5th May, 2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, one of the greatest thinkers who dared to declare “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.” In present scenario, it is important to commemorate 200 years of Marx, his contributions and relevance with respect to the on-going struggles of current times. There is no hesitation to say that the Indian state has declared a war on the people and the Hindutva fascist forces, through the corporate media (including social media), in an attempt to resolve its ideological crisis, has been carrying a continuous attack on all sorts of scientific notions including Darwinism. In order to defend Marxism, it is imperative to stand for Darwin whose work contains the basis in natural science for dialectical materialism. In respect to this, it will not be unfair to quote Engels who straightforwardly states the link between Darwin and Marx- “Just as Darwin discovered the law of evolution in organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of evolution in human history.”
The birth of Marxism as an ideology for the international proletariat had generated a spectre that has haunted capitalism for the past 150 years. Marx has been buried symbolically many times since. During the Cold War, the sociologist Daniel Bell announced the “End of Ideology” by which he meant the end of Marxism. In 1989, when Soviet Russia began to collapse, the US State Department official Francis Fukuyama proclaimed the “End of History” indicating that liberal capitalism has triumphed over its rival and would dominate the future. But history was somewhat different. Post 2008 financial crisis, the German Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck commented “Marx’s answer may not be irrelevant to today’s problem.” French President Nicholas Sarkozy allowed himself to be photographed leafing through the pages of Capital. It is true that the staunch opponent of Marxism had to return to Marx’s Capital to understand the crash of banks and stock markets in the 2008 world financial crisis. It was Engels, the closest comrade of Marx who speaking at the grave of Marx announced 135 years ago: “His name will endure through the ages and so also his works.” Marx and his works have indeed endured the ages.
Revolution is still on the agenda for the global periphery. The ongoing resistance of the indigenous people against imperialist plunder in Asia, Africa and Latin America, the urge of the oppressed nations and nationalities for freedom, the agrarian movements in semi-feudal, semi-colonial countries enthuse the international proletariat for a world-wide victory of socialism. In our country and the world, the working class is facing several challenges – from job loss, contractualization, wage depression to curtailment of social security and more importantly the right to organize and struggle. Capitalist maximization of profit and the loot of natural resources by imperialism are causing environmental destruction. In a situation, when the ruling class and its political outfits are using the instruments of communalism to divide the oppressed and the working class of our nation, it becomes crucial to recall Marx who believed “The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.”
On the occasion of bicentenary birth celebration, it will be appropriate to remember Marx in the words of Lenin, the leader who ushered in the first workers state in Russia – “the genius of Marx consists in his having furnished answers to questions already raised by the foremost minds of mankind. His doctrine emerged as the direct and immediate continuation of the teachings of the greatest representatives of philosophy, political economy and socialism. Marxist doctrine is omnipotent because it is true.”
It can unequivocally said that Marx’s critique of capital and capitalism of the 1860s remains the most radical, and inevitably, with the significant change of the economy and society, Marxism has developed itself under the new conditions of capitalism and of the class struggle of the proletariat. The revolutionary practice of Marxism in the last 200 years has undoubtedly contributed to the general treasury of Marxism and the advancement of Marxism to its developed stages has only been possible as Marx’s theory was never a dogma but a proper unification of revolutionary theory and practice.
ABSC pays homage to the great revolutionary on his 200th birthday and uphold his mission – “to contribute, in one way or another, to the overthrow of capitalist society and of the state institutions which it had brought into being, to contribute to the liberation of the modern proletariat.”