Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

Indian independence (part 3) – Role of the Communist Party of India during Partition

Friday, December 30th, 2016
In his previous article Jamil has shown that, far from standing for a unified secular democratic India, the bourgeois leaders of the independence movement based themselves on communalist appeals to the Muslims (Muslim League) and Hindus (Congress). This led directly to the catastrophe of partition.

Could the Communist Party of India (CPI) have made a decisive difference? Here Jamil shows they had their own organisational weaknesses. Above all they were prisoners of the policies imposed by Stalin on the international communist movement. In backward and colonial countries, Stalin decreed, the movement had to go through two stages – democracy, then socialism. In Russia this had actually been the policy of the Mensheviks, successfully overcome by the Bolsheviks in the October Revolution. Jamil has demonstrated that, in India as everywhere else, the ‘progressive national bourgeoisie’ was a myth. Yet this was the non-existent class the CPI proposed to march behind in a ‘Popular Front’.


The policies imposed on the international communist movement by Stalin were normally reformist, indeed counter-revolutionary. But occasionally he lurched into an ultra-left phase as in 1947-48, called the ‘Zhdanov offensive.’ In lurching from right to left, a drunk will at one point be found upright. That is the significance of the correct perception of what was happening in India by the Moscow commentators Dyakov and Zhukov.In the 1940s the Communist Party of India (CPI) was a prisoner of the policies imposed by Stalin on the international communist movement. In backward and colonial countries, Stalin decreed, the movement had to go through two stages – democracy, then socialism. This proved disastrous for the workers of the whole of the Indian subcontinent.


The accumulation of capital

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

This is not yet another attempt to repeat Marx’s analysis. This has been done thousands of times, including by the present author (See Brooks, Sewell and Woods-What is Marxism?). At best surveys of that kind will take the reader back to Capital which is, of course, the definitive treatment.

Neither is it an attempt to ‘prove’ the labour theory of value, as Marxists have been challenged to do over and over again. It is intended rather to show the dramatic effects that the operation of the law of value has on working people’s lives.


Germany: Voters seek alternative to Merkel’s government

Friday, December 16th, 2016

The coalition government of Angela Merkel of CDU, CSU and FDP in Berlin, known by the colours of these parties as black-yellow, has lost a significant amount of its support since the election victory of September 2009. Four Regional Land elections in 2011 have documented the melting away of the coalition’s voting strength signalled mainly by the huge decline in the suport for the more rightwing FDP, first in the northern metropolis of Hamburg in February, then in the south-eastern Sachsen-Anhalt  and now in two south-western states, the Rheinland Palatinate (RP) and Baden-Wuerttemberg (BW) on Sunday 27th March.

The background was, of course, the efforts to recover from the deep economic crisis affecting all major capitalist countries. The CDU and Bavarian CSU had been in coalition with the social democrats (SPD) up to September 2009; the SPD came out of that period of crisis and cuts and anti-working class legislation with its worst result in postwar German history with only 23% of the votes, cementing the social democrats’ loss of 6 million (!) votes over a nine year period, half of its electoral support. Fully one-third of the party’s members left in the period, disappointed with the SPD’s neo-liberal line. Many dropped out of political activity but numbers of activists joined the Linke, the Left Party boosting its membership overall to 70,000 and its electoral support throughout most of Germany, with the party gaining seats in regional parliaments in 13 of the 16 federal states.


Left turn in the Ireland of crisis

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

This article was written before the agreement between Fine Gael and the Labour Party to form a coalition government but it’s general argument remains valid.

Ireland is one of the countries that has been hit hardest by the
capitalist crisis. In the late 90s the country became known as the
“Celtic Tiger”. The political leaders of the traditionally biggest party
in the country, liberal Fianna Fáil, turned the country into a neo-
liberal experiment shop.

The bank and finance sector was completely
deregulated, big parts of the welfare system was privatized and an
unprecedented campaign for loaning was launched, where ordinary wage
earners were convinced to loan up both on the house and car.