Marxism Is the Pathfinder

P Satish

A STRONG political alternative can only root out the capitalist system, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said at a seminar organised at the MB Vignana Kendram in Vijayawada on May 12 to mark the bicentennial birth anniversary of Karl Marx.

On the occasion, a Telegu translation of Karl Marx’s magnum opus ‘Das Kapital’ (Capital) was released by Yechury and CPI general secretary Suravaram Sudhakara Reddy.

Addressing the gathering, Yechury said the world capitalist system will never collapse on its own, it can only be defeated through incessant struggles waged by the working class. Karl Marx succinctly analysed the dangers posed by the capitalist system and he wrote ‘Capital’ detailing the alternatives to the capitalist system.

Marx held that appropriation of surplus value is key in an exploitative capitalist system and he analysed that the surplus value generated by the workers is the labour value. Owing to indiscriminate policies of the capitalist system, rich are becoming richer and poor are becoming poorer, Yechury underscored. The purchasing power of the toiling masses is going down drastically and the goods produced have no demand leading to a crisis in the capitalist system.

In the guise of addressing capitalist crisis, governments have given huge bailout packages to capitalists and forced banks to lend heavily to them. Nevertheless, the debts have not been paid back to the banks leading to a banking crisis, Yechury said.

The US had given $12.5 trillion bailout package, which is beyond its GDP ($12 trillion), in order to protect the capitalists. As there is dearth of resources, due to this pro-corporate policies, governments have adopted austerity measures which are nothing but reduction of welfare measures, imposition of burdens on the people. In this background, exploitative measures like rise in working hours were also resorted to.

Marx, being a visionary, had visualised that such a situation was going to emerge, and that is why he wrote all these in ‘Capital’. Yechury called upon the Left and progressive forces to study the ‘Capital’ threadbare and to be ready to wage ideological battle against the capitalist system. Lenin always used to advise toiling sections, who wanted to liberate people from the clutches of the capitalist system, to read and understand the ‘Capital’.  

The Communists have to study ideological and political structure and have to intensify struggles in line with the understanding of Marx, said CPI general secretary Reddy. He refuted the malicious campaign unleashed by vested interests that the Communists were a spent force. He underlined the significance of class struggles by Communist parties despite their electoral setbacks.

The ‘Capital’ had changed the history of mankind and the book was a weapon for the working class, he said and hoped that by utilising the weapon of surplus value theory of Marx, continuous struggles shall have to be waged against the capitalist system by the toiling masses.

Ideas become the force in bigger mass movements as such socialist ideas are to be propagated to fight back the offensive of capitalist system, he suggested. The capitalist society is utilising modern technology, which is leading to rampant unemployment and curtailment of civil rights, he anguished.

Taking a dig at the BJP, Reddy said its leadership at the Centre was promoting communal policies, hatching conspiracies to create enmity between vast sections of the people. He recalled the statement of Noble laureates that human development was more important that GDP growth rate. He stressed upon the significance of political alternative as it was vital for human development.

CPI(M) Andhra Pradesh state secretary P Madhu highlighted the migration of the rich nowadays to urban centres, whereas the poor are languishing in subhuman conditions in villages. He lamented that governments are destroying the nature in the name of development.

CPI state secretary Ramakrishna stressed the need to build big mass movements to combat the onslaught of the capitalist system. Geddam Koteswara Rao, Editor of Visalandhra Publishing House, presided over the meeting. 

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