Forgotten names of Comintern

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We will talk about those representatives of Comintern who represented oppressed eastern peoples and advocated the alliance with Islamic revolution in colonies; who, remaining faithful to anti-imperialist spirit of Leninism, opposed Stalinist counter-revolution and new Russian (Soviet) imperialism and whose names were concealed by Stalinist-Brezhnevist “communist” bourgeoisie for decades

Submitted: December 10, 2011

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Submitted: December 10, 2011

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Forgotten names of Comintern

Today we will talk about those representatives of Comintern who represented oppressed eastern peoples and advocated the alliance with Islamic revolution in colonies; who, remaining faithful to anti-imperialist spirit of Leninism, opposed Stalinist counter-revolution and new Russian (Soviet) imperialism and whose names were concealed by Stalinist-Brezhnevist “communist” bourgeoisie for decades. The matter concerns Indonesian Tan Malaka, Tatar Mirsaid Sultan-Galiev and Indian Manabendra Nath Roy.

I shall not dwell on Tan Malaka, referring the reader to my review of the article of modern French Islamo-Marxist Girard “Tan Malaka: nationalism, Marxism and Islam”, where, incidentally, mentioned the rest two comrades too (I also recommend to read the article of Vincent Touchaleaume “Marxism and (anti-) colonialism” (with my review) where Girard’s petty-bourgeois nationalist deviations are criticized).

Mirsaid Sultan-Galiev. In the above-mentioned review of Girard’s article about Tan Malaka I already referred to quite good article about him which has written by Sagadeev. Although Sagadeev was bourgeois scientist, however he was honest man who had democratic outlook. Here I shall only say briefly about one defect of his work. Sagadeev mentioned that Sultan-Galiev considered the liberation of eastern peoples which would has undermined imperialist powers and the bribe of labor aristocracy there as powerful lever for revolution in developed countries; he criticized his position:

 

“His guesses… proved to be erroneous in so far as decolonization those countries haven’t produced revolutionary upsurge of working class in the former metropolitan countries”

 

It is wrong, firstly, because decolonization of 1950-60’s hasn’t given the real independence to peoples of colonies (except China and India, later – Iran to some extent), but was the replacement of colonialism with neocolonialism; gaining the real independence becomes the order of the day only today, in the epoch of so-called “international terrorism”; secondly, even such curtailed, superficial decolonization as occurred after World War II (in USSR – in 1991) revived class struggle in the former metropolitan countries: student unrest in France in 1968, the emergence of “New Left” in the West in 1960’s, the emergence of revolutionary movement in Russia in 1990’s after 70 years of hibernation.

Another quite good article about Sultan-Galiev is one written by M. Doronenko, entitled “Mirsaid Sultan-Galiev and his ideas. Bolshevism, Islam and national question” at Trotskyist site http://www.rwp.ru/. However it should be said about defects too (those defects are caused by Trotskyism views of the author). He quotes Sultan-Galiev:

 

“We think that the recipe which proposes the replacement of dictatorship over the world of one class of European community /bourgeoisie/ with its antipode /proletariat/, i.e. with its other class, wouldn’t produce any great change in social life of oppressed part of mankind. In any case, if any change will occur, it would be the change for the worse, not for the better. It would be only the replacement of less strong and less organized dictatorship with centralized dictatorship of forces of the same capitalist Europe /including America/ which united on European scale over the rest of the world. In contrast to this we propose another thesis – the concept that material preconditions for social reorganization of mankind can be created only by establishing of dictatorship of colonies and semi-colonies over metropolitan countries, because only this way can create real guarantees of the liberation and emancipation of the global productive forces which is put into irons by western imperialism”

 

And then Doronenko criticized these Sultan-Galiev’s views:

 

“Just these ideas became widespread subsequently in Maoism and theories of “New Left”. But incorrectness of this concept is evident for every Marxist. Firstly, the main cause of defeats of revolutions in Europe, about which Sultan-Galiev writes, was either social-democracy open betrayal or party leadership mistakes. The problem was not with revolutionary character of the class, but with revolutionary character of its leadership. As regards the question about the character and driving forces of revolutions in colonial and semi-colonial countries, the history has already shown by examples of Russian [??? Is Russia colonial or semi-colonial country? – A. G.], Chinese and other revolutions entirely counter-revolutionary character of national bourgeoisie, as well as the fact that the tasks of anti-colonial revolution can be realized only if the breaking with this bourgeoisie will be accomplished. Colonial and semi-colonial countries are really those countries, where revolutionary potential is higher than anywhere owing to combined type of the development of these countries, when capitalism doesn’t destroy pre-capitalist forms of exploitation and the political superstructure but subordinate them to itself. But just such combination of advancing and backwardness in which national bourgeoisie is already not the irreconcilable enemy of the pre-capitalist remains and completely dependent on imperialism necessitates the hegemony of proletariat in revolution. Sultan-Galiev’s idea of dictatorship of colonies over metropolitan countries, in which he saw the way of national inequality elimination in fact substitutes national struggle for class one. Even if this idea would be realized, it would only lead to new “eastern” imperialism, which emergence, by the way, Sultan-Galiev himself always feared. The only way to put an end to the causes of national inequality is the extermination of capitalism and imperialism, economical and cultural raising of national outlying regions, which is possible only through the victory of international revolution and democratically organized power of working class”

 

So, what is right in Sultan-Galiev’s views and what is wrong? What is right in Doronenko’s views and what is wrong?

Of course, Sultan-Galiev’s idea of dictatorship of colonies and semi-colonies over metropolitan countries is wrong, and I often wrote about this time and again when criticize Maoists. In colonies there is not only proletariat, but the vast masses of peasantry, which are revolutionary only in part, and in other part they are reactionary, savage. Such dictatorship would be “invasion of barbarians” into Europe, similar to Herzen’s idea about invasion of Russians into Europe, which was criticized by Marx and Engels. Doronenko is right, that “even if this idea would be realized, it would only lead to new “eastern” imperialism”, also he is right that Sultan-Galiev himself always feared its emergence - Sagadeev also wrote about this:

 

“But one must not forget, Sultan-Galiev emphasizes, that the East suffers from oppression from the direction of its own national bourgeoisie too. The East is the cradle of despotism, and one must not except, that by the time of the overthrow of West-European imperialism eastern imperialism will begin to revive”

This observation distinguishes favorably Sultan-Galiev from modern Maoists, who overlook imperialist features of Iran etc. Of course, it is wrong to “fear” eastern imperialism emergence, since such emergence is progressive, but it is necessary to take this fact into account.

Furthermore, Sultan-Galiev is also wrong when he writes: “if any change will occur, it would be the change for the worse, not for the better” – this reasoning is similar to that of narodniks (Russian populists of the late XIX century), who didn’t see the progressive role of capitalism. Certainly, such revolution would strengthen tendency of this power to conquests (striking example of this is October revolution in Russia in 1917), but by that it would draw peoples of colonies into capitalism and consequently into national-liberation and class struggle.

Furthermore, Sultan-Galiev doesn’t divide the “proletariat” of developed countries into proletariat properly and labor aristocracy, reckoning it as a whole among labor aristocracy. Of course, it was excusable for Sultan-Galiev in some degree, because in his time the split between proletariat and labor aristocracy was not so strong as today, and proletariat in overwhelming majority of cases followed labor aristocracy. Also Sultan-Galiev couldn’t know that proletariat of metropolitan countries will supplemented strongly with immigrants, who, on the one hand, detached from their historical homeland to a considerable degree (and, therefore, haven’t patriarchal prejudices of their nation), on the other hand, they are not infected with great-power chauvinism.

On the other hand, Doronenko is wrong deeply, that “the problem was not with revolutionary character of the class, but with revolutionary character of its leadership”. This is typical error of “Marxists” of metropolitan countries, who don’t see that opportunism of the leadership is rooted in degeneration of sizeable part of proletariat into labor aristocracy; who consider only labor bureaucracy as labor aristocracy, about what American Leninists Max Elbaum and Robert Seltzer and Australian Leninist Strauss wrote. Similarly Trotskyites don’t see that Stalin’s clique betrayal of the interests of proletariat is rooted in degeneration of sizeable part of Russian proletariat into labor aristocracy. Such error is in essence the deviation from materialism.

The last sentence of above-mentioned quotation from Doronenko’s article smacks of imperialist economism and nihilism in national question.

Also Doronenko uses incorrectly the term “national bourgeoisie” where it would be correctly to say “comprador bourgeoisie”. It is typical error of Trotskyites, who confuse these things, confuse the right idea about necessity of breaking-off from ruling colonial and neo-colonial elite in colonies with wrong idea about breaking-off from peasantry, from the broad semi-proletarian masses, and often – even from proletariat itself. As Lenin taught, “there are bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie”, but Trotskyites don’t comprehend this difference.

The end of Doronenko’s article is bourgeois completely:

 

“Mirsaid Sultan-Galiev warned that the revival of great-power policy will lead to the collapse of USSR sooner or later. As is well known, this prophecy came true completely. Bureaucracy of national republics which began to follow the path capitalist restoration availed itself cleverly during perestroika of national resentment and of discontent about the crimes of Stalin’s regime for the purpose of disintegration of USSR. The result is known: restoration of capitalism in its most decayed and barbarian form, wars and internecine strife. Such is the result of Stalin’s counter-revolution”

 

As we see, the sense of Doronenko’s words is following: it was necessary to take Sultan-Galiev’s advice, then USSR wouldn’t collapsed. In fact, Doronenko reasons here as far-sighted bourgeois: it is necessary to abandon extremes of colonialism for the sake of maintaining of the empire. Here he practically doesn’t differ from Putin who consider the collapse of USSR as “the greatest tragedy of XX century”.

Nevertheless, the article is worthy of notice.

Let’s examine the article of American Maoists which concerns Sultan-Galiev and modern Islamic revolution (http://www.prisoncensorship.info/archive/etext/countries/panislamic/islam1007.html . On converting to Islam: the invisible schism in the international communist movement. October 23 2007). We shall not analyze all this article – there are many confusions there, which have arisen from lack of knowledge of facts, from typical prejudices of modern Maoists and the like (for example, the author sympathizes with Russian fascist Limonov who converted himself to Islam at the call of Bin Laden; contemptuously names white American poor “white trash”; represents Lenin’s theory of the “weakest link” as Stalin’s thesis; doesn’t distinguish between class essence of Al Qaeda and that of Taliban etc.). We shall analyze only the points which are interesting to us.

The author regrets that because of Sultan-Galiev was executed by Stalin, Sultan-Galiev’s ideas remained unknown in the West. He recognizes that Stalin was guilty of the split between him and Sultan-Galiev: author says that “Stalin did not see the next 75 years and he felt too much pressure from Trotsky--the concentrated expression of an incipient Russian labor aristocracy and already existing Russian settlers moving into Muslim territories” (of course, it is absurdly to blame Stalin’s chauvinism on Trotsky). According to author, Trotskyism is “just a particularly coherent and articulate version of Menshevism”. This assertion is correct only in part. Trotsky’s position was inconsistent, and in it there was not only Menshevism, which counts on the revolution in Europe and practically doesn’t pay attention to peoples of oppressed nations, but also the criticism of Stalin’s chauvinism, though inconsequent.

Here are some places from this article:

 

“The typical impression we receive from the imperialists and their pseudo-Marxist defenders is that Muslim nationalists are hopelessly irrational…”

“According to long-time CIA analyst Michael Scheuer, Osama Bin Laden is very practical, not inclined to irrationality. In fact, he says that Osama Bin Laden is more realistic than his own political leaders, and this is among other reasons that numerous CIA analysts had to resign from Mideast duties: "I fear, al Qaeda sees the world clearer than we"”

“Given the poor quality of our media, the topic of Al Qaeda is one we can be sure we do not know much about. If Scheuer is correct in his historical depiction of Al Qaeda, then Al Qaeda is the most significant anti-imperialist organization in the world”

“…there is more reality to "Allah is coming" than "the Western worker is coming." The people of Islam are already on the move as oppressed and exploited people. The Taliban member on average is less utopian than the average phony communist globally pretending that Euro-Amerikan workers are exploited and still about to rise up at any minute. The Taliban knows about war against imperialism concretely, while the Western so-called "working class" knows about the couch. Liberation fighters in Afghanistan have known the joy of defeating Soviet social- imperialism and now some of the same people are fighting U.$. imperialism. Unfortunately, the Trotskyists in contrast, are able to spout the same worthless tripe for more than 80 years running without a single revolution to their credit since Lenin's death. So things became upside down: the Trotskyists claimed to be scientists though completely unconnected from reality and the Taliban claimed to be religious though composed of fighters of considerable practical experience against imperialist troops. That is the dialectical sort of twist Marx prepared us for but did not expect”

“There is a wing of Islam that needs to receive 1000 times more weight in our global understanding as communists than Trotskyism does”

“Passive reflective types have claimed so-called science, what Marx derided as contemplative materialism, now best exemplified by Trotskyism”

“Not the West, not I$rael, not Russia and not China--so in our times the entry point of discussion has to be Sultan-Galiyev or Osama Bin Laden himself”

 

It is necessary to add to author’s words, that Stalinists are the same “priests of Marxist parish” as Trotskyists.

Other article about Sultan-Galiev at the same site (http://www.prisoncensorship.info/archive/etext/countries/panislamic/index.html, Sultan Galiev: Starting a Re-Appraisal) gives more answers than questions.

 

“Whether or not Stalin was right in 1923, we can say for sure that Sultan-Galiev's ideas deserve more respect today”

 

We see that the position of author of those 2 articles is contradictory, which tries to reconcile Stalinism with Sultan-Galiev's ideas, and even if the author refuses the former in favor of the latter, he does it very hesitatingly.

Manabendra Nath Roy. Indian M. N. Roy which is named “apparently the greatest modern Indian materialist” (http://advaita.fatal.ru/Books/murti.html), was the delegate of Comintern conventions and even one of founders of Mexican Communist Party. His name is mentioned in Lenin’s collected works (see Collected works, 5th edition (Russian-language), vol. 41, p. 241, 242, 245): Roy’s drafts along with Lenin’s drafts served as a basis for Comintern theses on national and colonial questions. Roy’s views can be judged by the fragment of his letter to S. Yu. Rutgers (apparently, it was written about 1920):

 

“Although I am convinced of inevitable collapse of capitalist society, which has reached the highest stage of development in Europe and USA, I increasingly come to the conclusion that proletariat of western-European countries and USA will need external force in order to enter into final struggle. Kapp’s incident and absolute lack of initiative from the side of German communists in the moment when they have such fair chance, give the ground for my conclusions. I also rather well know the psychology of English working class. I doubt strongly of their ability to perform conscious revolution in the near future. Proletarian solidarity turned out to be rather sad show last two years, when Russian comrades alone fight against reactionary forces of the whole world. My opinion is such: it is necessary to attack strong positions of capitalism in Europe and America at flanks and rear. Much time, energy and money is spending in order to organize frontal attack, which doesn’t yield any considerable result as yet. It is necessary to devote more time to organization strong attacks on USA from Latin American countries and on European capitalism from Asian colonies. This conviction has led me to the idea of Latin American bureau. I also propose to create East bureau somewhere, in Persia or Afghanistan. At the head of this bureau must be the people with clear vision of international situation. In spite of their so-called less developed class consciousness, masses in the countries of Latin America and the East less infected with bourgeois culture and traditions, which create certain conservatism in European and American industrial proletariat. They are driven to revolution every day; they speak about revolution too much; but this instinctive conservatism prevents them from heading it. They must be pushed into revolution, and for this it is necessary to take certain measures. Thus, in my opinion, the only solution is the great mass upheaval in mentioned countries. It will mean the collapse of western (including American) industrial system. And inevitable result of such collapse will be the enormous response among proletariat of Europe and USA”.

 

Roy’s words that “proletarian solidarity turned out to be rather sad show” would be topical today too, if one replaces the words “Russian comrades” with the words “Chechen comrades”, aren’t they?

Incidentally, in above-mentioned place of Lenin’s writings it is said that it is erroneous to name national-liberation movements bourgeois-democratic, because by this the distinction between revolutionary wing and reformist one of these movements is eliminated, especially since imperialists try to instill reformism even in oppressed peoples. Today is the same. Left activist NKVD criticizes me for the consideration Taliban’s wing of Islamism as proletarian one; he says that it is petty-bourgeois. And at the same time he praises the strike of minibus drivers in Mahachkala (Dagestan), i.e. that sort of struggle, by which Russian imperialists want to divert the attention of North Caucasus people from revolutionary struggle against military.

Also NKVD criticizes me for my “morbid” love to Islamists. He doesn’t see dialectics. He ignores that Russia’s population today is only 2% of the world population, moreover, this percentage decreases; that the percentage of oppressed Muslim peoples, on the contrary, increases; that the percentage of immigrants (Uzbeks, Tajiks etc.) among Russia’s population increases; that Russian proletariat can’t win without the alliance with Islamic revolution, without learning from this revolution. Also NKVD doesn’t see dialectics in the sense that materialism, Marxism is dialectical doctrine, which is renewed, as Engels said, with every new scientific discovery, with every new social phenomenon. But we shall talk about it below.

Let’s return to Roy. In the later 1920’s he has divided in opinion from Stalin. During 1930’s he spent time in prison in India for the struggle against British imperialism. A short time later he was released from prison, he has published the work “Historical role of Islam” (1939).

Let’s examine this work. Roy clearly demonstrated in it, that original Islam was revolutionary ideology, primitive materialism (primitive – relative to our time, but for its own time it stood very highly), which degraded later, in several centuries, transforming to reactionary ideology, to idealist obscurantism (similar to evolution of Soviet official “Marxism-Leninism” from 1920’s to 1980’s). Be delighted with revolutionary mission of original Islam in overthrow oppressors and empires of that time, Roy, however, doesn’t idealize its religious prejudices, criticizing them; he doesn’t idealize Prophet Mohammed. I think that proletarians of the 3rd world wouldn’t bear any resentment against Roy that he, recognizing Mohammed one of the greatest revolutionary of all times and peoples, defined his “contacts” with Allah as the result of mental disorder caused by too intensive thought activity etc. (many revolutionaries of the newest age were also ill with mental disorder – Pisarev, for example – and this fact doesn’t detract from the value of their works). Incidentally, this work is presented at one of Indian Muslim sites.

We, Leninists, dislike deeply those who try to divert the attention from the present to ancient history as Kautsky did. But this Roy’s work is another case. The purpose of this work for Roy was overcoming the distrust of one part Indian society – Hindus – to another part – Muslims, and also the purpose was the struggle against traditional Islam, i.e. against Muslims’ religious prejudices, which were far from original Islam, in which there was much more materialism than idealism.

Today India already became independent, it entered into imperialist stage and oppresses itself other peoples – for example, it participates in suppression Talibs (the features of this entering were noticed already by Roy, he wrote about “spiritual imperialism” of Indian nation). Certain part of Indian Muslims (Jammu and Kashmir etc.) is still oppressed, but other part of them is assimilated into Indian nation, becoming its part enjoying full rights (like Bashkirs and Tatars within Russian nation), and among them there are many representatives of middle class.

What dos the value of this work consist in for us, Russian proletarians?

This work confirms that Islamism which is the revival of original Islam as applied to new age, is the development of Marxism-Leninism (especially since early Islam, as Roy correctly noticed, had latent abilities for great development), even if formally it isn’t based on writings of Marx and Lenin. I wrote about it time and again (see my works “The review of works of James Blaut” and “Double standards or taking into account concrete historical particularities?”). My opponent Aleksey Trofimov answered to my arguments with a stream of abuse, repeating old stereotyped phrases that “Islam is religion”; that Caliphate, which is advocated by Islamists, is “feudal theocratic state”; that Marxism must be based on writings of Marx and Lenin (as if Marx and Lenin are gods – we see that Trfimov breaks with materialist principles of Marxism here, with the principle that “social being determines consciousness”). Unfortunately, Trofimov’s prejudices are shared by even honest Marxists, and it is necessary to arm with patience in order to expose them.

This work exposes the ignorance of Trofimov and the like, who think that Muslims did nothing except for “sitting and praying” during centuries. It also exposes the lie of official Muslim clerics, representatives of “KGB-Islam”, any tajuddins and gaynutdins who oppose Islamic revolutionaries under the pretext that Islam is translated as “religion of peace”. Roy writes that Islam is really translated as “religion of peace”, but the achievement of peace was possible only through the revolutionary war, through demolition of decayed empires, which were the source of internecine wars. Of course, ancient empires and modern imperialist powers are two different things; however, modern imperialist powers are the same obstacle in the way of social progress as ancient empires were, and therefore the call of “true Islam” is topical today too. The necessary condition of the victory of proletariat in Russia and in rich nations in general is the establishment of Caliphate near south borders of Russia, the integration of poor nations into Caliphate.

Roy also correctly writes that strict monotheism of Mohammed (“the god is only one”) was the great progress in comparison with idolatry which dominated in that time, including idolatry of those religions which were quasi monotheist (as Christianity was). Roy correctly notices that strict monotheism undermines religious faith in general, and, moving the god away far into the sky, is the step toward materialism. These words are topical today too, when “Marxists” are wallowed in idolatry, idealizing Marx and Lenin; when “Marxism” is degenerated into the religion with mausoleum, placing wreaths to Lenin’s monuments and on a grave of “unknown warrior”; into Lenin’s busts (today – Orthodox icons and Medvedev’s portraits), which number is greater than the number of Russians; when leaders of “civilized” nations pray openly to the cross, that is mere piece of wood; when cults of personalities of different bourgeois dictators from Stalin to Medvedev prevail etc. Incidentally, when Kyrgyz authorities which are in fact the puppets of Russia, became to represent World War II from the side of USSR as “jihad”, playing on emotions of Kyrgyz people, local Islamists condemned the worship of “eternal fire” namely as idolatry which contradicts Islam. Another example is Islamic ideologist Sayyid Qutb which in his work “Milestones” used Mohammed’s slogan “the god is only one” as call to disobedience to any oppressor regime, as call to the revolution of the poor against the rich and to classless society.

Above-mentioned comrade NKVD, criticizing me, cites the rhyme of some Syrian poet of 14th century which derides Muslims for worship of the stone; NKVD writes: Muslim peoples must follow the example of this poet. NKVD doesn’t understand, that in 14th century official Islam, which was rightly derided by that poet, was already not revolutionary; that the revival of not this Islam is advocated by Islamists; that the position of Islamists is the same materialist as that poet’s one, but much deeper, and to hold that poet up as an example in comparison with Nabhani, for instance, is absurdly. If we look at the position of even such ideologist of modern Islamism (obviously not the best) as Nabhani, we would see that he, demanding rational and empirical proof of any assertion, and also recognizing that not everything in Quran must be understood literally, that there are allegorical phrases too, in fact comes closely to denial the god’s existence, though subjectively he believed in god (see my review of his work “Thought”).

The early Islamic criticism of the “pure” theorizing and “logical” (rather sophistical) constructs, which are not confirmed by experience, is also topical today. Indeed, above-mentioned Nabhani correctly writes that “Marxist” (rather opportunist) thesis about “revolutionary character” of “proletariat” (rather labor aristocracy) is such hypothesis which is not confirmed by experience (ibid.). Indeed, when the old proletariat of advanced capitalist countries and USSR has degenerated to a considerable extent into labor aristocracy, Stalinist-Brezhnevist opportunists continued to harp obstinately on its “revolutionary role”, based not on facts but on logics of Marxism of pre-imperialist stage, which was applied out of place (just as one Greek sage argued through pure logical way, ignoring the experience, that the runner would never overtake the tortoise). Really, above-mentioned Maoist was right: “there is more reality to "Allah is coming" than "the working class is coming".

Philosophers of early Islam, which demanded strict mathematical proof, were superior to such “Marxists” as Aleksey Trofimov, who ignores the level of economic development and alleged that I support the struggle of Kosovo’s Albanians against Serbian oppression because they are Muslims.

Of course, among Islamists there is petty-bourgeois wing too, which is represented today in Internet by many sites. They idealize Prophet Mohammed, always write “Peace be upon him” after his name, although, as Roy gives evidence, early Muslims didn’t deify Mohammed, considering this as the deviation from monotheism; they considered Mohammed as a “mere mortal”.

Then, Roy writes that early Muslims preserved for mankind and multiplied the heritage of Greek culture. It is right, but it is only the half of true. Both American mathematician and historian of mathematics Morris Kline and Nabhani acknowledge, that Muslims, unfortunately, adopted Greek science and philosophy non-critically, without separating merits from demerits (ibid).

In the times of Mohammed Islam came from Arabian Desert. Today the revival of its early revolutionary principles comes rather from Central Asia to all appearance – from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan. Incidentally, bourgeois analysts acknowledge, that leaders of Islamist movements in post-Soviet Central Asian republics are mainly the representatives of technical intelligentsia, i.e. of exact sciences, the holders of rationalist approach – the approach which was inherent just to early Islam, which led to flourishing of mathematics, astronomy, medicine etc. Let’s recollect Engels’ words that leaders of bourgeois revolutions were lawyers mainly (in Russia in 1991, we add, the leader of bourgeois revolution was artistic intelligentsia, which revolutionary character based on emotions, not on cold scientific reason), but the leaders of proletarian revolution will be the representatives of natural-scientific intelligentsia – chemists, biologists etc.

Let’s return to Roy. Later, after writing of this work, he made serious errors – in 1940 he refused Marxian determinism, then, during World War II, he advocated, along with Stalinists, the alliance with Britain against Germany (all progressive Indian public condemned him for the latter). But these facts don’t detract from the merit of this work.

Let’s say a few words about Roy’s refusal of Marxian determinism. Probably, it was the rash protest against Stalinist “economistic” vulgarization of Leninism, against belittling the role of revolutionary vanguard. The time interval between writing this work by Roy (1939) and this refusal (1940) is rather small. Did this his error adversely affect this work?

Yes, partly. Indeed, Roy writes, that until Indian people understand the role of original Islam, it wouldn’t gain the independence. But this is utopian dream. Until capitalism overthrown, masses of people will be unconscious, wild etc., and they will not raise their consciousness to the high level, because few of them have the conditions for this. Another matter is the vanguard consisted of professional revolutionaries. Here indeed the high level of consciousness is necessary. Little group of revolutionaries which is separated from opportunism, which elaborated the theory, would spread it among thousands agitators, and they would set out this theory, even if in simplified form, to millions of proletarians, advancing to the poorest masses the slogans which are extremely simple and understandable, but very close to masses.

Of course, the poverty alone doesn’t make firm revolutionary of proletarian, and it is wrong to understand Marxian determinism in such manner. But it is also wrong to think that until proletarians one and all become revolutionary theorists, revolution is impossible. No, the vanguard of revolutionaries, which would lead the poorest masses, is necessary. This is Lenin’s idea, which was concealed by Stalinist opportunism for decades, but at the same time was taken up by ideologists of Islamism - Sayyid Qutb, Taqiuddin an Nabhani etc.

I wrote in my previous works about succession between Lenin and us; I wrote that “the intermediates” between him and us are to a greater or lesser extent early Mao and Enver Hoxha. But both of them were not free of Stalinist opportunism. Today, having familiarized ourselves with writings of those who were concealed by “the priests of Marxian parish”, we can say with certainty: “the intermediates” between Lenin and us are Tan Malaka, Mirsaid Sultan-Galiev and Manabendra Nath Roy.

 

November 8th, 2010

A. G.

 

 


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