Friday, September 30, 2016

The Phoenix Moment: Challenges Confronting the Indian Left by PRAFUL BIDWAI
Praful Bidwai (1949-2015) one of our finest public intellectual, outstanding journalist contributed a  lot in almost all the progressive and left journals has authored the above book with all seriousness. I have seen that book first at com D.Gnanaiah’s residence some months back and com D Pandiyan repeatedly mentioned about this book in the course of his lecture at Pondicherry last month  
The wrapper of this great book (great labour of Praful ) goes like this."The Phoenix Moment seeks to understand how a communist movement, almost unique within the world’s capitalist democracies, flourished for so long in India, and what accounts for its initially gradual and then rapid decline. It also asks how far and in what manner the Left has accomplished its goals; whether it could have achieved more and what its future prospects are. Crucially, political analyst Praful Bidwai investigates whether the Left’s core agenda of progressive or socialist transformation can yet be reinvented and restored to relevance – either with its own agency or through other forces, formations and initiatives. Given the paucity of analytical literature on the mainstream Left at the national level, Bidwai’s timely and deeply insightful book fills a crucial void."
Praful took great pains and narrated in various chapters about the origin, growth, achievements and decline of left specially CPM  (also CPI). In the Chapters of WB, Kerala and Tripura one can  find fine analysis of Bidwai from various sources like books, research papers, thesis, Govt docs, Party docs etc. He has projected his five axes narratives for what is to be done for rejuvenation of left forces and movement in the coming days. One need not agree with all the suggestions but ignoring many will not help Left to advance. He has with utmost seriousness debated against democratic centralism and advocated for free internal debate and even right to bring the same in the public domain in order to safeguard the organization of the party and left. I think no communist party will accept this suggestion. This book must be read by all English knowing people interested in contemporary Indian politics - especially   comrades of left movement should read and react. Though mere criticism will not help but any constructive dialogue should be welcomed and should get its prime importance in left circles without ignoring or showing indifference

The book itself is a voluminous one(586 pages) also ends with voluminous Notes and bibliography even to 100 pages

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Com Baskar, Chennai based TU leader of SastriBhawan has sent me a serious book that needs intensive and responsible debate. The book was originally written in Telugu- then translated to English and now we have its tamil translation. The author Renganayakkamma was already known for her works of Marx's Capital and she is known for her novels also.She has been consistently fighting for Marxist interpretation of soicety and struggles. This book is "For the sloution of Caste- Buddha is not enough- Ambedkar is not enough either- MARX is a must".. Its tamil tittle is ”சாதிய பிரச்சனைக்கு தீர்வு: புத்தர் போதாது அம்பேத்காரும் போதாது -மார்க்ஸ் அவசியத்தேவை”
I have just started reading the book. It is more than 400 pages book. Critical examination is needed about that book also. I hope that I can complete the book within a short span of time and can say some of my impression about the methodology and presentation, issues handled. Thanks to com Baskar for introducing this book

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Rajmohan Gandhi has been writing widely on various aspects of Independence movement, pak affairs etc.He has written biographies of both of his grandfathers Mahatma Gandhi and Rajaji. He is the son of Devadas Gandhi.
This book "Understanding the Founding Fathers: An Enquiry into the Indian Republic's Beginnings"   was authored   by  him more as a rejoinder to two popular authors viz Swami Sachidanand  of Gujarat, a critic of Gandhi and to prof Perry Anderson for his book The Indian Ideology .
Swami is less popular in our area and his writings are less known. But Prof Perry Anderson is known to left circle throughout the world by his write ups thro NLR- New Left Review. His book Indian Ideology    provoked debates and discussion   in the last 3 to 4 years. This book was introduced to me by RAVI (Rathna Ravi Our JAO,TU Activist, Translator of many good works) last year or so. I read it but not impressed much  observing  a kind of bias it shown. Com D Gnanaiah( a living giant of P&T movement and a long associate of  com Gupta, a Marxian scholar ) asked Ravi to translate it, I was told.

Rajmohan Gandhi has given his rebuttal to Perry by bringing some facts from authenticated sources, where perry fails to prove adequately. Perry has given his negative appraisal of Gandhi,Nehru.. positively appreciated the role of Jinnah, Nethaji and Dr Ambedkar. Rajmohan tried his best to disprove some of his negative appraisals in this book. One should read both Perry's Indian Ideology as well as Rajmohan's An Enquiry into Indian Republic's Beginning to get fair impression about our great Leaders of Independent movement of India.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Nayantara Sahgal's Book The story of India's Freedom Movement is an impressive one. The presentation is very orderly, clear and simple. No text book way or professorical style is found. For just Rupees  170, our youngsters can avail  comprehensive knowledge about our freedom struggle. I will be happy if the book is introduced and read by Students and Youths  to imbibe the spirit. Shedding tears unavoidable in certain pages, when one involved in this book. Nayantara has authored many books. She is the daughter of Vijayalaxmi Pandit and niece of Jawaharlal Nehru. Recently she fought against aggressive events in the name of Hindutva and Cow and against the ideology of Modi Govt. She returned back her literary awards

Thursday, September 15, 2016

No Free Left- The Futures of Indian Communism a much talked about book in 2015 amongst left oriented circles. Vijay Prasad , the author is the General editor of Leftword Books, a CPIM publication Division. Vijay  a prolific writer in Frontline, Hindu ,PD,Marxist etc. The  book is near to 400 pages priced Rs 995 . The first impression I got when reading that book is as if I am reading the compilation of CPM’s Reports of various congresses held chronologically- its Political review report, Org report, Political Resoultion. It does not mean that the book contains subject matter beyond that. But in most of the pages, I had that impression. It is self critical to some extent not to the extent of Critical study of  Praful Bidwai’s Phoneix Moments of the same year 2015. Of course it is easy to analyse write and criticize what happened and easy to draft suggestions and ways for the future, but difficult to organise, monitor and translate.

   some excerpts  highlighted by me is given  in my FB…

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ram Manohar Lohia one of our greatest Modern Political Thinkers, a socialist of his own terms delivered a speech at Hyderabad in 1952 about India's Socialist path taking Gandhi's action and vision

LOhia's Article on Caste wrttten 58 years ago still have relevance and classical sense.This article was reproduced In JANATA issue of Mar 20,2011.I have placed here for the benefit of FB friends and comrades( Both articles in my FB)

One of the best analytical lecture I heard recently is given below. Irfan a great historian and scholar of medieval India analysed the best efforts of Mahatma Gandhi .Down below given was Yogendra's lecture. Both the lectures opening bigger horizon of our thought process and helping us how to construct text for our speeches. Not a single word is uttered unnecessarily.. every word uttered is so meaningful. It is difficult for TU/Political leaders to find time to listen because of day to day activities.If find time kindly listen( my FB)

Two responsible good speeches of two public intellectuals -one by prof Yogendra social activist and Lohia expert is given below. It is difficult for our TU/Political leaders to find time to hear the speech because of their day to day activities.. If find time hear the speech.. it may fine tune our thinking process( placed in my FB acct)

Gandhi and Marx a Book by Gandhian Scholar Kishorlal Ghanshyamlal Mashruwala ( K G Mashruwala) published during 1951 ( priced 8 dollar by 1971). A long Introductory Note was given by Vinobaji. Regarding subject matter, It is a compact book. But for today's reader, arguments favoured may not be a new thing( Book given in FB)

The Two articles  were written before 50 years for an International Symposium on Socialist Humanism. That book was edited by great thinker Eric Fromm. Unfortunately I am not able to get all the articles, only three or 4 I found.. Even Nirmal Bose article about Gandhi not getting in that.(Given in FB)
நினவு சுழல்
தோழ்ர் எஸ் வி ராஜதுரை எழுதியுள்ள எழுத்துக்களை எரித்தல் – கருத்துக்களை ஒடுக்குதல் புத்தகம் படித்துக்கொண்டிருக்கிறேன். NCBH வெளியிட்டுள்ளது. கலை-இலக்கிய-வரலாற்று குறிப்பு கட்டுரைகள். தோழர் ரகுபதி எனது பணிஓய்விற்கு வாழ்த்துக்களை இப்புத்தகம் மூலம் தெரிவித்தார். தோழர் SVR எழுத்துக்களை எனக்கு 25 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்னர் தோழர் கே.வெங்கட்ராமன் அறிமுகப்படுத்தினார். தோழர் KV அப்போது CITU/CPM திருவாரூர் மாவட்டக்குழுவின் முன்னணி தலைவர்களுள் ஒருவர். 50க்கும் மேற்பட்ட தொழிற்சங்கங்களின் ஒருங்கிணைப்பான திருவாரூர் தொழிற்சங்க கூட்டமைப்பின் தலைவர். அவர் கொடுத்த புத்தகம் அந்நியமாதல். அப்போது விவசாய இயக்கத்தின் தலைவரும், மாவட்ட செயலராக இருந்தவரும், பின்னாட்களில் சட்டமன்ற உறுப்பினராக இருந்தவருமான தோழர் கோ. வீரையன் (GV) காவேரி புத்தக நிலையம் என்ற ஒன்றை இடதுசாரி புத்தகங்கள் விற்பனைக்காக வைத்தார். அங்கு வாங்கி படிப்போம். 
ஆரம்பத்தில் பேராசியர் ராமசாமியும், நானும் NEWAGE வாங்கக்கூடியவர்களாக இருந்தோம். Prof VRக்கு தா.பா தலைமையில் திருமணமாகியிருந்தது. வீடுகளுக்கு வரக்கூடிய அளவு பழக்கம் இருந்தது. திருவிக கல்லூரிக்கு அவர் பேச அழைக்கப்படுவார். பேரா வி ஆர் அக்கூட்டங்களில் எனக்குக் கூட வாய்ப்பளித்திருக்கிறார். வி ஆரும், நானும் இணைந்து புதிய கல்விக்கொள்கை குறித்த பிரசுரம் கொணர்ந்தோம். அவரால் பிறை அறிவழகன் போன்ற பல பேராசிரியர்கள் அறிமுகமானார்கள். பேரா வி ஆர் தான் டெரி ஈகிள்டன் போன்ற மார்க்சிய இலக்கிய விமர்சகர்களையும் அறிமுகப்படுத்தினார். கல்லூரி நூலகத்திலிருந்து நூற்றுக்கணக்கான புத்தகங்கள் படிக்க உதவியவர். பாரதிதாசன் பல்கலைக்கழக செனட் உறுப்பினராகி ஓய்வு பெற்றார்.
பேரா பிறை கல்லூரி முதல்வராக ஓய்வு பெற்றவர். தமிழகத்தில் நுகர்வோர் இயக்கத்தை வீச்சாக கொண்டு சென்றவர். CPI தலைவர் தோழர் மகேந்திரனுக்கு பேராசிரியராக இருந்தவர் . இடதுசாரி இயக்கங்களுக்கு இணையாக உலகமயமாதல் எதிர்ப்பு கருத்தரங்களை பெருமளவில் ஊர்தோறும் திட்டமிட்டு நடத்தியவர். பல அரங்குகளில் அவருடன் பேச எனக்கு வாய்ப்பு கிடைத்தது. பெரியார் பற்றாளர். திராவிட இயக்க தொண்டர். அவரது புதல்வன் BSNL திருவாரூரில் அதிகாரியாக இருக்கிறார்.
நியுஏஜ் 7 ஆக உயர்த்தினோம். பேரா கெளதமன், பேரா சுகுமார்,ரகு, வீஆர், நான் உள்ளிட்டவர் செலவை பகிர்வோம். மார்க்சிஸ்ட் அலுவலகத்தில் வெங்கட்ராமனுக்கு ஒன்றை கொடுப்போம். அங்கிருந்து people’s Democracy பெறுவேன். அந்த அலுவலகத்தில் எனக்கு என்று பெட்டியில் அனைத்து பத்திரிகைகளும் போடப்பட்ட காலமது. பேரா கெளதமன் தொழிற்சங்க இயக்கங்களில் கல்லூரி இயக்கங்களில் துடிப்பாக செயல்பட்டவர். அனைவருடனும் நெருக்கமான உறவுகளை வைத்திருப்பவர். கல்லூரி முதல்வராக இருந்து ஓய்வு பெற்றவர். பேரா சுகுமார் தீவிர படிப்பாளி. கோவை ஞானியைப்போல படிப்பதற்கு ஆட்களை வைத்துக்கொண்டுதான் படிக்க முடியும். பார்வையற்றோர் அகில இந்திய இயக்கத்தில் வழிகாட்டிவந்தார்.
புலவர் அ.ப.பாலையன் கலை இலக்கிய பெருமன்றத்தின் மூத்த தலைவர். சங்க இலக்கியங்கள் குறித்தும் திறனாய்வு செய்துவருபவர். அவர் மூலம் வி எஸ் ஆண்கள் மேல் நிலைப்பள்ளியிலிருந்து ஏராள புத்தகங்களை படிக்க வாய்ப்பு கிடைத்தது. தோழர் வேதையன் AITUCல் இணையற்ற தலைவராக இருந்தார். தலைவர் A M கோபுவின் நெருங்கிய சகா. தோழர் நல்லகண்ணு அவர்கள் CPI மாநில செயலராக இருந்தபோது ஜனசக்தி கட்சிக்கடிதம் முதல் பக்கத்தில் வேதையனை பாராட்டி எழுதியிருந்தார். தொழிற்சங்க கூட்டமைப்புக்கு வழிகாட்டியாகவும் பெருந்துணையாகவும் இருந்து வருகிறார். திருவிக குறித்த அரும்பெரும் செய்திகளை தொடர்ந்து சொல்லி வருகிறார். தனித்தமிழ்- இயற்றமிழ் பயிலகம் உயர் அறிஞர் சரவணத்தமிழர் அவர்களுடன் சக பயணியாக இருந்தவர். இவர்களின் பெரும் முயற்சியால் போராளி PLOT உமாமகேஸ்வரன் அவர்களுடன் கூட்டம் பேச முடிந்தது. 
தோழர் S V ராஜதுரை தமிழுக்கு 60க்கும் மேற்பட்ட ஆழ்ந்த படைப்புகளை வழங்கியுள்ளவர். கடும் உழைப்பாளி. மார்க்சிய- பெரியாரிய- அம்பேத்காரிய அறிஞர். அவருடன் நேரிடை பழக்கம் எனக்கு இல்லை. தொலைபேசியில் பல ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்பு பேசியிருக்கிறேன். ரகுவிற்கு பழக்கம் உண்டு. ஒருமுறை சென்னை TR Publicationல் ஹலோ போட்டதாக நினைவு. திருச்சி மோகன் பால்சாமி போன்றவர்கள் எஸ்வி ஆர் திருச்சி பாரதிதாசன் உயராய்வில் இருந்தபோது தொடர்ந்து பழகி விவாதிக்க முடிந்ததை சொன்னார்கள். தற்போது NCBH விளக்கக்குறிப்புகளுடன் கம்யூனிஸ்ட் அறிக்கை, சர்வதேச தொழிலாளர் சங்கம்( மொழிபெயர்ப்பு) ஆகிய இரு எஸ்விஆர் படைப்புகளை கொணர்ந்துள்ளது. மேலே நான் குறிப்பிட்ட அனைத்து பெருமகனார்க்கும் எனது நன்றி- வணக்கம்.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

I have recently read this book

Essays on Scientific Socialism -McManus, Gordon
( Excerpts from that Book)
·         What became of Scientific Socialism? Is ‘Marxism-Leninism’ the ‘natural’ development from Scientific Socialism?
·         'Globalization' is a phase of Imperialism and thus assert that 'Globalization' is Imperialism'. Is this correct?
·         European countries that took the socialist path after the defeat of fascist Germany and occupation. The system of socialism that developed was based on the ‘model’ in the Soviet Union. The system in the Soviet Union was the ‘state monopoly
·         The ‘state monopoly’ system is where social ownership of the means of production is expressed in ‘state ownership’. This leads to the State becoming the dominant force in the building of socialism. There developed a socialist ‘bureaucracy’ led by the Communist Party to run the economy consisting of ‘state industries’ and ‘state enterprises’.
·         ‘Stalinism’, which was used to ‘justify’ the ‘state monopoly' system that characterized the Soviet system.
·         For Lenin, Imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism. There can be no other stage. Lenin’s definition of the ‘economic essence’ of Imperialism was correct at the time he wrote his book.Marx sites ‘monopoly’ in ‘centralization’ whereas Lenin sites ‘monopolies’ in ‘concentration’. This difference between Marx and Lenin is not noted and discussed by ‘Marxism-Leninism’
·         The SACP argues that Globalization is the "quantitative and qualitative development and growth of Imperialism".‘Globalization’ is a term because it does not convey ‘class essence’. He argues that ‘Globalization’ is the third phase of Imperialism which began in the 1990s. Griffiths(Britain party) comes to the aid of the SACP and ‘Marxism-Leninism’
·         Marx was aware that capitalist countries could engage in integration in its mature epoch. It is within this context that I turn to analyse ‘Globalization.General Law of Capitalist Accumulation through its four features or ‘particulars’ which are concentration, centralization, the organic composition of capital and the industrial reserve army
·         See debate between Kautsky and Lenin on the relationship between ‘centralization’ and imperialism
·         Centralisation of the means of production and socialization of labour at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument. This integument is burst asunder. The knell of capitalist private property sounds. The expropriators are expropriated.”
·         The struggle against Imperialism and the socialist transformation of society is not grounded in ‘centralization’ but in ‘concentration by Lenin and that ‘centralization’ as a law did not prevail in Lenin’s time
·         Scientific Socialism argues that ‘centralization’ is the determining element because it represents the economic behaviour of finance capital and the monopolies. Monopolies can no longer be solely grounded in ‘concentration’ as Lenin did in his time.Finance capital not only engages in centralization but it also ‘facilitates’ centralization.Speculative’ finance capital is the means by which finance capital is developing.It is engaged in making money out of money as Marx pointed out in Capital.
·         The State became the dominant factor in the development of socialism in the Soviet Union.
·         The 'State-monopoly' system sites the State as the determining lever, in the working people interests, in the development of socialism.
·         Lenin did not call for the State to take on an economic role. This was Lenin’s means of solving socialist development in Soviet Russia given the 'base-superstructure' relationship.For Lenin, the system of civilized co-operators as the system of socialism was the basis for proletarian dictatorship. This was Lenin’s vision of socialism in Soviet Russia-from Stalin onwards. The emphasis was placed on the State as the determining role in the building of socialism in the USSR.
·         The State became the dominant force in socialist society. Civil Society and economic relations played a subordinate role to the State. This is the lesson to be learnt from adopting the ‘state monopoly’ system as the system of socialism.
·         The question that is raised in the twenty first century is: “What is the system of Socialism?” China is developing its own New Economic Policy which is concerned with using capitalism to further develop the productive forces for examples, Shanghai and Hong Kong.It‘s economy, however, is based on the State monopoly system.
·         It is the working class that builds socialism as pointed out by Lenin not the socialist State.
·         The future of socialism lies in the co-operative movements developing world-wide. It does not lie in 'state ownership' of the means of production and the dominating role of the socialist State in the functioning
·         'Marxism-Leninism' has not learnt the lessons of the failures of the 'state monopoly system' that existed in the Soviet Union based on 'state ownership' or 'public ownership'.Scientific Socialism stands for the co-operative system as the system of socialism. Scientific Socialism does not state that the 'economic essence of socialism' is 'public ownership' or 'state ownership' as 'Marxism-Leninism' does.
·         Marx argued that socialism is the ‘first phase’ of communist society. Marx wrote briefly on socialism. However, he did not argue that socialism was a 'transitional social system' between capitalism and communist society. Gotha Programme Marx argued that socialism or ‘socialist society’ is “co-operative society based on common ownership of the means of production”.
·         The dominant property relations that existed in the Soviet Union, from Stalin to Gorbachev, were ‘state ownership’ or ‘public ownership’ which led to the ‘state monopoly’ system.
·         The ‘state monopoly’ system and its socialist bureaucracy were dominated by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). This was the case in the Soviet Union-that resulted in the ‘alienation’ of the working class in the ‘building of socialism’. The Party became the ‘force of attraction’ in the ‘building of socialism’ not the working class.
·         Scientific Socialism, according to Marx, is concerned with the’ withering away of the State’ which means not ‘strengthening’ the State. Scientific Socialism states that for socialist ‘freedom’ to exist the State must be subordinated to society and not ‘superimposed’ on it.The ‘superimposition’ of the State on Soviet society due to the ‘state monopoly’ system based on ‘state’ ownership and led by the ‘Marxist-Leninist’ Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) resulted in the ‘alienation’ of the working class from the ‘building of socialism’.
·         Under capitalism there is no economic democracy for the worker. Power is in the hands of the capitalist. Under socialism, through economic democracy with ‘one co-operator, one vote’, there is an end to exploitation and shows that the ‘civilized co-operators’ are masters of economic activity under socialism. Through economic democracy based on social ownership of the means of production there is the expression of the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’. Economic democracy through ‘one co-operator’, one vote’ is very important for the expression of the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ at the level of the base.
·         The ‘socialist good’ as an economic morality, is an expression of the negation of exploitation from the mode of production. This is the new in the co-operative system as the mode of production of socialism.
·         Socialist morality would have, at its core, the ‘socialist good’ which has its origins in the cooperative mode of production, in ‘co-operative values’ and expresses itself as ‘socialist consciousness’.Socialist morality and socialist legal relations are inter-linked and express how socialist civil society functions on the basis of ‘co-operation’.
·         I came to the slow realization that ‘Globalization’ and ‘Imperialism’ were two different stages of mature monopoly capitalism. This was the first part of my investigation.
·         ‘Marxism-Leninism’ is silent on a number of matters such as capitalist economic integration, ‘centralization’, on the full application of the General Law of Capitalist Accumulation, on the main contradiction of capitalism operating in the epoch of mature monopoly capitalism.
·         It also led me to the conclusion that Globalization, a ‘historical period’, is the new higher stage of mature monopoly capitalism. It was the results of my investigation into such matters that led me to consider that Scientific Socialism is the scientific ideology of the working class not ‘Marxism-Leninism’.