarations about it being moribund, is doing quite well. This describes the basic challenge confronting the Left today.
Now, I am aware that such a description, or diagnosis if you prefer, may disappoint many and for very different reasons. Back home, in certain circles, I would expect to be heckled as someone who has given up the fight. Why else would I say that Left is not doing well and capitalism is? In other circles I would be dismissed as someone incapable of learning any lessons. After the spectacular collapse of the twentieth century socialism, should it not be obvious that time is up for the Marxist Left? In these times of various ‘posts’-, including that of post-Marxism, how can one ascribe transformative politics exclusively to the Marxist Left? Does it not smack of the same old economism, class-reductionism, vanguardism and totalitarianism? Is it not being blind to the fact that transformative politics is now powered by a rainbow of new social movements?
(Complete text available at : http://nsi-delhi.blogspot.in/2013/10/on-transformative-politics-comments-at.html)