Monday, November 9, 2009

Understanding the radical mindset

Much of the country wants the current stalemate to end but the political system is deadlocked. The political divide in the last couple of months have further widened with the Maoists’ autocratic aspirations and Talibanish character coming to the fore. Liberals, who were soft on the Maoists despite the latter’s avowed objective of establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat by overthrowing the supposedly-rotten bourgeois system, are not ready to act as useful idiots anymore. Along with the useful idiots, hopeful idiots, too, seem to have woken up, finally. The members of latter group who once openly embraced the Maoists and rationalized their irrational behavior at the cost of mainstreaming the Maoists have started writing responses to the United Nations’ secretary general’s call for a national unity government. Nepal, as a nation, suffers not only from violent radicals’ dishonest intent but also from the intellectual dishonesty of the so-called intellectuals that have gotten habituated of playing on either side of the fence.

The drift between the Maoists and the democratic forces was eminent because the strategic end goals of these two forces are distinctly different. The Maoist ideologue Baburam Bhattarai in his latest interview with World People’s Resistance Movement (WPRM), without mincing a word, has clearly said that the alignment with the bourgeois democratic parties was to abolish monarchy following which the contention is between the bourgeois and the proletariat forces. That is what we are now witnessing: The next leg of the struggle. Should the democratic forces be concerned? Of course, yes!Even though Bhattarai tried his best to contextualize things that he said in the interview with WPRM in his interview with Rabindra Mishra of BBC, anyone who has read the text of the interview given to WPRM knew Bhattarai was lying. Without using any qualifier, he has clearly said that the Maoists have never abandoned protracted people’s war; there has only been a tactical shift within the strategy. He calls democracy as a form of bourgeois dictatorship. It raises a question about what kind of system the Maoists actually want. Here is what the Maoists want. Within the framework of the dictatorship of the proletariat, competition will be organized among the masses of the people, whereby the masses will be constantly energized until proletarian dictatorship is established. The revolution, according to the chief Maoist ideologue, will not stop until all the classes are abolished; the state is abolished; and the property system is abolished.

For now, the ongoing political stalemate may be over as the Maoists are unable to chip away the coalition partners and bring down the government. The flexibility that the Maoists are exhibiting or will exhibit in the coming days, however, is/will be to safeguard the gains. The Maoists know it very well that at this point in time all they got to do is not let the coalition deliver. They know it very well that eventually the international community will either have to reinstate them or force the government to conduct fresh elections. Either ways, they win. If elections are held, the Maoists will once again make a clean sweep. They will win not only because they are the only ones present at the grassroots level but also because radicals always win when the political landscape is fragmented. As the government fails to deliver, voters disappointed with the coalition partners will join small regional parties built around single issues, such as ethnic discrimination, economic marginalization and many others. Such splinter parties that have mushroomed in every region of the country will further weaken the more moderate parties like NC and UML.

The emergence of the Nazis after 1930 took place in a similar situation that we are in now.The Nazis benefited from these splinter parties in the protestant-bourgeois camp and absorbed most of their voters. In the case of Nepal, it is even more easier because along with the brainwashed poor, indoctrinated with the Marxist doctrine of a class war, the city-based intelligentsia that have forgiven the killings of thousands of civilians and security personnel and destruction of public property believe that the Maoists stand for the poor and are fighting to bring about social transformation. The city-based intelligentsia is disillusioned because in its analysis, it attaches the state’s inability to solve common men’s problems with ineffectiveness of multiparty democracy. It is not multiparty democracy but a few incompetent and corrupt politicians that failed in the country. In Cuba, which is revered by the Maoists, out of 70 Cuban intellectuals arrested six years ago in what has become known as Cuba’s Black Spring, more than 20 are still languishing in various jails in sub-human conditions. If things go the Maoists way, social transformation that the city-based intelligentsia has been hankering for may not extend beyond fractured skulls resulting from security personnel’s baton.

Trading a democratic system with a dictatorship is a horrible idea. There was no need of a violent armed insurgency to repair the lapses of the government during the last two decades to begin with. Democratic system is self-correcting and incompetent and corrupt get flushed out periodically as voters get more educated and sophisticated. With improved administrative corrections, containment of corruption and better economic packages for the least developed areas, positive changes in the lives of people could have been brought. But that is too late even to discuss now. No matter how flexible the Maoists may appear for now, they will not abandon their strategic end goal. They will continue to try to secure success through fault lines of the state. Unless the state is aware of these fault lines and employs all possible resources to repair the gaps which the Maoists will try to take advantage of, Maoist takeover is eminent. It may take sometime but it will certainly happen.


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