Karl Marx was a great scientific thinker, yet there are some pseudo-intellectuals who have distorted Marxism. They have written books to prove that Marxism is no more relevant in the contemporary world. Their main aim is to continue with the status quo and serve the existing bourgeois society. Here’s a tribute, for Different Truths.
Karl Marx was an eminent philosopher, renowned economist, historian, journalist, political ideologue, revolutionary socialist, great intellectual and multilingual expert. His birthday bicentenary is being celebrated in a spectacular way all over the world from May 5, 2018, onwards throughout the year. Karl Marx obtained the law degree and simultaneously studied Hegelian philosophy.
Marx was a great scientific thinker, yet there are some pseudo-intellectuals who have distorted Marxism. They have written books to prove that Marxism is no more relevant in the contemporary world. Their main aim is to continue with the status quo and serve the existing bourgeois society.
A vicious propaganda is also on in social media stating that socialism proposed by Karl Marx has failed in the Soviet Union. Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary, has given a befitting reply to those who made such allegations. He questioned them straight away: “Where has this capitalism become successful?” He asked, could capitalism solve the problem of unemployment, poverty, hunger? Economic offences, scams, scandals, economic crises are the order of the day in any capitalist society. Karl Marx also has categorically stated that “philosophers all over the world have interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it”. Marx is poetic. He is straight and sharp in his writings. His pen is piercingly sharp to enemies.
Karl Marx had studied in depth the condition of the working class in the then prevailing situation in Britain especially in the background of the industrial revolution. He had started forming trade unions in London. Karl Marx had written the world famous classical work Das Capital and along with Frederick Engels had written the Communist Manifesto. These exemplary books have enticed millions of readers all over the world. In these volumes, they have disclosed theory of surplus value, and how capitalists appropriate wealth. They have also explained how capitalists dig their own graves. They have also elaborated the way developing means of production and production relations clash with each other changing the socio-economic formations and how finally springs up a new system of exploitation-less society.
Karl Marx had famously given the slogan to working-class calling them to unite for the struggle stating that “Workers of the world, you have nothing to lose but the chains”. He had given guidelines to working class to intensify the class struggles. Above all, he had invented the theory of exploitation. He had also asserted that people are the driving force of the society. In the historical materialism, he had concluded that “History of society is nothing but the history of class struggles alone”.
First time in the history, Bolsheviks overthrew the Tsarist regime in Russia with inspirations from the ‘Communist Manifesto’ and ‘Capital’. Communists of Russia had established a government which had provided food, shelter, clothes, and dignified jobs to all. It was a system where there was no exploitation of either man by man or nation by another nation. The same system has distributed lands to landless. Banks and industries were nationalised. Working class government had given top priority to space research. Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova were the first cosmonauts who could triumph in space travel. The Soviet Union had achieved many successes in heavy industry and medical sector. It had also rendered co-operation to many developing nations. Ruling Communist Party had encouraged younger generation in sports and games. Hence Soviet Union, China, and other European socialist countries could bag 80 percent of gold medals in Olympic Games.
In China, Mao Tse Tung had successfully organised Long March that paved way for building socialism in their own way with Chinese characteristics. At present China under communist rule has become second biggest economy after the USA. It may surpass even the USA within a short span of time. The Soviet Union was under communist rule for seven decades. Likewise, China continues under communist rule for seventy years. They have made several victories, but some anti-Communist intellectuals are making malicious propaganda against both Soviet Union and China. The same people are distorting Marxism.
With the inspiration of Marxism, Cuban revolution was successful under the leadership of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara who had overthrown the dictatorship of Batista. Cuba under socialist government has stood in the forefront in the medical field. It is Cuba which is sending medical teams to countries wherever natural calamity occurs. Vietnam is a fast developing nation in the world. It had defeated 14 nations and also the USA that had attacked it. Laos is developing socialism in its own way. Even in South America, many countries like Bolivia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua could withstand against the pressures of IMF and World Bank in general and the USA in particular. They have established their own bank. Communists of many republics of erstwhile the Soviet Union and East European countries are advancing forward. Capitalist countries which could not solve their own problems have no right to question socialist countries.
Karl Marx had rightly pointed out that Marxism is not a dogma but would continuously keep changing according to conditions prevailing upon in the given time and place. After 1978, Deng Xiao Ping after Mao had brought out several reforms by which 80 crore people of China were liberated from poverty.
Karl Marx had proved in his popular booklet the ‘Communist Manifesto’, that emergence of socialist system is inevitable. In his famous work ‘Das capital’ he has analysed and proved that class struggles would dismantle capitalist system and establish a new socialist system.
We are literally witnessing many facts in front of us. In those days the working class used to work 14 to 16 hours a day. On May Day working class shed their blood demanding eight-hour working day. Workers, in the eight hours of their work, get paid only for one or two hours to meet their basic essentials, the rest of the time is spent in working without payment for the profits of the owner of the company. The unpaid labour generates surplus value. In search of more profits, owners used to force the workers to slog for more hours. Later on, as they improved the technology of production process, the speed of the machines increased and production improved. Subsequently, they started modernising the machines further in order to get super profits.
As Karl Marx had envisaged, working class of France, Italy, England and USA are taking to the streets and organising strikes demanding the right of association, the right of collective bargaining, minimum wages, and implementation, etc. Karl Marx had worked tirelessly for writing three components of Marxism namely Marxist philosophy (Dialectical materialism and Historical materialism), Political economy and scientific socialism. He had spent sleepless nights in order to write Das Capital. The family of Marx lived under utter penury. They were not even in a position to pay the rent of the house. Jennie Marx, as she was feeding her baby, it was blood, not milk that poured from her due to lack of any, leave apart nutritious, and food. But Marx remained undeterred and never stopped writing. He invented secret of exploitation of man by man and rendered his services to entire mankind in general and to working class in particular. Developments all over the world have established that Marxism is victorious.
Karl Marx, while he was young, had written a poem in which he had emphasised that “a man should not live without aim and goal, that is living without life.” Let us move forward with optimism. Let us break the chains of slavery and unite workers of all countries. Let us together establish a society which will not have a place for wars and build up a society of peace and fraternity.
Marx made the deep study about the then colonial India. He wrote a number of articles to New York Daily Tribune in 1857-59, during the First Indian War of Independence. He exposed the colonial plunder of India by East India Company and named Robert Clive as a ‘Great Robber’. The principal power behind the insurrection in 1857 was the people of India, who rallied to the struggle against the unbearable colonial oppression. He wrote: The introduction of Railways, industrialisation of India by the British will shake the Indian society which is stagnant, while destroying the native irrigation system, handicrafts and native professions, is not going to help Indians but will be exploiting them even more.
“The Indians will not reap the fruits of new elements of society, scattered among them by the British bourgeoisie, till Great Britain itself, the now ruling classes, shall have been supplanted by the industrial proletariat or till the Hindus themselves shall have grown strong enough to throw off the English yoke together”, Marx predicted. This was an excellent review of the then prevailing situation and as he predicted that India would attain independence through its great national movement.
On the occasion of the 200th birth anniversary of Karl Marx, let us concentrate on ‘Marxism and its scientific application’ to the historical conditions of India. That will be the appropriate tribute to Marx the great teacher of scientific socialism.
S. Sudhakar Reddy
The writer is general secretary of Communist Party of India (CPI).
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