Times are calling for the transition from capitalism to socialism
“Let the ruling classes tremble at a communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of all countries, Unite!” These legendary words of the Communist Manifesto reverberated throughout the world on 5th May, the birth anniversary of Karl Marx. They are touching a chord among the millions of proletarians whose anger against the ruling bourgeoisie is reaching a peak at this time.
Workers have been devastated by the lockdown imposed by the majority of capitalist governments in the face of the Corona virus pandemic. However, there is no lockdown on racist and communal propaganda and attacks on democratic rights. There is no lockdown on inter-imperialist rivalry, militarization and war. The USA is even accusing China of having engineered the worldwide spread of this virus.
Capitalism stands nakedly exposed as an inhuman system, geared to keep enriching a super-rich minority at the cost of millions of human lives. The vast majority of capitalist governments stand exposed as being incapable of protecting the health and well-being of all members of society in the face of a pandemic like the novel Corona virus.
All the facts and phenomena in front of our eyes point to the validity of the scientific conclusion of Marx that the capitalist class is unfit to rule society any longer. The further advance of society requires the proletariat to become the ruling class and carry out the transition from capitalism to socialism.
The bourgeoisie constantly spreads the lie that the theoretical conclusions and teachings of Marx are out-dated and no longer valid. Their aim is to prolong the life of the man-eating and crisis-ridden capitalist system. They want to prevent the proletariat from being armed with the revolutionary theory to guide it in the struggle to overthrow capitalism and build a new socialist society.
In India, crores of proletarians in industry and commerce, who have lost their jobs and all their meagre savings during the past 45 days of lockdown, are asserting their right to return to their villages. Central and state governments are acting in the interest of the capitalists who do not want workers to leave the cities. Capitalists want to enjoy the convenience of having a huge reserve army of the unemployed, ready to be hired whenever the lockdown gets lifted. Workers are defying the authorities. They have waged pitched battles with the police.
The desire of the capitalist class to make use of the present extraordinary situation to further intensify the exploitation of labour is seen in the actions of several state governments to extend the legally permitted working day in factories from 8 to 12 hours. It can be seen in the decision of the Uttar Pradesh Government to suspend all labour laws for the next three years.
The corona virus induced lockdown has awakened crores of workers in our country to the inhuman character of the capitalist system. It has made workers aware of the strength of their numbers, and the vital role they play in society.
On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Marx, the Communist Ghadar Party of India renews its pledge to lead the Indian proletariat to rally all the oppressed and lead the struggle to overthrow the rule of the capitalist class, establish workers’ and peasants’ rule and lay a new foundation for a modern democratic and socialist India.
Key Theoretical Conclusions of Karl Marx
Marx discovered the general law of development of human society (theory of class struggle) and the specific law of motion of capitalist society (theory of surplus value). He showed that the exploitation of wage-labour is the source of capitalist profit. He analysed the historical evolution of human society, from its primitive stage to successively higher stages through class struggle. He showed that when the existing relations of production become a roadblock to the further development of the productive forces, a revolution becomes necessary for the further advance of society.
Marx concluded that capitalist society is the last form of class-divided society. He posited that capitalism will give way to the next higher stage, a society without class distinctions – a modern communist society, whose initial stage is socialism.
Marx identified the fundamental contradiction of capitalism as that between the social character of production and the private ownership of the means of production. The overriding motive of maximising capitalist profit through the exploitation of labour is a fetter to the uninterrupted development of the productive forces, and this leads to repeated crises of over-production. Production declines and productive forces get destroyed during such crises, due to the lack of purchasing power in the hands of working people to buy what the capitalists want to sell.
Marx showed the way that the fundamental contradiction of capitalism can and must be resolved. The means of production must be converted from private to social property, which will make it possible for production to be geared towards fulfilling social needs instead of being geared to fulfil capitalist greed. Marx identified the proletariat as that revolutionary class which alone has the capacity and the interest to lead the transformation of society from capitalism to socialism.
While acknowledging that class struggle had been recognised by thinkers before him to be the motive force of social development, Marx made his unique contribution with the conclusion that the class struggle in modern society will inevitably lead to the overthrow of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, as the prelude to the abolition of all class distinctions in society.