It is time again to state one thing absolutely clearly. ‘Class struggle’ or ‘class warfare’ were not invented by Karl Marx, for he and his predecessors merely identified and named the beast. It is something that the rich and the powerful always did and continue to do as we speak. Look at the way the Indian lumpenbourgeoisie has bared its fangs, even as the country is reeling under the deadly impact of COVID 19; look at the way it is sharpening its knives, waiting for its opportunity to make a kill – and you will know what class war is all about. Look at them and it will be crystal clear that it is not the hapless migrant worker and the poor – or the peasant who silently commits suicide – who indulge in this thing called class war, but they who prey on the weak and the dispossessed. They are once again preparing to make good their losses by yoking in workers as slaves, not allowing them to travel safely back to their homes, keeping them hostage to lumpencapital and ready with their plans to make them work for 12 hours a day. There isn’t even a pretense – barring an Azim Premji here or an Asian Paints there – of recognizing workers as partners or stakeholders in business.
In a sense, ‘lumpencapitalism’ and the ‘lumpenbourgeoisie’ are the general form of Indian capital, pioneered by Dhirubhai Ambani and his Reliance Industries (interested readers can read The Polyester Prince by Hamish McDonald) and its arrival with Gautam Adani whose recent rise to front ranks is generally understood to be linked to his closeness to the present regime. And in between, we have conglomerates like Sahara India, whose ‘primitive accumulation’ is alleged to have come almost entirely through chit fund theft.
[As the CPIM)’s 20th Congress began in Kozhikhode today, we bring two pieces marking the occasion. AN]
Unbelievable though it may seem even to the staunchest critic of CPI(M), ‘class struggle’ is totally missing in the 20950-plus word Draft Political Resolution (DPR) of the CPI(M), circulated and debated inside the party for over two months, that will be finalized with amendments, deletions and additions, at the 20th party Congress at Kozhikode between 4 and 9 April. The finalized political resolution is to be party’s tactical line until the 21st Congress four years later. The omission of ‘class struggle’ in the DPR, a basic document for committed struggle is stupefying as communists the world over frequently quote Marx that the history of mankind is “the history of class struggles”.
It’s not new as class struggle was omitted in the Political Resolution adopted at the 19th Congress ( Coimbatore, 29 March- 3 April 2008). But unlike at Coimbatore, the latest draft document talks of ‘people’s democracy’, CPI(M)’s main ideology, enshrined in the Updated Party Programme ( adopted at a special party conference in October 2000 at Thiruvananthapuram). But the pledge for moving forward to “a new, alternative path – towards people’s democracy and socialism” is vague.
[Here on Kafila we have written before about the new contours of class struggle and unrest in industrial zones. As the demands of capital become ever more rapacious, and worker’s bodies more dispensable, the last few years have witnessed increasing incidents of violent conflict in urban industrial areas across the country. In each case workers’ demands fall on the deaf ears of an increasingly unresponsive management backed by the weapons of the state. When the simmering violence finally comes to a head, it is workers who are demonized. We carry below a report by the Jamia Teacher’s Solidarity Association on the recent outbreaks of violence in Ludhiana’s industrial zone.]
A fact-finding team of university teachers from Delhi visited Ludhiana on Sunday (20.12.2009) to ascertain the facts of the incidents of violence that have gripped the industrial part of the city involving migrant workers. The team visited Dhandari kalan and Sherpur and spoke to a large number of migrant workers and visited their homes. The team found that despite a large number of the migrant workforce (around 12 lakhs) living in Ludhiana for over 15 years, sometimes even much longer, a majority of them had no voting rights or ration cards. Even when they applied for voters I cards, their applications were rejected on spurious grounds. It is not surprising that no political party, not even the local Member of Parliament, Mr. Manish Tiwari, has bothered to visit them. This attitude percolates down to the bureaucracy and police force, who treat the migrant workers as virtually second class citizens.Continue reading Report on Violence Against Workers in Ludhiana: JTSA→