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Left's 'cynical' contempt for democraty, freedom and rise of ultra-right in Bengal

By Bhaskar Sur*
The Indian Left has come a long way. It was in 1920 that MN Roy founded the Communist Party of India in exile. It began with the promise of a revolution that would change everything and bring into existence a society free from exploitation and oppression.
Marxists quite reasonably were fiercely critical of the Indian National Congress (INC). Later, under the unfortunate influence of the Stalinist orthodoxy, they stayed away from an alliance with the progressive section of the INC under Nehru in 1926, exactly when they were steadily gaining ground.
Indian communists failed to understand the patent fact that in the 1920s India was politically more advanced that Tsarist Russia. It already had democratic institutions, guaranteed rights,various political parties and a constitution.
Actually, India was politically more advanced than the post-revolutionary Russia, which was a dictatorship with all its horrors and some doubtful blessings. Marxists distrusted democracy and had a passionate faith in dictatorship to deliver goods.
This has made them worshippers of Lenin, Stalin and Mao with cynical contempt for democratic values and freedom.They still don't realise that there can never be any revolution even in a phoney democracy. These wrong premises would lead them to a series of blunders culminating in an ignominious rout, when in Bengal most of its supporters voted for the ultra-rightist BJP.
MN Roy
Until recently, there were over 90 communist parties in India, each fiercely convinced of the correctness and bitterly critical of the rest.With boundless confidence, a communist party would denounce the others as right deviationist, Left adventurists, revisionists, bribed agents of the big bourgeoisie in frothy intemperate jargons of which they have an inexhaustible supply.
Marxists claim for themselves a monopoly of scientific veracity and certainly. The fact remains that most of the theories such as class struggle as the sole dynamics of history or the theory of surplus value are based on very wobbly grounds and supported by inadequate and selective data.
Dialectics, a relic of the German transcendental philosophy, presents Marxism as the embodiment of a cosmic process inexorably moving towards a kind of stateless society, where 'wage slavery' would come to a happy end, as also class conflict and oppression.
If one scratches away the 'scientific' veneer, Marxism will be reduced to a secular religion.
If it was science, the confusions and differences could have been sorted out, and in most cases consensus could have been reached as is way of any scientific community. Scientific truths reached through conjectures and refutations are provisional and not final.
But no communist can ever dare to doubt the 'scientific' theory of Marx, much less show the courage of refuting it. So when predictions don't come true, Marxists will put the blame on the leadership or make a scapegoat of a faction, inevitably leading to acrimony, often horrible persecution, and in a democratic system, inevitable splits. These are of the nature of the hostility that exists between Shias and Sunnis, unlikely to be bridged through better understanding or arguments.
Another thing about communists is that they love power. The leaders of a small,inconsequential party like the Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI) enjoy enormous power over the brainwashed believers. If it is to merge with a bigger party, they will certainly lose much of dictatorial power -- a chilling prospect which they will resist with pompous and bogus theories.
Prakash Karat
Communists cannot change as this would imply revising the theory with available facts and discarding the old assumptions or theories. No, this they can't, as you cannot expect a religious zealot to doubt and discard his revealed scriptures. It would be sacrilege and profanity.
They might court big corporations to invest -- without losing their faith in the sacredness and infallibility of the theory of surplus value. They will contest and win election in a democracy,with a resentment, and deep in their heart would long for dictatorship of the proletariat, which alone can give them unopposed power to shape a new society.
They are all middle class, upper caste males but aggressively pose themselves as vanguards of the proletariat. This makes them particularly odious and most repugnant variety of hypocrites.
The greatest enemy of the Left, however, is their historicism -- their faith that ultimately everything will turn out in the way predicted by Marx and Lenin, maybe with some minor turns and twists. This is why they did not take part in the United Progressive Alliance-I and II governments as they won't be in a "controlling position".
Then CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat believed that in future they would win enough seats to be in a dictating position. Alas, they only courted their ruin and helped the religious fascists to emerge in a dictating position.
The Marxist Left is finished and forever. Those who know them intimately will find it tragic as the movement drew most dedicated and idealistic people who dreamt of a better society. But almost everywhere, as in Bengal, dreams became nightmares.
Tragedy consists in the waste of goodness. The Marxist movement embodies enormous sacrifice and enormous stupidity. India now under religious fascists, faces more fanaticism,organised hatred, destruction of the remaining democratic institutions, corporate plunder which need to be resisted.
The communist Left must die to be reborn with new vigour, more openness, imagination and love for truth and freedom.
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*Source: Author's Facebook timeline

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