Marxism believes that human societies are developing through stages and new stage will always start inside the existing stage and they will be in conflict which ends in the ultimate victory of the new stage. Marxism also believes that this is not a ‘natural’ process like water turning into steam when temperature rises or when it drops turning into solid ice. But for the change in the society it needs proletarian leadership protecting its interest along with unity among struggling classes. It theorises that every stage of the society will have a ‘motivating force’ and under the leadership of this motivating force revolutions always will happen in the society.
Marxism adds that revolution is an explosion with a quantum leap in quality and every stage will have its own mode of production, means of production and forces of productions and those who lead the revolution will have an ideology justifying the actions and its own existence. It also put forward that an ideology even though the conditions in which it originated has changed or destroyed will remain and continue as values respected in the human society. It gives stress that these values will act regressively against all progressive movements; hence it is a necessary condition to fight these regressive ideologies along with class solidification.
The classification of human history into primitive communism, slavery, feudalism, capitalism and communism with its interim stage of socialism if understood as a measuring rod to conceive human history would have been all right; instead of seeing it as a concept to understand they are seen as the realities of the world. We have already seen that the concepts like god, soul, mind, mind-stuff and ego are more ancient measuring rods. Just like that, to understand social realities, Karl Marx has developed concepts as vague as god or mind. Equitable to the religious concepts like sin, satan, evil forces, black forces, angels we would find similar Marxists terms now derogatory to those who is being addressed like bourgeoisie, petty-bourgeoisie, renegades, revisionists, left deviants etc.
The stage of primitive communism what Marx envisaged will comprise at least 200,000 years; because that is when we as a distinct species started separating from the other homospecies. Then the last ten thousand years after the invention of agriculture is the time frame which has been divided into different stages by Karl Marx. Moreover he made this division taking into consideration only European countries. So only after his theoretical frame work of human development has been completedthat he came to know in detail about the mode of production and forces of production of Asia. Hence he had to make an extension in his theoretical framework as Asiatic mode of production. ‘Attachment at best is a deformity’-we could only smile thinking about itJ.
If we are looking at humans as one species we would find from those sections of people who has not yet reached ‘primitive communism’ to all the developmental stages as conceived by Marx inside one country itselfat the same time. If we use evolutionary perspective to understand life and human societies, we could see that Marxist concepts are very clear only that we wouldn’t find any country to apply thatJ.
What is missing in Marxism is history and science, even though it boasts of its pedigree as ‘scientific socialism’.What really in it is excessive wishful thinking; perhaps that is the main reason we all fell in love with it. We can never differentiate the human society into primitive communism, slavery or feudalism with any scientific tools. We could only see the aborigines and tribes as people who got isolated from the rest of the human society and in the absence of technological transfer they remain what they are till today.
In the night, if we look into the vastness of the space we would see the faint glimmering of the vast clouds of dust which is the cradle where some stars are forming, somestars are in the adolescent stage, some mature, some on the verge of death, some are dead, some have turned into black holes and comprising all of them we would see galaxies. We see all of them at the same time. How we could see stars developing in different stages at the same time in a galaxy, likewise we must see the human species as a galaxy where according to the climate and geography many human societies existin different stages of development. To make sense out of this ‘chaotic’ existence we have developed categories and concepts to compartmentalise and divide to understand them. But somehow we have fallen prey as time went by thinking that these concepts we developed are the ‘realities of life’. Now we believe our concepts and categories are ‘more real’ than existence hence all controversies of what is real. Any concept will serve some purpose of comprehension about this chaos but as we developed may more subtle and comprehensive concepts we should understand ‘old concepts as old and of limited use’. Likewise you should consider Marxism as useful like a bullockcart, just like new better mechanical devices came and replaced the old mode of transportation we should leave Marxist concepts where it really belongs, the past.
We all dream of ‘the withering away of state’ under communist society,but know it as a dream only. We ought to understand that the system of governing is something we, a hierarchical species after a long social and cultural experiment arrived at to ensure the ‘possible’ justice among us. If this state withers away, the result will be only the present day Sub-Saharan Africa, the cradle of humankind. No one would have believed except in myths and old Sinbad stories that pirates existed. But it is a present day reality in Somalia where there is no powerful central government now exists. Somalia is the killing field of so many war lords representing unknown unheard tribes. This we need to understand that a government needs to be strong even with all its inadequacies and acts of injustice. We need to make it more transparent less corrupt and less bureaucratic using all modern technologies at our disposal. It is a continuous process. A strong government with transparency of the maximum possible ‘decentralisation’ is the real need but don’t dream that one day the state will wither away and one person will become music to the other’s ears, this will never happen as long as we remain as a hierarchical species.
Marx had the need for his theoretical formulation that class conflict originated and peaked by the invention of private property in the human society. Hence he called all the long history before ‘slavery’ as ‘primitive communism. He imagined that a tribe without any private property lived in mutual co-operation by sharing everything they gathered in an equitable way. But we have already seen that the reality is far away from this.
Being a hierarchical species, humans as a tribe will also behave and act hierarchically. There is a hierarchy of the chief, the old and the strong. It is according to the likes and dislikes from the chieftain to the strong is how the whole society existed.All fertile women will be accessible to the chieftain. Whatever gathered or collected will be shared according to this likes and dislikes of the hierarchical society. In the same way all towns and countrieswere formed later in this hierarchical system comprising all these tribes.
Even before countries or cities were formed the tribes always fought among each other for the right of access to places where food and other amenities are easily available. The first cities were all formed by absolute force bringing other tribes as slaves, then later for the integration and avoidance of conflict ideologies in the form of religion and rituals were used. Calling a system that brought together other tribes by force and making them work for youas ‘slavery’is all right. But the production of surplus out of this forced labour which led to the formation and growth of private property as a source of all future conflicts in the society became the most stumbling block to understand the workings and functioning of later human history.
Actually this private property only helped to strengthen and made more active what we called ‘territorial sense’ in one of the previous chapters. When Marx poses human beings as totally different from the rest of the species and as a special living being, he did the same conceptualisation like the spiritualists and philosophers. Marx with lot of effort ‘proves’ that human beings are a ‘separated’ species from the rest of the group animals. This assertion made invisible the real roots of human existence. Both Marx and the spiritual leaders proclaimed that we are not ‘animals’.
See what happened in the countries where the building of socialist states has been initiated; communist parties confronted bewildered, confused yet obstinate groups of people. On the other side stood bewildered communists seeing the Russian proletariat, the Chinese proletariat, the American proletariat and the Indian proletariat in the place of the universal proletariat. Like the Christians and Mohammedans trying to exorcise and purify the sinners, atheists and people influenced by satan, in the same way at the time of Stalin in Russia and Mao Zedong in China purified individuals, groups and tribes by putting them in corrective homes, exiling to remote places or gulags or even killing them off. Just like the followers of Christianity in the name of Christ who is loving ‘unconditionally’ his neighbour fighting all the crusades and running institutional inquisitions to correct the believers orlike the followers of the living apostle of brotherhood Mohammad fighting Jihad to save the infidels, the communists who ‘understood’ the territorial consciousness as the influence of the feudal capitalist values of private property fought it to wipe the clean slate.
We don’t lose any of the identities that were formed before; all they do is lay dormant. In the absence of this understanding of human behaviour, whoever tried to make heaven on earth or communes or Shangri-La’s in the name of equality, justice and goodness killed and committed untold atrocities against humanity. For the same reason in front of the communists who were engaged in the making of justice filled, equality filled, love filled, beautiful world the protests, discordance and resistance of ordinary people were seen as feudal, petty bourgeois, bourgeois, retrograde and divisive activities which have to be dealt with firm and in a decisive manner. Because the communists believed that human societies are formed in stages they couldn’t realise that human societies existed in a complex intertwined way from a tribal state to a modern city; the needs and aspirations of sections of society will be varied and different. But this theoretical blind spot made them visualise tomodernise the entire society in preconceived state programs.
The communists believe that the slow integration happening through thousands of years of different communities in all traditional city states could be achieved in a faster pace through the implementation of some specially designed programmes. If you tell any community who is acquiring wealth or just entering the system of agriculture that it is wrong to acquire private property or you should work in a public system in which private property can’t be acquired, it will be difficult for them to understand or co-operate with it. The varied societies those belonging to different stages of development inside the former Soviet Union faced this problem after the ‘socialist revolution’. This proposition to keep away from private wealth is seen and felt as a denial of rights and due share. So they opposed the supposed ‘socialist’ processes. This was again very visible in the social sphere where every ‘equal’ citizen has to compete for spaces provided for the socialist process. The ‘backward’ classes couldn’t compete with competence with the already developed sections of the society. This again was problematic for the building of a socialist society. This is why in the equal citizen charter formulated in the socialist countries that they have to introduce the concept of ‘reservation’ to make people equal.
But all types of reservation will be seen by the already developed sections of the society as an impediment for true socialist implementation.The not so developed or under developed sections will see the same reservation as the truly justifiable part to realise a socialist society. So people who were different in culture, languageand development phaseliving in such varied climatic and geographic conditions were all forced to compete from the ‘day after’ the socialist revolution as equal socialist citizens to get their due rightful positions inside ‘socialist societies’ of all those countries who jumped into the socialist wagon. That is when the protests and differences of opinion and resistance put up by some sections of the societyforced all the socialist governmentsto introduce strict laws against their own principled stand to build Gulags, concentration camps and prisons to curb this ‘retrograde tendencies’.
Actually private property stands as the current expression of territorial consciousness of humans as living beings. The origin and process of private property appearing in human society, described by Marx in detail; even though he is right, as a species the ‘affection’ felt towards private property by human beings stems from this territorial sense. To protect what we consider ‘mine or ours’ with intense affection is the nature of any living being; we have already seen that It is nothing special about human beings.But without understanding this and pursuing the affection towards private property is phenomena originated only from the ‘private property’ formed after ‘slavery’ in human society; he envisaged that all those problems arose out of private property could be abolished if this private property declared as public property.
This presumption gave the impetus to proclaim all the private property as national or social property under the envisaged socialist system. Assuming that the ‘tendency’ to make something ‘one’s own’ is the product or result of the recent phenomena of private property and as Marx believed that in primitive communism there existed an affection for public property hence the declaration of nationalising all property into public property. But what really happened is that when everything declared as public property human beings fell into a new problem of nothing to make ‘one’s own’. This resulted contrary to hir innate and in born nature of territorial sense as a living being. The result is the birth of ‘property’towards which nobody has any affection or responsibility for the first time in the history of human civilization. In the erstwhile socialist countries, this resulted in the birth of a new problem that all the properties nationalised or declared as socialist property or even in the ‘ownership’ of the government whether it is a factory, public institution or an agricultural farm, whatever may be, nobody has any affection for it, nobody will feel any ‘responsibility’ towards it.
For example, take any public institution like factories or public sector units (psu) like airlines, hotels and railways. The employees working in it or the administrators or the consumers like passengers don’t haveany ‘love’ for those institutions; if you ask anyone they will all say it is ‘public property’ meaning it is ours. During a strike or a riot a mob comes and start destroying, for example a railway station, no employees no passengers will ever oppose them thinking it as ‘our property’ that is being destroyed. Everybody stand as ‘spectators’. If it is ours why no one resists such an onslaught? During the time of flood, war or riot people used to take ‘their’ movables and start running away. We never see such detachment that is being expressed in the case of public property..!!
Under the system of socialism, we created human beings who could not acquire or express their attachment to a place or feel territorial which drained them of all energy to do anything. To counter this existential inactivity the system of ‘quota’ was instituted. Quota system means you have to do or create a minimum of anything; this is absolutely a replica of princely states. Whether there is flood, whether there is drought or whether there is blaze the quota for the king (state) should be paid. As a last resort to counter this inertia, inactivity or detachment workers were wooed to have ‘collection incentive’ in most service sectors.
Because of the topsy-turvy understanding by Marxism, even if a factory makes continuous loss it can’t be closed down. A factory is open to produce something. But for the Marxists it is a place for the employees to earn their livelihood so a state made by the Marxists can never close a factory even if it is not viable. So it has to continuously subsidise at the expense of other sources. In the end all the treasuries ran into debt. Now the schools are not where children study but it is a place for the teachers to work, the hospitals are not for the patients but an earning source of doctors. The concept of protected employees did accept every economic loss. Today Marxism is an ideology which incessantly produces ‘white elephant’ institutions in the name of protecting employees. Any factory running at a loss should be closed down, the workers unions should be bargaining for the best compensations. Instead they should not push for running the loss making factories at the expense of public money. Any factory when instituted will draw people from all over the place, upsetting social and family relationships, but nobody complaints about that. To avoid such complaints the system of compensation should be established when the factory starts or closing down.
Now, the general public has raised a ‘natural criticism’ against these socialist countries than any criticism raised in the above paragraphs. Meaning, they never saw these countries as natural destinations to make a living anytime in the history. Nobody ran from anywhere to former Soviet Union. If as the propaganda went any socialist country was rich and peaceful, people would have been catching illegal trains, ships or trucks to reach there, but it never happened. All the suffering, ailing sections living in America never thought of running to the socialist country of Cuba, but all those inside this equality filled, socialist countries in the first chance itself will runaway to the ‘uncivilized’ inequality filled capitalist countries. Poor communists can only prevent this ‘betrayal’ by raising Berlin walls or shoot at site; what else they can do to correct this ‘idiot’ peopleJ.
Even if socialism did not work, Marxist theory of ‘surplus value’ is seen as a great contribution to knowledge. But a thousand years back, any ‘capitalists’ gathering ‘workers’ and make them work will never be able to generate the amount of wealth produced now. The ‘capitalist’ called Pharaoh of Egypt bringing together thousands of workers and force them to work could only produce the useless pyramids. Such useless products only can be produced by the combined work of the capitalists and the proletariats fighting against the mercurial earth. This is where we could understand the importance of the role played by the scientific knowledge, tools and technology. The gradual development of these factors is the main cause of all these increase of production of wealth we see around. So surplus value is not the sole product of worker’s labour instead, wealth is a product of the co-ordinated work of management, labour, technology, tool and capital. The Marxist boastful position that the surplus value is the sole product of worker’s labour, to say the least sheer idiocy. Every year the development of new technology and new machinery is bringing down the part played by workers in the production sector. If someone care to make a glance into the development of science and technology can easily predict that human labour will totally be replaced by machines in the coming decades. Then this catalyst force of change, the proletariat, as Marx envisaged in the Communist Manifesto is going to be a class on the way to extinction. For that reason itself Marxists now opposes all development in the mechanisation of production.Again to keep relations of production intact to make the theory ‘right and running’ they need to perpetuate the age in which Karl Marx has developed his theoryJ.
Just like any religion opposing scientific development, the new ‘Marxist materialist religion’ opposes the development of science. Marxists were able to spread their ideology even in the minds of those who oppose them that if we see wealth it is now looked upon as the result of exploitation. Hence anyone who acquired wealth or produced wealth was pinned down as ‘exploiters’ and look down upon with moral indignation. Now creating wealth is a clandestine enterprise, what a tragedy! If wealth is created, the cause is worker’s labour but if a factory incurred debt it is the cause of capitalist’s ‘inability’ or mismanagement. You could just look around and see all the public enterprises running out of debt because of the mismanagement and inefficiency. The Marxists have no qualms to talk about surplus value when labourers sitting inside public service sectors without doing any work and only earning salaries while the institution is going to dogs.
A capitalist and his hundred labourers labouring on the Himalayan terrain intensely for fifty years can never be able to sprout even one coconut. Why the ‘great’ labour did not realize in this case? Why the capitalists couldn’t ‘exploit’ the labour of those workers and become rich? This is where we understand the importance of the genetic speciality of the coconut tree as a living species and the climate of the Himalayan range and the part played by bees and other insects in the production of coconut as a product. It just is not a contract between the capitalists and the labourers in the realization of coconut as a product. Marxism is a pot full of misunderstanding about life’s complex existence. There is not even one such a reductionist and human centric theory of life than Marxism in human history. This outpouring of misunderstanding has created enough violence around and still is producing more violence. How much hate it has sowed among different sections of society without any respite proclaiming themselves as the harbingers of progress..!!Just like the apostles of love fighting crusades and sirens of brotherhood fighting Jihad, the Marxist religion singing songs of equality, annihilate all the class enemies.
Marxists always talks about how religions were against the development of science, especially in the Middle Ages, by quoting the story of Galileo. The story of Galileo and Bruno must have been played repeatedly thousands of times all over the world by the ‘left’ artists and politicians but they always keep silence about the plight of hundreds of scientists who either ran away or put in prison or exiled to reformative Gulags at the time of Stalin’s rule. All the scientists were forced to bent ‘laws and rules’ they found in nature according to the needs of ‘dialectical materialism’. It is not only scientists but poets, artists, writers, freedom lovers all were behind the bars in the ‘freest space’ ever invented by human beings. Like any other religion Marxism also behaves totally in an authoritarian way.
The Cultural Revolution initiated by Mao in the name of ‘development of democracy’ and ‘expurgation of corrupt bureaucracy’ has done untold damage to the Chinese society. Except Mao, all those who were involved in the movement called Cultural Revolution were punished severely for exercising ‘excessive authority’ in later times. Mao even after death was really eligible to be punished for these excesses. It was not done only because it would create new fissures inside the communist party but for this cover up the communist party will be forced to pay heavy prices in the future, a precursor of this can be seen from the plight of Colonel Gaddafi in Libya. If you look in the Libyan society we could see that Gaddafi has provided enough for every citizen who were born and brought up in Libya andcomparing to the other countries living standards was very high. But Gaddafi has to pay heavily for his authoritarian governance. Whatever advancement Chinese government provides for the growth of its own nation still the style of authoritarian governance will hang as a Damocles sword over its future.
Cuba and China are the two countries that exist as the remnants of all the communist experiments to realise the dreams woven about a ‘better future’. We could hope that after Castro’s death the ‘miserable episode’ of Cuban suffering will come to an end. All socialist experiments all over the world after the initial exuberant imbibed by the hoping public resulted in misery, suffering and restrictions. In the initial stages the failures were always placed on the shoulders of ‘capitalism and imperialism’ and this always won as a strategy. But the revelations done first by Khrushchev and later by Gorbachev exposed the innermost stories, the intrigues, the manipulations, the propaganda and the falsehood perpetuated by the communist system in the name of democracy, development and equality. Barring few blind followers, the public at large were able to open their eyes to the reality presented. Except those who live on the expense of Marxist party and a few ‘pentecostal’ followers all others were able to see the emptiness in the Marxist vision of future. Just like the priests or clergymen or imams of temples, churches and mosques,those who depend for a livingon Marxism and Marxist party still continue in this long lost case or cause.
We ought to know that what is known as ‘dialectical materialism’ and ‘historical materialism’ are ‘thinking’ tools which are only belief structures of Marxism. This ‘celebrated’ dialectics which is threshed out from the upside down Hegelian system without any damage by Karl Marxis just another measuringrod like mile or metre created by human beings. It is the product born out of Newtonian physics where matter is bound by time and space. Just like the eternal truth or ‘Brahman’ of Vedantins, Marxists talk of dialectics as something ‘fundamental’ to nature. Poor Engels trying to explain the dialectics of nature will generate a smile on our face. It goes to extremes when Mao tries to find the dialectics between the earth and the moon. What could one say about all this? Even ignorance should have some limits..!!