Before resuming continuation of section 2 of Part 1, I have to deal with the latest news about Rahul Gandhi.It transpires that the charge of defamation apparently pertains to his remarks on how all thieves uncannily have the title ‘Modi’. Much depends on whether he made the remark at a press conference or on some public platform or in private among friends.The last is private space and should be beyond the reach of law.
Supposing it was a public space and the remark was on record,then the charge of defamation can be brought by the person affected.If the affected person chooses to ignore it why should other people worry about it? During the Bofors scandal not to speak of the streets,even during newshours of AIR one got used to hearing repeated faint shouts of “Goli goli men shore hai// Rajiv Gandhi chor hai”.Rajiv Gandhi wisely kept silent about it,though he should have got it probed how such unauthorized noise had sneaked into AIR’s programmes.
Supposing the law in its inscrutable way does allow such indiscriminate extension of its reach,the sentence surely is crazy.How can such a remark merit the punishment of two years in prison? A word in apology should be enough balm for a hurt ego.True it is the Prime Minister.But in Britain in late sixties of the last century I had found Prime Minister Harold Wilson,surely one of the ablest and cleanest British premiers, repeatedly called cheat,con-man, scoundrel in popular Tory tabloids.These never set the Thames on fire.Even if we renounce colonial culture of imitation,there is no reason for us on earth to be so nervous and skittish.
Now back to business.We were talking last about the end-game for capitalism and are now resuming the discussion. Whether because of over-production or underconsumption, or both,capitalism is a crisis-prone system.And thanks to greater integration across sectors and nations primarily through investment and finance,serious infection in one quickly gets transmitted to other sectors or nations to bring the whole system to a standstill.
Time was when capitalists thought colonialism was insurance enough against such crisis,until conflicts about colonies(‘spheres of influence”) triggered the First World War.The second too was in a way the product of such deadly competition with Hitler dead-set on turning millions of a vast region called Soviet Union into an inexhaustible source of slave labour and dominating the competitors unchallengeably.
Following WWII the master-class of capitalism found colonial and overtly imperialist exploitation becoming unviable with rising anti-colonial people’s struggles .Its master strategist JM Keynes helped America the richest and most powerful member of the bloc to invent the next most suitable antidote to ward off the systemic disorder,Global World-order phrased beningnly as ‘the Washington Consensus.’
But fifty years into the latest phase capitalism is once again coming apart owing to inherent contradictions,sounding warning bells of military conflicts and unsustainable costs of production as well as unaffordable prices of basic consumer goods.Common people everywhere are getting restless and drawn into various forms of struggles both in client countries and dominant states.
It is no longer possible to keep client states bound to ties of exploitative drain of resources or unequal trade.Governments of client countries have also got around to bargaining for best terms for themselves between competing power blocs.
‘Defence’ necessarily is getting foremost priority among various heads of investment and expenditure among productive and profitable sectors under such circumstances.It sees factories running full-time and latest technological innovations getting deployed for its use regardless of costs.Though perhaps still not financially the most favored sector for investment the situation sees it crawling up steadily to such a position.And the arms-race is hotting up with most countries raising the ceiling for defence expenditure madly.Indirectly more and more other sectors are getting involved in the defence budget.India too is proudly following big runners in pace and scale.
What is more,these sectors work among shadows out of the scan of press and Parliament and facts about their operations are scarce.On the plea of ‘National Security’ most transactions take place in dim light or darkness to the profit and delight of corrupt agents and lobbyists and greedy politicians.Meanwhile there is huge drain on national resources that would be otherwise spent to reduce hunger and disease,and ensure better health,education and opportunities for well-paid employment among the teeming masses of working people.Ulnlike the masters they are yet to unite, organize and start working for global aims like saving civilization and mankind from ruin.The finale however might catch them unawares.
The predictable consequence of these trends is devastation of modern civilization and reduction of the human habitus to a heap of rubble.The nuclear winter will aggravate the winter brought about by climate destruction under the very nose of the strutting bellicose powers.
It is the indubitable truth that the common people,vast numbers of working people both organized and unorganized,billions of unemployed and various clerical assistants in industry,finance and services,small traders and businessmen,have little stake in the trillion dollar Defence and related sectors.They can hardly afford to wait idly for the skies to crash over their heads.Time to assemble and organize and start resistance.
The masters of so-called world order have already forcibly imposed a global order upon them all and thrust them into an enormous prison without their consent.Now they seem bent upon pursuing military aims that ultimately condemn all together to a condition of primitive barbarism.It is a pity that most of the working people,at least the politically ignorant and less conscious among then,still gape with admiration on TV at ‘World leaders’ strutting on the ‘World stage’ talking peace while preparing for war.Only resistance struggles can jolt them into a shocked awareness of what is actually going on as well as of what they can do together to save the world from these suicidal monsters.
The need of the hour is to link numerous manifold people’s struggles to the great mission hinted above,and make the narrative of peace,sustainable development devaluation of warmongering under the cloak of national defence or defence of democracy etc.Finally,one day to seize the levers of production so as to reorient global economy towards beneficial,peaceful and truly scientific ends.
PRC needs to think more deeply and more insightfully, rather than instrumentally and blindly,on the real fruitful use of the accumulation of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of capital under their control.Rather than make profit like capitalist countries they can REALLY help poorer,more backward countries to build healthy and strong economies that have autonomy and can contribute to and gain from exchange with other.Yhis will eventually be a more just,equitable and wholesome world-order rather than one based on WTO and IMF.In turn PRC may progress towards true socialism freed from national vanity and thirst for power.
Such movements are not utopian and feasible.Stalin had inspired one in the fifties that numbered at one time millions across borders.It held in its ranks people like Joliot Curie,Nobel Prize winning physicist, celebrated painter Picasso, philosopher Sartre and others.Then there was the anti-nuclear CND in Great Britain.Eminent people of goodwill like scientists, technologists(not the likes of Bill Gates,Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk) who will be able to breathe freely under its refreshing atmosphere. Even people who consider Stalin a butcher would find such aims and efforts under today’s circumstances worthy of support and respect.There is a world to win for such a global movement.Or else a road to a common grave.
Sincere people like Rahul Gandhi ought to ponder the situation more deeply,and not be content with skimming the surface. If he makes this choice and labours for it he will win the love and unstinted support of millions of his countrymen.
The very latest news is that Rahul Gandhi has been debarred by Parliament from Parliament for two consecutive terms.If true,this is disgusting. Why the unseemly hurry?Why not the decency and vital decorum to await the verdict of higher courts? It must be real fear gripping at the hearts of the miscellaneous mobs.
Hiren Gohain is a political commentator