They say that ideological struggle is over; class conflict is a thing of past, politics of the right and left is over; there is no difference between the rich and the poor; national, religious and sexual exploitation has gone away. All this is over or it will be over with the departure of Musharraf and restoration of the Chief Justice, because there is a coalition government of right, left, Pushtoon and Punjabi parties. The long awaited dream of "civil society" has come true in the form of the coalition government of Nawaz's League and the People's Party. All political forces have come together in the name of "National reconciliation".
They say the dictatorship is going away. There is a new dawn of democracy. Prosperity, peace and development are taking a new start. This is what we are told by the newspapers, editorials, political discussions on TV and intellectuals that have been imposed on society. Restoration of the student and trade unions has been announced. There is new era of democracy, rule of law and the constitution. Sometimes it seems like the prevailing politics, journalism and culture in this country are not of this society, rather it paints the picture from some other planet.
But the cries of poverty are equally intense as the preposterousness with which the wealth is being displayed by the ruling class. The working class is being deprived of its buying power due to intense price hikes, whereas the ladies and gentlemen of the ruling class are on a shopping frenzy. The mud houses of the poor are collapsing under the skyscrapers that are being built. The poor are being pushed into the darkness much more while the rich brighten their palaces with the help of heavy generators. The working masses are losing health treatment facilities, while health spars are being built for the ruling class. The children of the poor are losing schools and education whereas prestigious educational institutions are being built for the offspring of the rulers. This society is being deprived of clean water and other basic necessities at the same rate as the imperialist monopolies are making bottles of mineral water. The new government is making "reforms" in these circumstances. They are trying to reform a system which can only survive with an ever increasing lust for human sacrifice, just like the goddess of death.
The restoration of the student and trade unions may be a positive step, but we must also remember that historically and socially these institutions are a creation and a part of a bourgeois society. Is this all not due to the fact that ruling class fears an explosion and a revolutionary uprising of the unorganized working class? It may be that the imperialist masters have allowed the local rulers to do this [lift the ban] in order to hold the working class through such structures within this system so that symptoms of rebellion in the veins of the working class can be detected and then these can be channelled using different tactics.
As long as the classes exist the class struggle will go on, and the class struggle is actually the politics of the right and the left. The fear of revenge - the revenge of the working class for the rape which it had been subjected to in the past years - has forced the ruling class to form a coalition government. But these conflicts will tear apart this artificial and superficial alliance. If the restoration of the student and trade unions does not put an end to the poverty, price hikes, exploitation, terrorism and bloodshed then the working class and the students will go beyond these structures. The situation cannot be tolerated any longer. By staying within this system there is no other option but to keep on suffering. The ruling class will keep on playing this game of oppression and reforms.
We support democracy instead of dictatorship, and restoration of unions instead of a ban on them. But instead of being lost in these structures and stopping at these stages, these burning problems can only be solved by a struggle and taking the class war further. Marxists welcome all the reforms and relaxations of restrictions given to the working class but we absolutely reject the psychology and politics of "reforms" and struggle against it without any possibility of reconciliation, for the purpose of this is to prolong capitalism which does not have any ability to solve any problem, and poverty and exploitation are ever increasing.
The real problem is that this system has become historically obsolete. Either it can be uprooted by a revolution and a socialist system being established or we can accept the defeat and fall into the abyss of barbarism and die. The human race will not die, it will live. Now the only option left for its survival is a Socialist victory through a class war.
- Power Crisis in Pakistan: workers’ anger shakes Multan by Harris Azhar, Aslam Ansari, PTUDC Multan (April 16, 2008)
- Second day of the 2008 congress of The Struggle (Pakistan) by our correspondent in Lahore (April 2, 2008)
- 27th Congress of The Struggle meets at crucial turning point in Pakistan’s history by our correspondent in Lahore (April 1, 2008)
- Pakistan: Coalition - no solution! by Lal Khan (February 20, 2008)
- Pakistan elections: The Mother of all Frauds by Alan Woods (February 19, 2008)