“The Days Of Communism In India Are Numbered” —KP Joseph
Mr KP Joseph is a former Civil Servant and a consultant to the United Nations who had served in India and abroad in many positions. He is the Director of INSIST (Institute of Studies in Social Transformation) and the author of a number of books. He spoke at length to Uday India Correspondent, Pradeep Krishnan about communism, Marxism, etc. Excerpts:
Sir, you have done an extensive study of Marxism and emancipation of the underclass in Kerala. Could you please share some of your thoughts with us?
I am happy that you raised this question. The Kerala experience shows that the rise of the underclass can be brought about by education rather than by militant Marxist activism. Sree Narayana Guru, who attained samadhi after a decade of the October revolution, focused only on education to emancipate the poor and under-privileged. He had no good word on Marxist Revolution as a tool to emancipate the underclass. Chattambi Swamigal, Ayyan Kali, Vakkom Maulavi, Shunbhananda Guru and many other social reformers also emphasised the role of education in emancipation rather than violent revolution. In Kerala, Marxism provided opportunity to the scions of feudal families to extend exploitation and domination of the underclass feeding the latter with visions of Utopia. Instead of seeking emancipation through education, large numbers of youth of the underclass became followers of Marxist upper crust feudal leaders and perished in the flames of Calcutta thesis uprisings.
In your book Marxisathinte Kanappurangal you have severely criticised communism/Marxism. Don’t you think communism at least brought in the concept of equality, fraternity and socialism among the masses?
To think that the concept of equality and fraternity was brought by communists is absurd. The equality and fraternity concept had been given to Kerala much earlier by Sree Narayana Guru, Chattambi Swamigal, Ayyankali and other social reformers .We also know that the concept of socialism is embedded in the concept of equality and fraternity. But let us think of the concept of socialism. Can we give the credit to the communists? Here also, the answer is in the negative. No credit can be given to the communists, followers of Marx for inventing ‘socialism’, which is an English word derived from socialisme, a French word. In fact, the originator of the concept of socialisme was not Karl Marx (1818-1883) but Saint Simon (1760-1825); Robert Owen (1771-1858) of England, Charles Fourier (1772-1837) of France; David Ricardo (1772-1823) of England; Charles Hall (1740-1825) Proudhon (1809-1865) of France; Louis Blanc (1811-1882) and many others.
Was the socialism preached by Marx different?
Of course. The socialism his predecessors preached was derided by Karl Marx as Utopian Socialism. He gave his product the brand name of “scientific socialism”. There was very little scientific about it. He tried to ‘simplify’ the ‘complex’ socio- economic progress and history, belittling the role of human consciousness. He conceived human consciousness as the product of material conditions, although his consciousness itself was not formed by his material conditions. He belonged to the Newtonian School of Science which thought that the key to the running of the universe could be discovered by scientists and the future could be predicted in precise terms.
The Uncertainty Principle of Werner Heisenberg was known only in 1927. Strangely the uncertainty principle in human affairs was at the core of poetry of Kumaran Asan (1873-1924). The uncertainty principle in human affairs was known to poets, philosophers and common people through out history. On the other hand, the certainty principle in human affairs was the product of Newtonian Science that boasted that science had all the answers to all the questions up its sleeve and Marxism was a child of this world view. The immateriality of matter (that can be linked to Indian Maya concept, Christian bubble concept of life) also blasts the materialistic foundation of Marxism.
Is it not clear as crystal that concepts of equality, fraternity, socialism are not of Marxist origin whether in Kerala, India or the world. It is only the clever Goebbelsian propaganda has contributed to this mistaken belief. Does not the average Malayali still believe that the holocaust of Hitler (2.5 crore human victims) was more than the victims (12.5 crore) of Stalin, Mao and other Marxist rulers? Noam Chomsky, critic of US policies, was paraded some years ago in Kerala by the Marxist Party as its supporter although he was the man who was as happy when Soviet Union collapsed as he was when Nazism collapsed.
Communists, the world over, have always claimed that their ideology is the only one that is ‘scientific’ and progressive. Your comments.
All fundamentalist religions claim that their religion is the only true religion. Communists belong to the fundamentalist religion of Marxism-Leninism. The religious belief of communists is Godless, but all the same a religion. There is nothing scientific about it. If there was anything scientific, they would have been able to deliver the goods they promised. They promised paradise but created hell for people in Soviet Union and elsewhere. China is progressing in economic terms only after dumping Marxism (Maoism) Marx predicted proletarian revolution in countries where capitalism matured viz Germany, Britain, etc. No proletarian revolution came up in these countries. In fact no proletarian revolution has ever taken place in any country as predicted by Marx.
In Kerala, in spite of heavy infighting, the party (CPM) has a wide mass base. In fact, the party had been instrumental in bringing in land reforms. Would you not acknowledge the good work done by the Marxists of Kerala?
The land reforms in Kerala and West Bengal is not Marxian, but Congress policy implemented by CPM. Private landed property is anathema to Marxism. In Kerala/Bengal the CPM implemented the Congress policy believing that a time would come when all the land will belong to government headed by the Party on successful completion of the dictatorship of the proletariat (read CPM Constitution). Marxist/Maoist policy was for collective farms where the farm lands did not have private ownership. The CPM was out of power and the non-CPI/CPM governments had only taken further steps to deepen the impact of the land reforms on the poor.
One also has to remember that EMS had retained control over his landed property by creation of trust in the name of the Party over which he had control. This he did before the land reforms to take optimum advantage to himself and his family so his lands were not distributed to his tenants/tillers. In West Bengal CPM implemented the land reforms in a dubious manner so that the ownership records were all kept by the CPM offices. The farm workers would lose their land ownership records through party manipulation if they ever voted against the CPM. This is how the Left were able to manipulate to continue in power in West Bengal. In Kerala this did not happen.
What is the basis of your argument that Communism/Marxism is responsible for retarding the progress of West bengal and Kerala?
The party was against all types of mechanisation and application of technology to lighten labour increase productivity—in every field, viz in coir production, cashew industry, rice cultivation, abolition of manual rickshaw pulling and use of computer. The party acted as if it had a vested interest in poverty. They were afraid of improvement of the standard of living of the common man lest they lose support. Use of new technology is the driving force of productivity in every field and therefore of economic development. They could not understand this simple truth or having understood it, opposed the move to serve the primitive interest of the Party.
What is the future of Communism/Marxism in India? As you are aware, Communists were the main opposition during the fifties. But the party has hold only in one state. What could be the reason for Marxists not getting any support in the rest of India?
The days of communism/Marxism in India are numbered. Even though they got few seats in the recent elections, their impact on the masses in elections will continue to decline. But because of the huge corporate funds that the Party has been able to accumulate through good and bad means,the party has enough funds.
What will be the future of Communism in the rest of the world?
Decline leading to collapse, caving in, disintegration, even of its last ramparts Cuba (paradise for prostitution) and North Korea (21st century slave society).
What could be the reason for Communist leaders becoming intolerant towards persons who hold a different view, their blatant abuse of leaders of other parties and faiths?
As I pointed out the CPM is not a political party that can freely function in modern civil society, but a medieval fundamentalist religion (irreligion) cum political party like the Catholic Church in middle ages. The Catholic Church has moved with the times, but not the CPM.