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Defeat the Ruling Class Prop of Post-Modernist Identitarian Thoughts Through Active Ideological Struggle!

Introduction: Imperialism On the Offensive

At times when the world imperialist crisis advances towards its apex, revolutionary conditions also objectively emerges in various parts of the world. The capitalists’ failing imperialist economy has given rise to mass hunger, destitution, and deaths due to lack of health facilities, job losses and highly entangled social lives. The global income inequality is on the rise to condition where 1 % of the rich control 74 % of the world’s resources, resting on the constant loot of available resources from various oppressed nations and their people for the benefit of big imperialist powers and their comprador agents. It is here when we can say that imperialism is at its offensive stage. The capitalist system is inherently laden with contradictions and despite all the bourgeois cover-up plans, economic jargon meant to confuse people  and the reformist’s phrase-mongering, capitalism has never actually solved any economic crisis. The 2008 global finance crisis and its impact on oppressed countries at the periphery of imperialism, the weakest link in the chain of the imperialist world system, has not been subdued. Advanced capitalist countries have managed to mitigate these crises within their borders only by intensifying the loot of resources and expansion of their finance capital in the oppressed countries. A system where few nations maintain their elevated status by plunging most of the world in destitution cannot last long. These crises and the sharpening contradictions within the imperialist system have also resulted in the change of political representation of capital as world over, we saw the rise of neo-Nazis and other fascist elements. The fascist-ization of state machineries in various parts of the world did not help capitalism in resolving its contradictions, but resulted in inter-imperialist rivalries, war-like situations and actual proxy wars on the land of oppressed nations and countries. Lenin had correctly remarked that imperialism is parasitic and the decaying form of capitalism. The deeply entrenched crisis-ridden economic system further straggled during the 2014 world financial crisis which saw the aggressive economic protectionism of imperialist powers like USA, Russia, and the European Union. While the crisis period was still persisting, COVID-19 pandemic enveloped the world in 2020. The bed-ridden, inherently incompetent social and economic system withered further as unaccounted number of people died during this period, a situation which could have been prevented with more people-centric healthcare models versus the imperialist one that prevails all over the world. Such models cannot be realized within the realm of capitalism, a problem that China eventually encountered with the rescinding of its Zero-COVID policy due to the pressures of the imperialist market economy. A system which boasts of bullet trains could not even arrange oxygen for the people. This clearly exposed the ruling class and anti-people character of the current order for a large section of the masses.

The sharpening class struggle created its own materiality of hope for the destruction of rotten imperialism. The strength of peoples’ struggle at this time gained the faith of people, spontaneous outburst of people in form of armed movements can still be seen. In countries like Afghanistan, based on armed protracted struggle by the fundamentalist Taliban, US imperialism was humiliatingly defeated. This period has also seen both the re-emergence of people’s militant struggle in oppressed nations as well as their growth. In Philippines, the existing people’s militant struggle has seen continuous growth while frontiers have been renewed in Brazil, Myanmar and Bangladesh. In Nepal, the revolutionary sections of the communists have formed a united front against USA’s Millenium Challenge Corporation’s expansion in Nepal and have made a widespread call for boycott of elections. The growing faith in people’s struggle for the liberation of people comes as a nightmare for the ruling class, which is reflected by their genocidal responses. Apart from using drones and engaging in aerial bombings, fascist regimes have utilized greater centralization of power to engage in unbridled loot of jal, jangal and jameen. The imperialist forces, particularly the hegemonic US imperialists and their Zionist lackeys Israel, have given all strategic know-how and financial support to India’s ruling classes to ensure the people’s struggle in India is wiped out. India is the center of reaction in South Asia and the elimination of people’s steuggle in India is essential to the imperialist’s strategy.

Activists in Philippines upholding the red flag

The people’s struggle in India is a well-organized, highly disciplined movement and capable of inflicting great damage to the enemy, thereby ensuring the liberation of people from the three big mountains of feudalism, imperialism, and comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie. For the success of this task, the oppressed and exploited sections must be united in the task of engaging in revolutionary struggle. Ideology is essential to said struggle and the organizations at the forefront of the New Democratic Revolution through people’s struggle wage their struggle with the ideological unity forged by the science of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM). Marxism has always been a science to interrogate reality and engage in its transformation. It functions as an instrument in the hands of the proletariat’s party to move towards the aim of establishing a classless, moneyless, stateless, and genderless communist society. We know that without a revolutionary theory, there can be no revolutionary movement. Theory develops through practice but once developed, it acts as a material force that can help us smash the ruling class structure through successfully conducting actions. Organization develops the theory during its revolutionary practice and theorizes every new objective condition that emerges in the class struggle. The ruling class understands this role of organized revolutionary politics hence they are bent upon inflicting severe damage to the organizations which are working in the interest of masses for the revolution. Breaking the ideological unity of organization is one of their central tasks. Organizations which are working for the people’s liberation understand the role of subjective forces to achieve the goal. In India, the revolutionary situation is very sharp but subjective forces are not that capable at this moment to achieve their revolutionary goal. In different phases of class struggle, the ruling class uses different methods and forms different policies to tackle the class war. The war by the ruling class always addresses two aspects of the ongoing class struggle, on one hand is the military aspect of the struggle which it deals with using most advanced technological weapons and by increasing the frequency of attacks on people in general and organizations in particular. Yet another aspect of this offensive by the enemy is the ideological aspect, this has been termed “low intensity conflict” (LIC) by the imperialist and their running dogs in India. They use deeply complex, jargon-laden academic methodology to ideologically confuse the people within the movement as well as progressives outside it. By creating confusions about ideology among the cadres in the proletarian party, they try to lower their commitment toward the movement. By creating divisions among the oppressed about ideology through identarian trends, they ensure that broad unity of the oppressed and exploited against the ruling classes is not achieved.

It is true that whenever a comrade moves back from their commitment or responsibilities, it is not just the existing conditions to be blamed but above all, the internal factor which is responsible for this has to be located and efforts to fix it have to be made. The internal factor for this is the lack of ideological commitment, the comrades get affected by the ruling class ideology which entangles most social life, and knowingly or unknowingly, they shift their ideological stand away from proletarian class interest. The ideological offensive against the people in Operation SAMADHAN-Prahar must be seen as part of the global project of the imperialist foreign finance capital to target the proletarian ideology of MLM and the main source of its development and further consolidation of subjective forces based on it. Organized militant revolutionary struggle is the largest and most severe challenge to imperialism in the world and hence the imperialist endeavor is to demonize this movement and its leadership. The enemy uses all the resource at its behest to do this.

The Red Guards waving copies of Mao Tse-tung’s Little Red Book as they parade in Beijing’s streets at the beginning of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

At the ideological level, the sharpest and the most sophisticated of these weapons is post-modernism. Post-modernism is the name given to the groups of apparent ideas streaming from different ideological streams that rekindled during the times of sharpening class contradiction between the capitalist imperialist parts of the world and the communist socialist world represented by the erstwhile Soviet Union and China. With the rise of communist revolutions in the world, and subsequently the massive worldwide revolutionary upsurge created by the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) in China, globally a section of urban bourgeois intellectuals emerged which was initially enthusiastic about the discourses created by these radical movements. Media itself would be influenced by Marxism, with many from this section of urban intellectuals adopting Marxist frameworks to their art, with the likes of film makers Jean-Luc Goddard and Jean-Pierre Gorin emerging as prime examples of persons deeply affected by this revolutionary upsurge and creating mass media based on this influence. But with the shift of the Soviet Union from socialism to social-imperialism and the coup of Deng Xiaoping’s revisionist forces in China, capital moved into an offensive stage towards socialism across the world. Revolutionary movements across the world faced massive repression, with the likes of Operation Steeplechase assaulting the revolutionary movement in India and the covert FBI program COINTELPRO demolishing the movements initiated by the Black Panther Party, the American Indian Movement, the Puerto Rican Young Lords and the Chicano Brown Berets. In this period of decline, the aforementioned urban bourgeois intellectual section began to articulate world affairs in the light of a cynical (a cynic practices shamelessness and defaces the norms of society) and sophistic (that there is no absolute truth) school of philosophy that developed in the age of slavery. This school was highly promoted by ruling classes world over, for this meant regaining the lost ground at ideological level from the proletariat. The influence of Marxism at the intellectual academic level was its apex during the Bolshevik and Chinese Revolution, but with post-modernism the ruling classes tried to undermine the ideological influence of Marxism. This was the time when proletariat movement was weakening and hence the ideological substitute of Marxism was easily developed as post modernism.

No Objective Truth: The Contours of an Anti-Science Approach

Post-modernist literatures are deliberately made incomprehensible, muddying the ability to find any objectivity. Alan Sokal, an Amerikan mathematician wrote an incomprehensible article purposefully, which was published by a leading post-modernist academic journal. As Sokal and Jean Bricmont elaborate in their book Fashionable Nonsense, it is not laziness on part of the editors that was the issue, it was the fact that post modernism obfuscates reality in such a manner that the ability to find any objectivity or meaning is impossible. The journal had no problem with the article saying nothing because that is eventually the goal of post modernism, to interrogate all science to the point that nothing can be understood scientifically. The book showed how the key intellectuals have used concepts from science and mathematics unscientifically without understanding the text completely in order to build a mystified, obscure and confused thinking.  The book markedly expresses how post-modernists like Luce Irigaray asserted that e=mc2 is a sexed equation since it privileges the speed of light over other speeds and fluid mechanics is neglected because it deals with “feminine fluid” in comparison to “masculine mechanics.” Not only does this rubbishes any scientific method practiced to achieve this equation, it also dilutes the understanding of politics behind gender oppression under imperialism to mere aesthetics and idealism.

The basis of post modernism lies in the concept that there can be no objective truth, since there is no objective reality which leads to the conclusion that science does not exist as science is the method by which one can come to objective understandings of reality, hence there can be no fixed law to achieve or understand anything. They tend to locate a phenomenon in the matrix of local power politics through identities, but since they do not accept anything as true, it is possible for the post-modernist to side with the oppressor or the oppressed at the same time. This school negates contradiction itself, instead going so far at times to consider the contradiction as an unchanging homogenous fact. Post-modernism is therefore highly compatible with fascism. Carl Jung, a prominent example of a post-modernist who functioned in compromise with Nazi Germany, is still popular among academics and within activist circles where even our comrades seem to have been influenced by Jung, particularly his works on masculinity. The move from semi-scientist Freud’s analysis of patriarchy and patriarchal oppression to nascent biological deterministic theory based on the concept of reconciliation of archetype unconscious with conscious is clearly visible in Jung. He posited a racial view of archetype as white Aryans and had famously equated Hitler with the archetype. Jung was the recipient of the Nazi state’s patronage. In all this, power analysis is based on identity. Identity politics is deeply informed by the post-modernist world view of Michel Foucault and Ernesto Laclau. It has the following important attributes:

  1. A focus on subjectivity of individuals, that is to say, power flows from ones perception about others; use of slogans like let the lady speak for herself etc.
  2. It ignores materiality and objectivity of any phenomenon; fissionable emphasis on emotion as overarching force in analysis of oppression.
  3. It focuses on analysis of oppression while hiding exploitation.
  4. Stresses on individuality, by treating individual as the primary site of oppression; fashionable use of the word agency becomes commonplace.
  5. Favours small-scale localized struggle of group of people as opposed to revolutionary upsurge.
  6. Stressing the multiplicities of identities and oppression and invisibly obscure intersectionality to understand oppression, class is relegated to just one among many forms of oppression.
  7. Class struggle is substituted by identity struggle and psychological struggles with different archetypes.

Intersectionality: Everyone is Oppressed = Everyone is Oppressor = Nobody is Oppressed?

Identity politics is often addressed by intersectionality. The term is too deceptive to clearly visualize oppression. But the postmodern advocates of identity politics have used this in their activities and writings. The term was coined by an American lawyer Kimberle Crenshaw in 1989, who in the case of discrimination against a black woman, argued that women faced multiple oppressions which create a unique situation for them as black women, creating oppression different from that of merely being black in Amerika or being a woman. According to this concept, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, nation, caste etc. all interact with an individual to compound their oppression. The model tries to preserve all forms of identities in order to restrict analysis towards a single cause that creates these conditions of oppression. Intersectionality is the higher and advanced form of identity politics that practically breaks class solidarities and creates sectional interest and political programs for each different identity and their permutations and combinations. It is a direct attack at any attempt for broad unity of the oppressed and exploited. Identity politics asserts that we are in a web of oppression marked by different identities, one is who is oppressed in one situation may be the oppressor in another and therefore, such unity is impossible as each individual may function as both the oppressor and the oppressed.

One of the numerous attempts at diagrammatically explaining intersectionality. Most post-modernists can never conclusively settle on the correct diagram to represent the concept.

For an example, if we look into the acronym and the politics around the LGBTQ, we find that the terms are expanding like an amebae. What started as the LGB movement now stands at LQBTIQAAP+, in an attempt to be ‘inclusive’ towards all new terms that keep emerging. The politics around gender and sexuality were obscured to the point that instead of finding the cause of gendered and sexual oppression, one finds solace in hyper-individuality and newer and newer terminology to identify their oppression with. Constructs like neo-pronouns emerged along with this, pushing liberation to the side to focus merely on linguistics. Liberation from gendered and sexual oppression instead becomes an exercise in attempting to coerce people to use the correct language and terms over creating a social order where the very causes of these oppressions are eliminated. Commodification of almost all human desires and emotions has also created conditions for the creations of new sexual identities which get commoditized later. Lenin had correctly remarked that imperialism is the stage of moribund capitalism; it has arrested the development of society at all levels. It has robed society of its creativity. The inability of capital to create new space for its valorization has made it search for such expressions of individuality to proliferate its markets.  The identity matrix formed in the analysis of intersectionality is a closed group, that is to say the specific identity group has no other specific interest with the different identity. Everything functions in silos, lying within larger silos, not interacting with each other at all.

Identity Politics and the Post-Modernist Corruption of Marxism

Those who practice identity politics place their individualities in identities of caste, gender, sexual orientation etc. and primarily identify themselves in context to a metaphysical group. They have deeply internalized their identity and tend to perceive every oppression and exploitation as streaming from the identity which they carry. They do not apply the dialectical and historical material approach in understanding any form of oppression. They fail to move inwards from appearance to essence of a phenomenon. Social oppression does have a hegemonic form/aspect, that is, there is an idea of social oppression. In every society the dominant idea is the idea that materially serves the interest of ruling class. With this given ideological framework, social oppression is reflected in people’s mind and because of this, ideological dominance of the ruling class some groups are seen as inferior to other groups. When an upper caste woman refuses to mingle with a Dalit woman and tries to stop them from participating in a public event or in an institution, this objective fact of oppression/exclusion coexists with a subjective fact: Dalits are perceived as outcastes by many in the social order. But this perception, this idea itself is not the main cause of this oppression! Caste-based feudalism finds its material reality in the relations to land and resources and the premise of this oppression lies in the material need to ensure that Dalits do not hold any land and are forced to engage in feudal agrarian relations all over India. Therefore, this ideology of Brahmanism and untouchability lies in an objective material condition. Post-modernism actively hides this reality.

Consider the following from Comrade Marx’s German Ideology:

“This conception of history depends on our ability to expound the real process of production, starting out from the material production of life itself, and to comprehend the form of intercourse connected with this and created by this mode of production….. to explain all the different theoretical position and form of consciousness, philosophy, religion, ethics etc…… and trace their origin and growth from that basis, by which means of course that the whole things can be depicted in totality. It does not explain practice from theory but explains the formation of ideas from material practice.”

– Karl Marx, The German Ideology

Thus, Marxism as a weapon for the proletariat is opposite to bourgeoisie romantic imperialist ideas of the post-modern. Being treacherous to the cause of proletarian revolution, some Marxist intellectuals have tried to present an unholy alliance of Marxism and post modernism; in this line the likes of George Lukács and Pierre Bourdieu are to be placed. The obscurity of capital into ‘cultural’ and ‘social capital’ is not just deviation from the mode of production concept in Marx but is the deliberate shift from the analysis of exploitation to oppression and this is being done under the clever guise of Marxist phraseology but turns Marxism upside down by emphasizing that cultural and social capital produces and reproduces human real existence on a particular social space. It also reduces capital to merely an economic concept, de-lodging from Marx’s understanding of capital as being a social relation! While Foucault sees power as ubiquitous without any structural forms, Bourdieu perceives power as culturally and symbolically created. This power is reinforced in society through habitus, which he says is the way in which society gets deposited in a person in form of lasting dispositions or trained capacities to think, feel and act. The idea of habitus is an idealist metaphysical attempt to understand the reproduction of social norms. Dialectical and historical materialism teaches us that the reproduction of social norms is based on the ruling class monopoly over the means of production resulting in constant loot of the surplus value. Culture and ideology are the part of superstructure arrangement springing from the base of production relations. Another important point is that capital exists outside the materiality of value in motion, that is, he espouses cultural and social capital. Under the garb of cultural and social capital he subtly brings in the frame of bio-politics into the politics of class struggle, thus smuggling the postmodern terminology within the aesthetic framework of a Marxist position, while retaining the essence in favor of postmodernism. Thus, he prepares a sort of khichdi for the academician and the larger petty bourgeoisie section. By terming capital as accumulated labor, he has turned towards the very bourgeoisie economist whom Marx had criticized in order to develop a labor theory of value. Despite these anti-Marxist arguments, ideological influence which he has on intellectuals of all shades is remarkable. Bourdeiu is the second most cited author in the world. Most of the Marxist intellectuals find resort in the writings of imperialist lapdogs like Slavoj Žižek and Bourdieu. We are made to believe that Marxism is outdated and hence any academic work that does not refer to these post-modernist writers is considered out of date.

Slavoj Žižek sitting with Jordan Peterson, both of whom engaged in a public debate called “Capitalism vs Marxism”, where both men actually found more in common with each other in the course of events. A clear reflection of how imperialism has created its own controlled versions of “Marxist” philosophers it can comfortably parade for their amusement.

To add on to confusions and doubts about core Marxist theoretical positions, another group of bourgeoisie intellectuals who are termed “Marxist” in academic circles play a key role. One of them is Toni Negri. He is a widely read and cited academician. In his book which he co-authored with Micheal Hardt, he proposed that the age of imperialism is over and we are living in the era of “empire.” Apart from this, they claim that law of value has lost its meaning and the working class has been displaced by multitude. Negri and Hardt argues that this “empire” has nothing in common with the imperialist expansion that resulted in colonialism and that “empire” rests on the building of networks and chains based on power. They remark that in the era of empire, the quest for power is to establish peace at world level. This brings him close to the argument of Karl Kautsky and his conception of ‘ultra-imperialism,’ which Lenin had criticized in his article Imperialism: The highest Stage of Capitalism. His idea of substituting class analysis with multitude is very dangerous for a concrete class analysis. There is no clarity in his concept of multitude; he vaguely used this to mean the new working class that have emerged in forms of atomization and those employed in intellectual, immaterial work. The bourgeoisie apologists of imperialism turn Marxism upside down by claiming that intelligence creates capital and not the labour power, blatantly furthering their own class interests as intellectuals. Yet terming him Marxist and quoting him to build a Marxist understanding on things only denotes the extent to which the post-modernists have been able to smuggle their ideological tendencies into Marxism, the science for the liberation of proletariat.

Negri’s writings also had an influence on political activism. He presents a characterization of what he terms the “communist militant.” In his Empire, he claims that today the communist militant must not be a representative but a constituent activist; he calls for creativity in resisting imperialism through constitutive investment in bio-political fields. For him, revolution is a bourgeoisie romantic idea of peace and love; he says “this is a revolution that no powers can control, because bio-power, co-operation and revolution remain together, in love, simplicity and also innocence. This is the irrepressible lightness and joy of being a communist”. Thus, for him revolution is the act of charming oneself in the feeling of being in the arms of one’s beloved. He has basically reduced revolution to the individualized experience of love and joy. For him, a communist has to be an individualist who on the basis of his own creativity works for peace and draws inspiration from his own uniqueness. But a communist is the one who integrates with the working class and in that process leads the revolution in theory and practice. As comrade Mao Tse-tung conclusively said, “A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery, it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained, and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.”

Petty Bourgeois Class Consciousness Fostered in the Womb of Semi-Feudalism

Imperialism has created conditions where the vast numbers of oppressed countries have large-scale petty productions that are sustained in the interest of imperialist finance capital. These are the outsourcing unit of Multi-National Corporations (MNC). Setting up of universities and research institutes in accordance with the needs of monopoly capitalists have created opportunities for the infiltration of imperialist culture in the form of consumption pattern and also in terms of ideology. Along with it, the rising service sectors have further bulged the petty bourgeoisie. These developments had an impact on the development of petty bourgeoisie class consciousness, and post modernism came as a natural progression of this. Individualism is the hallmark of identity politics. Individualism of the imperialist stage of capitalism, driven by neo-liberal market logic is different from individualism as understood during the period of capitalism. This individualism is deeply entrenched in market ethics, informed by the trending cultures, eye blinking speedy changes in likes and desire. This makes the attributes of individualism highly variable. Individualism with motion is the logic of capital valorization in imperialist world order. Such trends can be found in many of our comrades as well. We are supposed to engage in the politics of proletariat and practice Marxism as a weapon to this end, but we opportunistically use the post-modernist phraseology of identity to hide the genuine criticism or self-criticism of our own alien class characters and trends. Persons practicing identity politics use the rhetoric of oppressed section of society but this is nothing other than a metaphysical opportunistic construct that vanishes as one digs deeper.

Marking the role of imperialist sponsored post modernism ideology in creating the narratives around identity politics, it is also important to mark that in India identity politics is also marked by feudal sense of community life in which an individual is not just an individual but an individual coming from a particular communal background that is from a particular caste or gotra. Hence the communitarian perspective of looking at the act of an individual is highly marked in our society. Comrade Marx points out that “feudalism, like tribal and communal ownership, is based again on a community; but the directly producing class standing over against it is not, as in the case of the ancient community, the slaves, but the enserfed small peasantry. As soon as feudalism is fully developed, there also arises antagonism to the towns. The hierarchical structure of land ownership, and the armed bodies of retainers associated with it, gave the nobility power over the serfs. This feudal organization was, just as much as the ancient communal ownership, an association against a subjected producing class; but the form of association and the relation to the direct producers were different because of the different conditions of production.” The materiality of communalism lies in a feudal or semi-feudal society. This creates a community consciousness in individuals, one’s role in society is particular judged in context to the community which they belonged to by birth.

A protest led by the Zameen Prapti Sangharsh Committee in Punjab, seeking land reform for Dalits who were promised land grants by the state

While recognizing, the specific form of exploitation and oppression of special social categories in our society, we must fight against the imperialist and feudal aspects of identity politics in the country and elsewhere in the world. In fact, it is to this end that organizations must recognize the oppression of women, queer persons, Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims, disabled persons and formulate specific programs to analyze their oppression and resolve it. But it needs to be underlined that the question of oppression, for a Marxist, is ultimately a question of class. In a necklace of beads, each oppression is represented by each bead but piercing their core, tying the whole necklace is the thread of class. While some improvements in the conditions of these oppressed sections can happen with day-to-day struggles based on their subjective oppressions, liberation from this oppression can only come through New Democratic revolution which has shown its ability to eradicate feudal patriarchy and combat Brahmanical Hindutva fascism in areas where the New Democratic revolution is advancing, under the leadership of revolutionary organizations. Only New Democracy has shown the ability to fully combat imperialism and feudalism. Hence in our analysis of any fact, phenomenon, event, individual, organization etc., we must start from the proletarian class interest of ensuring a New Democratic revolution in the country by smashing the feudal, comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and the imperialist powers.

Post-Modernism Within Our Ranks

One must remember the words of Comrade Lenin in ‘Tribune of people’,

“[The Marxist-socialist is] the tribune of the people, who is able to react to every manifestation of tyranny and oppression, no matter where it appears, no matter what stratum or class of the people it affects; who is able to generalize all these manifestations and produce a single picture of police violence and capitalist exploitation; who is able to take advantage of every event, however small, in order to set forth before all his socialist convictions and his democratic demands, in order to clarify for all and everyone the world-historic significance of the struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat.”

– Vladimir Lenin, Tribune of the People

Our approach during mass work should also be informed by this. It should be remembered that we are the representatives of the proletariat and hence the proletarian outlook in comprehending a phenomenon is genuinely required. Due to the widespread wings of identity politics, we have blurred our Marxist vision, we tend to characterize individuals not on the basis of their classes but primarily on the basis of their caste, gender or some other identity and on the basis of that, we bring to them our understanding on the particular issues which that identity faces. Thus, we are apparently forming caste or gender solidarity instead of class solidarity. An example of this is that if the organizer in a mass organization happens to be in contact with a working-class woman, then they will talk less about the class exploitation and will easily start with and encourage conversation that is based on their individual experience based on a being woman. This petty bourgeoisie steadfastness in organizing obstructs the development of communist morality and proletarian class ideology in the comrades at mass organization.

Even at the organizational level there is less talk about the working-class conditions in our area or about the peasant condition in countryside, what interests comrades is the high toned talks on women’s liberation devoid of class politics. Instead of moving from the general to the particular, comrades get roped into post-modernist understandings of these questions by excluding the class stand from genuine political programmes looking to answer these questions. To make the condition worse, the comrades at the working class front also gets attracted by such rhetorical performance of petty bourgeoisie class politics in the structures and it has been often seen that they do not find working among the proletariat and semi-proletariat attractive enough. The petty bourgeoisie class trend in organizing is the biggest obstacle towards higher forms of class struggle. The comrades from working class background have also been under the tight grip of such alien class tendencies. It is from here that identity politics find its emergence. Comrades are too lazy to dissect a fact in two aspects to enquire about its class character and accordingly form opinions, driven by the ideological logics of post modernism they easily get entrenched by the appearance and ultimately find themselves driven by logics of identity politics. We seriously lack Maoist methodology of seeking truth from the fact, one divides into two and the dialectical formula of dissenting things and getting into essence from its appearance.

Being placed at the center of imperialist reaction in India, we must be particularly vigilant about the dangerous forms of post-modernism and devise techniques to curb it both materially and ideologically. The question of ideological consolidation is a very important question here because the enemy before us is very strong and its ideological apparatus are most vivid and sound in the area. Particularly at the cultural front, imperialism has inflicted serious blow to the consciousness of a collective and of discipline; rampant indiscipline in life devoid of commitment and accountability in practice is what fascinates the youth in particular. This condition has created the materiality of post-modernist influence among youth in general and activists in particular. Hence the orientation of our work should be toward the basic masses in an area. The class positions of the cadre restrict them from an objective understanding of the condition, and they then fall prey of the enemy propaganda work.

Majorly, two forms of manifestation regarding identity politics can be seen. One is expressed in forms of question centered on identity posed to the committees and their members. The other is manifested in the visible efforts to form unity based on identity; in which unity based on Dalit and female identity is mostly found. It has been often pointed out that comrades of a particular sex should have a special solidarity among themselves. Here, class solidarity is sacrificed for sex solidarity. The same people also suggest those comrades from Dalit background should be the only one speaking for themselves and their experience should be a final judgment in any matter; as it is they are who better understand the oppression and exploitation. All these notions create situations where objectivity in a fact or situation is being scarified for the sake of subjectivism. Without an objective analysis of a situation, we cannot reach the solution. A Marxist who has the tools of dialectical and historical materialism reaches at the truth and in order to be able to use this tool, one has to actively participate in class struggles.

In terms of the second manifestation, firstly, we know that one of the central aspects of Operation SAMADHAN-Prahar is to target the leadership; they have clearly mentioned in their policy documents that they have to delink the leadership of the revolutionary organizations from the cadre, as they feel is the only way to end the movement. For this, the enemy uses the media to abuse the leadership and demean them in the eye of people, in their attempt they present the leaders as coming from upper caste background, being male and being rich. This has created a trend wherein some sections of people look for the caste and gender background of the leader. This is highly deceptive for anyone to build any opinion about the politics which they practice. To analyze Brahmanism within a structure or an individual, one must investigate the principle and practice of the concerned being. Practice reflects the ideology, mere caste or gender background of an individual cannot be decisive in understanding their ideology.

An individual coming into the communist organization commits to the politics of proletarian class and orients themselves as a soldier in the revolution for the liberation of proletarian class. They place their individual selves after the organization, the needs of the revolution and the masses. By doing so, they utilize the science of MLM as the ideology to guide them into this task. Thereafter, they resume a new life wherein the cause of party is utmost for them. It is important to note that in this process, the self is in dialectical relation with organization and the cause of revolution, which means that individual is not an individual functioning in isolation of the party and vice versa. It is a process in which the individual and the party become one by the course of engaging in revolutionary practice driven by MLM to build a communist society. This process is riddled with contradiction, both internal and external. Internally, the individual must struggle against the non-proletarian class ideology which they brought with them in the organization. This, they do with the help of the organization, their comrades and the masses. A communist pledges to struggle against the materiality of the alien class characters in them. This is to say that the primary identity of a member of the communist party cannot be their gender or caste background or any other identity. Being a member of the communist party, they are a communist who may have alien class tendencies that has to be fought with communist discipline and morality but to go on identifying them as a particular section of the society is a sharp reflection of identity politics in our analysis. Some, inspired by this identity politics, go to a different stage, and argue that “unity within communist party is not possible as everyone has different caste, class and gender backgrounds”. This argument is in no way different from the concept of intersectionality developed by post-modernists, who propose that no solidarity can be built among people because power is ubiquitous, and everyone is oppressing every other being.

Concluding Note

The problem with the identitarian thinkers is that they propose no struggle, as struggle too is an act of power and hence oppressive. Hence, it erases all the possibilities of struggle to smash an exploitative and oppressive system. The bunch of ideologies placed under post-modernism are bourgeoisie romantic pleasure-seeking ventures premised on the oppression and exploitation of different classes of society. The members of a communist party are united in their struggle against the ruling class; they are comrades in class struggles committed towards the politics of proletariat and form an ideological unity under the science of MLM. Based on this we must move ahead to accomplish the historic task of New Democratic revolution that lies before us. Comrade Mao had rightly remarked that “we stand for active ideological struggle, for this is a medium to ensure unity in the organization.” Holding high the spirit embodied in this call of Comrade Mao, we must struggle against different manifestations of post-modernism, post-structuralism and the several shades of identity politics and annihilate them from our ranks and files.

Editorial by the Nazariya Team

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  1. Shorot

    Very rich understanding of Post-modernism. This article indicated that some of our comrades also effected by Postmodernist aproach. So we need to rectify that tendency in our movement. This article is too much helpful for many comrades who is confused about class struggle.


  2. Ramesh Narayanan

    It can be clearly understood from the article, that the person who wrote it is not particularly intelligent, nor honest. Incorrect and out-of-context quotations, name-dropping of books which are neither read by the author of the article nor elaborated upon for the benefit of the readers, forms the characteristic style of this essay. If critiquing postmodernism and other trends in bourgeois acadamia and modern politics is something one takes seriously, than one will have to get their hands dirty and engage seriously with better articles than whatever this is.


    1. NMAdmin

      Dear Ramesh,

      It is difficult to engage with your comment since it fails to say anything beyond subjective slander of the author’s intelligence. The article attempts to engage with the specifics of post-modernism, please provide us with a more concrete analysis of the piece so that we may be able to respond better.


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