The Bankruptcy of Idealist Political Discourse
Dr.Rasheed Hassan Khan.
You have seen little birds sitting on telephone wires. It is a very attractive sight to see a multitude of birds sitting in a row when the evening draws to a close. But everyone knows that the little birds are not aware that beneath their claws, the wires are carrying vital and important information to and fro. Similarly some of our political Pundits sit in their drawing rooms, totally oblivious to the currents and cross currents raging in the society around them. Therefore their ideas about the ground realities of Pakistan are naïve at best and opportunistic at worst. Gathering a number of discarded opportunists to cobble together a dynamic left organization is as simplistic as frying pakoras from spit.
A class society is characterized by two main classes or groups. The oppressors and the oppressed, the exploiters and the exploited. Of course there are other classes and groups in the society which occupy an intermediate position in the society. There is a perpetual struggle between these two classes and groups in the economic, political and ideological fields. The position of the intermediate classes vacillates between obedience of the ruling class and revolt against them, depending on the balance of political forces at any given time. This is something objective, i.e. present in society independent of man’s will. It is not only reflected in the thinking but the social practice of the society. This is the scientific truth about the class nature of ideas and the struggle between them. The resolution of the contradiction between the ideas of the oppressing and the oppressed classes can only come about through ideological, political and economic struggle in the society. Social pacifism, philistine peace mongering and bankrupt Social Democratic Ideology (compromise with Imperialism) has no place in the ideology of the oppressed people. Once the masses adopt the ideology of social change, it becomes a concrete force capable of changing the objective world.
In social practice, the influence of the Ideology of the ruling classes can easily be seen permeating the society. The intermediate section of social classes tries to dress like them, live like them and think like them. The fashions, the music, the food and the craze for the ‘in’ things are a part of the insidious poison that is disseminated daily by the ruling classes. The electronic media, the print media, the speeches from the rostrum and the pulpit, all are daily and hourly spewing out the ideology of the exploiting classes. It is inevitable that these ideas should find their way into progressive organizations via the opportunist and careerist elements; the petty bourgeois liberals and the lumpen characters, allergic to discipline, ideological education and the style of simple living and hard struggle are very susceptible to this toxin. Elements from the petite bourgeoisie who do not transform themselves and their outlook sometime create serious organizational problems. Sometimes the removal of these noxious elements from the organization becomes necessary for the health and the survival of the organization if these elements try to disrupt organizational life. The history of NSF is a witness to the fact that whenever these opportunist and careerist elements have made an assault on the Ideology and orientation of NSF, they have been utterly defeated and expelled from the organization. In 1964-65 these elements openly opposed the right of the Kashmiri people to self determination and supported the Indian aggression on Pakistan, they were expelled and took cover under the label of the Sino-Soviet Split. In 1972 there were others who supported military action in East Pakistan; they were also removed from the ranks of NSF. In 1973-74 there were elements that were careerists and opportunists and wanted to use NSF as a bargaining counter to return to the lap of the Bhutto government, they also could not remain within the ranks of NSF. In 1976-77 other elements tried to make an opportunist departure from the orientation of NSF by advocating a reformist and compromising policy for NSF, they were rejected by the majority of the Central Working Committee of NSF and expelled. In 1977-78 there were elements that were enamored of the ‘Revolution’ in Afghanistan and supported the Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan. When they were removed from the organization, they started propagating lies that NSF had aligned itself with Zia and was supporting Jihadis. Then again opportunist and lumpen elements tried to destroy the organizational unity of NSF through factionalism and gross violations of discipline in 1985-86, and they had to be expelled. In 1995-96 a bankrupt family clique which advocated participation in NGO’S instead of political forums and tried to use NSF for personal benefits, had to be expelled from NSF. Now, can anyone say that the issues mentioned above which lead to the expulsion of the various elements responsible, were trivial and inconsequential? No, it is the calumny of the petite bourgeois liberal and the bankrupt social democrat, to vilify the Historic Legacy of NSF.
From its inception in 1956 NSF has fought an ever vigilant battle on two fronts. Against Imperialism and its lackeys and the oppressive exploitative government on one hand and the disruptive petite bourgeois elements on the other. The magnitude of its achievements for the student community and the people of Pakistan are enshrined in the very History of Pakistan. All the vilification, the breast beating and the ranting cannot alter this truth. Let the people judge the credibility of these ‘friends of the people’, these poseurs and imposters. Twenty or thirty years after the struggles in which they were exposed and expelled from NSF, what is the role of these elements as individuals and in the social practice of the people’s struggle to achieve political and economic freedom? It is sad but not surprising that those among these elements engaged in politics, are dedicatedly pursuing the politics of opportunism, those who are not in the political arena are pursuing the agenda of the prosperous bourgeois citizen interested only in the god Lucre, even if the U.S. of A is the medium. But all these elements come out of their cozy corners to dispense advice, criticism and abuse, in seminars and talk fests, and then return to their cozy corners waiting for another opportunity to repeat the same. To hope that they will accomplish anything is to hope for the impossible. When in the heyday of youth all they could contribute was disruption and confusion what can any rational person expect from them when most are past their prime? But in the game of political charades it is form that matters and not substance.