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Mainstream, Vol XLVI, No 24

’Marxist’ Metamorphosis and the Positive Alternative

Monday 2 June 2008, by Sharad Patil



You are bravely exposing the criminalisation of the Left Front’s rule in West Bengal. The CPI’s Chaturanan Mishra’s call for discussion on socialism is being responded in earnest.

The murder and rape squads formed by the CPM in West Bengal are but copies of similar squads in Kerala. I had similar experience in the CPM in the seventies before my district unit resigned from it in 1978. Nikhil-da had the courage and integrity to publish my ‘Struggle for a New Line’ in 1978.

One must not forget the proverb ‘a doctor can be the greatest criminal’. His metamorphosis from a saviour to a killer must be punished; but medical science must not be held responsible for that. Every science has its limitations and if not rectified in time, it can turn into its opposite. If science is allowed to remain in the hands of neo-imperialism, it will spawn weapons of greater and greater human destruction. Christopher Caudwell had suggested qualitative changes in Marxist philosophy. Had he returned alive from the Spanish Civil War, he would have been assassinated by the Stalinist minions. Though he is held in wide esteem in the post-Stalin era, Marxist philosophy, rather world philosophy, refuses to change its epistemology from formal to really dialectical. For change in epistemology means a new philosophy.

Marxism-Leninism-Maoism still considers philosophical change a sacrilege and its votaries—official and unofficial—are paying the price, the official ones in the blood of their own people whom they had vowed to emancipate.

The LF’s rule in West Bengal is being criticised, though justifiably, but negatively. What is the positive political alternative for the great people of West Bengal? Similar is the criticism of the Marxist conception of modern socialism, which crashed in Europe and in the surviving communist-ruled countries without raising a philosophical, methodological and aesthetical alternative. For, a totally new society cannot be built without such an alternative.

I have spent my whole life after resigning from the CPM in raising such an alternative in my three volumes. But no college or university has dared to hold a seminar on them. I am now 83.

May 15, 2008
- Sharad Patil (General Secretary, Satyashodhak Communist Party)
- ‘Asantosh’,
- Wadi-Bhokar Road,
- Dhule-424 002

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