Q. Even after 70 years of capitalist development after Independence, the CPI(M) still talks about the People’s Democratic Revolution. As per the Marxist understanding, when capitalism has become the mode of production in Indian society, why is the CPI(M) not aiming for a socialist revolution?
Sushant Banerjee, Howrah, West Bengal
A. The programme of the CPI(M) characterises the stage of the revolution as democratic and sets out the strategic goal of the People’s Democratic Revolution.
The stage of the revolution is determined on the basis of the correlation of class forces nationally and internationally, on the nature of the socio-economic formation which is characterised by the level of productive forces and the relations of productions and the nature of the classes existing in society.
While capitalism is the dominant mode of production in India, the level of capitalist development and the growth of productive forces is comparatively lower than in the advanced capitalist countries. In the relations of production that are existing, the contradiction between landlordism and the masses in particular the poor peasants and agricultural workers is foremost. The main task of the agrarian revolution is the abolition of landlordism and the elimination of semi-feudal relations and the distribution of lands of the landlords to the poor peasants and agricultural workers. This task is essentially a democratic one and not a socialist slogan.
It is the slogan of land distribution and the end of the economic and social oppression of landlordism which will mobilise the poor peasants and agricultural workers. This will provide the firm basis for the worker peasant alliance. If the slogan of a socialist nature vis-a-vis agriculture and land relations are raised at this stage, the task of winning over the peasantry and other allies will not be successful.
The three strategic slogans of the present stage of the revolution are anti-landlord, anti-monopoly and anti-imperialist, which are characteristic of the democratic stage of the revolution. It is through the experience of the struggle for fulfilling the anti-landlord, anti-imperialist and anti-monopoly task that the mass of the people belonging to the allied classes can realise the necessity for socialism.
The CPI(M)’s basic goal is socialism, the people’s democratic stage is only a transitional one. As Lenin said, there is no Chinese wall between the democratic stage and the socialist stage. Completion of the democratic task of the revolution will help clear all the pre-capitalist relations and institutions and lay the material foundations for socialism.