Archive for Marxism

Maoism – A Critique From the Left

Posted in Books & Authors, Communist Movement, International Affairs, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2010 by Umer

Pragoti has had a number of contributors from the Left taking on the subject of Maoism and Maoist violence in India. Various articles such asthis or this have addressed the subject. One of the regular contributors to Pragoti, Prasenjit Bose, has now edited a volume of articles which critique the Maoists from the viewpoint of the organised Left in the country. The critique is organised on various lines – a theory/praxis critique by PMS Grewal and Nilotpal Basu and a comparative assessment of various extremist/Maoist movements across the world, particularly in Latin America by another Pragoti contributor Vijay Prashad. The book is rounded off with a telling ideological document that debated the viewpoints of the Naxalites before these left wing sectarians branched off from the CPI(M) in the late 1960s. The book is available for purchase here. With permission from Prasenjit Bose, we are carrying the introduction to the book (the first chapter) in this post.

Introduction — Prasenjit Bose

As the debate on leftwing extremist violence and the state’s offensive against it intensifies in India, opinion tends to get increasingly polarized. On the one side are those who consider the CPI (Maoist) as a destructive terrorist group, much like the Islamist Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) or the separatist United Liberation Force of Asom (ULFA), which has to be crushed through the military might of the state. On the other side are those who see the Maoists as a revolutionary force, fighting for the cause of the exploited and the marginalized, and justify their violent acts as a necessary evil in order to bring about radical social transformation. Little effort is made, however, from either end to delve deeper into the question of leftwing extremism, in India or elsewhere, in order to understand its current activities in terms of its ideological basis, social roots and historical origins. 

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Women’s Revolution

Posted in Communist Movement, Marxism, Pakistan with tags , , , , , on October 9, 2009 by Umer

by Danish Khan

The science of Genetics and Human Anatomy can not rationalize the oppression faced by women, and their supposed inferiority relative to the men in today’s society. The oppression and exploitation of women are not rooted in their biology, instead they are originated from certain socio-economic conditions. If you travel across the globe you will see women in different roles and in different clothing. But the one thing that all women share in common is the highest degree of oppression and exploitation. It is true that in advanced industrialist societies women are enjoying relatively more freedom and rights as compared to the ones in underdeveloped feudal remnant societies.

To understand the discrimination and the oppression of women in advanced Capitalist countries, we need to completely understand their economic system which is Capitalism. Capitalism depends on the subjugation of women for its very survival. Sexism, racism and every other divisive tool the capitalists possess are vital wedges needed to drive apart male workers from their female comrades in order to prevent the rise of Workers Unity that can defeat this system of oppression. Women have been stringed in such an intense and rigorous life style, they have to take care of their children, home and they also have to work to make both ends meet. Shouldering this extra weight leaves the women workers with little free time to become politically active. This leads women to being forced into the most exploitative living conditions.

While on the other hand when we analyze the material conditions of women of Pakistan and Kashmir, it really reflects the true nature of feudal remnants and tribalism. Women in our society are the most vulnerable creatures. They have been restrained from any economic activity which results in to their role as secondary citizens. Women in our societies are still living in the slavery mode. The ruling class of the country is taking the most advantage of this miserable situation of 49% of the population.

Women in Pakistan and Kashmir are living under strict religious, family and tribal customs that essentially force them to live in submission and fear. Women are subjected to discrimination and violence on a daily basis due to the cultural and religious norms which are the by product of the socio-economic system. According to the recent report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, only 2 percent of Pakistani women participate in the formal sector of employment. 93 percent of rural women and 72 percent of urban women are illiterate. The Male dominance and commodification subjects women to violence on a daily basis in Pakistan. Approximately 70 to 90 percent of Pakistani women are subjected to domestic violence. The murder in the name of “honor,” is one of the worst practices of our society. The rape occurs in Pakistan every two hours with one in every 12,500 women being victims of rape. Five women per day are killed. These are the drastic and terrifying statistics pleading to us to take immediate action for the emancipation of these oppressed women. Although there are feminist groups working in Pakistan but they are funded by certain lobby groups, thus their efforts and willingness is very limited because they are trying to improve the living conditions of women in the jurisdiction of the present socio economic system. Thus the only real hope for the emancipation of oppressed women is the revolutionary Marxists of the country. While a common theme shared by liberal feminist groups and the conservatives that men and women have competing interests. We totally reject this kind of thinking, we understand that Bourgeois class has an interest in maintaining gender divisions, while we Marxists have an interest in breaking them down. We fight along class lines for justice and equality not because as some academics have asserted, “Marxism doesn’t understand the women’s struggle”, but for precisely the opposite reason. Marxism is infused with over 150 years of experience in the struggle against the exploitation and oppression of women. In February 1917, it was the women of Petrograd who marched from factory to factor, rousing their sons, brothers and fathers out into the streets. In February 2009, two Iranian female political activists were sentenced to 100 lashes in public for attending a May Day rally.

It is understood that in the limits of the present socio economic system it is almost impossible to improve the living conditions of women. The only real solution to the problems of Pakistani and Kashmiri women is the revolutionary Marxism. We believe there can be no revolution without the emancipation of women. The progressive revolutionary movement is starting to revive again in our society. It is the prerequisite of our revolution to educate and aware our women. We believe women are going to play the most decisive role in the success of our Red Revolution.

Study of Marxism

Posted in Communist Movement, Marxism with tags , , , , , , on September 17, 2009 by Umer

by Imran Barlas

“According to the materialist conception of history, the ultimately determining element in history is the production and reproduction of real life. Other than this neither Marx nor I have ever asserted. Hence if somebody twists this into saying that the economic element is the only determining one, he transforms that proposition into a meaningless, abstract, senseless phrase.”Engels

To derive a more accurate conclusion of whether the economic and philosophical theories of Marx can work or not, it would be beneficial to:

  • Study the economic theories themselves

We spend the entirety of our school, college, university years learning about capitalism. We cannot rely on a simple booklet which was never intended to form the basis of economic/philosophical theory anyway. On the contrary, we study in depth about subjects to arrive at truly accurate analyses about how the world works.

After all, something is clearly wrong with how the world works today. Today, we are in what is being termed as the Great Recession. Had the major capitalist economies not regulated or intervened through the state, it would have been quite likely that we would have entered a Depression. And that would have been even more disastrous.

Why is it then that despite having Ivy League graduates at the helm of businesses, top professionals from the highest ranking universities regarded as some of the smartest people in the world, that the interlinked economies were quite helpless in preventing the crisis? The answer is that the crisis is systemic. No matter how smart one is or how moral one is, the nature of the system is such that recessions and depressions, i.e. perpetual failures will continue to result due to the irreconcilable antagonism between labor and capital.

The effects on people of a recession are obvious. Hundreds of thousands are thrown out of their jobs. Those workers that remain begin to see reductions in their wages so that the owners/shareholders may continue to stay rich! The ‘symbiotic’ relationship between capitalists and workers that is so often claimed in university text books ends without a second thought. Resource based wars start brewing for the retention of profitability and economic vitality. And so on.

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For the Cause of Comrade Nazeer Abbasi

Posted in Communist Movement, Pakistan with tags , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2009 by Umer

The following message was posted by the Hyderabad District Committee of the Communist Party of Pakistan:

During past two weeks (July 30 to August 09, 2009), various events including hunger strikes, demonstrations, rallies, and seminars, etc., were organized in many parts of the Sindh province to mark the death anniversary of Comrade Nazeer Abbasi, a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP), who was brutally tortured to death in clandestine arrest by bullies of the then Major Imtiaz Billa (now Brig. (Rtd) Imtiaz Billa), a handpicked dog of the US-patronized Pakistani military establishment.

The almost unanimous demand made during these events by different political and civil society formations was the resumption of legal proceedings of Nazeer Abbasi’s murder case and death sentence to be awarded to the perpetrators of this heinous crime. However, a few restricted themselves to just expounding Nazeer’s personal characteristics and the features of his political beliefs and acts without drawing any lessons for today’s and future political strategy in line with Nazeer’s political ideology and struggle based on it.

Some claiming themselves to be heir to Nazeer’s legacy termed him as wholly and solely a “Nationalist”. Some others regarded him as a “Democrat and believer in Human Rights”. Still some others criticized Nazeer’s party for being negligent in taking care of his family after his martyrdom. And his CPP comrades, like always, clearly brought to fore the fact that Nazeer was a true blue Communist follower of the principles of the ideology of Marxism-Leninism.

Was Nazeer a “Nationalist”?

In an event of Nazeer’s death anniversary held by a local Sindh nationalist faction on August 9, 2009, a jail mate of Nazeer claimed during his cell phone address on the occasion that Nazeer was a nationalist and this was precisely why he was an internationalist! The same baseless assertion also reverberated in some other events. Some individuals who had met Nazeer once or twice testified that Nazeer was a nationalist whereas some other acquaintances differed and said he was not at all a nationalist and kept nationalists as much away from him as they did him.

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Understanding Economics

Posted in Marxism with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2009 by Umer

A Marxist Guide to Understanding Economics

Tim Bowron

(from Workers Party of New Zealand)

Economics is a subject which is regarded by most ordinary people as mysterious and totally defying any rational understanding. This is true to an even greater extent today than 50 years ago, as we have increasingly seemed to move beyond a capitalist economy which deals with the production of real tangible things, to the dizzying world of currency hedge funds, financial futures trading and the explosion of the service sector.

No wonder then that many activists who are committed to trying to bring about radical social change shy away from the study of capitalist economics.

However this is deeply problematic because at the same time the one thinker who developed a thorough-going radical critique of capitalism – Karl Marx – is very little read among people on the left (even those calling themselves socialist revolutionaries).

In addition, there exists a widespread misconception that the writings of Karl Marx are so arcane, so mysterious, as to be only comprehensible to a select and gifted few. This is unfortunate because despite the perhaps slightly inaccessible style in which Marx wrote, the basic fundamentals of his philosophy are in reality breathtakingly simple.

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The Colonial Paths of Transition to Capitalism & Reactionary Anti-Imperialism

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs, Marxism, Pakistan with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2009 by Umer

by Taimur Rahman

In order to understand the dynamics between authoritarianism and bourgeois-democracy, let us briefly look at the economic imperative for the development of bourgeois-democracy in capitalism.

Capitalist society is based on the general recognition of private property. Capitalism begins where the money capital of the bourgeois meets with the labour-power of the wage worker. This exchange is premised on the dual recognition of the private property of both parties – capital of the bourgeois and labour-power of the working-person. Thus, in capitalist society the working-person is also recognized as a property owner – the property of the working-person is labour-power. This mutual recognition of property does not distinguish the social conditions that allow one class the social power to buy labour-power and the other the conditions that compel them to sell labour-power. In relation to the market the buyer and seller of labour-power are both commodity owners and the social conditions that make one the buyer and the other the seller of labour-power do not impact the mutual recognition of the two parties as owners of property. In sum, under capitalism there is an economic imperative to recognize the labourer as a property owner.

However, does capitalist society automatically accept the working-person as a free and equal citizen on the basis of the recognition of the working-person as the owner of the commodity labour-power? On the contrary, for capitalist society to translate the economic recognition of the free labourer into the political recognition of a free citizen requires a historical process of class struggle.

For instance, take the development of civil society in Europe. Marx demonstrated that the central tenants of civil society—equality, liberty, security, and freedom of belief, association, and expression as enunciated by the Declaration of the Rights of Man 1791, 1793, and the American Constitution of 1795—were theoretically derived from the central right of private property: Security consists in the protection afforded by society to each of its members for the conservation of his person and property; liberty consists in the right of utilizing one’s property in anyway within the law; equality before the law excludes class equality and so on (Marx, 1843). However the general recognition of these rights was only won as a result of social struggle – the French revolution, the American war of independence. Similarly, the right of freedom of association with respect to the working class (that is the formation of trade unions) can be theoretically derived from the recognition of labour-power as a commodity – since all owners of property have the right to protect and command the best possible price for their respective commodities, the owners of labour-power also have the right to form associations to command the best possible conditions of sale for labour-power. However, the social recognition of the right to form trade unions required a long and protracted social struggle by workers.

The fact is that while the principles of bourgeois-democracy can be theoretically derived from capitalist property relations, the political hegemony of these principles can only come about through social struggle. The necessity of social struggle implies that the theoretical principles are not necessarily ascendant in all forms of capitalism. Thus, the rights afforded by society in any given historical situation are contingent, not merely on the economic relations of production, but also on social struggles and the path of historical development. In other words, the form and development of the class struggle mediates the development of democratic rights.

Societies that travel the road of the colonial path have to contend not with one but with two powerful social forces against democratic development. Firstly, societies of the colonial path must contend with the surviving remnants of pre-capitalist forms of unfree labour. In third world countries millions of workers continue to be enslaved through various pre-capitalist forms of unfree labour. They are still engaged in the struggle to gain bourgeois freedom; that is, the recognition of their labour-power as their individual private property. Naturally, the exploiting classes associated with these pre-capitalist relations are powerful fetters on democratic development. This feature is, however, common to the Junkers and colonial path. Secondly, and more importantly, countries that travel the road of the colonial path must not only challenge these surviving pre-capitalist forms of bondage but must also contend with the undemocratic institutions, relations, and cultural practices of the colonial state. The colonial state, as explained previously, was set up for the extraction of surplus from the colony and in its neo-colonial form continues to act as an obstacle to democracy. Thus, the forces of democracy in colonial countries today must contend not only with pre-capitalist social forces but also with imperialism.

We see then that the configuration of class forces in colonial societies is different either from countries that of the republican or Junkers path. In the first path the bourgeoisie overthrew the feudal lords through a popular revolution (France, USA, Britain) and in the second, the feudal lords slowly transformed into capitalists (Prussia, Austo-Hungary). However, in the countries that travelled the colonial path the capitalist transformation of the state occurred under the colonial regime: That is, the colonial bourgeoisie defeated, militarily or economically, pre-capitalist social forces and captured state power. Although the colonial state is planted on pre-capitalist forms of unfree labour, it is nonetheless a capitalist state because it principally represents the social forces of the dominant foreign colonial bourgeoisie. However, the colonial state, built on the economic foundation of colonial monopoly, cannot be democratic. Thus, the democratic transition of the colonial societies is premised on decolonization and the democratic transformation of the post-colonial state. In conclusion, the democratic transition of colonial countries, ironically, occurs in struggle by indigenous bourgeois-democratic forces against an advanced foreign imperial bourgeoisie. The fact that the democratic revolution in colonial countries requires a struggle against another bourgeois class is unique to the colonial path.

The spread of markets, free labour-power, secular government, foreign capital, commoditisation, consumerism, business culture and so on – in a word, the spread of the economic, political, and cultural values of bourgeois democracy – slowly undercuts and uproots pre-capitalist society. Thus, the way of life of pre-capitalist forces in colonial countries is ground down by the onslaught of colonial capitalism. These pre-capitalist forces, in order to maintain their pre-capitalist way of life, may also rise up, from time to time, against the foreign colonial rule. Significant sections of the working population disaffected by the destructive process of colonial capitalism may join their ranks. This rebellion by pre-capitalist classes against imperialism gives rise to the phenomenon of “reactionary anti-imperialism”. It is anti-imperialist in the sense that it seeks to liberate those societies from foreign conquest or to reverse the influence of foreigners in those societies. On the other hand, it is reactionary because it struggles against the foreigners in order to restore the way of life that existed before colonialism.

Thus, as opposed to the rather simple republican or Junkers path, the colonial path is complicated by the relationship between imperialism, reactionary forces, bourgeois forces, and working classes. The combined and uneven economic development of capitalism, the economic, political, military, strategic imperatives of empires, the degree of objective and subject development of modern and reactionary classes, all these and other factors contribute to sharpening or blurring the contradictions between these forces at different historical moments and societies. History shows that a variety of class alliances leading to very different outcomes are possible within countries that experience transformation through the colonial path. These are not the only possible outcomes but they are some of the outcomes that have been observed in the twentieth century.

Nationalist outcome:

Bourgeois-democratic anti-imperialism under the hegemony of the bourgeoisie

The nationalist outcome is the product of the anti-colonial struggle in countries with a well-developed bourgeoisie progressively radicalized by colonial discrimination together with an organized working class movement. In such cases, the bourgeoisie is able to win and maintain its hegemony over the anti-colonial movement. The main enemy of the nationalist bourgeoisie is colonialism. These nationalist movements do not seek an antagonistic confrontation with reactionary classes but work to win or neutralize them. The classic examples of this case are the anti-colonial struggle of the Congress against British rule, or the African National Congress against Apartheid. To some extent the Pan-Arab movement under Gamal Abdul Nassir can also be put into this category.

National Liberation outcome:

Bourgeois-democratic anti-imperialism under the hegemony of the workers and peasants

The national liberation outcome occurs when the bourgeoisie is unable to maintain the hegemony of the mass anti-colonial movement. It may begin the anti-imperialist struggle (for instance the Nationalists in China) but owing to various historical reasons is unable to maintain this hegemony. Communist parties win the hegemony of the anti-colonial movement and organize workers and peasants against imperialism and their domestic reactionary allies transforming the nationalist movement into a national-liberation struggle. National-liberation struggles are generally opposed not only to the colonial authority but also equally to their reactionary allies. Conversely, they do not seek an antagonistic confrontation with the indigenous bourgeoisie but work to win or neutralize them. The classic case of such national liberation struggles China and Vietnam during the periods of Mao and Ho Chi Minh respectively.

Reactionary Anti-Imperialist outcome:

Anti-imperialism under the hegemony of reactionary classes

The reactionary anti-imperialist outcome occurs when reactionary classes organize and lead the struggle against colonialism or imperialism. The bourgeoisie is either economically and politically weak or reconciled to imperialism. Similarly, working classes, especially those associated with modern capitalism, may be weak, disorganized, or simply unable to exercise significant hegemony or power over the anti-imperialist movement. Reactionary anti-imperialism often relies on the ideology of religious fundamentalism and they are also strongly opposed to independent working class or bourgeois-democratic forces. To such reactionary forces, bourgeois-democratic or socialist working class forces represent another aspect of “Westernisation”. The classic case of such reactionary anti-imperialism is Iran under Khomeni. One may also consider the Mahdi of Sudan, the Khilafat movement in British India , Hamas, and the Taliban in Afghanistan today in the same category.

While the first three are outcomes of anti-imperialist struggle, the following two outcomes are a product of a victorious imperialist strategy.

Reactionary Monarchist outcome:
Based on the class alliance of reaction with imperialism

The reactionary monarchist outcome occurs in instances where historical factors bring about a strong class alliance of reactionary classes and imperialism. Such an outcome is seen to occur in countries where the strategic objectives of imperialism are not to develop any trade or production but to monopolize certain key routes, resources, or territories. Imperialism will help to consolidate and strengthen pre-capitalist reactionary forces and the development of capitalism, in such instances, remains extremely weak. Whatever bourgeoisie develops is generally extremely weak and mostly reconciled to both imperialism and reaction. Other working classes associated with modern capitalism are also under-developed and unable to spark or lead a sustained anti-imperialist movement. Such states are often ‘rentier states’ with the ideology of religious traditionalism that, although aligned with imperialism, are strongly opposed to any independent working class or bourgeois-democratic forces. To such reactionary forces, bourgeois-democratic or socialist working class forces also represent another aspect of “Westernisation”. The classic cases of such reactionary monarchies are Saudi Arabia, Jordon, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and so on.

Bourgeois Reactionary outcome:
Based on the class alliance of the bourgeoisie, reaction, and imperialism

In certain instances the contradictions between reactionary classes, the bourgeoisie and imperialism do not develop into sustained antagonistic conflicts. This outcome is also possible in circumstances where imperialism is able to manage by force and accommodation, these contradictions and they remain within a certain limited framework.

This outcome may occur in a variety of countries ranging from moderate to relatively developed third world economies. The class alliance of imperialism, the bourgeois and reaction is able to overwhelm, in such a period, the forces of change (for instance workers and peasants). The classic cases of such reactionary states are South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Pakistan and so on. One could also argue that nationalist movements, national liberation movements, or reactionary anti-imperialist movements may capitulate to imperialism to leading to a bourgeois reactionary outcome.

We can see that there are sustained periods of both reconciliation and resistance between reactionary and bourgeois democratic forces in relation to imperialism. There are also periods where bourgeois-democratic and reactionary anti-imperialist trends may merge with each other, to some degree, thereby blurring the lines of distinction between the two. These five outcomes are by no means exhaustive. For instance, this admittedly simplistic model does not take into account a situation were bourgeois, reactionary, or working class forces are split along national or ethnic lines; it does not take into account independent action by other classes such as the petty-bourgeoisie, the nomads, or tribes; it does not take into account the results of inter-imperialist rivalry or rivalry between third world states; and so on. Nonetheless, despite the simplistic nature of the model that cannot do justice to the real history, it helps one appreciate that unlike European capitalist development, the colonial path is characterized by greater complexity and a variety of outcomes determined by the modalities of class formation and class struggle.

In sum, India and the region that constitutes Pakistan became capitalist through a ‘colonial path’ with the result that the social-economic formation retains significant features of pre-capitalist relations together with a colonial capitalism.

What we are witnessing in the phenomenon of fundamentalism is a form of reactionary anti-imperialism. We must reject this path of development in favour of the path to national liberation.

The author of the note is a member of the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party (CMKP) and pursuing his doctral degree at SOAS.

Left-wing sloganeering by the Right

Posted in Communist Movement, Marxism, Pakistan with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2007 by Umer

“This conflict is about class” — strange as it may sound, this quotation is neither taken from any writing of Karl Marx nor from the works of any subsequent Marxist. On the other hand, these words came from the most arduous foes of Marxists. The message of class-conflict, this time around, was highlighted by Umm Kusloom, the principal of the controversy-centered Jamia Hafsa, to Dr. Fauzia Afzal Khan, while the latter was visiting Lal Masjid to interview Ghazi Abdul Rashid at the beginning of the eventful week that concluded with the military operation. What led the former principal of Jamia Hafsa, the austere and militant teacher of Islam, to repeat good old Marx? This is not an oversight on the part of Umm Kulsoom, as the rest of the interview present at informs, but let’s look at another incident.

Few weeks ago, a writer through an eminent weekly magazine pointed towards the hypocrisy of the comments made by a religious maderassah student in the midst of the students’ convention while facing General Pervez Musharraf. The students became well-known as the video of his remarks was widely distributed on the internet. During his short speech, the seminary student primarily focused on the class inequality prevalent in the present-day Pakistani society, repeating what the leftist parties and groups have been saying for well over a century. What separated the seminary student from the Left was his proposed solution of returning back to the Islamic system. Karl Marx must be rolling around in his grave.

These fragments of events point towards something very important. To begin, the observations of Karl Marx about the economic and social structure of the society can’t be thrown away in the dustbin, as has been common in many liberal academic circles for quite a while. People, no matter what religion they follow, still associate themselves with their class. They still – to the utter disappointment of Samuel P. Huntington and his political thesis of “clash of civilizations” – tend to recognize class conflict as the primary contradiction in the modern capitalist society. At many occasions, they opt to organize on the basis of class rather than on the grounds of their religious identity. Had that not been the case, the religious preachers would not have been such a zealous enemy of the left-wing through out history; the former were becoming more or less irrelevant due to latter’s political and social program. After all, one is led to think, this word ‘class’ must have something to it. And, therefore, those who want to gain support from the people are bound to bring class-issues in their political equation. For these very reasons, the religious parties from the far-right come to take up the left-wing vocabulary.

Nevertheless, what do the religious parties and groups find more attracting in the left-wing slogans than the promises of the final abode in the heavens, with milk, honey, and, the most magnetic aspect of it, the virgins? The reasons are the same as those cited above. The evils of the capitalist system are glaringly clear to any normal person, and they are becoming more and more blatant with the passage of time. The common man can’t help but notice the vicious circle that he, along with his other fellows, has to go through in order to ensure mere survival. No ideas of eventual comfort can take his eyes away from the humiliation that defines his life.

Recognizing the sense of suffering faced by the common man, the religious parties try to rationalize it. They preach that it is divergence from “the true Islamic path” that is primarily responsible for horrible state of the current world. Satisfactory as the religious answer usually is for the innocent poor men in the absence of any alternative explanation, their movement towards Islam is not just to seek eternal solace, but is also embedded with the wish to better this world. Nevertheless, there are always others, usually from the middle class or tribal background, who usually realize religion only as an appropriate tool to reinforce familial patriarchal notions.

Magnanimous as the wish of the poor is, the right-wing alternative of the present day world capitalism is lacking in countless aspects. At the fundamental level, this analysis is not based on the material realities of the world we live, but on the notion of a priori ideal world. In other words, their solution to the worldly woes does not emerge from an understanding of this very world. How the implementation of some theocratic principles can cure the afflictions of poverty, gender oppression, and education can only be elucidated by the religious politicians through the notion of divine help. The Marxist interpretation of world capitalism as a specific stage in the historical development of mankind and its relationship with private property remain absent from the sermons of the religious men. While we can term the desires of the poor to be pious, how should the intent of the preachers be defined? Isn’t it intellectual sophistry of political and social reactionaries?

Due to the dilution of the Left – primarily because of the domination of the right-wing forces at the state level, generous foreign funding and subsequent suppression of progressive elements – religious politicians and preachers, while sensing the pulse of the people, found it convenient to take up progressive slogans. However, in the wake of a genuine pro-democracy movement, the historical gulf between the progressive and retrogressive trends is bound to reappear and reassert. The right-wing challenge to the Left can only be met through proper description of the actual material causes behind the vicious cycle in which the large majority of mankind is bound today. Once the Left returns to the scene equipped with their traditional slogans, the religious Right will not loose a moment to take up their trademark anti-communist and anti-progressive propaganda.