Tag Archives: Socialism

The Individual and Socialism

Che Guevara

I would now like to try to define the individual, the actor in this strange and moving drama of the building of socialism, in a dual existence as a unique being and as a member of society.

I think the place to start is to recognize the individual’s quality of incompleteness, of being an unfinished product. The vestiges of the past are brought into the present in one’s consciousness, and a continual labor is necessary to eradicate them. The process is two-sided. On the one hand, society acts through direct and indirect education; on the other, the individual submits to a conscious process of self-education. The new society in formation has to compete fiercely with the past. This past makes itself felt not only in one’s consciousness — in which the residue of an education systematically oriented toward isolating the individual still weighs heavily — but also through the very character of this transition period in which commodity relations still persist. The commodity is the economic cell of capitalist society. So long as it exists its effects will make themselves felt in the organization of production and, consequently, in consciousness.

Marx outlined the transition period as resulting from the explosive transformation of the capitalist system destroyed by its own contradictions. In historical reality, however, we have seen that some countries that were weak limbs on the tree of imperialism were torn off first — a phenomenon foreseen by Lenin.

In these countries, capitalism had developed sufficiently to make its effects felt by the people in one way or another. But it was not capitalism’s internal contradictions that, having exhausted all possibilities, caused the system to explode. The struggle for liberation from a foreign oppressor; the misery caused by external events such as war, whose consequences privileged classes place on the backs of the exploited; liberation movements aimed at overthrowing neo-colonial regimes — these are the usual factors in unleashing this kind of explosion. Conscious action does the rest. A complete education for social labor has not yet taken place in these countries, and wealth is far from being within the reach of the masses through the simple process of appropriation. Underdevelopment, on the one hand, and the usual flight of capital, on the other, make a rapid transition without sacrifices impossible. There remains a long way to go in constructing the economic base, and the temptation is very great to follow the beaten track of material interest as the lever with which to accelerate development.

There is the danger that the forest will not be seen for the trees. The pipe dream that socialism can be achieved with the help of the dull instruments left to us by capitalism (the commodity as the economic cell, profitability, individual material interest as a lever, etc.) can lead into a blind alley. When you wind up there after having traveled a long distance with many crossroads, it is hard to figure out just where you took the wrong turn. Meanwhile, the economic foundation that has been laid has done its work of undermining the development of consciousness. To build communism it is necessary, simultaneous with the new material foundations, to build the new man and woman.

Excerpt from Socialism and man in Cuba

شہید فدا کے نظریات کی یاد میں

 ھارون بلوچ

Click to read in English

ہم میں سے اکثر شہید فدا بلوچ کو اپنے دور کے ایک عوامی رہنما کے طور پرجانتے اور مانتے ہیں۔ لیکن شہید فدا کو خراج عقیدت پیش کرتے وقت اکثر ان کے نظریات کو نظر انداز کر دیا جاتا ہے۔ شہید فدا کی برسی کے موقع پر ہم انہیں نہ صرف عوامی مقبولیت کی وجہ سے یاد کریں گے بلکہ یہ ایک بہترین موقع ہے کہ ان کے نظریات کو یاد کیا جائے اور ان پر بحث ہو۔

شہید فدا کے شہادت کے دوسرے دن 3 مئی 1988 کو جب ان کے جنازے پر سینکڑوں کامریڈزاکھٹا ہوئے تو انہیں مظلوموں کے رہنما اور ایک انقلابی کے طور پر یاد کیا گیا جوامریکی خفیہ ایجنسی سی آی اے کی آنکھوں میں چھبتا ہوا ایک کانٹا تھا۔ بلوچ قوم پرستی کا امریکہ اور دوسرے سرمایہ دار طاقتوں پرانحصار کل کی بات ہے۔ شہید فدا بین الاقوامی سطح پرسامراج مخالف رہنما کے طور پر جانے جاتے تھے جو کہ خطے میں امریکی دخل اندازی کے شدید مخالف تھے۔

1980 کی دہائی میں جب شہید فدا عوامی رہنما کے طور پر ابھرے اس وقت سویت یونین واحد عالمی طاقت تھا جسے مظلوم اقوام اپنا ہمدرد تصور کرتے تھے ۔ البتہ سویت روس پر مظلوم اقوام  کا انحصار قوم پرستی اور مغربی سرمایہ دارانہ طاقتوں کے درمیان معاشقے سے کافی مختلف تھا۔ سویت دور کی کامریڈشپ روس کے حمایت پر کم اور مقامی ترقی پسند قوتوں کے ساتھ قربت پر زیادہ منحصر تھی۔

قوم پرست سیاست کے حالیہ دور میں 1980 کے بعد بلوچستان میں سیاسی ارتقا پر شاید ہی کبھی بات ہو ئی ہو جبکہ اس دور کے واقعات اور کرداروں کوایک مخصوص حد تک اپنایا گیا۔ قوم پرستی کا رجعتی تصور 1980 کے آخر میں شہید فدا کے نظریات کے برعکس ابھرنا شروع ہوا۔ فدا بلوچ کی شہادت کے بعد کے حالات بلوچستان میں یوتھ مومنٹس کی ناکامی اور ملکی وعالمی سطح پر بائیں بازو کی پسپائی سے بی ایس او اور بلوچ قوم پرستی میں ترقی پسند پہلو ختم ہوتا گیا۔ اور یوں شہید فدا کے نظریات کو بالائے طاق رکھ کر انہیں بطور قومی رہنما قوم پرستی کے مختلف طبقہ فکر  نے یکساں اپنایا۔

ترقی پسند انقلابی قوم پرستی سے رجعتی قوم پرستی کی جانب اس مراجعت  کی اب تک کوئی قابل ذکر توجیح سامنے نہیں آسکی۔ قوم پرست سیاست میں جو ترقی پسند تھے اور مارکسسزم کے ساتھ خود کو وابستہ کرتے تھے وہ ہمیشہ مارکسسٹ ہی رہے۔ ان میں سب سے نمایا نام خیر بخش مری کا ہے  جو خود کو مارکسسٹ کہتے تھے اور آخر وقت تک سوشلسٹ بلوچستان کا خواب لیئے امر ہوگئے۔ یہاں تک کہ ان کی پنجابی مخالفت بھی مارکسسٹ بنیادوں پر تھی جہاں وہ پنجاب کے مزدوروں کی بلوچستان میں نو آبادیاتی کردار کو تنقید کا نشانہ بناتے تھے۔ انہیں ایک پنجابی مزدور سے جس کا بلوچستان کے استحصال میں کو ئی کردار نہیں اتنا ہی ہمدردی تھے جتنا مزدور طبقہ سے کسی مارکسسٹ کو ہوسکتا ہے۔ اقوام میں مختلف طبقات کے تاریخی کردار پران کا نکتہ نظر ان قوم پرست حلقوں سے یکسر مختلف تھا جن کی مخالفت کا معیار خالص نسلی بنیادوں پر ہے۔

شہید فدا مظلوموں کی یکجہتی پر یقین رکھتے تھے۔ ان کا ماننا تھا کہ سماجی انصاف کی جد و جہد میں بی ایس او اکیلا نہیں ہے بلکہ یہ ایک ایسی جدوجہد ہے جس کی کامیابی کا دارومدار ترقی پسند قوتوں کی مشترکہ عمل پر ہے۔ لیکن شہید فدا کوئی آئڈیلسٹ نہیں تھے۔ مظلوم طبقات کے انقلابی یکجہتی پر پختہ یقین اور پرامیدی کے باوجود بطور ایک مارکسسٹ شہید فدا خطے کے حالات اور تاریخ پر تنقیدی نقطہ نظررکھتے تھے۔

شہید فدا مظلوم طبقات کی سیاست پر یقین رکھتے تھے اور جبر کی مختلف صورتوں کےخلاف جدوجہد میں ان طبقات کے قائدانہ کردار کو بنیادی اہمیت کا حامل سمجھتے تھے۔ اپنے ایک نایاب تقریر میں جس کی وڈیو دستیاب ہے شہید فدا سندھی مزاحمت کو سراہتے ہیں اور 1980کے دوران چلنے والے تحریک بحالی جمہوریت کے حوالے سے اپنے خدشات کا اظہار کرتے ہوئے کہتے ہیں کہ ایم آر ڈی اس تحریک کو ایک مرحلے تک پہنچا سکتی ہیں لیکن وہ عوام کے نجات کی ظامن نہیں بن سکتی ’’ تحریک کو اپنے مقاصد کے حصول تک آگے لے جانے کی زمہ داری ان قوتوں پرعائد ہوتی ہے جو سامراج کے خلاف ہیں، جورجعت پسندی کے خلاف ہیں، جو قومی بالادستی کے خلاف ہیں، جو مظلوم طبقات کی سیاسی میں یقین رکھتے ہیں۔‘‘

بلوچستان کے ساتھ اپنی غیر متزلزل وابستگی کے ساتھ ساتھ شہید فدا نے بڑے منظر نامے کو کبھی نگاہوں سے اوجل ہونے نہیں دیا۔ اپنے اسی تقریر میں کہتے ہیں ’’بلوچستان کے نوجوان اپنے وطن کے مسائل، قوم کی محرومی اور استحصال کے خلاف آواز اٹھاتے ہوئے اس بات سے قطعی بے خبر نہیں کہ سامراج اور اس کے ایجنٹوں نے اس خطے کو ایک بہت بڑے مورچے میں تبدیل کرنے کا فیصلہ کیا ہے۔‘‘ شہید فدا کا طلبہ اور نوجوانوں کے لیئے پیغام تھا ’’ جدوجہد کیلئے سطحی نعروں سے نکل کرحقیقی مسائل کو دیکھیں، حقیقی دشمن کی پہچان کریں اور حقیقی قوتوں کو منظم کرنے کی کوشش کریں۔‘‘

شہید فدا کی قوم پرستی ’’استحصال زدہ دہقانوں کے حقوق کا علمبرادر تھا۔‘‘ فدا مظلوم عوام، مزدور، کسان اور قبائلی سماج کے پسے ہوائے مرد و زن کے حقوق کی ہرجدوجہد میں صف اول میں ہوتا۔ ان کا کہنا تھا کہ مظلوم عوام کی آواز بنے بغیر ’’جد وجہد آگے نہیں بڑھ سکتی اور عوام کو متحرک نہیں کیا جا سکتا۔‘‘

شہید فدا کے دور کے ترقی پسند قوم پرستی کی اہمیت کبھی ختم نہیں ہوئی کیونکہ ان کےدور کے اہم تضادات آج مزید شدت کے ساتھ موجود ہیں اور حل طلب ہیں۔ اس کے ساتھ ساتھ عوام کے اندر شہید فدا سے محبت اور وابستگی بھی پہلے سے زیادہ شدت کے ساتھ موجود ہے۔ ضرورت اس امر کی ہے کہ اس وابستگی کو شہید فدا کے نظریات کے ساتھ جوڑا جائے۔

بشکریہ: حال احوال

Remembering Shaheed Fida’s Ideology

Haroon Baloch

اردو میں پڑھنے کیلئے کلک کریں

Most of us know and admire Shaheed Fida Ahmed Baloch for his being a popular leader of his time. In doing so what we forego is his ideology for which he stood until his death. On the anniversary of his martyrdom, the best homage would be to remember him for his ideas, not just his fame.

On his funeral on 3rd May 1988, Shaeed Fida was remembered by his comrades as the leader of the oppressed, a revolutionary, a thorn in the eyes of CIA, yes the US spy agency. The dependence of Baloch nationalists on the US and other capitalist powers is a thing of yesterday. Fida was known internationally being a staunch anti-imperialist and a strong opponent of US presence in the region.

During the 1980s when Fida Shaeed rose to leadership the external power with whom an oppressed nation of this region would align itself was the Soviet Union. Although, that dependence on the USSR was different from the contemporary bromance of nationalists with the West. The comradeship of Soviet era was less about Russia and more about the solidarity with the progressive forces at home.

Over the past two decades of nationalism, there has been a little reflection on the political evolution of post-1980s Balochistan and much selective appropriation of past into a new nationalism. The regressive form of nationalism begun during the 1980s, in contrast to Shaeed Fida’s thoughts. With his murder, and the subsequent failure of the so-called ‘Youth Movements,’ and the general set back faced by the left in Pakistan and internationally, both BSO and nationalism were stripped off their progressive essence. And Fida Baloch was appropriated accordingly, not just by the nationalists in the parliamentary politics but also by those non-parliamentary nationalists.

There is no justification for this diversion from progressive revolutionary nationalism to reactionary nationalism. Nawab Khair Bhakhsh Mari would identify himself a Marxist all his life and would die with dreams of a ‘socialist Balochistan.’ Even Mari’s hostility towards Punjabis was along with the Marxist lines based on the exploitative nature of the settler phenomenon. But this isn’t the case with nationalists who would call themselves Mari’s followers and Fida’s political heirs.

Shaeed Fida believed in the solidarity of the oppressed, and that BSO was not alone in its struggle for a just society. An objective that could only be achieved through collective action of progressive forces. No one has an impression of his being an idealist. Amid sheer optimism and strong belief on revolutionary solidarity he had a critical eye over the regional politics.

Fida believed in politics of the oppressed classes and their leading role in the struggle against all forms of exploitation. In one of his recorded speeches while lauding the Sindhi resistance Fida expresses skepticism towards MRD alliance calling it ‘good up to a point, but not the savior of the masses,’ saying that “the responsibility to take the movement to its ultimate objective rests on the shoulders of the forces who are against imperialism, revisionism, and national hegemony, and who believe in politics of the oppressed classes.”

While keeping his unwavering commitment with Balochistan, Fida never lost the sight of the bigger picture. He says in his speech, “Baloch youth in their cry against deprivation, and exploitation of their oppressed nation is not unaware that imperialists, and their agents have decided to turn this region into a major post” against the progressive forces. Fida encouraged the students and youth to “leave behind the narrow boundaries of struggle and focus on the real issues, identify the real enemy and strengthen the real forces.”

His nationalism was “the torchbearer of the rights of the exploited farmers.” He would join any progressive fight for the rights of the oppressed masses, the workers, peasants and the common men and women of the tribal society. Without being the voice of the oppressed people, he says, “the struggle cannot progress, the masses cannot be mobilized.”

The progressive nationalism of Fida’s time never lost its relevance as the major contradictions of his time remain unresolved till date. And so، his love among the masses. But sadly, this popular attachment has been exploited by the forces who have no regard for his ideology, but only for his fame.

Courtesy: https://haalhawal.com

Marxist BSO: Revival of Progressive Politics in Balochistan

Pic: Public Domain

تحریر اردو میں پڑھنے کیلئے کِلک کریں۔

In a politically degenerating society, where the progressive forces are overpowered by the reactionary forces, students’ politics is one of the few remaining spaces where an enabling environment for the promotion of progressive organizational and ideational tendencies continue to exist. A section of reactionary forces dominating Baloch society exists in the form of Bourgeoisie nationalist cliques, which in turn are most often than not are led by the tribal elite, or the non-tribal & so-called ‘middle class’ whose commercial interests are deeply intertwined with their political position in the structures of governance. The bourgeoisie or middle-class Baloch nationalists, despite having shared interests, have historically divided the society on differences that revolve around personalities and their style of hegemony, rather than ideological orientations or even political strategies. Clusters of bourgeois groups then center around such figures to defend and promote their class, caste, and clan interests. The divide between Mengal, Bizenjo, Zehri and the so-called middle class of Makuran, is the on-ground manifestation of this rift between the growing privileged class that one can refer to as ‘non-industrial bourgeoisie’ of Baloch society.  

History of Baloch Students Organization is the history of progressive organizational tendencies of Baloch society itself. BSO developed and flourished in campuses during 50’s and 60’s; reached a critical mass by early 1970s. Soon after its decline began and the organization has since been a site of struggle between the progressive revolutionary forces, and the hegemonic currents of the bourgeoisie nationalism that insists that status-quo continues. In contradiction with the reactionary nationalism of tribal elite and the so-called middle class, the dominant outlook of BSO has always been progressive nationalism that helped the students’ politics to lean towards progressive, revolutionary forces and ideals in national and international struggles. Although, with the rise of reactionary ethnic-nationalism in the guise of opportunistic parliamentary politics during 1990s, enabled the national bourgeoisie leadership, most of them having been once a part of students’ politics, to extend their hegemony in the campuses. They knew exactly where transformative waves are created. Of course, this meddling of parliamentary nationalist leadership in BSO was an attempt to counter the progressive tendencies of the students. By reproducing and replicating the bourgeoisie structure of nationalism in the campuses, democratic, decentralized, and revolutionary potential of Baloch students could be curbed and pushed aside. Creation of parallel BSO groups that have been mere reflections of the mainstream political parties, in the form of the student-wings, is the manifestation of the bourgeoisie nationalist structures in the student space. Soon the student politics was also defined by senseless factionalism, fragmentation, and a total absence of an ideological compass.  

In this situation, Baloch students have a historical responsibility to organize in organic structures, whether under the banner of nationalism, socialism, or of both at the same time – an organizing principle which in fact defined BSO’s politics when socialist politics had not totally disappeared from people’s imagination here and world over. BSO can reflect, represent, and channel the interests of the lower stratum of the society against the privileged classes or the dominant stratum of the society. Therefore, it has the potential to challenge and keep a check on the forces leading the nationalist political superstructure.  

Baloch students must fight to achieve and sustain a structurally independent organization, a BSO that is not a mere extension of any national level structure of dominance. What we need is a political organization with empowered institutions that can take decisions, make independent alliances, chart out strategies and has the cadre to realize them on the ground. They must not hide behind opportunism by concealing their ideological affiliations and political tenets and should embrace organic alliances with other progressive and revolutionary forces fighting for the common objective: for a society without exploitation. A politics that is locally rooted but is universal in its ideals and scope. A Baloch student group which has the ability to interpret the society, explore its material history, understand the structures of exploitation, and has the ability to put together the means of struggle on the grounds of dialectical and historical materialism can perform this historical task. In short, the task at hand for a Marxist BSO, is to not only lead the students on a revolutionary pathway, but also to bring about the unity of students and the other progressive organizations of the masses.    

In their struggle for an ideologically clear and structurally independent BSO, the students will have to fight the depoliticizing tendencies as much as those traditional nationalist forces that tend to politically divide the students and the masses. Depoliticization in Baloch context is relatively a recent phenomenon, it partly resulted from the brutal victimization of political class of the society in the past decade. The selective victimization of the cadre by the state, on the one hand weakened the political class, and on the other provided opportunities for the growth of politically alienated structures and groups not only in the mainstream Baloch nationalist politics, but also within the students’ space, where it manifested itself in the form of students’ committees and councils. These students’ groups, initially created to be apolitical, could not escape the politicized structure & environment of the campuses that ultimately results in the political exposure of the students, which further produces internal tensions between the political and apolitical tendencies found in almost every such structure operating in the students’ space. A progressive BSO must ally itself with the political tendencies within such student committees and councils to fight depoliticization of campuses, a process that aims at weakening the political power of the students and by extension the masses. 

Along with fighting the internal structures of exploitation, it also becomes a historical responsibility of BSO to not only condemn social exclusion on the grounds of gender, race, ethnicity and religion, but also to fight such reactionary tendencies that divide the students and the masses and diminish their political role. The exclusion of women from political process, or their conditional inclusion particularly concerns students’ politics. Such patriarchal norms of politics are deeply rooted in the social and political structures, which are continually being reproduced by the nationalist political parties. They tend to keep women’s role defined and dominated by the male leadership. A progressive BSO should not only condemn the anti-women norms in the social and political structures but should also fight the challenges of patriarchy through institutional means by introducing alternative structures that provide the students to play their historical role irrespective of their gender identity.  

The struggle against exploitation based on national identity, class, race, ethnicity, gender or religious beliefs is a collective fight that needs to be fought alongside the subjugated masses in their own space as much as in the collective political field. Students being one of the most dynamic political force of the society must organize on progressive lines within their campuses and join the masses in their struggle for emancipation.  

BSO existing in multiple parallel structures collectively forms the students’ political space in Baloch society. The influence of reactionary nationalist forces in the form of their students-wings could not completely subdue the progressive essence of the students’ political space, neither the induced depoliticization of nationalism and students’ politics could prevent the formation of organic progressive political structures. The resurgence of progressive structures within the students’ politics in the form of a Marxist BSO is the result of the contradictions existing between the progressive, revolutionary tendencies, and the reactionary hegemons. It is our historical task, as Baloch students, to lead a revolutionary political process to resolve that contradiction by strengthening the progressive essence of the students’ space and by restoring BSO in its organic state: as the independent nursery of progressive politics in Baloch society.  


Note: This article is written as a conclusion of a debate by Balochistan Marxist Review team on revival of progressive politics in Balochistan.