Reprint of an article by Rajesh Tyagi dated 2012 July 12 on the New Wave website:
CPI (M) the core Stalinist Party in India, recently declared its support for the candidate of ruling Congress (I), Pranab Mukherjee. Pranab Mukherjee was the sitting Union Minister for Finance in the central cabinet and has been supervising the pro-investor regime set up by the coalition government of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by the Congress party.
The dubious support was declared by the CPM, despite a clear resolution in its recent Kozhikode Congress recognising capitalist landlord character of Congress, its role in perpetuating neo-liberal policies and a declaration to oppose it.
Unable to digest this blatant servility of the CPM to the bourgeois, more young cadres of the party, who had hitherto supported their Stalinist leadership, were forced to revolt. First was the convenor of research wing of CPM, Prasenjit, who resigned against the declaration. Dissident chorus was then joined by the leaders of the student wing (SFI) of the party in Jawahar Lal Nehru University in New Delhi. True to its character, Stalinist leadership took no time in dissolving the unit and expelling the dissidents to block all debate on the issue. The revolt however sparked a row, bringing into focus the overall flawed politics of Stalinists in supporting the sections of bourgeois.
The dissidents, however, trained and rooted in Stalinist political school themselves, failed to hit the nail, arguing that the declaration was not in consonance with the program and resolutions of CPM. They misled themselves in believing that the Stalinist leadership, in declaring support for Congress candidate, has divested from its political trajectory. The fact goes that in supporting the candidate of ruling Congress- a bourgeois landlord party- the Stalinists have acted in complete consonance with the program and perspective of Stalinism, which in turn is based upon an open policy of subordination of working class to the national bourgeois.
Contrary to innocent beliefs of young dissidents of CPM, It is not the leaders of CPM who can be credited or dis-credited with innovating this tail-ist policy of collaboration with national bourgeois. It was Stalin at the head of soviet bureaucracy and the Comintern who advocated such collaboration, a Menshevik recipe, as the only road to revolution. Working class and its parties, were forced to enter into alliances -‘popular fronts’- with their national bourgeois everywhere in China, Germany, Spain and submit to its politics and discipline and were thus prevented permanently from fighting against the bourgeois.
‘Popular Frontism’ i.e. collaborating with sections of bourgeois, was the policy of the Comintern under Stalin and Dimitrov in China, forcing Chinese working class and the communist party in subordination to bourgeois Kuomintang and its leader Chiang Kai Shek and then Wang Ching Wi, which diffused a mature revolutionary situation in China in 1925-27. Popular Frontism, i.e. making alliance with bourgeois parties, was the desperate reaction of Stalinists to the rise to power of Hitler in Germany in 1933, after the flawed policies advocated by them, prevented the working class from rising in unison against the rule of capital and facilitated the rise of Nazis. Since then, ‘popular frontism’ has been practised time and again in Spain, Chile, Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Middle East, so on and so forth with same disastrous consequences for the working class.
Following the Stalinist policy of popular frontism, Stalinists had repeatedly forged alliances with sections of capitalists. These alliances, in their turn have rendered great service to the capitalists by binding working class to their rule and thus keeping them in power. Devoid of the perspective of world socialist revolution, the ‘anti-fascism’ of Stalinists has become a permanent apology for support to democratic capitalism. Stalinists, have disoriented the working class and youth away from the program of socialist revolution and have misled it towards democratic capitalism.
However, completely oblivious to the lessons of history, Stalinists continue to forge popular fronts with bourgeois, rallying behind democratic capitalism. 20th Congress of the CPM recently held in Kozhikode, has not only reiterated the policy of entering into alliances with sections of bourgeois but has focussed upon it. Stalinists continue arguing that within the ranks of national bourgeois there exist democratic and progressive sections, and continue to adhere to these sections of bourgeois on the pretext of support to secular forces. Stalinists refuse to see that fascism is the policy of capitalism in crisis, rather argue that fascism is the rule of “worst elements of finance capital”, seeking an apology to cling to liberal-democratic sections of capitalism.
However, within no time that CPM in its 20th Congress resolved to oppose the capitalist-landlord alliances of UPA and NDA, and forge a ‘left democratic alliance’ with sprinter bourgeois parties, it has thrown its weight behind the Congress candidate in run up to the post of President.
While Stalinist CPM has declared open support to Congress candidate, CPI has abstained from the race intriguingly. None of the Stalinist parties, however, has come forward to launch an offensive to discredit the pro-investor regime set up by UPA and NDA in succession to each other. Stalinists have assisted in binding the working class to the rule of capitalists, their parties and leaders.
This was not the first time that Stalinists had entered into manuevres with bourgeois parties. Since its inception in 1925, Stalinist CPI had become more and more complacent with sections of bourgeois, both colonial and imperial. CPI had gone down in history for its misdeeds including its support to the agreement between British imperialism and the colonial bourgeoisie to suppress the democratic revolution in the name of “independence” and communal partition of the sub-continent, supporting the capitalist-landlord government under Nehru after 1947, supporting emergency under Indira Gandhi, hailing the Stalinist and Maoist bureaucracies in USSR and China as socialist regimes.
After 1947, Stalinists have functioned as chief agency of the Indian bourgeoisie rendering critical support to it in moments of crisis and by putting down the struggles of the working class through political trickery or outright brutal repression. Stalinists have played critical role in tying up the working class to the bourgeois parties like Congress, which they themselves term as reactionary.
Stalinists not only glorified the bourgeois government under Nehru as progressive and democratic in the past, but more recently CPM rendered support to the right-wing coalition government of Janata Party formed in 1977, while Stalinist CPI supported imposition of emergency by Indira Gandhi. Both Stalinist parties had supported the government under V.P. Singh, which was supported by the extreme right wing BJP on the right.
CPM has played crucial role in drafting of the Common Minimum Program of UPA with a left face, to mislead the workers and toilers in believing that the UPA regime would produce better life conditions for them. CPM and its left front continued to support the UPA regime, while UPA implemented the devastating ‘neo-liberal’ policies dictated by the global capital. Despite its acknowledgement that UPA regime was no better than NDA’s on both domestic and foreign fronts, CPM and its other Stalinist allies in ‘left front’, did not withdraw the critical support to it, until they were kicked out by the Congress itself on the issue of Indo-US nuclear deal. However, instead of drawing correct lessons from this humiliation, big sections of CPM still regret the break with UPA regime in 2008.
Kicked out of the alliance in 2008, that they forged with UPA government at the centre, giving support to it from outside since 2004 general elections, Stalinists had started to look out for forging alliances with rest of bourgeois parties. While they entered into informal alliances even with extreme right-wing parties like BJP on issues like FDI and corruption, they sought formal alliance into a “third front” with practically any bourgeois party which could be roped in. This project however landed in a fiasco, as all the bourgeois parties, big or small, got polarised between UPA and NDA in 2009 general elections, leaving Stalinists in a lurch.
CPM has emerged as a splinter group from the CPI in 1964, in follow up to the deepening Sino-Soviet dispute. Since its emergence, CPM has a whole history of rendering critical support to sections of bourgeois and its parties and thereby subordinating the working class to the rule of capitalists and landlords. Even after its organisational split from the CPI, which had become a tail of ruling Congress, CPM has never criticised the basic politics of CPI, rather adhered to it.
Stalinists and the parties under them, like CPI-CPM, in fact form a ‘left wing’ of the bourgeois rule, and their cravings for ‘left and democratic alternative’ are tricky recipe for the crisis management of this rule, by tagging the working class to the tail of sections of bourgeois in a ‘popular front’. Stalinists and behind them Maoists, proceed from the weakness of working class, presuming the sections of bourgeois to be the real repository of all political strength. Both of them deny the ability of the working class to bring about a social revolution in India and thus vouch for democratic capitalism and hence collaboration with sections of bourgeois.