To uphold Marxism means to enable the working class to take society to its next higher stage through revolution
Karl Marx, the man who first gave socialism and the working class movement a scientific foundation, was born on 5th May, 1818. He and his comrade-in-arms, Frederick Engels, published in 1848 the Manifesto of the Communist Party, which has remained the most influential political document in the world since that time until today.
Marx discovered the general law of development of human society. He discovered that society has developed from lower to higher stages through the resolution of the contradiction between class interests, based on the relations of ownership of the means of production.
Marx not only discovered the general law of development of society, he also discovered the specific law of motion of capitalist society, proceeding from his theory of surplus value. His theory established that the exploitation of wage labour is the source of capitalist profit.
While acknowledging that class struggle had been recognised by thinkers before him, Marx made his unique contribution that the class struggle inevitably leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat. He showed that capitalist society is the last form of class society, which will give way to the next higher stage, which is a society without class distinctions – a modern communist society.
Marx identified the modern working class as that revolutionary force which is interested in, and capable of, leading the transformation of society from capitalism to communism, whose initial stage is socialism. He pointed out that of all the classes and strata oppressed by capital, the working class is the only class that grows and becomes stronger with the growth and concentration of capital. The peasants and other small producers disintegrate over time, a few becoming capitalists and the majority losing their property and becoming wage workers. He observed that by bringing workers together in large-scale socialised production, the capitalist class creates its own grave-diggers, the modern working class.
The Communist Manifesto called on the working class to establish its own state power in place of the capitalist state and use its political supremacy to convert the means of production from private property to social and collective property. This will lay the foundation for a society free from all forms of exploitation of one person by another, free from periodic crises, inflation, unemployment and other ills of capitalism. The task of the Communist Party is to act as the vanguard of the working class, ensuring it remains conscious of its aim and program and steadfastly carries it out.
Ever since its birth, Marxism has been confronted by the ideological struggle waged by the capitalist class to prevent it from capturing the hearts and minds of the working class and enlightened members of society. The ruling capitalist class in various countries has supported and promoted different shades of parties that swear by Marxism but distort it to make it harmless to the status quo.
After Marx and Engels, it was Lenin who fought tenaciously in his time against Bernstein, Kautsky and others who were revising and distorting Marxism to make it harmless to the capitalist class. He applied Marxism to the conditions that prevailed in the early 20th century, when capitalism had developed to its final stage of imperialism. He headed the Bolshevik Party which led the Great October Socialist Revolution, creating the first successful example of the dictatorship of the proletariat. After the death of Stalin, it was violation of the principles of Marxism-Leninism by Khrushchev and his followers that was responsible for the degeneration and ultimate disintegration of the Soviet Union.
In our country at the present time, the party that is promoted as “the Marxist Party” has turned Marxism into such a grotesque caricature that masses of working people are rebelling against its rule in West Bengal. Far from arming the working class to become the ruling class, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has committed itself to managing the rule of the capitalist class. It has merged with the existing capitalist state and its multi-party representative democracy. It has unleashed police repression and brutal violence against peasants and others so as to seize their land and hand it over to capitalist monopolies.
Those parties that follow Mao Zedong’s idea of “encircling the cities from the countryside” are also in violation of Marxism. They violate the fundamental conclusion of Marx that of all the classes that face the capitalist class, the working class is the only consistently revolutionary class. The most advanced section of the working class lives and works in cities and towns. Revolution cannot succeed in burying capitalism unless the working class plays the leading role.
Applying Marxism to the conditions in our country today leads to the conclusion that communists must focus their attention on arming the working class, especially its most advanced section employed in large-scale industry and services, with the theory and tactics of revolution. The revolution in our country has to overthrow capitalism, the remnants of feudalism, imperialist plunder and the entire colonial legacy; and open the path to socialism.
The Communist Ghadar Party of India believes that to uphold the name and work of Karl Marx today means to prepare the working class to become the ruling class, by championing the cause of reconstituting democracy and the state so as to empower the people, and of reorganising social production to ensure prosperity for all. To uphold Marxism means to expose and defeat those who have turned Marxism into a form of capitalist rule under a ‘communist’ cloak.