Pakistan: Asian Marxist Review Editor’s Note Autumn 2010

The mightiest imperial power in history is in the throes of decay and degeneration. A crumbling economy, record deficits and wars they cannot win have shattered the confidence of the Unites States ruling class. Its strategists are lurching from one blunder to another. The highest ever unemployment, a jobless recovery, pessimistic economic forecasts and the ever rising debts have created uncertainty amongst the working masses and doom and gloom overshadows society.

This has ignited a ferocious argument amongst the representatives of the various sections of the American ruling classes. In Latin America from the defeat of the US sponsored oligarchy in Venezuela to the defeat of the right-wing coup against Rafael Correa in Ecuador, there has been one setback after another for the imperialists in their so-called own “back yard”.

In the Middle East the Israeli Palestinian “peace talks”, have not only stalled once again but the prospects of peace and the utopia of a “two state solution” are more remote and pessimistic now than ever. The most false deception of Obama’s Cairo speech has been exposed by the intensification of the sufferings of the Palestinian masses, the ever increasing repression of the Zionist state and the meekness of the Obama administration towards the Israeli rulers.

The hypocritical haranguing between the Iranian mullahs and the US authorities goes on unabated. The UN sanctions have little if any real effect on the Iranian regime. The Iranian oppressed masses will be facing further sufferings. The mullahs will further use these acts as a fuel for their anti-American rhetoric that they use to perpetuate despotism and brutalities they are inflicting upon the workers, women and youth in Iran.

As the masses in the Middle East continue to be the victims of capitalist exploitation and imperialist subjugation, from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, the Saudi monarchy and other reactionary Gulf Sheikhdoms have struck an armaments deal of more than one trillion dollars with Lockheed Martin, United Technologies, Boeing and some other companies of the US military industrial complex. But with the worsening socio-economic conditions, the instability in this crucial region of the world continues to aggravate; the threat to the existence of the pro-imperialist regimes keeps on mounting.

As the aggression of the NATO forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan is prolonged, they are further sucked into this bloody predicament. The drainage of American blood and money is exacerbated with every passing day. Not only defeat stares the imperialist generals in the face, but this war of attrition has opened up the intrinsic fissures between the State Department, the Pentagon and the White House. The generals have made a travesty of the Obama administration but have reduced the president to a position of a lame duck.

As the causalities of the NATO troops mount the whole crisis-ridden region further descends into even greater instability and chaos. The covert antagonisms between sections of the Pakistan Army and the Pentagon/CIA have come to the fore. The helicopter attacks on the Pakistani security forces posts in the Kurram Agency and the killing of its personnel has led to the army blocking all supplies to the NATO forces through Pakistan. Such acts can ignite the already simmering hostilities into a ferocious clash between the so-called “allies”.

While the corrupt toady regime of Zardari continues to be acquiescent to imperialism and serves their interests slavishly the Army reveals it doesn’t give a damn for this regime and totally controls the national security and foreign policy of Pakistan. The floods have devastated the already crumbling economy and ravaged an impoverished society in Pakistan. This has made the situation far worse and the crisis of the state has reached an explosive juncture. The Pakistan Army, heavily involved in corruption, with lots of “black money” coming in, and financial misappropriations, and with a twenty-seven billion dollar stake in the country’s economy has seen its discipline and cohesion eroded.

Hence it is too weak to intervene and exercise power directly for the fifth time in Pakistan’s dilapidated history, but it is consolidating its power and grip on things from the wings. The vices of corruption, ineptitude and disarray of the incumbent “democratic” setup is propping it up.

The right-wing politicians and the media are conniving in this. They are in fact egging it on. Although the Islamic parties, the right wing and forces of reaction are weak, the hatred against imperialism is widespread in the country. The allegiance and subservience of the present regime to the US is further eroding its base.

The masses are in anguish and a state of shock. But this can all change abruptly. With the right wing, the fundamentalists, nationalists and the capitalists and landlords imposed upon the PPP being discredited and in severe disrepute in society, a mass upheaval could unleash a revolutionary situation.

At this juncture a socialist transformation could become a reality. The Marxists in Pakistan, although numerically not very large, are organised throughout the country. This one factor can play a decisive role in the victory of revolutionary socialism. The other alternative is anarchy, bloodshed and the whole region being plunged into the abyss of barbarism.

The imperialist aggression and the harrowing crisis of capitalism on a world scale, with destructive ramifications in South Asia has brought only misery, poverty , disease, terrorism, obscurantism, death and destruction to the teeming millions in this region. This region hosts a quarter of the world’s population while almost half of the world’s poverty stalks this land. And, not only is there no way out under capitalism, but within the confines of this system and imperialist strangulation it is rapidly getting worse.

Nothing less than a socialist revolution can solve any one of the problems that are devastating human civilisation and provide a ray of hope for the generations to come. A socialist victory in any of the main countries, where the masses are simmering with revolt, would spread like wildfire. It would not only overthrow the yoke of this rotting capitalist/feudal system but would also break the shackles of imperialist plunder and aggression. It would end the exploitation of man by man and ensure prosperity, an end to deprivation, and a salvation where the real history of humankind would commence.