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Mainstream, VOL LIX No 18, New Delhi, April 17, 2021

OM is Not Communism: Hamlet And The Problem With The Indian Left | Murzban Jal

Friday 16 April 2021

by Murzban Jal

There is a Beacon shining through the clouds of destiny. That Beacon is Russia.
Lord Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury, New Year’s Day of 1942.

OM, Stalinism and the Problem of Hamlet

When the good Lord Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury, saw a beacon of light in Russia emanating from the halo of Stalin just a few years after he (Stalin) massacred the leaders and the revolutionary rank and file of the Bolsheviks in the infamous Moscow Trials (1936-8) on trumped up charges that they were working for fascism, it not only showed how one priest (Lord Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury) had affection for an ex-priest (Stalin), but how theology bound imperial Britain and counterrevolution USSR. It is with this little reflection that we turn our attention to our own theologians in India, theologians who always have their OMs with them.

Our theologians, to be precise people’s theologians, are members of various Indian parliamentary communist parties. They are however not in the least interested in revolution. Rather it is the figure of Hamlet that fascinates them. And because the working classes chide them that they are not supposed to wander around aimlessly in the parliament trying to convince the bourgeoisie to convert to the good religion of socialism, but to partake in revolutionary work, they murmur alongside Hamlet:

The time is out of joint. O cursed spite,
That ever I was born to set it right! [1]

Yes our theologians strongly believe that they have a mission to perform. Yet they realize that the “ripe time” for realizing this mission has not come. For them the “ripe time” will never ever come, since the time is “out of joint”. They thus become passive onlookers to the great events in history. “OM” thus while referring to the transcendent voice of Indian mythology refers more to the present, the present of so-called “communist” politics in India, who prefer enacting Shakespeare’s tragedy than take the task of revolution seriously.

Whether “OM” pervades everywhere and becomes some sort of omnipresent force is a question that cannot be answered immediately. Also the question as to why OM in the form of Official Marxism has seized the Indian left turning them into Hamlet in search for the ghost of his dead father remains to be seen. What can be immediately answered is that OM has most certainly intervened in the communist movement in India by transfiguring the ancient and primeval sound and realizing it in the communist parties. In this way, the ancient OM meets our very modern OMs, namely the Official Marxists in the form of the various communist parties in India, especially the parliamentary left parties. OM thus stands for the Official Marxists.

It is Sankar Ray who had raised the issue of the Official Marxists (OMs) when he mentioned a deep chasm between Marx and the Official Marxists or the OMs. [2] He said how the Indian OMs would choose (almost consciously) to ignore Marx’s 200th birth anniversary in 2018 (Marx was born on May 5, 1818) and the 150th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Capital (first published on September 18, 1867) and instead turn their attention to the anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution. He said that the “Great October Socialist Revolution (GOSR)…has lost much of its sheen after the fall of the Soviet Union and subsequent demise of the Communist Party of Soviet Union”. [3] What Ray also said was that the OMs in deliberating ignoring Marx and instead recalling the October Revolution was that they were not so much recalling 1917, but Stalin who had turned this very revolution into the graveyard for the revolutionaries. Our OMs were then remembering the ghosts of the revolution.

And it is to these ghosts that they that turn for help to win elections in West Bengal and Kerala. And accompanying these ghosts are the gods. In Kerala, so we are assured by the CPI(M) Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Lord Ayyapa of Sabarimila is with the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) government. [4] We are also told that the good Chief Minister said that:

God will always remain with those who stand by the people. [5]

Not only would God stand with the Indian Stalinists, the entire legions of the devas would accompany them. Very good, we tell the Stalinists. First you created a fictitious dystopia of socialism sans Marx following Stalin, and then you decided to playact Hamlet desperately seeking ghosts. Now you seek the gods themselves. What we tell the people is that you are suffering from existentialist angst and because of your utter fear for revolution you make up these stories. Instead of the cries of the revolution on your lips, you can only chant “OM”, probably “OM Shanti OM”.

It is here that one needs to pose the very pertinent questions: “Why do the OMs and the seekers of ghosts and gods want to create Marxism sans Marx? Why do they want to sanitize Marxism?” But the most important issue that we need to bring in is what do the OMs replace when they have purged Marx from Marxism? The answer, though not very visible and clear, should be obvious—Stalinism where not only is Marx purged and his works reduced to some sort of museum piece, but where nationalism replaces internationalism, determinism and fatalism replace free praxis, the fear of the revolution replaces revolutionary passion, the authoritarian state replaces the union of free people and state capitalism replaces communism. Stalinism thus became a counterrevolutionary ideology of displacement and replacement. OMs essentially follow this line though the pictures of Stalin that they proudly portray would be turned the other way round such that one could only see Stalin’s back side. After all, the Stalinists and the OMs are quite clever not to show any evidence of their worship for their demigod.

Now turn to the early 1920s and the 1930s when fascism was rising in Europe. What was the Stalinist line? The Stalinist line was a complete denial that fascism was on the rise. Stalin’s early alleged so-called “extreme left” line that Social Democracy and fascism were “twins” was not merely an ordinary blunder, just as his deals with Hitler (one only has to recall the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact) were not mere acts of foolishness, but deals of one counterrevolutionary with another. It is in this sense that one asks: “Did Stalinism have a conscious role in the rise of fascism, especially in the triumph of Nazism in Germany in the 1933 National elections and are our OMs also not repeating this tragic character of history?”

While it is correct to chastise Stalin for these monumental blunders, one cannot stop here. The problem lay not mere in tactics and strategies, but lay at the very heart of the problem, where determinism and fatalism would not allow the soviets to rejuvenate themselves in any possible way. Just as determinism and fatalism struck at the very heart of the Soviet Union after Lenin’s death, so too this form of determinism and fatalism would strike the Indian left.

One thus has to go to the roots of the counterrevolution, the counterrevolution in ideas. Note how Stalin defined Marxism as the study of the “laws of history” which govern all humankind. For him history was composed of “iron laws” such that it is not humanity that defines human history, but laws, “laws that are independent of human will and consciousness”. According to this positivist and Stalinist idea of history which talks of humanity that is governed by the dictatorship of these “iron laws of history”, history of the entire world follows only one path, from primitive communism, via slavery society, feudalism and capitalism, destined to culminate into communism. That thinking praxis, namely revolutionary insurrection, is totally obliterated from this Stalinist perspective must be noted. According to this treatise:

Man may discover these laws, get to know them, study them, reckon with them in his activities and utilize them in the interest of society, but he cannot change of abolish them. Still less can he form or create new laws of science. [6]

It must be said here that “laws” for Stalin had two meanings, namely the “law” of theology as set by the invisible hand of the gods and revealed to the prophets and the other is the idea of “law” in the positivist idea of the sciences. In Stalin both the theological and the positivist were synthesized. From the above quote it must be said that Stalin wanted deliberately to obliterate revolutionary Marxism. Consider Stalin:

The same must be said of the laws of economic development, the laws of political economy—whether in the period of capitalism or in the period of socialism. Here, too, the laws of economic development, as in the case of natural science, are objective laws, reflecting processes of economic development which take place independently of the will of man. Man may discover these laws, get to know them and, relying upon them, utilize them in the interests of society, impart a different direction to the destructive action of some of the laws, restrict their sphere of action, and allow fuller scope to other laws that are forcing their way to the fore-front; but he cannot destroy them or create new economic laws. [7]

It is in this scene of history determined not by humanity, but by mysterious laws independent of humanity, that Hamlet returns, lamenting:

The time is out of joint. O cursed spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!

OMs, the Stalinists and How they Aid(ed) the Rise of Fascism

We saw the first fallacy of our OMs—of converting the world into laws independent of humanity where they turned to Shakespeare’s tragedy where the principal character of this tragedy, Hamlet, was to inspire them to perform their historical mission. But Hamlet (both the Shakespearean one and our own indigenous one) seeks only ghosts and the gods and refuses simply to act. Then how can he be a revolutionary?

Let us now turn to the second fallacy which makes our Hamlet even more confused and powerless. In the first part our hero, as Hamlet chanting OM, was petrified of the laws governing history and all humanity. Now he is petrified of the fascists. Because of this petrifaction; our hero, consciously and unconsciously, aids their terrible rise to power.

To study the second fallacy of the OMs which has left the OMs in a state of existentialist angst seeking nothingness after repeated drubbing at the polls, one needs to go to the roots of the problem—the Stalinist theory of fascism. One thus has to go back into the drastic policies of the Communist International (Comintern) under Stalin which did not see the danger of fascism. Just as Stalin denied that fascism is fascism, so too our OMs are in this very same state of denial. [8] Our Hamlet loves quoting the classical definition of fascism coined by Georgi Dimitrov as “the open, terroristic dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinist, and most imperialist elements of finance capital” [9]. Then our good lord says that since finance capitalism does not exist, there can be no fascism [10]. Very good, we tell them, very, very good! Please remain in a state of denial, just as Stalin was in a state of complete and absolute denial!

For Stalin, fascism was not a unique state of draconian politics emerging after the First Imperialist World War. Instead it is a loose word where anybody and everybody can be a fascist, but daddy, mommy and me. So according to this Stalinist logic, Trotsky was a fascist, not to forget Bukharin, Zinoviev, Kamenev and the entire leadership of the Bolsheviks and close comrades of Lenin. [11] For instance, according to Stalin, Zinoviev and Kamenev “had sold themselves to fascist espionage services”. [12] All those who opposed Stalin belonged to “a united Trotsky-Bukharin gang of fascist hirelings.” [13]

If this was the thinking of Hamlet’s master (Stalin), then what would the pupil (our indigenous Hamlet) do? One can further ask: “Was Stalin simply crazy that in the late 1930s instead of understanding the fascist threat, he was busy accusing his own comrades of treason and then proceeding to murder, not only the murder of his ex-comrades, but to mass murder, when he also purged the Red Army of its most outstanding cadre? Was Stalin then simply crazy, and one must truly understand the method in his madness? And would his pupil, our good lord Hamlet, also not proceed into the same crimes that his master did earlier?”

In order to understand Stalin’s denial of the fascist threat, one recalls the 1931 Manuilsky Report to the Eleventh Plenum of the Comintern which said that “fascism is not a new governmental method distinct from the system of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie” [14]. What is shocking is that this Report said that “all too obvious mistakes are being made among us: it is said that bourgeois democracy and fascism, social democracy and Hitler’s party are antagonistic. These mistakes are extremely harmful, even fatal.” [15]

Now turn to our Stalinists. Do they see the fascist threat? Is there any form of internationalism to deal with this, or are they simply naïve nationalists who imagine that Constitutional Democracy would rescue them, maybe even taming the fascists? Why then do the OMs err? Is it because the sins of the father (Stalin) are now plaguing the sons? Let us now see if not the sins then at least the crimes of the father and the incredible theory of “social fascism” that said that “fascism and social democracy are two sides of the same coin of the dictatorship of big capital” . [16]

While these ideas were solidified in the late 1920s and early 1930s, it is Stalin’s view from 1924 that stands out:

Fascism is the bourgeoisie’s fighting organization that relies on the active support of Social-Democracy. Social-Democracy is objectively the moderate wing of fascism...These organizations do not negate, but supplement each other. They are not antipodes. They are twins. Fascism is the informal bloc of these two chief organizations. [17]

To understand the rise of fascism it is necessary to understand Slavoj Žižek’s borrowing from Walter Benjamin that “behind fascism there is a failed revolution” [18]. Fascism does not emerge as if from thin air. It grows from the dirty soil of capitalism and is strengthened when the revolutionary forces against international capitalism are defeated. Fascism in Europe was also strengthened when state capitalism and the bizarre theory of “socialist commodity production”, as Mao christens this in his Critique of Soviet Economics [19], replaced real communist political economy such that there could not be real and viable alternative to world capitalism and its horrors.

Recall now Nicos Poulantzas for whom:

……the beginning of the rise of fascism presupposes a significant series of working-class defeats. These defeats immediately precede fascism, and open the way to it.” [20]

So what are the causes for the defeat of progressive forces? Is it because of the collapse of the working class itself caused by neo-liberal capitalism and aided by the caste system that not only internally divided the proletariat, but which negated all forms of democratic opposition to capitalism? And what force would the fascists rely on? It is the force of their “volunteers”. After all if the revolutionary forces based themselves on proletarian class action; fascism came onto the scene based on the idea of “action of the volunteers”. In this respect it is important to recall the Italian fascist version of “volunteer” which becomes the model for the international fascist movement. Here it is necessary to recall Gramsci who quotes the fascist deputy Balbo:

The original creations of Italian history and civilization, from the day the country reawoke from its secular lethargy until today, are due to the voluntary action of the youth. The holy rabble of Garibaldi, the heroic interventionism of 1915, the Black Shirts of the Fascist revolution have given unity and power to Italy, have wielded a divided people into a nation. [21]

Gramsci responds:

The assertion that modern Italy was characterized by volunteer action is correct (commandos in the war could be added to the list), but it must be stressed that this volunteer action, despite its undeniable historical merit, has been a surrogate for popular intervention, and in this sense is a solution of compromise with the passivity of the masses of the nation. Volunteer action and passivity go together more than it is thought. The solution involving volunteer action is a solution of authority, from top to down, formally legitimized by the consent, it is claimed, of the “best” elements. [22]

What one sees from the fascist idea of the “volunteer” is that this “volunteer” is ready for action as against the Stalinist OMs who are busy studying the laws that exists independent of their will and consciousness. It is these actions of the “volunteers” that explains why the masses that have nothing to do with finance capitalism, not only give consent to fascism, but form the active army of fascist volunteers. One recalls here Arthur Rosenberg’s important 1933 essay ‘Fascism as Mass Movement’ [23] and Nicos Poulantzas idea that fascism is a plebeian mass “movement from below” [24]. Rebellion, albeit a pseudo form of rebellion forms its essential part.

Thus fascism began its rebellion against bourgeois liberalism and revolutionary communism, the latter which they saw as a Jewish plot to ruin “Aryan Europe”. It must be noted that not only did the early fascists call their movement rebellions; they called it “revolutions”. For instance one needs to refer to Mussolini’s 1929 speech ‘The Achievements of the Fascist Revolution’ where he talked of fascism as the “new and unprecedented event in the history of Italy and the world.” [25] That fascism without doubts involves rebellion, albeit a pseudo-rebellion, in the form of riots and wars has to be noted. But what this rebellion as pseudo-rebellion did was that that it transformed class war into race war. [26] Fascism’s rebellion was about not only murder, but mass murder. The existentialist notion “if God does not exist then everything is permitted” becomes their maxim, but transformed into the new dictum “God exists and has ordered and ordained mass murder”.

How the OMs Fantasize they will Solve the Problems of India

After seeing how the Indian left has been seduced by the tragedy of Hamlet such that he is left powerless even before fascism, we now go to the third fallacy of theirs, the fallacy of state politics and that the state mechanisms can used for the transformation of capitalism into socialism.

We began this essay on how the OMs purged Marxism and developed a form of “socialism”. This New Socialism sans Marx is “socialism” with commodity production, classes and the state. All these three (commodity production, classes and the state) are necessary for their type of “socialist” politics. According to this thesis, our valiant warriors ride their high horses like Don Quixote accompanied by their ever faithful Sancho Panza swearing that their socialism sans Marx will solve the problems on the Indian people. They say that when the state actively intervenes in the political economy of the nation, then problems can be solved. They call this “socialism”. They forget Engels who has said that it was the Manchester bourgeoisie who created the myth that the state interfering in economics is “socialism”. [27] For Engels this type of “socialism” where the state intervenes in the economy is actually:

….alleged socialism (which) is nothing but, on the one hand, feudal reaction and, on the other, a pretext for squeezing out money, with the secondary object of turning as many proletarians as possible into civil servants and pensioners dependent on the state…. [28]

For these “alleged socialists”, socialism is creating a capitalist order devoid of the capitalists. They forget that this fetishism of capitalism can never work and the state and capitalism can never be reformed when governed by the Platonic philosopher-kings. [29] And when this system of “state socialism” works (to borrow a term from Engels) [30], what one gets is “primitive stupidity”, “exploitation and despotism”, not to forget complete theft where bankruptcy only rules. [31]

Along with the first myth of how the OMs now became Platonic philosopher-kings who planned to resurrect India with their “state socialism”, there is a second myth, namely the myth that the struggle for higher wages would form the corpus of the working class movement. It is thus extremely necessary to go into these two myths of the OMs. We begin with the first myth, namely on the necessity of the state for communist transformation. For the OMs the state is not only necessary, but absolutely necessary for socialist transformation. This is one important aspect of their Marxism sans Marx.

Now look at Marx in order to understand that the state is not the regime of the “moral good” wherein emerges the ethical regime of the philosopher-kings, but is the managing committee of the world bourgeoisie. [32] In this sense, the state must be smashed. [33] There is no alternative. In fact the preliminary condition for the revolution is the smashing of the state. [34] And this is because the state is not a class-free institution run by the imaginary “general will of the people”, but is the “national war engine of capital against labour” and “engine of class despotism” wherein “class terrorism” rules [35]. If this is the case, then how and why do the OMs partake in the engine of despotism and terrorism? For Marx, not only is the state a war engine of capitalism, but is also an “appalling parasitic body”, a decaying and purulent body that claims to be democratic expressing the “common interest” of society. [36] What is not explained by the OMs is that:

Every common interest was straightway severed from society, counterposed to it as a higher, general interest, snatched from the activity of society’s members themselves and made an object of government activity. [37]

Marx has a comprehensive theory of the state and governance. The state emerges from the contradiction between particular and common interests where the common interest takes an “independent form” in the form of the state. [38] This “independent form” then takes phantasmagorical form “divorced from the real individual and collective interests” appearing then as an “illusory community”. [39]

The questions that arise are: “How can the OMs now playacting Hamlet solve the problems of the Indian nation when they reside in the unhappy home of phantasmagorias and illusions? How when the state is divorced from the people, can the OMs-turned-Hamlets go to the very people who are divorced from them? How can the OMs stay happily married and divorced both at the same time?”

State as Divorce and Alienation

Writing in June 2011 after the defeat of the Left Front by the TMC, Sumanta Banerjee talked of how a “thoroughly discredited” CPI(M) was brought down by a “highly dubious” TMC because of the “unpardonable crimes and misdeeds” of the former. [40] If this is the case, then are the OMs also dubious and unpardonable criminals? What is their crime, besides selling to the people of West Bengal the myth that the OM version of state capitalism works?

To understand this, let us once again turn to Marx, the person who was made not only a persona non grata, but also a fugitive by his so-called followers. Let us have a look at the logic of Marx which demonstrates that under certain circumstances if a certain line is followed, then the dubious crimes in the form of political despotism necessarily ensures. According to Marx, besides the fact that the state is a despotic institution and that all leaders even democratically elected are nothing but despots involved in “unpardonable crimes”, a rigorous explanation for the same is necessary. This is explained by the theory of estrangement. The origins and functioning of the state is thus explained by this theory. What this mode of explanation claims is that the general and common interests of the masses is made distinct from the real particular interests. Because of this, people project these general interests as “an interest alien [fremd] to them and independent of them”. [41]

The state thus becomes the body that embodies these general and common interests, but (as we noted earlier) as “illusory common interests.” [42] What the state thus projects are mere illusory general and common interests. [43] Nothing of this kind of “general interest” and “common good” independent of classes with their deeply fractured interests really exist. But if this is the case, then why did the OMs and our beloved Hamlets rush towards the unhappy home of illusions and embrace the state as their very own beloved? Can the OMs-Hamlets not understand that neither can there be love nor any lover in the cruel prison house of the state?

This is because the state has become an “alien power” that enslaves humanity rather than helping it. [44] Everybody and anybody who partakes in this system of alienation becomes either a slave or a slave owner. Marx always sought to explain the function of society. After all, he had (to recall Engels) a “critical attitude to the classics” with “strict scientific analysis” [45]. What thus has to be noted is the “strict scientific spirit” [46] with which investigation is carried out.

Hamlet and the Return of Capitalism

Yes, Marx does discover an entire new galaxy of knowledge. He discovers the logic of capital accumulation and the prison house of alienation which imprisons everybody. He discovers the origins of the mega profit-making industry and the fact that surplus value originates in the exploitation of labour power. He thus supersedes (aufhebung) classical economy and exposes vulgar political economy. The OMs on the contrary supersede Marx and go backwards in crass vulgarization of communism.

Our OMs cannot see the suffering of the poor. So they make trade unions and fight for higher wages. Our OM wants a fair salary for a fair day’s work. They forget Marx’s Capital, forget that there is necessary working time and surplus working time and wages necessarily matches the former, while the capitalist has pocketed the latter. For Engels:

…the Trades Unions do not attack the wages system. But it is not the highness or lowness of wages which constitutes the economic degradation of the working class: this degradation is comprised of the fact that, instead of receiving for its labour the full produce of this labour, the working class has to be satisfied with a portion of its own produce called wages. [47]

Capital and labour are the two principal forces of modern capitalist societies. And just as the state is made to soar above society, so too this dialectic of capital-labour is made to soar high above society. And also because it has flown so high and that it has gone beyond vision that the relation between capital and labour appears as a “fair relation”. This alleged “fairness” is on the contrary “a very peculiar sort of fairness”. [48] One has consequently to “look deeper into the matter”. [49] Looking deeper is the core of scientific reason. This our OMs will never do. The OMs want to give proper wages to the poor and suffering masses. They forget that for Marx and Engels, this was nothing but baffling the proletariat. The question for the founders of modern communism was the “abolition of the wages system altogether”. [50]

For Marx, the fundamental fact is the transcendence of capitalism. He provides an alternative. For the OMs there is absolutely no semblance to this. What they want is to manage capitalism. The question of the transcendence of capitalism does not ever entre their little craniums. They in fact want to refute all the fundamental precepts of Marx. They imagine that constitutional democracy supersedes the idea of the state as despotism. In this case they do nothing but mime the revisionists beginning with Edward Bernstein who began his revisionist campaign against revolutionary Marxism. Just as Joe Biden swears by the American Constitution, our OMs too swear by nothing and nothing but the Constitution. They thus conjure the ghost of Hamlet’s father and the torment of Hamlet:

Ghost: Swear!
Hamlet: Rest, rest, perturbed spirit!—So, gentlemen,
With all my love I do commend me to you:
And what so poor a man as Hamlet is
May do, to express his love and friending to
God willing, shall not lack. Let us go
in together,
And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.
The time is out of joint. O cursed spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!
Nay, come, let’s go together [51].

[1William Shakespeare, ‘Hamlet’, in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (London: Oxford University Press, 1983), p. 950.

[2Sankar Ray, ‘Karl Marx versus Official Marxists’, in Mainstream, Vol. LVIII No 21, May 9, 2020. Also see his ‘Marxian Renaissance & 150th anniversary of Das Kapital’ in The Asian Age, Nov. 9, 2016.

[3Sankar Ray, ‘Karl Marx versus Official Marxists’.

[4P S Gopikrishnan Unnithan, ‘ Lord Ayyappa of Sabarimala, All Other Gods with LDF in Kerala: CM Pinarayi Vijayan’ in India Today, April 7, 2021; Shaju Philip, ‘On Kerala Voting Day, Sabarimala in Focus, CM says ‘Gods with LDF’ in The Indian Express, April 7, 2021.

[5P S Gopikrishnan Unnithan, ‘ Lord Ayyappa of Sabarimala, All Other Gods with LDF in Kerala: CM Pinarayi Vijayan’ in India Today, April 7, 2021.

[6J.V. Stalin, ‘Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR’, in J.V. Stalin. Selected Writings, Vol. II (Calcutta: National Book Agency, 1976), pp. 288-89.


[8See Prakash Karat, ‘Know Your Enemy’, in The Indian Express, September 6, 2016. See also Jairus Banaji’s response ‘Stalin’s Ghost Won’t save us from the Spectre of Fascism: A Response to Prakash Karat’, in Mainstream, Vol. LIV, No. 40, September 24, 2016.

[9Georgi Dimitrov, ‘The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist International,’ in VII Congress of the Communist International: Abridged Stenographic Report of Proceedings (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1939), p. 126.

[10Prakash Karat, ‘Know Your Enemy’.

[11See the Stalin commissioned History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Bolsheviks. Short Course (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1951), pp. 496-502.

[12Ibid., p. 499.


[14See Nicos Poulantzas, Fascism and Dictatorship. The Third International and the Problem of Fascism, trans. Judith White (London: Verso, 1979), p. 149.


[16Ibid., p. 148. In fact it was in the Tenth Plenum of the Comintern held in 1929 that the term “social fascism” was officially used for the first time, though it was in the Fifth Congress of the Comintern (1924) that the idea emerged that “fascism and social democracy are two sides of the same coin of the dictatorship of big capital.” Stalin’s imprint is obvious here.

[17J.V. Stalin, ‘Concerning the International Situation’, first published in Bolshevik, No. 11, September 20, 1924, in J.V. Stalin. Works, Vol. 6 (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954), p. 294. Also see ibid., p. 148.

[18Slavoj Žižek ‘The Palestinian Question. The Couple Symptom / Fetish Islamo-Fascism, Christo-Fascism, Zionism mieux vaut un désastre qu’un désêtre. Last seen 1 May 2020.

[19See Mao Tse-tung, Critique of Soviet Economics, trans. Moss Roberts (London: Monthly Review, 1977), p. 144.

[20Nicos Poulantzas, Fascism and Dictatorship. The Third International and the Problem of Fascism, p. 139.

[21See Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, edited and translated by Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith (New York: International Publishers, 1987), p. 203, n. 106.


[23Arthur Rosenberg, ‘Fascism as Mass Movement’ in Jairus Banaji (ed.), Fascism: Essays on Europe and India (Gurgaon: Three Essays Collective, 2013), pp. 19-96.

[24Nicos Poulantzas, Fascism and Dictatorship. The Third International and the Problem of Fascism, trans. Judith White (London: Verso, 1979), p. 338.

[25Benito Mussolini, ‘The Achievements of the Fascist Revolution’ in Roger Griffin (ed.), Fascism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 63. Roger Griffin in his introduction to Fascism talks of Mussolini as “the leader of a revolutionary paramilitary force”, p. 16.

[26See Ernst Nolte, ‘From Class War to Race War’, in Roger Griffin (ed.), Fascism, p. 339-40.

[27Frederick Engels, ‘To Edward Bernstein in Zurich’, London, March 12, 1881 in Selected Correspondence (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975), p. 320.


[29See Paddy Ireland, ‘Capitalism without the Capitalist: The Joint Stock Company Share and the Emergence of the Modern Doctrine of Separate Corporate Personality’, in The Journal of Legal History, Volume 17, Issue 1, 1996. See also Gil Eyal, Ivan Szelenyi, Eleanor R. Townsley, Making Capitalism Without Capitalists: The New Ruling Elites in Eastern Europe (London: Verso, 2001).

[30Frederick Engels, ‘To Karl Kautsky’, London, February 16, 1884, in Selected Correspondence (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1976), p. 345.


[32Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, ‘The Manifesto of the Communist Party’, in Marx. Engels. Selected Works (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975), p. 37.

[33Karl Marx, ‘The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte’, in Marx. Engels. Selected Works (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975), p. 169. Also see Karl Marx, ‘To L. Kugelmann, April 12, 1871, in Marx. Engels. Selected Works (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975), p. 670.

[34Karl Marx, ‘To L. Kugelmann’, April 12, 1871, p. 670

[35Karl Marx, ‘The Civil War in France’, in Marx. Engels. Selected Works (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1975), p. 286.

[36Karl Marx, ‘The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte’, p. 169.


[38Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The German Ideology (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1976), p. 52.


[40Sumanta Banerjee, ‘West Bengal’s Next Quinquennium, and the Future of the Indian Left’, in Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. XIVI, No. 23, June 4, 2011, p. 14.

[41Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The German Ideology, p. 53.




[45Frederick Engels, ‘Review of Capital for Zukunft’, in Marx. Engels. Collected Works, Vol. 20 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1985), p. 208.


[47Frederick Engels, ‘The Wages System’, in Marx. Engels. Collected Works, Vol. 24 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1989), pp. 381.

[48Frederick Engels, ‘A Fair Day’s Wages for a Fair Day’s Work’, in Collected Works, Vol. 24 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1989), p. 377.


[50Frederick Engels, ‘Trades Unions’, in Collected Works, Vol. 24 (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1989), p. 385.

[51William Shakespeare, ‘Hamlet’, in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, p. 950.

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