Friday, December 30, 2005

Two articles about Stalin


In order to answer the allegations against the great revolutionary leader, Comrade J. V. Stalin, links of two articles are provided in this post. One of the articles is by Comrade Krupskaya, wife of Lenin, and the other one is a summary and commentary of an article by Maria Ulyanova, sister of Lenin. Both the articles are written in defense of Stalin against the groundless allegations by Trotsky, and his counter-revolutionary gang.

"The Slander Drive of Second International" by N.Krupskaya

"On the Relations between Lenin and Stalin" by Maria Ulyanova
(; also present at:

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Sajjad Zaheer

With the partition of the Indian Sub-Continent came the arduous task
for the Communists of the region: to set up and strengthen a Communist
Party in the newly formed country Pakistan. The enormity of the task
demanded a man with multifarious talents, yet one with such dynamism that
could galvanize and lead the path to the emancipation of the
proletariat in this country. The man who set out to complete this task: Sajjad

It was while studying at Oxford and London universities that the then
young Sajjad Zaheer organized a group of left-minded Indian students to
work for the national freedom struggle in 1927 and developed contacts
with the British Communist Party. He convened the founding conference of
Progressive Writers’ Association (PWA) in London in 1935 and prepared
its manifesto. Coming back to India in November 1935, he started
practicing law at Allahabad High Court and was appointed secretary of the
Allahabad Congress Committee and worked in close cooperation with Nehru,
K.M. Ashraf and Z.A. Ahmed. He came into contact with the leaders of the
then underground Communist Party of India. Later he became the
Secretary of the U.P. State Committee and a Central Committee Member of the
undivided Communist Party of India. He was the chief architect of the
historic first conference of PWA in Lucknow in1936 inaugurated by

With such credentials to his name, it is easy to see why Sajjad
Zaheer was chosen as the first Secretary General of the Communist Party of
Pakistan when it was established among difficult conditions in 1948.
Though a small party, the CPP was well disciplined and tightly organized.
The CPP set up many frontal organizations. Amongst the most prominent
was the Progressive Writers Movement inspired by Sajjad Zaheer and Faiz
Ahmed Faiz. The party laid the foundations for the Railway Workers
Union (RWU) and the Pakistan Trade Union Federation. Similarly the
Democratic Students Front enjoyed substantial influence in the student

But continuous persecution by the pro-imperialist establishment of
Pakistan adversely affected the nascent and fragile Communist movement
forcing it underground. The so-called Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case in 1951
in which the top leadership of the CPP, including Sajjad Zaheer,
Mohammad Hussain Ata and Lenin-Prize winning poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz were all
implicated and also imprisoned, dealt a heavy blow to the Communist
movement. After his release in 1954, Sajjad Zaheer continued to lead the
left cultural movement through PWA, Indian Peoples’ Theatrical association
(IPTA) and Afro-Asian Writer’s Association in India. The PWA
influenced and galvanized writers, poets, and artists in diverse branches of
creative activity. It played a gigantic role in the literary field in
almost all the major languages of the subcontinent. It was virtually the
nursery for political activists, trade unionists, cadres of the peasant
movement students and leaders.

The Sino-Soviet split in the international communist movement in the
late 1960s also adversely affected the movement in Pakistan.
Nonetheless, in Pakistan all elements retained a comradely attitude towards each
other and continued to wage a joint struggle against their common
enemy. The disintegration of the Soviet Union, owing to the betrayal
Marxism-Leninism by the post-Stalin leadership, caused even immense confusion
and vacillation. In these circumstances those organizations that
firmly defended Marxism-Leninism decided to put aside their differences and
unite as one party. Thus, the Communist Party of Pakistan led by
Comrade Imam Ali Nazish and the Mazdoor Kissan Party (founded by Major
Ishaq) led by Ghulam Nabi Kalu committed themselves to a historic merger in
1994 to form the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party. The first chairman of
the united CMKP was Imam Ali Nazish (1994-98) followed by Comrade Sufi
Abdul Khalik Baloch (1998-present). Two splinter groups that could not
grasp the significance of this historic union parted company for
opportunist reasons or personal ambitions. Despite these tribulations the
CMKP remains steadfast to its principles of Marxist-Leninist unity.

The CMKP stands for a peoples’ democratic revolution to create the
conditions for a socialist society. The party has boldly championed the
right of nations to self-determination, fought against military
dictatorships, struggled against religious extremists, upheld the rights of
women and minorities, and championed the cause of the oppressed. We feel
that it is our historic duty to build meaningful, firm, and lasting
relations with the leftwing and communist parties of South Asia. This is
necessary not only to initiate a dialogue within the left but also to
fight against imperialism and win true national sovereignty and economic
independence. The ruling-class of India and Pakistan has perpetually
kept the region in an economically destructive state of continuous
militarization. In these circumstances, the growing cohesion of the left
across South Asia is the only real guarantee of eliminating the
possibility of war. The CMKP is working to bring about a broad-based alliance of
left-wing parties and anti-imperialist forces in Pakistan as well as
meaningful affinity with the Marxist-Leninist parties of South Asia.

Sajjad Zaheer dedicated his whole life to the communist movement and
the emancipation of the working-class. The fighting unity of all
Marxist-Leninists, the broad alliance of secular-democratic anti-imperialist
forces, and peace between the peoples of South Asia, this is the
inheritance of the Communist Party of Pakistan built and led by Sajjad
Zaheer. We salute Sajjad Zaheer whose pioneering work for the communist
movement in its formative stage in the most difficult post-partition
conditions continues to inspire the next generation of revolutionaries.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


`Congratulating Stalin means supporting him and his cause, supporting the victory of socialism, and the way forward for mankind which he points out, it means supporting a dear friend. For the great majority of mankind today are suffering, and mankind can free itself from suffering only by the road pointed out by Stalin and with his help.'
This was the resolution with which Mao Zedong , on December 21, 1939, "in the distant caves of that huge China, toasted Stalin's sixtieth birthday."

Mao Tse-Tung, `Stalin, Friend of the Chinese People', Works, vol. 2, p. 335.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


(Excerpt from Hassan Nasir's article "Imperialism and Awami Jamhori Forum" presented to the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party email list. Complete text of the article is present at

Lenin says:

"If it were necessary to give the briefest possible definition of imperialism we should have to say that imperialism is the monopoly stage of capitalism. Such a definition would include what is most important, for, on the one hand, finance capital is the bank capital of a few very big monopolist banks, merged with the capital of the monopolist combines of industrialists; and, on the other, the division of the world is the transition from a colonial policy which
has extended without hindrance to territories unseized by any capitalist power, to a colonial policy of monopolistic possession of the territory of the world which has been completely divided up."

Lenin provides further clerifications:

"[A] definition of imperialism will include the following five of its basic features:
1) the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life; 2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this "finance capital," of a financial oligarchy; 3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance; 4) the formation of international monopolist capitalist combines which share the world among themselves; and 5) territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed. Imperialism is capitalism in that stage of development in which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital has established itself; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the
international trusts has begun; in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed."

Therefore, Imperialism does not mean militaristic or aggressive behaviour. That can be done by any power (feudal, capitalist, religious, or fascist). Lets be very clear on this. Imperialism is
not behaviour, or a policy, or a personal habit of this or that ruler. Imperialism is a social system that has the following five characteristics:

1) monopoly
2) domination of finance capital
3) Export of capital
4) International capitalist combines (cartels)
5) Territorial division of the world

Is India a society that has reached monopoly capitalism, where the big banks dominate, that exports capital, and has divided the world within its own capitalist combines, and engaged in the territorial division of the world. Hardly.

In fact, its quite clear that India is a country that is dominated by monopoly capitalism from US and Europe, is dominated by foreign big banks, is receiving international imperialist capital (MNC's), has been captured by capitalist combines and cartels (coke, Levi's, Pepsi, Gap), and has been territorially dominated during colonial times (British Raj).

So to characterise India as an Imperialist country is not only preposterous, in fact, it only seeks to serve the interests of the Pakistani bourgeoisie. Whosoever characterizes India as an
Imperialist country will automatically come to the conclusion that war between India and Pakistan is a "National Liberation Struggle" on the part of Pakistan and that the workers should support the Pakistani bourgeoisie against the imperialist Indian bourgeoisie. This is class capitulationism and pure opportunism. It would imply that leftist rhetoric is being utilised to support the foreign policy of the Pakistani bourgeoisie over and above the international interests of the working class.

Therefore, the view that India is an Imperialist country is entirely incorrect. The correct view is that India is a neo-colonial society. This is historically and scientifically correct.

Next was the Soviet Union an "Imperialist" country.

Again I want to come back to Lenin's definition of Imperialism. Imperialism is not aggressive behaviour. Just because the Soviet Union invaded Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, and Afghanistan in 1980 does not imply that the USSR was an imperialist society. Although all three invasions hurt the "nationalist" sentiment of people in those countries, but the invasions in and of themselves do not prove that the Soviet Union was a society dominated by 1. monopoly capitalism, 2. finance capital, 3. the desire to export capital 4. the USSR had divided the world among its capitalist cartels, 5) Had engaged in a colonial territorial division of the world.

Bill Bland and Martin Nichalous have made a strong case in their respective books to show that the process of the restoration of capitalism had begun in 1956 and had been tremendously accelerated in 1965, but having read their books in detail, I'm still not convinced that they have been able to conclusively prove that the Soviet Union was DOMINATED BY MONOPOLY FINANCE CAPITAL. For example, even Bill Bland and Martin Nichalous have to admit that the move to fully restore private property was begun under perestroika under the advice of Leonid Abalkin. And the complete restoration of Private Property in the USSR (which occurred with Gaider's so called "shock therapy" in 1993) required the 1991 Boris Yeltsin counter-revolution as a pre-requisite. Therefore, given that private property was only fully restored in 1993 under the shock therapy reforms of Gaider, given that these reforms could not be implemented without the complete overthrow of the rule of the communist party (which had by this time
degenerated into a completely revisionist party) which occurred in 1991 under the leadership of Boris Yeltsin, how is it possible that the Soviet Union had already come to be dominated by Monopoly Capitalism, Finance Capital, Export of Capital, Cartels, and Territorial Division back in 1956 or 1965.

The answer is that it is not possible. The theory of Soviet Social Imperialism that was accepted at the 9th Congress of the Communist Party of China and also accepted by the Labour Party of Albania was a counter-revolutionary theory. The principle proponent of this theory was Lin Biao who despite his great contributions in all other respects made a serious error with respect to this particular piece of analysis. Comrade Sam Marcy has correctly stated that the theory of Soviet Social Imperialism was NOT a product not of a dispassionate scientific appraisal of the actually existing social system in the Soviet Union but a knee jerk reaction owing to the fear of a Soviet
invasion of the PRC. Furthermore, the CIA did its best to aggravate these differences by "leaking" incorrect information to the Chinese that the Soviets were preparing for a surgical strike against China's nuclear instalments. The end of the Cold War has definitively proved
that this was a piece of deliberate misinformation to worsen the Sino-Soviet split in order to weaken both the USSR and China.

Furthermore, what conclusion can we reach if we believe that the Soviet Union was indeed an imperialist system.

1) All nationalist struggles in the USSR were struggles
for "National Liberation" and should be supported.
2) All struggles for "democracy" were struggles against an
imperialist system that should be supported.

In a word, all counter-revolutionary struggles such as Sajudis in Estonia, Solidarity in Poland, Democratic Russia in Russia, the pope all over Eastern Europe were all struggles against an imperialist system. Well it later turns out that these were all struggles to restore a capitalist system. And those communists who were mislead by the slogan of Soviet Social Imperialism ended up supporting all of these struggles thereby weakening their own forces.

Conclusion, India, China, Soviet Union are not imperialist countries. USA, Britian, France, Germany, and Japan are imperialist countries (there is sufficient proof that they are dominated by monopoly finance capital etc. etc.). An imperialist country is entirely different from a socialist society that has degenerated owing to the influence of opportunism. A socialist society that has
degenerated owing to the influence of revisionism may engage in certain actions that are militaristic, chauvinist, and actions that hurt the "national sentiments" of other countries. Even this unjustified militaristic action in and of itself, however, in no way implies that that country is now an `imperialist' society.

I hope this clears up the position of the CMKP with respect to imperialism, the Soviet Union, China, India and so on.

In solidarity
Hassan Nasir

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Discussion on Orkut community: "Islam Socialist Revolution"

Z said, “If the USSR departs from the Marxist policy by brutal policies during the Stalinist era and afterwards as well, it is all OK...Marxism remains a valid concept!”

My reply,
This is not my double standards but your complete failure to comprehend Marxism. Marxism is beyond any single individual. ‘How did Stalin do to defend the precepts of Marxism’ is a topic for another discussion. Nonetheless, in my opinion he did a wonderful job.

Z said, “But when Islam is taken over by monarchist enemies of the people, Islamic Socialism as a concept seems to become invalid. Why?”

My reply,
The communist doctrines were abused Modern Revisionists of SU, not Stalin, for a period extending from 1953 to 1991. If my mathematics is not wrong then that is for 38 years. In case of Islam, the period of abuse was roughly 1300 years. Keeping everything else constant, Islam seems to be much more capable of ‘internal abuse’ then scientific socialism. There is no room for revisionism is Marxism, as it is brought to practical world. It is a principle of Dialectical Materialism, as formulated by Karl Marx, not Islam, that a society can not step from an advanced stage to means of production and productive relations to an ‘old’ one. The effect of the principle is not that that cannot happen, but such an attempt would result in a catastrophe, that we have seen as the economy of Russia became smaller than that of Norway as it marched into capitalism.

Z said, “Vidrohi, this clearly shows that religion is something that Marxists suspect and fear.”

My reply,
What clearly shows that? Your assertions based on incorrect logic and reason let alone true historic facts.

Z said, “a) you will never have the mass support needed to fulfill your purpose.”

My reply,
Wrong. This is never the response of people, if that is all you fear. Workers understand they are divided on religious grounds by the bourgeoisie. The proletariat appreciates messages of solidarity that is beyond the limitations of religion. Your assertion emerges from distrust towards the mental incapability of workers. Few hours among the proletariat, if at all that happens, would be enough for you revise your ‘a proiri’ principle.

Z said, “you will be following a system devised by someone like Marx who was an intellectual sitting and writing in a library in England...he was not exactly a revolutionary, was he?”

Lets see. Esmod Wright writes about Marx for the book “Great Europeans”:

“In any event he (Marx) was never-unlike Hegel- an Ivory Tower philosopher; he always sought to combine the theory with organization and action; he was always a man of two worlds, the study and the forum. By nature combative, he turned towards politics and journalism and abandoned his dream of becoming a university teacher.” (Page 366)

Wright’s article is highly critical of Marx’s personality. Yet he affirms the revolutionary character of Karl Marx.

Z said, “Marxism alone does not have enough vitality as an idea... ”

My reply,
Perhaps you, like me, have not studied Marxism thoroughly.

Z said, “Do you think that the imperialist powers of today will even allow you to carry on peacefully after your revolution?I do not think so! ”

My reply,
Just like your previous assertions, this is wrong as well. I recognize that imperialist powers of today would practice all their might to cause a counter-revolution.

Z said, “Your idea is to tell them that Marx said so-and-so, so it must be right. ”

My reply,
You have started to degenerate. This is not the scientific approach. The people once assured that their well protected by socialist regime, would provide the state all the support that it needs to fight an anti-imperialist war.

Z said, “We prove to the people that GOD commands them to bring about a socialist system. Who sounds more convincing to them? You or us? You do not understand the power of Islam as an idea... ”

My reply,
I would like to know when Lenin invoked a god to gather support from the people of SU to fight a Civil War in which six imperialist powers were directly involved. Which religion Ho Chi Minh referred to fight against two imperialist powers, France, and US successively in the Vietnam War, where thousands of Vietnamese peasants sacrificed to ensure a better future for their children. Which divine command has the Fidel Castro and his fellow Cubans followed while fighting an economic war against imperialism for the past forty years? You don’t understand the power of Marxism and proletariat…

I don’t need to answer any question, as I can say straight away, to inform you that we do not share the same platform.

Workers of all religions, Unite!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Another View of Stalin

These days I am reading "Another View of Stalin" by Ludo Martins. It is a very thorough study of propoganda, emerging from the right-wing and Trotskyists, against the great leader of socialism. The rich contributions of Stalin must not be ignored, let alone misunderstood. An online copy of the above mentioned book is present at:"

Have a good reading!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Venezuelans vote for Congress

Venezuelans vote for Congress
CARACAS (Venezuela), Dec 4: Venezuelans voted on Sunday in a congressional election with lawmakers allied to left-wing President Hugo Chavez looked set to sweep most seats after the main opposition parties boycotted the poll.

Hours before voting began, an oil pipeline in the west of the country was damaged by a small blast the government branded a sabotage attack on the world's fifth-largest oil exporter.

"This is a miserable terrorist attack," Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel told state television.

Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said the explosion at a pipeline supplying the country's huge Amuay-Cardon refinery had not affected fuel supplies or exports and that firefighters had controlled a subsequent fire and oil spill.

The damaged pipeline carried 150,000 barrels per day to the refinery, state news agency ABN said. Authorities said the explosion was caused by a home-made pipe bomb, but they stopped short of directly accusing Chavez opponents, blaming only "radical groups."

Chavez, a former army officer opposed to Washington, has accused US officials of orchestrating the boycott to trigger a political crisis. - Reuters


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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Revisionism and de-Stalinization

A very careful and gradual process took the process of “revisionism” forward. It was evident to the revisionists that they cannot attack socialism directly or else they would face popular opposition. So instead of attacking the idea, that would have invited hostility, they attacked the person who developed socialism in USSR. They attacked Stalin.

During the last decade or so of Stalin's life the western media, controlled and run by bourgeois-imperialist states, was vomiting every possible criticism against Stalin. “Stalin killed 50 million people in USSR”, was the slogan of the every imperialist.

The revisionists deployed a shrewd and evil tactic. Khrushchev, in his four hour long speech in 1956 in the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of SU, if I am not mistaken, accepted all the blames against Stalin. He accepted that Stalin was the “evil-doer”, getting in coherence with the western media. The repercussions of such a statement on the people can be thought of but must be researched. The people were told that it was not socialism that is bad, but it was Stalin who made it bad. The effect of the propaganda done at that time is even present today when every second newcomer in socialist struggle disowns Stalin.

Thus started the process of de-Stalinization, better known as “revisionism”. The revisionists, while taking steps against the name of Stalin, made arrangement to end socialism in the Soviet Union.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Communism collapsed in USSR

This is a discussion that took place on the orkut community of CMKP.

I asked, "Don't dare to think that it is me who thinks communism collapsed in USSR."Communism collapsed in USSR", is usually the first statement that you would listen from a non-communist. Almost all of us know the frequency of this statement in the non-communist circles. I would like to know how comrades, on this community, answer this ignorant statement.I will also give my reply soon."

Asad said, "Soviet collapse does'nt mean tht communism collaps still communism in the shape of MAOISM is big problem for USA.As China is making probleems for USA and just look at North Korea.Soviet Union was breakup due to long lasting war in Afghanistan.Communism was not a factor in tht breakup. "

My reply to Asad, "Well, this was not an answer I was expecting. Please allow me to ask you few further questions to continue the discussion. In the mean time, other comrades should come forward to give their views on the topic.

Soviet collapse does'nt mean tht communism collaps still communism in the shape of MAOISM is big problem for USA.

So, do you mean to say that collapse of Soviet Union was the collapse of Soviet socialist model, which was presented by Lenin and stregthened by Stalin?

Is Maoism different from marxism-leninism?

Soviet Union was breakup due to long lasting war in Afghanistan

How? USSR defeated fascist/nazi super powers during the WW2. How could it not bear the Afghan war? USSR emerged as a military super power after WW2, thanks to the leadership of Stalin and CPSU, and was in a position to easily bear any military pressure from anyside.

Clearly, Afghan war was not a major factor in Soviet Union disintegration at a time when USSR.

Communism was not a factor in tht breakup.

Alright. But what was the major factor? Where is Revisionism?

After the death of great communist leader, Stalin, in 1953, revisionist powers took control of the USSR, under a imperialist conspiracy. So, the collapse of USSR was not of communism, but a collapse of this revisionist philosophy.

The last leader of USSR, Gorbachev, said in an interview in 2001 that "my aim was to bring an end to communism in USSR".

So, the phenomenon that caused disintegration of USSR was not socialism but revisionism. Had the USSR followed the soclist legacy of Stalin, USSR would have been a super-power. The propect of a disintegration under Stalin was out of question because of his strategy of dealing with nationalities, approved by Lenin in 1913.

So, the moral of the story is Down with Revisionism"

Bhagat Singh said, "The process of capitalist restoration in the former Soviet Union began after the 20th Congress of the CPSU. Khrushev and his gang of revisionists started this counter revolutionary process in the name of "De-Stalinization". In the name de-stalinization he and the group of revisionist leaders after him(Brezhnev and Gorbachev) succesfully purged the Soviet Union from the revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism. Mao said in 1963:

"I believe there are two swords. One is the sword of Lenin, and the other is the sword of Stalin. The Soviet Union has thrown away the sword of Stalin, and has thus also thrown away the sword of Lenin. We Chinese, have not thrown these swords away, and are continuing to build Socialism on the principles of Marxism-Leninism."

A series of Economic, and political reforms, coupled with a radical change in the foreign policy of the CPSU led to a gradual process of degeneration in the Soviet Union. Ultimately, the process of capitalist restoration was completed in 1991, when capitalism was firmly established in the Soviet Union, and replaced the remnants of Socialism in that country. This transition pushed over 20 million people into the poverty trap, and today Russia has been transformed from a Super power, into a third world country.

However, all is not lost. The Communist movement is gaining strength each day in the former Soviet Union. The Communist party is once again the largest party of Russia. It got the most votes in the 2000 local elections. In a recent protest it managed to bring millions of people to the streets, with the Red Flag raised over their heads, and pictures of Lenin and Stalin hailed with pride.

Marxist-Leninists the world over are waiting patiently for the revival of worker's power in the Soviet Union.

Long Live Marxism-Leninism!
Long Live the Workers Struggle!
Death to Imperialism!
Death to America!"

I agree with Bhagat Singh's reply.

Raza said, "In the 1940s and 1950s within the international Communist movement, revisionism was used to describe Communists who focused on consumer goods production instead of heavy industry, accepted national differences and encouraged capital reforms.

USSR was under authoritarian rule. Isnt that revisionism enough? And then, wasn't it just another threat to capitalism and imperialism that just had to be brought down? Communism never collapsed and never will. USSR did not have the flesh to bring communism down with it."

Bhagat Singh reply to Raza,
I seriously disagree with you, over various points. Firstly, I disagree with your definition of Revisionism. Modern revisionism refers to a tendency which arose within the Communist movement. It was a regressive movement, which began a process of capitalist restoration in the former Soviet Union under Khrushchv, Brezhnev and Gorbachev.
However, to say that the U.S.S.R was an authoritarian state(and hence revisionist) is doubly incorrect in my opinion.
Firstly, I disagree with the statement that the U.S.S.R was an authoritarian state, on the grounds that the U.S.S.R(despite its revisionist tendencies) continued to be a Socialist state albeit in a revisionist form. The political and socio-economic framework of the U.S.S.R continued to adhere to the principles of socialism in one way or the other, and hence, to suggest that the U.S.S.R was an authoritarian state is to give in to the propaganda of the imperialists.
Secondly, authoritarianism is not equal to revisionism. Revisionism(derived from the root word revision), when appllied to the Communist movement, refers to the tendency of "revising" the political and historic program of the party leading to a deviation from the revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism.
I would agree with your last statement.. the disintegration of the Soviet Union does not mean the end of Communism. However, the CMKP own's the heritage of the U.S.S.R, and considers it one of the greatest victories of the workers and peasants in the 20th century.

Long Live Marxism-Leninism!"

My reply to Raza, " I would first chanllenge the premises that you used to legitimize revisionism.

Was USSR government auhtoritarian in 40s and 50s (under Stalin’s rule)?

The USSR government was not authoritarian both in theory and substance of the Stalin Constitution of 1936.

"If democracy lies in the participation of people in the affairs of government and freedom from material worries and cares, then one shall have to admit that Soviet Union is the most democratic country in the World [under the Stalin Constitution of 1936(pg 278)... While defending the monopolistic position of the Communist party, Stalin said, "As to freedom for various political parties, we adhere to somewhat different view. A party is a part of class, its most advanced part. Several parties can exist only in a society in which there are antagonistic classes whose interests are mutually hostile and irreconcilable... But in Soviet Union there are no longer such classes. In USSR, there are only two different classes, workers and peasants, whose interests, far from being hostile, are on the contrary, friendly. Hence there is no ground in the USSR far existence of several parties and consequently for the freedom of these parties"" World Constitution by S.L. Kaeley

There were direct elections in USSR, and they continued even during the WW2, while there were no elections elsewhere in the world during that time.

"The Communist leadership of the SU is very proud of the fact that voters in the SU take and living interest in public affairs since almost 100% votes were recorded whereas in democratic countries like England and the USA only 50 to 76% voters record their votes" World Constitution by S.L. Kaeley pg 282

Furthermore, there was also a Right of Recall available to the citizens. By employing this right the citizens were allowed to "pull-back" their representatives from the representative bodies.

The second part of the question is: did Stalin play an authoritarian role in the Communist Party of Soviet Union?

The evidence points out that in the start there was active opposition to the programs of Stalin. The Party often restrained his proposals.

This is what Comrade Klo pointed out in the CMKP email list on Yahoo groups.

"In 1932 events seem to be coming to a climax, with Stalin's most loyal
supporters at their wits' ends. There was a dramatic meeting in the
Politburo that must have taken place about the end of 1932. The actual
date is not known, but there's no question that at that meeting Stalin
suffered a painful reverse. The most credible account of the meeting is
as follows:
The situation at the moment was under discussion. A dramatic speech
was made by Voroshilov, who was then Commander-in-Chief in the army....
Voroshilov is said to have given, in the utmost agitation, a report of a
disastrous state of feeling in the Army; he is said to have thrown whole
packets of soldiers letters on the table and demanded that something
should at once be done. Stalin's proposals-- their nature is not
known--were rejected,...."
Basseches, Nikolaus. Stalin. London, New York: Staples Press, 1952, p. 188

To read complete Klo's post on the issue, please visit

Many of the Stalin's proposals were not opposed later on because all his bona fide opposers later found that Stalin was correct on the issue that they opposed.

Therefore, having attempted to establish that USSR was not authoritarian state under Stalin (1924-1953) in the first place, it is a contradiction, for me, to accept revisionism on that perticular reason.

And then, wasn't it just another threat to capitalism and imperialism that just had to be brought down?

According to Marxist principles, it’s not possible to move from an advanced stage of Production and Production relations to a backward one. The principle does not mean that this movement is not possible but that this backward movement will result in a disaster. Substantially, revisionism is incompetent to fight capitalism and imperialism as it is bound to fail.

Now that the Russian economy is even smaller from that of Norway, the theory presented above holds true.

Communism never collapsed and never will.

Long Live the Revolution!

P.S. Read the article about Gorbachev. According to Clinton, Gorbacev "will go down in history as a person who changed the world for the better."

I would suggest you to read "Another View of Stalin" by Ludo Martins. An online copy of the book is available free at"

Privatization at Gunpoint By Aasim Sajjad Akhtar

The transfer of assets from peripheral states to international financial oligarchies is one of the defining tenets of the neoliberal counter-revolution. As a general rule, this latest form of neocolonial transfer of surplus to the industrialized core has proceeded relatively successfully in many peripheral states, with many Latin American states standing out as significant exceptions. In Pakistan, where the ruling state oligarchy has historically been the equivalent of a comprador bourgeoisie, this process has accelerated since it was initiated in the late 1980s...

To read rest of the article visit

Cuba and the U.S. Che Guevara

The questions below were submitted, in writing, to Comandante Guevara by Leo Huberman during the week of the invasion; the answers were received the end of June.—The Editors

(1) Have relations with the U.S. gone “over the brink” or is it still possible to work out a modus vivendi?

This question has two answers: one, which we might term “philosophical,” and the other, “political.” The philosophical answer is that the aggressive state of North American monopoly capitalism and the accelerated transition toward fascism make any kind of agreement impossible; and relations will necessarily remain tense or even worse until the final destruction of imperialism. The other, political answer, asserts that these relations are not our fault, and that, as we have many times demonstrated, the most recent time being after the defeat of the Giron Beach landing, we are ready for any kind of agreement on terms of equality with the Government of the United States.

(2) The U.S. holds Cuba responsible for the rupture in relations while Cuba blames the U.S. What part of the blame, in your opinion, can be correctly attributed to your country? In short, what mistakes have you made in your dealings with the U.S.?

Very few, we believe; perhaps some in matters of form. But we hold the firm conviction that we have acted for our part in accord with the right, and that we have responded to the interests of the people in each of our acts. The trouble is that our interests, that is, those of the people, and the interests of the North American monopolies are at variance.

(3) Assuming that the U.S. means to smash the Cuban Revolution, what are the chances of its getting help from the O.A.S. group?

Everything depends on what is meant by “smash.” If this means the violent destruction of the revolutionary regime with the help—likewise direct—of the O.A.S., I believe there is very little possibility, because history cannot be ignored. The countries of America understand the value of active solidarity among friendly countries, and they would not risk a reversal of such magnitude.

(4) Does Cuba align itself in international affairs with the neutralist or Soviet bloc

Cuba will align herself with justice; or, to be less absolute, with what she takes for justice. We do not practice politics by blocs, so that we cannot side with the neutralist bloc, nor, for the same reason, do we belong to the socialist bloc. But wherever there is a question of defending a just cause, there we will cast our votes—even on the side of the United States if that country should ever assume the role of defending just causes.

(5) What is Cuba's chief domestic problem?

It is difficult to assess problems with such precision. I can mention several: the “guerrillerismo” which still exists in the government; the lack of comprehension on the part of some sectors of the people of the necessity for sacrifice; the lack of some raw materials for industries and some non-durable consumer goods, resulting in certain scarcities; the uncertainty as to when the next imperialist attack will take place; the upsets in production caused by mobilization. These are some of the problems which trouble us at times, but, far from distressing us, they serve to accustom us to the struggle.

(6) How do you explain the growing number of Cuban counter-revolutionaries and the defection of so many former revolutionaries?:

Revolutions function by waves. When Mr. Huberman asked this question, perhaps it was accurate, but today there are fewer counter-revolutionaries than before Giron Beach. The counter-revolutionary attack increased slowly until it reached its climax on Giron Beach; then it was defeated and fell drastically to zero. Now that it is again attempting to raise its head and inflict new harm, our intention is to eliminate the counter-revolutionaries.

The defections of more or less prominent figures are due to the fact that the socialist revolution left the opportunists, the ambitious, and the fearful far behind and now advances toward a new regime free of this class of vermin.

(7) Can the countries of Latin America solve their problems while maintaining the capitalist system, or must they take the path of socialism as Cuba has done?

It seems elementary to us that the way of the socialist revolution must be chosen, the exploitation of man by man must be abolished, economic planning must be undertaken, and all means of assisting the public welfare must be placed at the service of the community.

(8) Are civil liberties, Western style, permanently finished while your government is in power?

This would depend on what civil rights were referred to—the civil right, for example, of the white to make the Negro sit in the rear of a bus; the right of the white to keep the Negro off a beach or bar him from a certain zone; the right of the Ku Klux Klan to assassinate any Negro who looks at a white woman; the right of a Faubus, in a word, or perhaps the right of a Trujillo, or Somoza, or Stroessner, or Duvalier. In any case, it would be necessary to define the term more precisely, to see if it also includes the right to welcome punitive expeditions sent by a country to the north.

(9) What kind of political system do you envisage for Cuba after the present emergency period of reorganization and reconstruction is over?

In general terms it may be said that a political power which is attentive to the needs of the majority of the people must be in constant communication with the people and must know how to express what the people, with their many mouths, only hint at. How to achieve this is a practical task which will take us some time. In any event, the present revolutionary period must still persist for some time, and it is not possible to talk of structural reorganization while the threat of war still haunts our island.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Brothers and sisters of the soul unite
We are one, indivisible and strong
They may try to break us
But they dare not underestimate us
They know our memories are long
A mass of sleeping villages
That’s how they’re pitching it
At least that’s what they try to pretend
But check out our history
So rich and revolutionary
A prophecy
That we will rise again!

Like springing tigers
We encircle the cities
To the future we will take an oath
High up in the mountains
Deep in the forest
Our home is the undergrowth.

And we must never give up
Until the land is ours
No never give in
’til we have taken the power.

Because, I am just a naxalite warrior
Fighting for survival and equality
Policeman beating up me, my brother and my father
My mother crying ’can’t believe this reality’

Iron like a lion from zion
This one going out to all youth, man and woman
Original master ’d’ ’pon the microphone stand
Cater for no sceptical man me don’t give a damn!

’cos me a naxalite warrior.....

Long Live Revolution!

Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa

I came accross this movie review while surfing the internet. It's a well written review about a seemingly good movie.


Have a good reading.


In Solidarity!




Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa

*ing: Jaya Bachchan, Nandita Das, Seema Biswas, Anupam Kher and Joy Sengupta

Director: Govind Nihalani

Six years back when I visited India, I saw a poster of a movie Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa (Mother of 1084) at the Novelty Cinema located in Hazrat Ganj, Lucknow. The cinema was not a third rate one, but I didn't go inside to see the film. However, some two months back, when I was roaming around Rainbow Centre in the metropolis of Karachi, the same poster with the same title passed from my eyes, and I bought the movie, because this is one of those films that look very arty and innocuous, but if you have been initiated into good cinema, they merit a watch.

Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa is directed by Govind Nihalani and is based on a seminal novel by the formidable Mahasweta Devi. It is scripted faithfully and keeps in mind the human truth of the Naxalbari Movement, waged on May 25, 1967, in the Darjeeling area – a completely agricultural land of West Bengal, India – for getting minimum wages for agricultural workers. During the time of CPI–M's coalition government, the movement spread quickly and finally it reached the main cities of West Bengal, especially Calcutta – the capital of the state.

In Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa, the Calcutta of the 1970s is captured when the air was alive with revolutionary fervour and Bengali youth reacted with anger against hypocrisies, injustices, betrayals and counter violence of the State. During this period, the city was in grip of a Marxist–Leninist–Maoist movement of liberating the downtrodden farmers from the iron clinch of upper class landlords. Thousands of young men were arrested and many were shot dead. A special force, organised by the government to tackle these young revolutionaries, was given the authority to use brute force to handle the situation.

The movie begins with a phone call asking the mother of a Naxalite, Sujata Chatterjee (Jaya Bachchan) to come to a morgue to recognise her son's corpse. The body has been reduced to a mere numerical, corpse no. 1084. Her 22–year–old son named Bratti Chatterjee (Joy Sengupta) was a scion of an educated, cultured bhadralok family and, by every means, was a firebrand Marxist. He was in close contact with the leading members of the Naxalbari Movement that was led by the Communist Party of India.

Though she is many ways a traditional housewife, Sujata is shown as the most powerful character in the movie. She also works for a commercial bank in Calcutta and belongs to an upper middle class family. Her husband Dibyanath Chatterjee (Anupam Kher) is a typical businessman, who believes in saluting the powerful. The story really starts unravelling when Sujata comes to know that the death of her son was at the hands of certain members of the Calcutta police. She decides to investigate what really happened to her son and his friends and comrades.

On the journey of discovering her son's militant revolutionary commitment and to understand his struggle against the exploitative system, that is feudalism–cum–capitalism, Sujata begins to realise that she herself is alienated as a woman, housewife and mother from the bourgeois social values prevailing in the social circles of Calcutta. It is her story and her realisations as an individual that form the heart of Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa.

It is difficult for a person like me to remember when I was so disturbed by the depths and insights shown in any Indian movie lately. Yes, watching Chandni Bar, The Terrorist, or The Legend of Bhagat Singh (Raj Kumar Santoshi's version) gave me much food for thought, but this Govind Nihalani venture, which circles the revolutionary political consciousness of the region's Leftist youth made me an insomniac for some days. Sometimes, a film transcends your objective critical faculties and touches that rare chord of emotion. That is the point where you get absorbed in the emotional trauma of the story depicted in a particular movie to make you realise that 'People of this kind have also lived their lives for a cause.'

It also makes you think about the real events on which the film is based and when the context of such a movie was produced by a director like Nihalani, the whole story makes such an impact on you, it can cut your heart into two and stun your brain with emotional shock. And then it makes you think and re evaluate your own value system Playing an intense role of Mrs. Sujata Chatterjee, Jaya, in an attempt to regain a sense of self from the intense psychological and emotional trauma, gains some deep insights, through the whole course of the movie, into a complex relationship between personal and apolitical aspects of her social life. Though, the film proceeds on a slow and reflective pace so as to be proper to its conversational approach, which is of such a length that all characters gradually open their minds and hearts to viewers regarding the lamentable family loss in particular, and the state of their society, in general.

The dusky beauty Nandita Das, who was so effective in Deepa Mehta's controversial film Fire, plays a marvellous role of an idealist believer of Marxism. Being a revolutionary figure she goes beyond her personal grief to become an uncompromising fighter against the atrocities of police. Do concentrate on the scene where Jaya visits her son's girlfriend Nandani Mitra (Nandita Das) who is also a member of the movement. Nandani recalls memories of Bratti and helps Sujata connect with her dead son. They 'meet' one another in a real emotional, loving and caring way – for the last time. The scene is handled beautifully. After all, Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa is not your standard Bollywood potboiler.

The film goes back and forth in time, with flashbacks of Bratti, when the mother relives those moments and finds the clues for her state of mind, which she had not noticed before. It is easy to quibble and wonder how a working woman of Calcutta of those times could be so blind, so uninformed and so apolitical, but then, the way the film translates the novel makes Sujata's self–wrought isolation, not only understandable but also representative of a certain social segment, which wants to have nothing to do with politics.

Seema Biswas (the mother of Somu, who was a comrade of Bratti) plays the role of a low class Bihari woman whose son has also been killed during the same clash in which Bratti was murdered. The scene when Sujata visits Somu's place first time is enough to disturb anyone who has a soft heart and inflict great pain on someone who knows the real history of the movement. The way the two mothers mourn their loss brings out the class and cultural differences. Seema Biswas is warmly uninhibited – both in grief and expression of affection – and Jaya Bachchan contains her feelings, which gradually reveal themselves in all their complexity, rather than the usual cathartic outburst.

But there are flaws in this gem of a film. A scene in which Bratti beats an outlaw seems so childishly filmed. The way he is beating him gives you a feeling that the director has failed to capture the scene of a real clash. Action is not a forte of Govind Nihalani, not even when it is as raw as this.

Another sequence which seems uselessly prolonged, compared to the smooth dramatic flow and astonishing poetic transitions, comes during the crucial interaction between the two women – Sujata and Nandani, the grieving mother and the resolute sweetheart, whose torture by the police has hardened her resolve into steely strength. It is the younger woman who gives the older woman the courage to do something purposeful with her life, but the scene does drag.

But then there is one scene that more than makes up for all shortcomings. It is when a party is held at the Chatterjee House to celebrate the engagement of Bratti's sister on the eve of his second death anniversary. The dialogue narrated by Sujata in the background shows the intense condition of her state of mind. The scene also shows the naked reality of the capitalist system and becomes extremely critical against the attitudes of the elite class. Incidentally, Nihalani shoots this scene like an extended piece of satire, when a lot of noted stage and screen names play brilliant cameos in a charade of social pretension and hypocrisy.

Govind Nihalani has always tried to fuse his political consciousness with cinema and proves that he is presently one of the sub–continent's most politically daring filmmakers. He is also famous for depicting sensitive issues existing in Indian society. From the intense characterisation in Aakrosh to the dramatic depiction of the psyche of angry anti–establishment lads holding AK–47s in Drohkaal, Nihalani has proved his worth as a director. Though, he over-sensationalised the characters in Dev, but people still have good hopes for new artistic pieces.

Not to over–estimate Nihalani's wonderful personality as a director by regarding him as a sensitive and sober director in Bollywood, I think it was his artistic capabilities and Jaya Bachchan's impressive facial expressions, which helped Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa win the National Award for Best Regional Feature Film in 1998.

"Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please," Marx famously wrote. I think this statement does imply on Indian directors too. In the process of making such movies, Nihalani is trying to make his own history as an alternative revolutionary director, though he cannot write it just as he pleases.

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Monday, October 24, 2005

When the mountains mourn By Amar Jaleel

Was the earthquake a punishment from God or just nature’s way of trimming the population?

Pompeii, a Roman port and a resort in Italy for the sensuous pleasures of the rulers, the rich and the commanders of the world conquering legions was violently jolted by a massive earthquake in AD63. Much of the city of pomp, power and grandeur was destroyed.

The Romans recovered from the shock, restored what was devastated and commenced the life of luxury and lust. Within 15 years the lechers erased the dreadful memory of the frightening earthquake, as if it was a nightmare. One night when the elites, rulers and the generals were immersed in pleasure, Mount Vesuvius, a nearby volcano erupted hell that lit the sky above. Pompeii was completely buried beneath the smouldering lava. Its ruins now constitute one of the major tourist attractions in Italy.

It is generally believed to this day that the earthquake, and then the volcanic eruption was a punishment that God inflicted on the sinners of Pompeii. It is a common belief among the followers of different religions. They maintain that God punishes the wayward, the misled and the ones who go astray. They defy His Commandments and in return are scourged. Natural disasters are always taken in this context by the adherents of the various faiths.

Thomas Robert Malthus, social scientist and an economist advocated that population increases faster than food supply. When the population outgrows food production, the nature steps in and checks the population through disasters such as epidemics, earthquakes, hurricanes and volcanic eruptions. According to Malthus, only the required number of people survive a holocaust for whom the food is sufficient. All along Malthus had not been able to provide a convincing foundation to his theory. His hypothesis was rejected and turned down by both the physical as well as the social scientists. Medicinal checks on population have proved more effective than the natural checks.

From times immemorial, man has tried his hand at giving some kind of definition to the phenomenon beyond his comprehension. He associates most of the explanations with his faith and belief. He pays no heed to the scientific interpretations for the natural calamities. He attributes a ritual meaning to the solar and lunar eclipses. Man is on the record to have worshipped anything that inspired awe within him. He worshipped oceans because the immenseness frightened him. He worshipped lightening. He worshipped huge mountains. He worshipped volcanoes. He worshipped trees. He worshipped serpents. He worshipped fire. He worshipped rivers. He worshipped the sun and the moon.

Later on when he comprehended what had remained unexplained to him, he abandoned the gods he had worshipped out of his own enigma. His creativity later on induced him for making images of the deities he had never seen, a man with a bull’s head, man with a lion’s limbs, man with a pair of wings, man with several arms and heads, and so on. Of all such images the most revered image is that of Ganesh, a god with the body of a man and head of an elephant.

The scientific age of today has not altered the fundamental thinking of man. He very strongly believes that the volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and rest of the natural disasters are God’s punishment that he inflicts on the disobedient. While respecting other peoples’ faiths and beliefs, let us take an academic view of Pompeii’s devastation.

The rich and the influential who indulged in all sorts of sensuous pleasures were not the only residents of Pompeii. The port resort was inhabited by large number of servants, maids, slaves, gardeners, guards and the foot soldiers who protected the palaces. They were the wretched, insulted and humiliated souls on the soil of the sinners. If God had intended to punish the evildoers, then He, in His all providence, could have saved the poor from the holocaust. Thereby, He would have shown to the world that he punishes the sinners and doesn’t touch the innocent.

In Pompeii’s devastation a large number of servants and the slaves perished along with a handful of debauches. God couldn’t have been that callous. What struck Pompeii were two natural disasters, an earthquake and a volcanic eruption.

I have been constantly listening and reading in the newspapers ever since the devastating earthquake played havoc with Pakistan in the North that the holocaust was God’s punishment for our sins. Man doesn’t desist from attributing his wishful thinking to the Creator. He wants Allah to speak his language. The hundreds of thousands of men, women and the children who perished in Abbotabad, Mansehra, Balakot, Bagh, Muzaffarabad, and the surrounding towns and villages were men of moderate means. Most of them belonged to the lower income group who had to strive for their survival. They did not belong to the coterie of corrupt bureaucrats, funds usurpers, swindlers of banks, and kickback receivers with bank accounts in distant lands. The mountain people were not the drugs dealers. They were clean people with clean conscience.

We have Pompeiis in some of the so-called posh localities in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad, patronized and frequented by the rich and the influential. Why would God bury alive the children of the mountain people in their schools for the sins committed by the prosperous evildoers elsewhere in the Pompeiis of Pakistan!

(Dawn Magazine; October 23, 2005)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Let the Cuban doctors come to Pakistan!

Rahimullah Yusufzai


A BBC TV report by Gavin Hewitt from Abbottabad highlighted the plight of overworked doctors as they try to cope with an unending flow of people injured in the October 8 earthquake. One of the younger surgeons said he had performed around 100 amputations on patients with gangrenous limbs. Senior surgeon Dr Sahibzada made a telling parting remark. He said instead of money (he used the word pound) there was a need for skilled doctors to undertake the mounting load of work at the Ayub Teaching Hospital, Abbottabad and other hospitals in the quake-affected region.


We must seek advise from people such as Dr Sahibzada while making contingency medical plans to cope with the tragedy that has struck Pakistan. He and his colleagues need helping hands to treat patients and perform surgeries. This reminds one of the generous offer made by President Fidel Castro of Cuba to send 200 doctors specialised in natural disasters and serious epidemics to help the earthquake affectees. The Cuban government has made it clear that it would bear all expenses relating to transportation of the doctors while requisite stock of medicines would also be sent to Pakistan.


It is learnt that the Pakistan government has conveyed to Cuba that it wants 50 doctors only. One hopes Islamabad would review its decision and let all 200 doctors come to Pakistan. We need many more doctors, nurses and paramedics in view of the unprecedented scale of the death and destruction wrought by the earthquake. Hundreds of injured people are flocking to hospitals in Azad Kashmir, Mansehra, Battagram, Abbottabad, Dassu, Swat, Peshawar and even Rawalpindi-Islamabad and Lahore. A UN report said 1,000 hospitals, mostly small ones, in Pakistan have been destroyed in the earthquake, prompting the government to make an urgent appeal to the international community for field hospitals, antibiotics, anti-typhoid medicines, fracture treatment kits, and surgical equipment.


One is sure the Cubans would be able to contribute a lot toward meeting this need. Their doctors have served in Third World countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia and have done commendable work to earn the affection of their patients and the gratitude of numerous communities and governments. They also possess experience in working in tough conditions and dealing with natural disasters and epidemics. The Cubans are best suited to working in conditions prevailing in poor developing countries such as Pakistan.


They have proved time and again that good results could be achieved with minimum resources. Despite US-sponsored economic sanctions and limited resources, Cuba has been able to offer its citizens an efficient health delivery system that has earned praise from international organizations.


In fact, we could learn a lot from the Cuban doctors and medical administrators and apply some of the lessons learnt to improve our hopelessly inadequate health delivery system. A number of countries have benefited from the Cuban experience and Pakistan too would gain rather than lose anything by experimenting with methods employed by Mr Castro's revolutionary government to build one of the best health delivery systems in the world. By opting not to benefit from the well-meaning and generous Cuban offer, Pakistan would be depriving its hapless earthquake affectees of an opportunity to benefit from badly needed medical treatment at the hands of men and women who have worked in places hit by natural calamities and epidemics. Rather it would be cruel to ask President Castro not to send Cuban doctors to Pakistan, or dispatch only 50. We need each one of those 200 Cuban doctors waiting to fly to Pakistan for the sake of the thousands of injured quake victims lining up at overcrowded hospitals and losing precious time that could save lives.


The writer is an executive editor of The News in Peshawar

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Monday, October 17, 2005

State and Earthquake Relief Effort

The earthquake disaster is expected to grow with the arrival of winters, if government does not take any substantial measures for the earthquake victims. Snowfall has already been reported from some affected areas. Situation is getting worse with the passage of time due to weather conditions. According to General Musharraf, the death toll is likely to rise beyond 38,000 (

"When we go into these villages of the Neelum and Jhelum river valleys, I am reasonably sure it is going to rise," said General Musharraf. The expression that "they" have not reached the villages of Neelum and Jhelum by now gives a very clear impression of the efforts of government.

I am highly impressed by the concern of the general population of Pakistan for the earthquake victims. They have donated generously for the relief efforts. I heard one of my elders mention that such mobilization of people was last seen in 1969, resulting in the resignation of Ayub Khan. However, the role of state has been highly disappointing through out in the last eight or nine days. I do not wish to start blaming at the present but it is truly very frustrating.

With one million organized men under his control, General Musharraf, who also calls himself the President of Pakistan, has not been able to manage the aid collected by the civilians after enormous labor. Army, at present, is the only institution that has the information, means, and resources to deal with the problem of distribution in the affected area in a appropraite manner. No NGO or a political party is in a position as effective as that of army. Yet, there are villages and towns that are not yet touched by the army men. I do not intend to say that army present in the affected areas is not doing anything. But look at their quantity. If General Musharraf had sent around 50-75% of the army on the second day after earthquake, situation might have been different. At least, relief workers in the affected areas would not have asked their counter-parts in the unaffected areas to stop sending aid.

It is inspiring to see that small groups of volunteers have started visiting the earthquake hit areas, knowing that they might not be able to make significant difference. They are obviously not organized as such and lack proper resources and information to deal with the problems. It is the trustless attitude of the people towards the army, that they are undertaking the relief efforts in their own hands.

Comrades, civilians have played and are playing their part in collecting relief goods in a commendable way. The part played by the state is contributing towards the misery of earthquake victims that make them believe that the rest of Pakistan does not care.

General Musharraf should mobilize the army on war scale to deal with the earthquake disaster. That might justify the portion of budget spent on defense each year. The arrival of winters is going to be highly dangerous for those who have no shelter. If something significant is not done immediately, then Musharraf is correct in his "reasonable" analysis that the death toll is going to increase. Isn't this earthquake a loud enough noise to make the deaf hear?

This earthquake is a lesson for the general population of Pakistan. The interests of state are significantly different from that of people. It's a matter of time alone, when the people will rise to over-throw these unconcerned rulers to govern themselves through a people's government.

In Solidarity!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Dialectical and Historical Materialism By J. V. Stalin

Dialectical materialism is the world outlook of the Marxist-Leninist party. It is called dialectical materialism because its approach to the phenomena of nature, its method of studying and apprehending them, is dialectical, while its interpretation of the phenomena of nature, its conception of these phenomena, its theory, is materialistic.

To read the full paper, please visit

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Every year since 1990, the United Nations publishes its Human
Development Report. It contains the most authoritative data on the
state of the world. These reports are available online: Based on those
reports (referred to by year, followed by page), what does our world
look like?


We live in a capitalist world. Capitalism is a very dynamic system
that produces a tremendous amount of wealth. Never has the world been
so rich.

Global output increased more than eleven fold between 1850 and 1960,
from $611 billion to $6,936 billion in 1993 dollars. The world's
population more than doubled during the same period, rising from 1.2
billion in 1850 to 3 billion in 1960. The net outcome: nearly a
fivefold increase in per capita income. During the same period, the
goods and services produced in the industrial countries expanded
nearly thirty fold, from $212 billion to $6,103 billion (1996, 12)

Between 1960 and 1993, global income increased from $4 trillion to $23
trillion, and per capita income more than tripled. (1996, 12) If
trends continue, it should grow form 23 trillion in 1993 to 56
trillion in 2030. (1996, 36)

Global GDP increased nine folds from $3 trillion to $30 trillion over
the past 50 years. (1999, 25)

It has allowed a huge development of consumerism. Private and public
consumption expenditure reached $24 trillion in 1998, twice the level
of 1975 and six times that of 1950. In 1900, real consumption
expenditure was barely $1.5 trillion. (1998, 1)


But capitalism has made the world a very unequal place.

The people living in the 20% richest countries in the world have 86%
of global GDP (global income), 82% of world export markets, 68% of
Foreign Direct Investment. (1999, 3)

The richest 1% of the world received as much income as the poorest
57%. The richest 10% of the US population (around 25 million people)
have a combined income greater than that of the poorest 43% of the
world population (around 2 billion people). (2001, 19; 2003, 39)

The poorest 40% of the world's population account for 5% of global
income, the richest 10% account for 54%.(2005, 4)

The 20% of the world's people in the high income countries account for
86% of total private consumption expenditure. The poorest 20% for a
mere 1.3%.

The richest fifth consume 45% of all meat and fish, 58% of total
energy, 65% of electricity, 84% of all paper, have 74% of phone lines
and own 87% of the world’s vehicle fleet. The poorest fifth
5%, less than 4%, 1.1%, 1.5%, and less than 1% of all this. (1998, 2)

The poorest 20% of the world's people saw their share of the global
income decline from 2.3% to 1.4% in the past 30 years, meanwhile the
share of the richest 20% rose from 70% to 85%. (1996, 2)

Capitalism not only creates inequality, but it increases it both
between and within countries. The income gap between the richest
countries and the poorest countries was a ratio of 1:3 in 1820. This
increased to 1:7 in 1870 and 1:11 in 1913. In 1960 it was 1:30 and in
1990 1:60. In 1997 it was 1:74. (1999, 3)

Measured at the extremes, the gap between the average citizen in the
richest and in the poorest countries is wide and getting wider. In
1990 the average American was 38 times richer than the average
Tanzanian. Today the average American is 61 times richer. (2005, 37)

A Zambian today has less chance of reaching thirty years of age than
someone born in England in 1840. (2005, 4, 26)


A study of 77 countries with 82% of the world's population shows that
between the 1950s and the 1990s, inequality rose in 45 of those
countries and fell in 16 countries. (2001, 17)

Inequality within countries has been increasing over the last 30
years. Among the 73 countries with data (and 80% of the world's
people), 48 have seen inequality increase since the 1950s, 16 have
experienced no change, and only 9 (with 4% of the world's people) have
seen inequality fall. (2002, 20)

Between the 1980s and the late 1990s inequality increased in 42 of 73
countries with complete and comparable data. Only 6 of the 33
development countries saw inequality decline, while 17 saw an
increase. "In other words, within national boundaries, control over
assets and resources is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a
few people." (2003, 39)

Inequality is on the increase in countries which account for 80% of
the world's population. (2005, 6)

Between 1979 and 1997, US real GDP per capita grew 38%, but the income
of a family with median earnings grew only 9%. So most of the gain was
captured by the very richest people, with the incomes of the richest
1% of families growing 140%, three times the average. The income of
the top 1% of families was 10 times that of the median family in 1979
and 23 times in 1997. (2002, 20)


The USA has the same infant mortality rate as Malaysia, a country with
an average income one quarter that of the USA. And the Indian state of
Kerala has an infant death rate lower than that for African Americans
in Washington DC. (2005, 58)


At the end of the 1970s, the richest 10% of the UK population received
21% of total disposable income. Twenty years later, it received 28%,
nearly was much as for the entire bottom half of the population.
Average annual incomes for the richest 20% increased at about ten
times the rate for the poorest 20%. (3.8% compared with 0.4%) The UK's
GINI coefficient climbed from 25 to 35 by the mid-1990s, one of the
biggest increases in inequality in the world. (2005, 68)


As a system, capitalism does not work for the vast majority of the
world's population; it fails to provide for their basic needs.

Of the 4.4 billion people in developing countries, nearly three fifth
lack basic sanitation. A third have no access to clean water. A
quarter do not have adequate housing. A fifth no access to health
services. (1998, 2)

More than one billion people lack access to safe water. (2005, 24)
More than 2.6 billion lack access to improved sanitation. (2005, 24)
More than 850 million people, including one in three preschool
children suffer from malnutrition. (2005, 24)

$1 A DAY

One in five people in the world, more than one billion, still survive
on less than $1 a day in abject poverty. (2005, 24) "Living on $1 a
day does not mean being able to afford what $1 would buy when
converted into a local currency, but the equivalent of what $1 would
buy in the United States, a newspaper, a local bus ride, a bag of
rice." (2003, 41)

Another 1.5 billion people live on $1-2 a day. (2005, 24) "One fifth
of humanity lives in countries where many people think nothing of
spending $2 a day on capuccino. Another fifth of humanity survives on
less than $1 a day and live in countries where children die for want
of a simple anti-mosquito bed net." (2005, 3)


There are 854 million illiterate adults, 543 million of them women,
325 million children (one in seven) out of school at primary and
secondary levels, 183 million of them girls. (2001, 9) More than one
billion people live without adequate shelter, sanitation, electricity,
and there are 100 million people homeless sleeping in the street.


But capitalism allows a tiny minority to accumulate a vast amount of

The 350 largest companies in the world account for 40% of global trade
and their turnover exceeds the GDP of many countries.

The turnover of General Motors ($168.8 billion) exceeds that of the
GDP of Denmark ($146.1 billion).

The turnover of Ford ($137.1 billion) exceeds the GDP of South Africa
($123.3 billion).

The turnover of Toyota ($111.1 billion), Exxon ($110 billion) and
Royal Dutch/Shell ($109.8 billion) exceeds the GDP of Norway, Poland
and Portugal ($109.6, $92.8, and $91.6 billion respectively).

The turnover of IBM ($72 billion) is greater than that of Malaysia
($68.5 billion). The combined assets of the top five corporations
($871.4 billion) is greater than that of the combined GDP of South
Asia ($451.3 billion), Sub-Saharan Africa ($246.8 billion) and least
developed countries ($76.5 billion). (1997, 92)


Between 1989 and 1996 the number of billionaires increased from 157 to
447. Today the net wealth of the ten richest billionaires is $133
billion, more than 1.5 times the total national income of all the
least developed countries. (1997, 38)

The world's 200 richest people more than doubled their net worth in
the four years to 1998, to more than $1 trillion. The assts of the top
three billionaires are more than the combined GNP of all least
developed countries and their 600 million people. (1999, 3)

The world's 225 richest people have a combined wealth of over $1
trillion, equal to the annual income of the poorest 47% of the world
($2.5 billion). It is estimated that the cost of achieving and
maintaining universal access to education for all, health care for
all, reproductive health care for all women, adequate food for all and
safe water and sanitation for all is roughly $40 billion a year (0.1%
of world income). This is less than 4% of the combined wealth of the
225 richest people in the world. (1998, 30)


The material resources to end poverty and inequality are there.

To provide universal access to basic social services and transfers to
alleviate income poverty with efficient targeting would cost roughly
$80 billion. That is less than 0.5% of global income and less than the
combined net worth of the seven richest men in the world. (1997, 112)

Redistributing 1.6% of the income of the richest 10 percent of the
global population would provide the $300 billion needed to lift the
one billion people living on less than a dollar a day out of extreme
poverty. (2005, 4)


However, meeting the basic needs of the world's population is not a
priority for capitalism.

The annual expenditure necessary to provide basic education for all
around the world is $6 billion. In comparison, the annual expenditure
for cosmetics in the USA is $8 billion.

Annual expenditure to provide water and sanitation for all is $9
billion. In comparison the annual expenditure on ice cream in Europe
is $11 billion. The annual expenditure to provide reproductive health
for all women is $12 billion. In comparison, the annual expenditure on
perfumes in Europe and the USA is $12 billion.

Annual expenditure necessary to provide basic health and nutrition is
$13 billion. In contrast, annual expenditure on pet foods in Europe
and USA is $17 billion. Compared to all those, annual military
spending in the world is $780 billion. (1998, 37)

For every $1 that rich countries spend on aid, they allocate $10 to
military spending. Current spending on HIV/AIDS, a disease that claims
3 million lives per year, represents three days' worth of military
spending (2005, 8)

The $7 billion needed to provide 2.6 billion people with access to
clean water is less than European spends on perfume and less than
Americans spend on elective corrective surgery. This is for an
investment that would save an estimated 4,000 lives each day. (2005,


This is because capitalism is a system based on profit rather than
need. Food production has increased and prices fallen.

"If all the food produced worldwide were distributed equally, every
person would be able to consume 2,760 calories a day -- hunger is
defined as consuming under 1,960 calories a day." (2003, 87)

But as a result of the operations of capitalism, every day, 800
million people (almost one in five) go hungry, and every year ten
million people die of hunger.


Millions of people are in desperate need of medicines. But as the
pharmaceutical industry is capitalist in nature, less than 10% of
global spending on health research addressed 90% of the global disease
burden and health problems of 90% of the world's people. (2002, 7)
People dying of hunger in a world where there has never been so much
food, and people dying because they lack essential medicines because
less than 10% of global spending on health research and production
addresses 90% of the global disease burden shows that a system based
on profit rather than need is irrational and inhuman.


The human costs of maintaining the present system are far too high.
Every year, 10.7 million children died before five of preventable
causes (2005, 24) This means that every hour of everyday, 12000
children die of preventable causes. (2005, 1)

In the 1990s the number of children killed by diarrhea exceeded the
number of people killed in armed conflicts since the Second World War.
(2003, 104)

Some 500,000 women die in pregnancy or childbirth each year, one for
every minute of the day. In Sub-Saharan Africa, a woman is one hundred
times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than in a
high-income OECD country. (2003)


The environmental costs of maintaining capitalism are also too high.
The problem is that corporations resist regulations and do not take
into account damage to the environment; resulting in water scarcity,
deforestation, desertification, pollution and natural disaster.
Annual carbon dioxide emissions quadrupled over the past 50 years.
Sulphur dioxide emissions have more than doubled during the same
period. (98, 4)

Burning of fossil fuels has almost quintupled since 1950, consumption
of fresh water has doubled since 1960, marine catch has increased
fourfold, wood consumption is now 40% higher than 25 years ago.
(1998, 2)

In industrial countries, per capita waste generation has increased
threefold in the past 20 years. Water's global availability has
dropped from 17,000 cubic meters per capita in 1950 to 7,000 today.

A sixth of the world's land area (2 billion hectares) is degraded as a
result of poor farming since 1945. Forests are shrinking, since 1970
the wooded area per 1,000 people has fallen from 11.4 square kilometer
to 7.3. Some eight million to ten million acres of forest land are
lost each year.

Fish stocks are declining with about a quarter in danger of depletion
and another 44% being fished at their biological limits. Wild species
are becoming extinct 50 to 100 times faster than they would naturally.
(1998, 4)

And during 1967-1993 natural disasters affected three billion people
in developing countries with more than seven million deaths and two
million injuries. At current rate of loss, 15% of the earth's species
could disappear over the next 25 years. (1996, 26)

Air pollution is a serious problem for 700 million people, primarily
women and children. 2.7 million deaths each year from air pollution
(1998, 5)


A common objection is that capitalism might not be good, however there
are no alternatives. Socialism does and did not work, the fact that
countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union abandoned it
and adopted capitalism proves it.

However, the UN's Human Development Reports show the achievements and
successes of socialism. It notes that socialism was one of the world's
history's "great ascent from human poverty". "There have been two
great ascents from human poverty in recent history: the first in
industrial countries during the late 19th and the early 20th
centuries, and the second in developing countries, Eastern Europe and
the former Soviet Union after the Second World War. They had similar
elements, but the second had a larger scale and a faster timetable.
Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union made advances: infant
mortality was reduced by half, from 81 to 41 per 1,000 live births.
Life expectancy increased from 58 to 66 years for men and from 63 to
74 years for women. And income poverty was declining. In Hungary
between the early 1960s and 1972, the proportion of people living
below the poverty line fell from 60% to 14%". (1997, 25)


If we compare similar countries today on the basis of Human
Development Indicators, socialist China and capitalist India, or
socialist Cuba and capitalist Latin America, the achievements
successes of socialism compared to capitalism are evident.

Since 1949, China has made impressive reductions in human poverty.
Between 1949 and 1995 it reduced infant mortality from 200 per 1,000
live births to 42 per 1000 live births, and increased life expectancy
at birth from 35 years to 69. Today almost all children go to school
and adult illiteracy, 80% in the 1950s has fallen to 19%. The
incidence of poverty from widespread fell to 9% in the 1980s. Hunger
has been totally eradicated. (1997, 49-50)

By contrast, in India, 53% of children under age four, 60 million,
remain undernourished. Infant mortality is 74 per 1,000 live births,
and there are each year 2.2 million infant deaths, most of them
avoidable. Rural poverty is 39% and urban poverty 30%. Half the
population is still illiterate. Life expectancy is 61, eight years
less than China. (1997, 51-52)

In China, public spending on education is 2.3% of GDP while that on
health is 2.1% of GDP. The outcomes for human development are clear.
Literacy stands at 84%, infant mortality rates at 32 per 1,000 lives
birth and under-five mortality rates at 40 per 1,000 live births.
(2003, 73)

Proportional to population, China spends three times as much as India
on health care. In India health spending stands at 1.3% of GDP.
(central and state governments combined) Human development indicators
remain much lower for India than for China. Literacy stands at 65%,
infant mortality at 68 per 1,000 live births, and under five mortality
rates at 96 per 1,000 live births. (2003, 73)

If India provided the same health care as China, every year 1.7
million children could be saved. (1998, 156-157 and 176-177)


In Cuba, there is one medical doctor for 170 people. In the rest of
Latin America, the proportion is of one doctor for 613 people. Cuba
spends per inhabitant twice as much on health care and education than
the rest of Latin America. (2003, 255)

Cuba's per capita income is a small fraction of that of the USA, yet
it has the same infant mortality rate and has kept HIV/AIDS under
control. (2003, 87)

If the rest of Latin America invested as much as Cuba on health care,
every year 400,000 Latin American children could be saved and 20,000
fewer women would die in pregnancy or child birth.

In Latin America, the ten per cent richest people earn 46 times what
the poorest earn. In Cuba the proportion is five times. (2003, 283)

A quarter of Latin Americans have to survive on two dollars a day or
less. In Cuba, less than two per cent do. (2003, 245)


Evidence shows that countries that abandoned the construction of
socialism and adopted capitalism experienced a massive regression.
Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS experienced the sharpest
increase in poverty in the 1990s, the only other region with worsening
trends in poverty is Sub-Saharan Africa. (2005, 21)

Ukraine fell 17 places and Russia 15 places while Tadjikistan fell 21
places. Russia fell 48 places in world life expectancy ranking from
1990 to 2003. (2005, 22) Life expectancy for men has fallen from 70
in 1990 to 59 today, lower than India. If this remains constant, 40
percent of 15 years old Russians will be dead before they reach 60.
(2005, 26)

Between 2.5 to 3 million people died during the 1992-2001 period. "In
the absence of war, famine or health epidemics, there is no recent
historical precedent for the scale of the loss." (2005, 23)

Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS experienced a dramatic increase
in poverty. The number of people on less than $2 a day there rose from
23 million in 1990 to 93 million in 2001, from 5% to 20%. (2005, 34)

In the countries of the former Soviet Union, transition brought with
it one of the deepest recessions since the Great Depression of the
1930s, and in many case despite positive growth over the last few
years, incomes are still lower than they were 15 years ago. (2005,

Since 1990 real per capita incomes have fallen by more than 10% in
Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Ukraine and by 40% in Georgia, Moldova and
Tajikistan. In Russia, 10 percent of the population live on less than
$2 a day and 25 percent live below the national subsistence level.
(2005, 35)


These are the main reasons why we believe that capitalism, as a way of
organizing society and the economy, fails and is not sustainable; and
advocate socialism as a viable alternative and a better way of
organizing the world.


Back copies of The Plough can be accessed at:

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Royal Indian Navy Srike, 1946

Few months ago, 65,000 employees of Pakistan united against the privatization of PTCL. This event, at least, will be marked as a historic union in the working class struggle. The workers, once again, expressed a concern to unify in order to protect their rights from the neo-liberal imperial agenda of, specifically, privatization. It would not be late to present one of the immortal stories of the working-class struggle.

The strike by the sailors of the Royal Indian Navy in 1946 is distinguished as a spectacular episode of struggle against the imperialist force of British Raj. Sumit Sarkar refers to the strike as “one of the most truly heroic, if largely forgotten, episodes of our freedom struggle.”

The strike grew out of the entrenched discontent growing calmly inside the sailors against the British officers. Indian sailors were highly disturbed by the discriminatory attitude of British targeted towards them. This attitude was complemented by off-the-cuff remarks of the newly arrived Commander King. He made a remark about Indian Ratings as sons of Indian bitches on a routine visit to the ship known as H.M.I.S (Her Majesty’s Indian Ship) Talwaar, posted to the Bombay Harbor. The arrogant behavior of the officers was becoming unbearable for the well-educated ratings of Talwaar. They tried to protest through the official chancel, and were subsequently threatened.

The spark was the breakfast, unfit for consumption, served on the morning of 18th February 1946 on H.M.I.S Talwaar. The sailors of the ship united and shouted “No food no work”, and launched a peaceful hunger strike. The possibility of a forthcoming rebellion against the rulers was evident to emerge from the nonviolent strike because it was not a matter of food alone.

On 19 February the strike was officially announced to the naval personnel. Sailors on strike started patrolling in Bombay on the captured naval trucks hoisting Red Flag to invite the anti-British sentiments. The news of rebellion came pouring out of the radio station that the rebels managed to take over. The number of naval personnel involved in the revolt saw a sharp incline. Within 48 hours the British government was facing the largest ever revolt in the naval units. 74 ships, 20 fleets, 22 units with 20,000 sailors joined the rebellion. The naval stations included important locations like Bombay, Calcutta, Karachi, Madras, Cochin and Vishapatam. On 20 February, just ten ships and two naval stations were not in complete revolt.

Union Jacks on most of the ships had been replaced by Red Flags, along with flags of other political parties involved in the independence struggle, by the eve of 19 February. A 36 member Naval Central Strike Committee (NCSC) was elected with Signalman M.S. Khan as the President and telegraph operator Madan Singh as the vice-president. The election of a Muslim and a Sikh was a conscious _expression of rejection of division on religious grounds. The committee instantly drew its agenda and put forward demands to the government. One of the priorities of the strike committee agenda was to involve political parties in the movement to gain support.

The role played by the political parties in the rebellion was very disappointing. Instead of connecting this revolt with other strikes taking place in the textile industry, railways, and other industrial sectors, they actively supported the British in suppressing the strike. The Communist Party of India (CPI) lacked the support, strength, and leadership to take any effective measure. Although certain factions supported the rebellion, both Congress and Muslim League detested the event.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah issued a statement from Calcutta, on behalf of Muslim League, calling the strikers to end their action. An important figure of the independence movement, and a leader of the Indian National Congress, Sardar Patel, came up as a negotiator from the British side. According to the Patel, the rebels were “only a small band of insolents, hot headed and insane youngsters (who) are trying to get involved in politics through these acts, when they have nothing to do with politics”.

On 21 and 22 February, the strike committee called for a general strike that received a huge response from public. The influence of the sailors was being perceived as a genuine challenge to the government. As a direct result, the displeasure in the British government in London was increasing. The messages to crush the uprising at once came out from the office of the British Labour Prime Minister Clement Atlee. Admiral Godfrey, the commander of the Royal Indian Navy threatened the rebels to “surrender or perish”.

The British government started an armed struggle against the sailors on 21 February. On February 22 and 23, the imperialist forces martyred 250 sailors and workers. The peaceful strike transformed into an armed struggle. With the chances of an armed suppression increasing, the sailors pointed the guns on ships towards the British Naval Installations and command centers along the coast. They threatened to destroy these bases and installations to defend their comrades in the cities and harbor in case of an armed attack.

Back on the Talwaar the situation gained intensity and tension. Disheartened by the attitude of the leaders of the independence movement, NCSC started to narrow down its options. Assured and persuaded by the Sardar Patel, M. S. Khan proposed surrender that was first rejected by the strike committee. Absolutely demoralized, and isolated, the strike committee later on announced surrender by raising black flags on the morning of 24 February 1946. That marked an end to a chapter that showed the British what laid ahead, if they choose to stay in India.

In a resolution announcing surrender, the revolutionary sailors sent their last message to the general public of India: “Our uprising was an important historical event in the lives of our people. For the first time the blood of the uniformed and non-uniformed workers flowed in one current for the same collective cause. We the workers in uniform shall never forget this. We also know that you, our proletarian brother and sisters shall also never forget this. The coming generations, learning a lesson shall accomplish what we have not been able to achieve. Long live the working masses. Long live the Revolution”.(emphasis added)