GUEST POST by Satya Sagar
“Comrade! There is a man dying of thirst at the door. What is the Party line on giving water to thirsty people?”
There was a moment’s silence at the other end of the telephone and then the Great Ideologue said, “That is reformist activity. Tell him we can give our lives for the Revolution but cannot- as matter of policy- give water to the thirsty”
“But Comrade, he will die at our doorstep if we don’t give him water. Think what the bourgeois media will say then”
“You are right. Positive media coverage is important as that is the only way we reach the masses these days. But before you give him water to drink first ask him whether he believes in public or private supply of water”
“Comrade, he says he does not see any difference between the two. Right now both are denying him the right to drink water”.
“Fair enough. Ask him then to shout a slogan condemning global Imperialism’.
“He is too weak to shout anything, he can barely speak Comrade”
“Tell him to whisper to you his position on Capitalism or clarify his stand on Secularism. We can’t be accused tomorrow of having saving the lives of free marketeers and religious fundamentalists”
“Comrade, the man says he believes in God but since HE is out on vacation he has turned to the Party for help”.
“Aha! I suspected as much, an opportunist! A defector from the Party of God knocking on our doors. We will have to discuss this in the Politburo”
“When will the Politburo meet and decide Comrade?”
“Well, half of the members are on vacation, just like God, so I can’t say for sure”
“Comrade, the man is threatening to go to a new political Party around the corner that is giving water to the thirsty without asking any questions at all”
“What kind of Party is that? What is their position on Neo-Liberal Economics or the National question? “
“Comrade, they say they don’t have a position of their own on these things?”
“What? How do we know what they stand for?”
“Well, they say they don’t want to stand around doing nothing so they don’t believe in ‘stands’. They claim they will consult the people to find out what they want and do accordingly?”
“The people? You mean the masses? What do these illiterates know about social change or economics? This is a complete dumbing down of politics to the least common denominator! They are taking a moral position without any intellectual content. Don’t they know it is the Party that has to tell the people what to do. We are the ones who have to lead the masses, not the other way around. As Comrade Lenin pointed out in 1916, a year before the Great October Revolution, blah, blah, blah……”
“Comrade, the man who wanted water is now dead. He stopped breathing just a few seconds ago.”
“ Hmmm….See, this is what the combination of financial capitalism and comprador bourgeoisie does to the common people – kills them by denying even basic needs. Take out his corpse around the city in protest against the System! Show everyone how cruel Capitalism can be and arouse the masses to join the Revolution”
“Comrade, you can take out the procession on your own and while you are at it please jump into the funeral pyre with your Politburo! I am going off to join the new Party in town. They may not have any grand positions but at least they have some action on thirst!!”
Satya Sagar is a public health activist and writer based in Santiniketan, West Bengal. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org