Saturday 25 June 2016

The Subject of Political Education

In the current scenario, the Marxists are confronted with a huge question in the case of India, especially with the successful rise of petty-bourgeois politics and its indoctrination in various classes other than the petty bourgeoisie, i.e. also a huge section of the proletariat, about the nature of political education to be adopted and also its means.

In the twentieth century, political education was largely based on political mobilization of the masses. During the presence of the Soviet Union and the ‘revolutionary’ People’s Republic of China, the political mobilization of the Marxists was more or less successful so much so that communists were able to build up strong bases in various parts of the country, both in urban as well as in rural areas of Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra (in case of trade union politics) and even as far as Punjab and Rajasthan. Even with the outset of splits and the specific case of infighting between the CPI(M) and the CPI(ML), a huge section of people were still able to conceive a socialist future and were willing to politically work towards its creation with devotion and honesty. This characteristic was well established in the Indian intelligentsia and academia and a considerable remnant of that past relic, aided by a few contemporary communists able to hold their ground till the twenty first century-first century still mobilized considerable consent of the young students and budding intellectuals to a Marxist doctrine.

However, with the disintegration of Soviet Union and the revisionism of CPC into an un-Marxist Communist party posed a problem for the communists to give a working model of socialism. This fall was exacerbated with the immense rise of cultural capitalism which took various forms, including religious conservatism and then fundamentalism to tap the basic archaic ideological-personal constructions and this facilitated the petty-bourgeois parties such as BJP to mobilize a considerable mass of people into their camp. Their victory in the Lok Sabha elections should in no way be seen as a success of their propaganda and political education. The structural changes that took place in the present Indian society and the fine tuning of the petty-bourgeois parties to the petty-bourgeois ambitions should rather be seen as a factor of their victory.
Indian parliament has always been run by dynasties; earlier it was the Gandhi dynasty and now we see the rule of the Sangh dynasty. This is not to say that the masses are more or less politically inactive. If it denotes anything, it denotes, only to a mild extent, the trend of petty-bourgeois masses in the strict structure of the parliament. When we set the problem in this way, we see that it is indeed a very marginal consent. Further, this consent is not the result of thorough political education of the petty-bourgeois but a lack thereof. In the Indian parliamentary trend, we see not a political vote but a commercial, or rather an economic vote where the masses vote a party which they feel offers certain incentives, like ridding the country of corruption, or simply because the party in power has been there for too long. We do not see an ideologically driven voting pattern in the Indian parliamentary system. This is a very revealing insight into the impact of capitalist forces on the socio-political aspects of the Indian masses. Religion, more than any other social force, has become the most insant tool for the petty-bourgeois parties.

The reason behind the politicization of religion is that religion is the basis of petty-bourgeois morals, civilization and their subsequent share in the hegemony of the ruling class. Religion creates a hierarchy that manifests itself through the process of deification. Elementary forms of religion were formed purely for the purpose of elementary division of labor. Work was considered, and to a great extent, is considered, as a religion, but only for the working class. The petty bourgeois interpretation of religion produces phantoms, rituals, devils, and purges of the soul at the same time obscuring the idealistic purity of the absolute God, the creator of the universe and consciousness. From a materialist point of view, the Marxists proudly proclaim that it is food, or more precisely matter, that is the basis of our existence, with the association of senses. Therefore, Marxists do not need to appeal to petty-bourgeois religious sentiments because they are armed with the scientific truth about the non-existence of God and its doctrines.
The subject of political education should indulge in a radical polemics with backward religious sentiments and the forces that use religion as a social force. We should shun all religious institution that convert or transform the inert nature of religion into a political force so much so that we should work to banish the belief of religion from the hearts and minds of the masses. As Feuerbach stated, ‘the real unity of the masses consists in its materiality’. Communism is the struggle for a higher social existence, with the evolution of individuals into a rational and scientific unit of the glorious working class. This can only be ensured id we raise the level of intensity of our political education in order use the development in modern philosophy and science to empower ourselves and our society. Communism serves as the only structural ideology that can accommodate the most progressive social and personal ideas if it can be imparted to the masses with sincerity and clarity.
It is therefore important that the fideism of religion should also be challenged through the most advanced refutations produced by dialectical materialism for it is the most advanced branch of the theory of science and knowledge. This subject of dialectical materialism as a theory of knowledge should be the epistemological tool for every Marxist who wishes to carry on the task of political education.

The other aspect of Marxist political education is the propagation of internationalism or international humanism. For this purpose, it is necessary that we see primarily set ourselves to finding out the factors that espouse the prejudices which lead to sectarianism in the Indian society. The greatest factor of this sectarianism in the present context, especially with the coming of the religious fascist BJP government is undoubtedly religion. We have discussed above ho we can combat the parasitic growth of religious fundamentalism in India. The polarization of Hindus and Muslims in India not only strengthens the BJP government but also irrevocably harms the little unity, communal harmony, fraternity and collective reason that our society had managed to learn over the past.
Since the politics of the ruling BJP government is also fascist, it needs an external ‘other’, an enemy in order to mobilize collective consent for the integrity of the nation. The problem with this kind of artificial unity lies in its very sectarianism and the fact that it needs to victimize and exploit the ‘other’ or the minority, to strengthen itself. The Indian government creates consent to victimize and wreak violence upon the minority by inciting popular rage and hatred (which is purely sentimental and baseless) and creating domestic and foreign enemies which do not really pose any reasonable threat, such as Pakistan and China. The Modi regime has so successfully politically brainwashed the masses through media institutions that the masses are charged with a jingoistic nationalism which is fascist in its fervor. The chief feature of this nationalistic fervor is to ‘purge’ the unsafe’ and ‘dangerous’ elements that threaten ‘our’ society without reason and purely based on bigoted judging. 

Only be addressing the addressing the surface of the issue, the ruling forces, using this ‘nationalistic fervor’ falsifies the facts underneath and project it to the masses in the same distorted manner. The question of rural empowerment, women empowerment, social security and economic equality remain unanswered and the Modi regime projects new problems for their citizens, namely the ‘threat’ to our society by the ‘dangerous’ terrorists. With the propagation of this idea, as the political line of the government, Modi shifts the focus to defense and investing heavily in this department while at the same time cutting funds from important sectors such as health and education. This brilliant is pulled off by the Modi regime as he diverts the attention of the masses to foreign affairs and yoga. It should come to the minds of the readers that it is not these measures that lead to the development of the nation but the development of the citizens in holistic manner by providing them jobs, by investing in social security and education, can a nation and its people truly grow to become a great power. So what really poses a threat to the nation is Modi regime’s total foolishness when it comes to the country’s economic security. Therefore the paranoid politics of Modi’s government and its underlying state sponsored terrorism is what is truly dangerous. Far from strengthening the integrity of the country o the country and its security, it will lead to a riotous situation throughout the country between the Hindus and Muslims o which Modi himself gave a glimpse in his ‘shangri-la’ Gujarat in 2002.

There is a stark middle-class character in this exclusivity, and is contrary to the temperament of the working class. The temperament of the working-class is the same everywhere, be it China India or Pakistan because in its essence as well as in is character, class is a borderless entity. Borders are created by the lapdogs of the ruling class to safeguard their surplus which they have snatched from the hands of the working-class. The working-class is divided not by its inherent prejudices, but the prejudices imposed upon them by the ruling-class and its apparatus. Indian state and its ‘democratically’ elected government is one such apparatus which divides the working class on the question of statehood as well as nationality. In the name of nationalism, the propagate chauvinism. 

One might be tempted to ask, pertaining to such one-sided jingoism so greatly in favor of the ruling classes, that where was their patriotism, or rather, where was the patriotism of our esteemed and honorable ministers when Vijay Mallya, the multi-millionaire from India, a Rajya Sabha member(!), fled to America with our taxpayers’ money? Why is he investigated and followed by media like Dawood Ibrahim? Why is there no siege of his assets, which he has left behind him in India, most notably, the Company Kingfisher? Is it because he is a Rajya Sbaha member? If this the case, then the readers should see the parliament as a hollow institution, and the parliamentarians, as corrupt pigs stealing the hard earned money of the common people.
The truth is that neither our elected ministers work for us nor will any democratically elected regime in the present socio-economic structure. All forms of governance that try to, or even promise to bring reform in the present structure, will be reduced to yet another exploitative force with a different name, and the people will always be under the boot of oppression as always, liking its soles in order to feed their stomachs.

This brings us to the third subject of political education, which is revolutionary class consciousness. This revolutionary class consciousness, in order to achieve its political aim should exclusively be class consciousness. It is the task of the party of the proletariat to create necessary consciousness within the working-class, in both rural as well as urban areas, pertaining to class struggle and the exploitation that is brought upon them by the ruling class through the apparatus of the Indian state. It should be stated here that in this essay, we only deal with the broad political tasks of the revolutionaries and do not go into the tactical and military aspects of insurrection and rebellion.
It is important to understand that the working-class is already aware of the wretched condition of the present structure, a consciousness that is absent in the petty bourgeoisie. It is their unorganized nature followed by the rigorous attempt of the ruling class and its forces to keep the working-class in captivity, coupled with the lack of any contemporary revolutionary organization working among them that they have developed a somewhat reconciliatory attitude towards the system. They are forced to work within the system, wherein they are exploited and from their personal experience they develop a primal class-consciousness also, but due to their sheer indolence and utter deprivation, rather than giving it a revolutionary fervor, they use the experience and the shared history of oppression and their class character, to outdo the system and incite disjointed micro-rebellions inside the system that, while they lack the strength to completely disrupt the system and pave way for a proletarian revolution, these disruptions help the individual of the working-class in gaining a larger share of his or her production. The working-class is reduced to such crass individualism because of the lack of organization. As Lenin said, ‘without organization of the masses, the proletariat is nothing. Being organized, it is everything.’

From here, we move to the last but equally important task, that is, to build up an organized revolutionary mass. This is only possible through conducting constant research of the conditions, both objective as well as subjective, base the propaganda along those lines and go to the masses armed with this propaganda and with the objective of organizing the masses. Regular public meetings should be conducted, small fronts should be created like study groups, cultural organizations, newsletter groups, magazine boards, book reading groups, etc. Such works would increase the awareness of the masses as well as help the revolutionary cadres build a connection with their respective localities. The end goal however, of such organizations, should be revolutionary and all such organizations, no matter how splintered from each other in nature or in their method of work among the masses, should be coordinated centrally and should be guided by the principle of Marxism, i.e. of dialectical materialist analysis of the present situation and crises in order to come to a revolutionary conclusion which rests with the interests of the working-class. 

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