Appeal for solidarity for the garment workers of bangladesh !

The workers of Bangladesh need our solidarity !

On the 26th of April Bangladesh was shaken by the worst industrial disaster in the history of the country. The collapse of the Rana plaza structures have left up to 350 dead and nearly a thousand injured many of whom are still trapped in debris ! This disaster and the one at Tazreen garments preceding it have exposed the exploitative nature of the garments industry as well as the vested political interests behind this exploitation.

But the workers are not silent ! They refuse to be victims of this exploitation any longer and have gone on the warpath with a general strike action demanding better working conditions and decent wages. The present strike is of historic importance in the history of the worker’s struggle in Bangladesh and has succeeded in mobilizing most of the 3 million workers employed in the 5000 sweatshops which dominate this industry.

At this critical juncture it is indispensable that we throw our fullest support to the workers in their time of struggle. The workers of India, the US, the UK and France especially must extend their solidarity to the exploited workers of Bangladesh.

Capitalists anywhere are the enemies of workers everywhere !

The big capitalist MNCs who lord over major economies of the world are the protectors and beneficiaries of the sweatshop industry which is so prevalent in Bangladesh. India’s capitalists have played a leading role in the upkeep of the political interests which protect the garment bosses, while the capitalists of the USA and Europe, in particular big retail chains like Wal mart who source their material from these ‘third world’ sweatshops, are a vital economic linkage contributing to the exploitation of the workers there.

All of these big moneyed interests are looking out for each other to ensure the sustenance of this system. To this alliance, the working class must counter pose it’s own ! One which is forged on solidarity in class struggle against the capitalist looters ! For this we must work towards constructing a joint action in coordination with the garment workers in Bangladesh.

Tactics of support :

As our first tactics we should address the immediate relief for the workers and their families who are victims of this building collapse. We may start with a petition against the bangladeshi government demanding action be taken against those responsible for this building collapse and give compensation to the families who have been aggrieved.

In terms of international solidarity workers in the US and UK who stand at the consumption end of the chain, can begin enquiries commission in their own companies to ensure that there is no profit from sweatshop labor and a call by trade unions condemning cheap labor exploitation in Bangladesh.

The workers in India hold a key strategic position in this respect, where their own capitalist rulers are actively engaged in harboring the political regime *( through huge loans regular political and military protection) and which encourages this vicious exploitation through sweatshop labor. An example for us to follow has been set by the protests around Marikana massacre in Africa where a committee for solidarity was set up by labor activists and other democratic activists.

United we fight ! Divided we fail !


What the Socialist revolution will bring to India


A Socialist India:


The socialist revolution in India would open up humongous forces of production the likes of which would have no historical parallel. The already existing productive potential of India which has had to overcome the most insidious bureaucratic and reactionary hurdles to its progress would be undone overnight. Latent scientific talent which has been stunted and decapitated for decades under capitalism would be freed of its shackles and advance immeasurably faster than it is progressing now. The Indian Space programme wouldn’t measure up to even a fraction of what the future Socialist india would achieve. All of this in the context of the 21st century when mankind has already achieved leapfrog advances in scientific and technical prowess, not to mention the vast advances in healthcare and lifestyle making human civilization immeasurably more advanced than it was in the period of the revolutions in the last century. It is a manifest injustice committed by the Indian bourgeois which zealously keeps all the advances of this century to itself and deprives the people of its benefits, forcing them to languish in crushing poverty and backwardness while the rich advance to international heights. The Socialist revolution would overthrow this reactionary roadblock of the bourgeois on the development of Indian society.


The Socialist revolution would achieve in India that would have not been achieved in all previous revolutions, namely the conquest of democracy. All previous revolutions have taken place under conditions of dictatorship or colonialism. The Indian working class would achieve the conquest of power not under the crude institutions of dictatorships or colonialism but under the sophisticated institution of bourgeois democracy in a country where the bourgeois is independent and in transition towards greater advance towards imperialism. The very first tasks of the revolution would be modest in so far as it would simply implement the already existing schemes of welfare under capitalism more efficiently and more effectively. Gone would be the days when welfare for the rural masses would be simply a means for the corrupt to make money at the expense of the public. Never again would we hear of ministers and government officials looting the public exchequer of funds for development. A Soviet system of governance which puts the people directly in charge of administering and fulfilling their material needs would more than take care of corruption. It would fully eradicate it, along with the people responsible for it ! All areas of cultural and intellectual life of Indian society would advance beyond our wildest imaginations.


India’s vast multi national monopoly enterprises in the state sphere and private sphere would ensure that the future socialist government would have no shortage in ensuring the material needs for the socialist transformation of india. All necessary material requisites would already be in the possession of the workers almost immediately in the hands of the working class in power. (Not to mention over $1 trillion dollars of wealth which was robbed from the oppressed masses of India and kept in swiss banks and other tax havens) Add to this the nationalization of land which would bring both land and industry under the control of the proletarian regime, and we’ll see Socialist India augment its productive and financial prowess manifold within a few short years of its establishment. The control of industry and production determined nationally in coordination with worker’s councils controlling the means of production and distribution would ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of Socialist industry in India.The legendary wastefulness and destructive character of capitalism in India would end creating a society ages in advance over what it is today. And all of this within a few short years ! And this would only be the beginning ! Such would be the power of the Indian revolution.


Nowhere more would the advance of Socialism be more visible than in the countryside. In present day India, the countryside is undergoing the worst imaginable poverty. The rural masses have endured the bulk of the suffering imposed by indian capitalism and faced the brunt of armed repression, economic exploitation as well as political subjugation. This miserable condition would be completely reversed under a socialist revolution.


The Socialist revolution would realize in the indian countryside the highest freedoms, economic, political and social. The nationalization of land would immediately ameliorate the negative effects caused by shrinking land ownership and fragmentation of agricultural holdings. The cancellation of debt of the rural poor and the complete abolition and eradication of informal lending would improve the condition of the peasantry by leaps and bounds. A whole class of usurious rural landholders and money lenders would be expropriated. This would pave the way for the penetration of urban goods and machinery for the betterment of indian agriculture. The rapid advances in transportation and infrastructure brought about by worker’s control over manufacturing and nationalization of land, would make even the remotest of villages accessible to modern healthcare and education. The freeing of these two critical areas from the bounds of profit would lead to a rapid betterment of standards of living and the achievement of full literacy. Free education and healthcare at all levels would ensure healthcare and education for all and the right to live a life of dignity and worth.


The Socialist revolution would also produce a Socialistic armed forces. The indian armed forces are the 21st century avatar of the armed forces of tsarist russia. Bereft of any ethos, compiled of corrupt upper ranks who treat their lower rank counterparts like cannon fodder. The peasantry which is periodically duped and forced ( by economic necessity ) to join the army is seen as nothing more than this in the eyes of the bourgeois, a useful dumb-as-cattle cannon fodder. The peasant army of India is deprived of the resources as basic as food and clothing and is forced to fight the false and unjust wars of the bourgeois, more often than not against their own countrymen. These ranks of corrupt and exploitative military elite would be eliminated to make way for an armed national militia. This new army would be a far cry from the present day Indian army, bereft of any morale akin to an army of zombies with the life having sucked out of them, not knowing what they fight for or why they fight. Bourgeois nationalism has failed to galvanize even the most committed sections of the population in the army.


To be fair, Capitalist india like most great powers of the time have developed enough adequate forces to defend itself against other capitalist nations including the ability launch chemical warfare and engage in nuclear warfare. These resources, which under the control of the bourgeois is used against our own class brethren would be taken up and used for the defense of the worker’s state and the defense of the Indian revolution. No major country of the world would dare antagonize a nuclear armed Socialist india backed up by one of the world’s largest navies and air forces. The Navy in particular is important as a tool for the exportation of the revolution across the indian ocean. There is not a force of reaction which would be able to withstand the power of the Revolutionary Indian navy. India today possesses far greater muscle than did post revolutionary russia when it went to defend the revolution in Scandinavia and failed against the might of the German armies. But the real power of the revolution would lie in international solidarity which it would forge. The Conquest of democracy which has never hitherto been achieved, would be achieved here. This would unleash a wave of revolutions across the world throughout democracies similar to those of india inspired by the first successful revolution in a bourgeois democracy. In the event of an intervention socialist india’s greatest strength would lie in harnessing this great power and use it against the world imperialist system. The best ally of the Indian working class is the working class of Europe, Asia and America.


A towering achievement of the Indian revolution would be the unification of the indian sub-continent on a new democratic and socialist basis. The present unions of India and pakistan are hinged on a reactionary communal logic of the ‘two-nation theory’. The unnatural nature of pakistan is evident from the cession of Bangladesh and the ongoing secessionist battles in Balochistan and Waziristan. Bourgeois india has shown itself to be incapable of breaking through the communal divisions which have plagued the people’s of the sub-continent and failed to integrate vast populations of the country. The result is secessionist movements breaking out in Kashmir and north east of the country as well as demands for statehood in Telengana. The revolution would ensure the democratic principle of self-determination would be respected and a new democratic and federal basis of integration would be constructed, one which would be much more tenable than either of the dominions of India and pakistan. Though not traditional for a worker’s state, the future Socialist India would have to reconstruct itself into a federal nation as this is the only way to accommodate varied and complex interests of nationalities and sub-nationalities in India and South Asia. The federation of South Asia cannot be without the right of self-determination of the federating units. The policy of Socialism is to respect the right of people for their self-determination and to stand resolutely against any effort to rob an oppressed people of this right.


The Socialistic land use would solve half the problem of communalism in india and the expropriation of the bourgeois and the abolition of bourgeois parties would ensure that communal harmony will be maintained as inequality would be dramatically reduced. The new found goodwill between various ethnic and religious communities would ensure a lasting union of a Socialist Union of South Asia, which would stand as a model for the future world union. The masses of africa , South East Asia and Central Asia would be most interested in integrating into the Socialist union of South Asia as much as the neighbouring nations of South Asia. The middle east with its large indian population would not be far away. The people’s of all oppressed nations would seek their emancipation within the Socialist Union forged in South Asia leading to an Asian union and a world union with the people’s of Africa and Asia. Socialist india would show the way with its land use policy and resolution of communal and ethnic tensions would be a brilliant example to follow for Africa and Asia. India will have found her rightful place in the world as an emancipator of humanity and the path maker for the World Socialist system.


Beware of the lies of the bourgeois !


When one approaches a commoner in India with the question of “what is socialism”, instantly the commoner would reply with vague ideas of an intolerable bureaucratic system with endemic corruption and poverty. The Indian constitution has written “Socialism” into the preamble after the 42nd amendment promulgated by Indira Gandhi immediately before the declaration of emergency. In part ideas of a totalitarian nightmare stem from this very negative political experience with Socialism and in part due to the bureaucratic nightmare that the Soviet union and China became. In no small part the idea of socialism was distorted by bourgeois statism which was proclaimed with great and shamefaced enthusiasm as being “Socialism”.It must be admitted that the Indian bourgeoisie’s ramshackle approaches towards what it considered “Socialism” has been a derelict failure. The failure is more than evident with poverty and inequality not only rampant but also increasing. The trickle of welfare which the masses did enjoy in the first few decades after independence neither helped have practically been reversed, proof enough that what was done in the name of ‘socialism’ was nothing more than a populist scam by the Indian bourgeois to gain support for its own vile and exploitative agenda. What it has succeeded in though, is distorting people’s ideas of what Socialism really means and what it would really mean for india and her people.


Genuine Socialism and fake bourgeois-socialism :


The bourgeois is most efficient when it is able to secure the consent of the masses for its governance. This is achieved from time to time by conceding welfare and democracy to the workers and peasants primarily and secondarily to the petty bourgeois. Nothing works better for this than the mask of ‘Socialism’ one that can appeal to the needs of the workers and peasants. When the concessions materialize the illusion of social advance appears very real till their illusory existence is completely exposed. This happens when the bourgeoise is satisfied of the passivity of workers and feels it no longer needs to concede and can turn to outright repression. All along the media, which are the mouth organs of the bourgeois, launch a concerted ideological assault on socialism, so as to pave the way for unfettered capitalist exploitation and the eventual retraction of welfarist concessions. We must dispel the illusion that these concessions are in any way something of a socialistic system, if anything their very usage goes against the principles of Socialism. The Socialist system requires the revolutionary capture of state power by the working class to begin. Nothing short of the seizure political power in the hands of the proletariat can ensure an advance towards Socialism. The lies peddled by the bourgeois over 60 years on what Socialism is has deliberately distorted this one most critical aspect for the preservation of its political supremacy in India. The reformists and Gandhians of our time only serve the ruling class in its power goals by diverting the masses away from the goal of revolution.


Genuine Socialism, when it does arrive, would have none of the fragility that the old welfare state and yet harbour all the strengths of the present system and amplify them. Socialism isn’t merely a kind of quick fix solution to soften the death blows of poverty and deprivation caused by capitalism, but a powerful and enduring system which will rescue humanity from the hell of capitalism.