As the New Year dawns the battle for Iraq rages on. The resilience of the Iraqi resistance has baffled the occupying imperialists. The boom in the United States has added millions to the ocean of the unemployed and has exposed the real nature of the impending death agony of capitalism.
The year 2003 has witnessed unprecedented turmoil and turbulence, sharp turns and sudden changes have become the order of the day. Imperialist aggression and terrorism have exploded and scarred the face of the planet. Global vandalism by the multinational corporations has devastated local economies and the exploitation of labour has forced vast sections of the human race into an abyss of poverty and misery.
The wounds inflicted on countries from Palestine to Kashmir, from Columbia to Africa have worsened. The ruling classes have no solutions. The impotence and apathy of the United Nations stands miserably exposed. Other institutions of imperialist rule including NATO, the European Union and NAFTA have wavered. Yet in spite of the aggressive capitalist onslaught there have been startling exhibitions of human defiance. The year 2003 witnessed the largest ever human protest on one single day… the outright rejection of a war against Iraq. This mass movement swept across the world and demonstrated a refusal to bow before imperialist aggression and capitalist exploitation.
There have been mass upheavals around the world. Revolutions have rocked one country after another throughout Latin America. Even the collapse of Stalinism and the failures of social democracies in the recent past have not deterred mass class upheavals in many other regions around the world…A new quest for emancipation, and new vistas of class struggle have emerged. Today the vast majority of mankind rejects the present system. The masses will ultimately join the revolutionary party, with its strong Marxist leadership, and together they will transform society.
The South Asian subcontinent has been dominated by intense war hysteria throughout 2003, and the ruling elites are now promoting peace and friendship. Sections of Islamic fundamentalism have become Frankenstein monsters for the Americans and their stooge Musharaf. His narrow escape from two assassination attempts within eleven days undermines his rule. The tactic of communal killings and sectarian violence to whip up religious fanaticism and win elections in India may well backfire on the ruling Hindu fundamentalists. The SAARC [South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation] summit in Islamabad will not and cannot solve any of the fundamental issues faced by these impoverished societies. The seeds of hostility between the two nuclear neighbours were sown by the British imperialists and the policy of exacerbating religious hatred between India and Pakistan has been nurtured by the rulers of both sides to perpetuate their domestic rule. More than a billion human souls are forced to live in suffering and misery, tyranny and violence, disease, hunger, and unemployment. These desperate gestures of the ruling elite for war and peace subvert the struggle for emancipation by the masses into a passive acceptance of the existing agony of their conditions…as their destiny.
Such is the fragile nature of the relations between the two countries that a single explosive event can roll back the whole peace process with lightening speed. This can happen in spite of American pressure to develop an "investor friendly" climate in the subcontinent.
Pakistan is a failed state. The ferocious internecine conflicts within the state apparatus have reached explosive proportions. The assassination attempts on Musharaf are an expression of this process. India, a "democratic" dictatorship is tottering on the brink. Neither Pakistan nor India can afford to go to war nor can they sustain a durable peace. This demonstrates the historic bankruptcy and the failure of post-independence sub-continental capitalism. The masses of the subcontinent have marvellous revolutionary traditions. The mass upsurges of the early 1940s when they struggled jointly under imperialist British rule; the 1968-69 and 1973 movements in Pakistan and India when the workers struggled for the same cause but were betrayed by the leadership are moving examples. Today, advances in technology together with the trade and commercial demands of the ruling bourgeoisie have brought them together…they are rejecting the religious bigotry and communal hatreds that emerged from Partition in 1947. Their exploitation and the problems they face are the same. So is the solution. This nightmare of war and bloodshed is the result of the extreme crisis of Pakistani and Indian capitalism. Without its overthrow there can be no development, no prosperity…and no peace.
In this epoch of doom and gloom extraordinary events have taken place. Young revolutionaries have cut across the most gruesome oppression of capitalists and landlords. They have won elections and have brought the ideas of revolutionary socialism to the echelons of the National Assembly of Pakistan. From the parliamentarians to the new layers of trade union leadership, these fresh forces of revolutionary Marxism are making effective interventions. The message of socialist revolution is now reaching far wider layers of the workers throughout the subcontinent. The spectre of the resurgence of the revolutionary left haunts the ruling elites. A revolutionary upsurge should not surprise us.
More than ever before, a revolutionary movement in one country will evoke a mass upsurge in the other. The Socialist revolution in any one country will inevitably result in a Socialist Federation of the subcontinent. Such a transformation will have revolutionary repercussions far beyond the frontiers of this ancient civilisation.