Posts Tagged ‘imperialism’

Indian freedom movement’s heroic son, Bhagat Singh Shaheed

December 20, 2009

Red Diary, December 20, 2009

Disturbed to life by the atrocious massacre at Jallianwala Bagh (Amritsar) in 1919, disillusioned by the national political leaders who recoiled the promising Non-Cooperation Movement in 1922, alarmed by the rising religious divisions and reactionary rhetoric in the mainstream politics, and motivated by the Bolshevik Revolution of workers and peasants of Russia of 1917, Bhagat Singh and his compatriots entered the political scene of India and became the icon of the aspirations of the people of India in no time. Their aim was to bring a revolution that would not only end the colonial British regime but would also lay the foundations of a system that shall combat all forms of injustices. It was for these crimes that Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev were hanged by the rulers of British colonialism on 23rd of March, 1931, at Lahore Camp Jail. Bhagat Singh was only 23 years old at the time of his hanging.

Continued >>

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Pilger: Mourn on the 4th of July

July 10, 2009

John Pilger | New Statesman, July 9, 2009

Liberals say that the United States is once again a “nation of moral ideals”, but behind the façade little has changed. With his government of warmongers, Wall Street cronies and polluters from the Bush and Clinton eras, Barack Obama is merely upholding the myths of a divine America

The monsoon had woven thick skeins of mist over the central highlands of Vietnam. I was a young war correspondent, bivouacked in the village of Tuylon with a unit of US marines whose orders were to win hearts and minds. “We are here not to kill,” said the sergeant, “we are here to impart the American Way of Liberty as stated in the Pacification Handbook. This is designed to win the hearts and minds of folks, as stated on page 86.”

Page 86 was headed WHAM. The sergeant’s unit was called a combined action company, which meant, he explained, “we attack these folks on Mondays and we win their hearts and minds on Tuesdays”. He was joking, though not quite. Standing in a jeep on the edge of a paddy, he had announced through a loudhailer: “Come on out, everybody. We got rice and candy and toothbrushes to give you.”

Silence. Not a shadow moved.

“Now listen, either you gooks come on out from wherever you are, or we’re going to come right in there and get you!”

The people of Tuylon finally came out and stood in line to receive packets of Uncle Ben’s Long Grain Rice, Hershey bars, party balloons and several thousand toothbrushes. Three portable, battery-operated, yellow flush lavatories were kept for the colonel’s arrival. And when the colonel arrived that evening, the district chief was summoned and the yellow flush lavatories were unveiled.

Full article >>

Uruguay’s incorruptible poet Mario Benedetti

June 21, 2009

Héctor Reyes mourns the death of celebrated Uruguayan writer Mario Benedetti.

Socialist Worker, June  21, 2009

Mario BenedettiMario Benedetti

ON MAY 17, the great Uruguayan writer Mario Benedetti passed away at the age of 88. His death was widely mourned in Latin America and Europe. In the U.S., it did not register at all.

This is unfortunate, indeed, for Benedetti was one of the most brilliant writers humanity has produced. He excelled in a wide range of literary genres: poetry, novels, short stories, essays, plays, screenplays and journalism. There are very few writers in history about whom this claim can be made. Yet in this country, it is as if he was never born, he never wrote, and he never existed.

Continued >>

Chalmers Johnson on the Cost of Empire

May 27, 2009
Book Review
Truthdig.com, May 15, 2009
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book cover

By Chalmers Johnson

In her foreword to “The Bases of Empire: The Global Struggle Against U.S. Military Posts,” an important collection of articles on United States militarism and imperialism, edited by Catherine Lutz, the prominent feminist writer Cynthia Enloe notes one of our most abject failures as a government and a democracy: “There is virtually no news coverage—no journalists’ or editors’ curiosity—about the pressures or lures at work when the U.S. government seeks to persuade officials of Romania, Aruba or Ecuador that providing U.S. military-basing access would be good for their countries.” The American public, if not the residents of the territories in question, is almost totally innocent of the huge costs involved, the crimes committed by our soldiers against women and children in the occupied territories, the environmental pollution, and the deep and abiding suspicions generated among people forced to live close to thousands of heavily armed, culturally myopic and dangerously indoctrinated American soldiers. This book is an antidote to such parochialism.

Catherine Lutz is an anthropologist at Brown University and the author of an ethnography of an American city that is indubitably part of the American military complex: Fayetteville, N.C., adjacent to Fort Bragg, home of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School (see “Homefront, A Military City and the American Twentieth Century,” Beacon Press, 2002). On the opening page of her introduction to the current volume, Lutz makes a real contribution to the study of the American empire of bases. She writes, “Officially, over 190,000 troops and 115,000 civilian employees are massed in 909 military facilities in 46 countries and territories.” She cites as her source the Department of Defense’s Base Structure Report for fiscal year 2007. This is the Defense Department’s annual inventory of real estate that it owns or leases in the United States and in foreign countries. Oddly, however, the total of 909 foreign bases does not appear in the 2007 BSR. Instead, it gives the numbers of 823 bases located in other people’s countries and 86 sites located in U.S. territories. So Lutz has combined the foreign and territorial bases—which include American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, Johnston Atoll, the Northern Marianas Islands, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Wake Island. Guam is host to at least 30 military sites and Puerto Rico to 41 bases.

Continued >>

John Hobson: Imperialism (1902)

January 24, 2009

John A. Hobson (1858 ­- 1940), an English economist, wrote one the most famous critiques of the economic bases of imperialism in 1902.

Source: Modern History Sourcebook

Amid the welter of vague political abstractions to lay one’s finger accurately upon any “ism” so as to pin it down and mark it out by definition seems impossible. Where meanings shift so quickly and so subtly, not only following changes of thought, but often manipulated artificially by political practitioners so as to obscure, expand, or distort, it is idle to demand the same rigour as is expected in the exact sciences. A certain broad consistency in its relations to other kindred terms is the nearest approach to definition which such a term as Imperialism admits. Nationalism, internationalism, colonialism, its three closest congeners, are equally elusive, equally shifty, and the changeful overlapping of all four demands the closest vigilance of students of modern politics.

During the nineteenth century the struggle towards nationalism, or establishment of political union on a basis of nationality, was a dominant factor alike in dynastic movements and as an inner motive in the life of masses of population. That struggle, in external politics, sometimes took a disruptive form, as in the case of Greece, Servia, Roumania, and Bulgaria breaking from Ottoman rule, and the detachment of North Italy from her unnatural alliance with the Austrian Empire. In other cases it was a unifying or a centralising force, enlarging the area of nationality, as in the case of Italy and the Pan­Slavist movement in Russia. Sometimes nationality was taken as a basis of federation of States, as in United Germany and in North America.

It is true that the forces making for political union sometimes went further, making for federal union of diverse nationalities, as in the cases of Austria­Hungary, Norway and Sweden, and the Swiss Federation. But the general tendency was towards welding into large strong national unities the loosely related States and provinces with shifting attachments and alliances which covered large areas of Europe since the break­up of the Empire. This was the most definite achievement of the nineteenth century. The force of nationality, operating in this work, is quite as visible in the failures to achieve political freedom as in the successes; and the struggles of Irish, Poles, Finns, Hungarians, and Czechs to resist the forcible subjection to or alliance with stronger neighbours brought out in its full vigour the powerful sentiment of nationality.

The middle of the century was especially distinguished by a series of definitely “nationalist” revivals, some of which found important interpretation in dynastic changes, while others were crushed or collapsed. Holland, Poland, Belgium, Norway, the Balkans, formed a vast arena for these struggles of national forces.

The close of the third quarter of the century saw Europe fairly settled into large national States or federations of States, though in the nature of the case there can be no finality, and Italy continued to look to Trieste, as Germany still looks to Austria, for the fulfilment of her manifest destiny.

This passion and the dynastic forms it helped to mould and animate are largely attributable to the fierce prolonged resistance which peoples, both great and small, were called on to maintain against the imperial designs of Napoleon. The national spirit of England was roused by the tenseness of the struggle to a self­consciousness it had never experienced since “the spacious days of great Elizabeth.” Jena made Prussia into a great nation; the Moscow campaign brought Russia into the field of European nationalities as a factor in politics, opening her for the first time to the full tide of Western ideas and influences.

Turning from this territorial and dynastic nationalism to the spirit of racial, linguistic, and economic solidarity which has been the underlying motive, we find a still more remarkable movement. Local particularism on the one hand, vague cosmopolitanism upon the other, yielded to a ferment of nationalist sentiment, manifesting itself among the weaker peoples not merely in a sturdy and heroic resistance against political absorption or territorial nationalism, but in a passionate revival of decaying customs, language, literature and art; while it bred in more dominant peoples strange ambitions of national “destiny” and an attendant spirit of Chauvinism. . .

No mere array of facts and figures adduced to illustrate the economic nature of the new Imperialism will suffice to dispel the popular delusion that the use of national force to secure new markets by annexing fresh tracts of territory is a sound and a necessary policy for an advanced industrial country like Great Britain….

­ But these arguments are not conclusive. It is open to Imperialists to argue thus: “We must have markets for our growing manufactures, we must have new outlets for the investment of our surplus capital and for the energies of the adventurous surplus of our population: such expansion is a necessity of life to a nation with our great and growing powers of production. An ever larger share of our population is devoted to the manufactures and commerce of towns, and is thus dependent for life and work upon food and raw materials from foreign lands. In order to buy and pay for these things we must sell our goods abroad. During the first three­quarters of the nineteenth century we could do so without difficulty by a natural expansion of commerce with continental nations and our colonies, all of which were far behind us in the main arts of manufacture and the carrying trades. So long as England held a virtual monopoly of the world markets for certain important classes of manufactured goods, Imperialism was unnecessary.

After 1870 this manufacturing and trading supremacy was greatly impaired: other nations, especially Germany, the United States, and Belgium, advanced with great rapidity, and while they have not crushed or even stayed the increase of our external trade, their competition made it more and more difficult to dispose of the full surplus of our manufactures at a profit. The encroachments made by these nations upon our old markets, even in our own possessions, made it most urgent that we should take energetic means to secure new markets. These new markets had to lie in hitherto undeveloped countries, chiefly in the tropics, where vast populations lived capable of growing economic needs which our manufacturers and merchants could supply. Our rivals were seizing and annexing territories for similar purposes, and when they had annexed them closed them to our trade The diplomacy and the arms of Great Britain had to be used in order to compel the owners of the new markets to deal with us: and experience showed that the safest means of securing and developing such markets is by establishing ‘protectorates’ or by annexation….

It was this sudden demand for foreign markets for manufactures and for investments which was avowedly responsible for the adoption of Imperialism as a political policy….They needed Imperialism because they desired to use the public resources of their country to find profitable employment for their capital which otherwise would be superfluous….

Every improvement of methods of production, every concentration of ownership and control, seems to accentuate the tendency. As one nation after another enters the machine economy and adopts advanced industrial methods, it becomes more difficult for its manufacturers, merchants, and financiers to dispose profitably of their economic resources, and they are tempted more and more to use their Governments in order to secure for their particular use some distant undeveloped country by annexation and protection.

The process, we may be told, is inevitable, and so it seems upon a superficial inspection. Everywhere appear excessive powers of production, excessive capital in search of investment. It is admitted by all business men that the growth of the powers of production in their country exceeds the growth in consumption, that more goods can be produced than can be sold at a profit, and that more capital exists than can find remunerative investment.

It is this economic condition of affairs that forms the taproot of Imperialism. If the consuming public in this country raised its standard of consumption to keep pace with every rise of productive powers, there could be no excess of goods or capital clamorous to use Imperialism in order to find markets: foreign trade would indeed exist….

Everywhere the issue of quantitative versus qualitative growth comes up. This is the entire issue of empire. A people limited in number and energy and in the land they occupy have the choice of improving to the utmost the political and economic management of their own land, confining themselves to such accessions of territory as are justified by the most economical disposition of a growing population; or they may proceed, like the slovenly farmer, to spread their power and energy over the whole earth, tempted by the speculative value or the quick profits of some new market, or else by mere greed of territorial acquisition, and ignoring the political and economic wastes and risks involved by this imperial career. It must be clearly understood that this is essentially a choice of alternatives; a full simultaneous application of intensive and extensive cultivation is impossible. A nation may either, following the example of Denmark or Switzerland, put brains into agriculture, develop a finely varied system of public education, general and technical, apply the ripest science to its special manufacturing industries, and so support in progressive comfort and character a considerable population upon a strictly limited area; or it may, like Great r Britain, neglect its agriculture, allowing its lands to go out of cultivation and its population to grow up in towns, fall behind other nations in its methods of education and in the capacity of adapting to its uses the latest scientific knowledge, in order that it may squander its pecuniary and military resources in forcing bad markets and finding speculative fields of investment in distant corners of the earth, adding millions of square miles and of unassimilable population to the area of the Empire.

The driving forces of class interest which stimulate and support this false economy we have explained. No remedy will serve which permits the future operation of these forces. It is idle to attack Imperialism or Militarism as political expedients or policies unless the axe is laid at the economic root of the tree, and the classes for whose interest Imperialism works are shorn of the surplus revenues which seek this outlet.

From John A. Hobson, Imperialism (London: Allen and Unwin, 1948), pp.3­5, 71, ­72, 77, ­78, 80,  ­81, 92,­ 93.

Understanding Imperialism

December 12, 2008

“I will never apologise for the United States.

I don’t care what the facts are.”

George Bush the First in 1988 when a US missile cruiser in the Persian Gulf shot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing 290 people.

“We think the price is worth it.”

Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State, in December 1996 when it was reported that UN sanctions had killed 576,000 Iraqi children under the age of five.

Today, in the name of “freedom” and “democracy” – hope-laden words – as many as 250,000 Iraqis lie dead, Iraqis and Afghanis live with the brutality of military occupation by the US and it allies and over 20,000 US soldiers are dead or maimed.

In a world where facts are irrelevant, and language is used as if we are living in a never-ending mad hatter’s party, the protests of millions keep alive some sense of human sanity. However, if we are to not just protest, but begin to challenge the source of the barbarity, we need to understand what we are up against.

The idea that Bush is a homicidal maniac surrounded by greedy bastards is appealing. But it implies we just need well-intentioned politicians and business people. As the Indian writer and activist Arundati Roy  said: “It’s true that [George Bush the Second] is a dangerous, almost suicidal pilot, but the machine he handles is far more dangerous than the man himself.”

Understanding that machine provides us with the tools we need to disable it.

Capitalism breeds war

Two Russian revolutionaries – Lenin and Nikolai Bukharin – explained why war is an inevitable result of capitalism when they analysed the causes of World War I.

Capitalism is a system of competition, but there is an inbuilt contradiction: successful companies buy up those that go broke, getting ever bigger. Lenin wrote: “Marx had proved that free competition gives rise to the concentration of production, which, in turn, at a certain stage of development, leads to monopoly.” Ever-bigger capitalist corporations combine in cartels to keep rivals out of the market. Just think of OPEC, the modern cartel of oil exporting states. Their website sums it up: “OPEC’s mission is to … ensure the stabilisation of oil prices in order to secure … a steady income to producers and a fair return on capital to those investing in the petroleum industry.”

By the twentieth century, giant corporations had developed interests extending beyond the borders of their national state. They struggle to out-compete each other in an increasingly integrated world market (called globalisation today). Microsoft, Shell, Nike, BHP-Billiton are typical.

However, contrary to many anti-globalisation theories today, we are not just confronted with marauding multinational corporations. National states have to control “spheres of influence” in order to maximise access to raw materials, markets for goods and investment, trade routes and the like for their multinational corporations. They may use economic and political means, but “the mutual relations of those states – [are] in the final analysis the relations between their military forces”.

Lenin and Bukharin concluded that imperialism – the competition between powerful nations to dominate areas of the globe – defines modern capitalism and this makes war inevitable.

Twentieth century imperialism

As Lenin and Bukharin predicted, World War I did not end the drive to war; it only laid the basis for a further re-division of the world between the major powers. World War II was an imperialist war, not a war for democracy. “War for democracy” – sounds eerily familiar doesn’t it? That’s because the machine was the same – only the drivers were different.

The war ended with a new re-partitioning of the world – by Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill. The Cold War after 1945 was a stand-off between two new superpowers, the Stalinist USSR and the US. The massive stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction by both sides were justified by the lies that capitalism was defending freedom from the tyranny of communism, and conversely, that the “workers’ states” – which were in reality state-run capitalist states – were a bastion against vile capitalism. It finally ended when this madness brought on the collapse of the USSR’s imperialist bloc between 1989 and 1991.

However, the inbuilt contradictions of capitalism gave rise to a new balance of power. The lunacy of wasting billions of dollars on more than enough nuclear weapons to blow the earth away sustained the longest economic boom ever. Germany and Japan, forbidden to re-arm, gained an economic advantage, riding on the back of the boom to modernise their economies without the burden of military spending. By the end of the long boom in the mid-1970s, the US was no longer the supreme economic power it had been.

The dominance of the US ruling class rested more on military than economic might. Increasingly they needed to send a message to other rising powers such as China, Japan or a united Europe that the US could and would take on any states that challenged its status as the world’s superpower. But the defeat in Vietnam undermined US confidence.

When Saddam Hussein, their former bully boy in the Middle East, looked too independent, they seized the opportunity, not to rid the world of the “new Hitler” as they proclaimed in 1991, but to strike a blow for their future. “Humanitarian” interventions in places such as the Balkans and Somalia were used to put the “Vietnam syndrome” behind them. And they bamboozled even some on the left into believing US might could be humane.

The War of Terror

The supposed “war on terror” is nothing more than the US ruling class’s drive to shore up their empire. Saddam and Al Qaeda are just a convenient pretext for US military bases in the strategic Middle East and Afghanistan, a corridor for supplies of natural gas and oil from Central Asia.

But much more than control of that strategic commodity is at stake. It is about an increasingly belligerent capitalist class who rely on military might to prevent a challenge to their power. Bases in Afghanistan complete the encirclement of China, a potential rival. And the wars demonstrate the barbarity the US is willing to unleash.

Nuclear war – the logic of imperialism

Bush’s drive towards a nuclear strike against Iran is, from the point of view of the US rulers, not madness, but the most reliable way to ensure they remain top imperialist dog.

Australia, as a middle-ranking power, allies itself with the US as a central part of its own imperialist drive to dominate the area regarded as “our own backyard”. Howard and Australia’s capitalists want to go down the nuclear road because it gives them an entry into the nuclear imperialist club. Even if Australian capitalists are only minor players, they’re increasingly flexing their muscles on “their” block. And they have enough uranium to make themselves indispensable to that club.

During the Cold War even many on the left argued that nuclear weapons threatened all of humanity, so at least some capitalists could be anti-war allies. But capitalists take risks all the time. Short term gain far outweighs long term risks, and certainly wins out over humanitarianism.

How can we stop war?

Once we recognise that wars are inevitable in capitalist society, it follows that we can’t rely on parliamentary parties that want to run this system. The US Democrats, in the midst of a massive anti-war campaign, ran a pro-war candidate for President in 2004. The ALP government enthusiastically sent troops to the Persian Gulf in 1991. Even the Greens, who use anti-war rhetoric, don’t consistently campaign to mobilise demonstrations against war, and they actually support the use of imperialist Australian troops to interfere in states in “our neighbourhood”. The German Greens campaigned for years against war and the nuclear industry. Once in government, they attacked anti-nuke campaigners and sent troops to bomb the Balkans in the mid 1990s.

To end the wars we will have to build a movement that mobilises the strength of the mass of people to demonstrate, strike and organise so that governments and bosses know they will have no peace while they occupy, bomb or exploit other countries. That movement needs to be implacably opposed to imperialism, fighting every deployment of imperialist troops, whatever the “justification”.

THE WORLD TODAY – HIT OR BUST

October 1, 2008

George Barnsby, Oct 1, 2008

I’ve been accused in the past of neglecting the dire financial
position that has been developing for some years now. This is because I regard the blind monster of Capitalism uncontrollable, moving one day favourably and the next day unfavourably, but always with two main defects.

Its tendency to move in slumps and booms and its tendency to produce unacceptable wealth at one end of the scale and poverty and starvation at the other. Thus I believe with Marx and Lenin that the only thing to do with capitalism is to destroy it and this Communists attempted to do in the last century but world imperialism was too strong for it. The Soviet Union was destroyed by a coup against Gorbachev a particularly horrible form of capitalism was introduced which impoverished the working people of Russia and its wealth given to oligarchs who usually moved abroad to escape the righteous wrath of the Russian people. All this has resulted in the present financial scandal where the very existence of capitalism is at stake and the only possible solution is Socialism which has revived in South America under Hugo Chaves, Evo Morales, an indigenous leader and others who are able to challenge US capitalism which could be in the process of disintegrating.

One of the bitterest critics of Bush and his Neo-Cons. has been the
film maker Michael Moore and, as I explain to my critics, I am not in a position to pronounce on the seriousness of the position in the US, but Moore is and last night I wrote a long piece which criticised the Democratic Party saying that they handed an election to Bush which he had not won; that they gave him the votes to invade Iraq and now have been cowered into accepting the crime of the century which he believes is paying the 700 billion dollar bail out American capitalism.

But tomorrow is another day and what these masters of the world did not realise was that the American people had decided that it was time to revolt.

Millions of phone calls and emails hit Congressmen telling them to oppose the crime of the century and allow bankers and monopoly business men 700 billion dollars paid for by ordinary people who also risked losing their homes because they couldn’t pay their mortgages. So the right wing of the Republican Party joined with the left-wing of the Democratic Party 228 votes to 205 to stop the thievery. The Democrats who voted for the give-away were influenced by the fact that their stock based pensions are retirement funds would be at risk if they didn’t give the rich their handouts. But this indeed happened as the Dow Jones showed the largest, single-day drop in the history of the New York Stock Exchange. Americans lost 1.2 trillion dollars in the stock market. Its a financial Pearl Harbour! The sky is falling! And as we all go to bed, we don’t know what else Capitalism will throw at us tomorrow and how much more nationalisation and other Socialist measures will be forced on Democrats and reluctant Republicans alike.

Michael promises to give his solutions tomorrow, so don’t fail to log on to MMFlint@aol.com for the latest news.

Empire and Imperialism and the USA

September 9, 2008

Modern empires and therefore imperialism which constructs them are ubiquitous: Whether through large-scale multinational corporations or through technologically advanced massive military power, the peoples and nations of the worlds confront the problem of great concentration of corporate and state power on an unprecedented scale. This stark reality and the evidence of US prolonged wars of conquest and occupation has forced a general recognition of the relevance of the concept of imperialism to understanding global power relations. Only a decade ago writers, intellectuals and academics discarded imperialism and empire in favor of ‘globalization’ – to describe the world configuration of power. But globalization with its limited focus on the movement of multinational corporations could not explain the centrality of the state in establishing and imposing favorable conditions for the ‘movement’ or expansion of multinationals. Corporate globalization could not explain wars of conquest, like the first Gulf War, or wars of occupation or colonization, such as the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nor could globalization explain the large-scale, long-term expansion of Chinese public corporations throughout Africa and the vast extraction of raw materials and sale of finished goods. By the new millennium, the language of empire even entered the vocabulary of the Right, the practitioners and ideologues of imperialist power. Contemporary imperial conflicts had their effects: Imperialism and empire once again became common language on the Left, but in many cases poorly understood, at least in all of its complexities and structures.

This essay clarifies some of the basic theoretical and practical features of contemporary imperialism, which are poorly understood. There are at least five major aspects of the political economy of imperialism that focus our attention in this book:

(1) Imperialism is a political and economic phenomenon. The multinational corporations (MNC) operate in many countries, but they receive their political support, economic subsidies and military insurance from the imperial state (IS) concerned with the MNC. The IS negotiates or imposes trade and investment agreements favorable to the MNC. At the same time the IS uses the MNC to influence overseas regimes to concede military bases and submit to its sphere of influence. Imperialism is the combined forceful overseas expansion of state and corporations.

(2) There are multiple forms of empire building. While all imperial states possess military and economic apparatuses, the political and economic driving force behind the construction of a global empire vary according to the nature of the governing class of the imperial state. In the contemporary world there are essentially two types of empire building – the US military-driven empire building and the Chinese economic empire. The US governing class today is made up of a powerful militarist-Zionist ideological elite, which prioritizes war and military force as a way of extending its domination and constructing client/colonial regimes. China and other newly aspiring economic empire builders expand overseas via large-scale, long-term overseas investments, loans, trade, technical aid and market shares. Obviously the US militarist approach to empire building is bloodier, more destructive and more reprehensible than market-driven empire building. However the structure of power and exploitation, which result from both types of empire, is a political-economic system, which oppresses and exploits subject peoples and nations.

(3) Imperialism has multiple interacting facets, which mutually reinforce each other: The mass media and culture in general are weapons for securing consent and/or acquiescence of the masses in pursuit of empire building which prejudices their material and spiritual existence. Imperialism cannot be isolated and reduced to simple economic reductionism. Economic exploitation is only possible under conditions of subjective subordination and that refers to education, entertainment, literature and art as terrains of class relations and class struggle linked to the empire.

(4) The social, ideological and political loyalties of the political elite, which direct the imperial state, determines the tactics and strategy which will be pursued in empire building. One cannot automatically assume that the political leadership will prioritize the interests of the MNCs in every region of the world at all times. When imperial leadership has divided loyalties with another state imperial policies may not coincide with the interests of the MNCs. Under these special circumstances of rulers with divided imperial loyalties, the ‘normal’ operations of the imperial state are suspended. The case of Zionist power in the US imperial state is a case in point. Through powerful and wealthy socio-political organizations, representation on powerful Congressional committees and strong presence in senior Executive offices (Pentagon, State Department, National Security Council, Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury) and the mass media, the Zionist elite dictates US Middle East policy. The US military serves Israeli colonial-expansionist interests even at the expense of the major US oil companies which are prevented from signing billion-dollar oil contracts with Iran and other oil-rich countries at odds with Israel .

(5) The world of competing imperial countries has created complex international organizations, which conflict, compete and collaborate. They operate on all levels, from the global to the cities and villages of the Third World . Imperialist powers enter and exploit through a chain of collaborator classes from the imperial center through international organizations to local ruling, economic and political classes. The imperial system is only as strong as its local collaborators. Popular uprisings, national anti-colonial struggles and radical mass movements, which oust local collaborators, undermine the empire. Anti imperialists attempt to establish diverse ties among imperial competitors and among the newly emerging powers to isolate the US military-centered empire.

The crisis of Zionism and a perspective for Palestinian approach

August 30, 2008

Campo Antiimperialista, August 29, 2008

by Yoav Bar *

This paper is written as a contribution to the discussion in the Anti Imperialist Camp about perspectives for work within the imperialist countries. The situation in Palestine is very different from that of Europe or the US. Since the beginning of the Zionist colonization of Palestine, some 130 years ago, Jews in Palestine were a small enclave of settler population in the midst of the Arab homeland. Colonialism is not external expansionism of some imaginary “western-capitalist Israel”, but the essence of Israel’s existence. Palestine is an occupied colonized country, where the real center of political life is the struggle against the occupation. Any progressive struggle within the Jewish community in Palestine should be part of the perspective of Palestinian liberation.

From many aspects, the democratic struggle in Israel, as a remote outpost of imperialism, may differ from the general perspective for revolutionary struggle in the imperialist centers. Anyway, I tried to keep my analysis strictly committed to the facts on the Palestinian ground, and let the audience treat it critically to decide what lessons may be drawn for other fronts.

Part 1: How the Zionist system works

Zionism and Imperialism

A lot was written about the evils of Zionism as a colonialist movement and Israel as a racist regime, but the role of Zionism in the Imperialist Hegemony over the Arab East is much less known and understood. Still the main role of Zionism is not the exploitation of the Palestinian people, of which they prefer to get rid by continuing ethnic cleansing, neither the building of a Jewish society in Palestine (and the subsequent exploitation of the Jewish working class). The main role of Israel is as an advanced military outpost in the middle of the Arab East to prevent Arab independence, Arab unity and the building of a national economy and democratic society.

The military character of the Israeli project is enshrined in many strategic agreements between Israel and the imperialist powers, guaranteeing the “strategic superiority” of Israel in the region.

The current imperialist hysteria against Iran’s nuclear program has only one meaning – imperialist determination to keep Israel as the only power with nuclear weapon in the area, so as to enable it to use it on need. In many recent writings by Zionist leaders they tell openly how close they were to using nuclear weapons in some of their past conflicts…

For their role in keeping imperialist hegemony over this strategically important region, the Zionist military-capitalist elites receive a wide range of economic and political privileges, which are a small fraction of the imperialists’ profits from the subjection of the Arab nation and the robbery of its natural and human resources.

Colonialism and Class

In order to be able to expel and oppress the Palestinian people, and in order to be able to militarily terrorize the whole region, the Zionists need the best of all imperialist weaponry, but they also need soldiers to fight their wars. The state of Israel uses those Jewish masses it succeeded to tempt to come to Palestine as its base of support and as the foot soldiers for its colonization, oppression and aggressive wars. It needs this immigrant community to be satisfied, to prevent it from re-immigrating to safer places, and to keep its loyalty as a fighting force.

Fear is one major force behind the intense control of Zionism over the Jews in Palestine. In this sense, Zionism is the main beneficiary of anti-Semitism and it shares its conviction that Jews can’t assimilate in the societies where they live. It also benefits, to some degree, from terrifying Jews in Palestine from the possible consequences in case Israel will loose it military dominance.

In order to provide replacement to the expelled Palestinians, the Zionist movement is bringing in Jews from all over the world. At a process of internal colonization, Jews from Arab and other third world countries are deprived of their culture and social structure, which are declared by the state as “inferior”, and their society is crashed to provide defenseless “human raw material” for the Zionist manipulation and exploitation.

But the main mean used by Israel to keep the loyalty of the Jewish masses is to make their daily way of living depend of a complex system of privileges as against the native Palestinians. This system of privileges includes every aspect of daily lives in Israel: Health and Education, Housing, Welfare, Acceptance and promotion at work, just everything. Much effort is done to involve as many Jews (from all classes) as possible in actively expropriating Arab land, in the ’48 occupied territories as well as in the West Bank and the Syrian Golan heights.

This system allows only one way for effective struggle for sections of the Jewish masses that aspire to improve their daily lives: To struggle to enhance their privileges and distance themselves from the much more oppressed and exploited Arab masses. It is not a coincidence that the most successful struggle of Oriental Jews in the last years was a campaign for more equal distribution of expropriated Arab land, waged under the slogan “this land is also mine”.

Continued . . .

Life of Dada Amir Haider Khan

August 5, 2008

Nasir Khan, August 5, 2008

All those who oppose imperialistic wars and plunder, subjugation and oppression of weaker nations and peoples, and wide-spread violations of human rights in various parts of the world will be glad to see the publication of the two-volume autobiography of Indo-Pakistani revolutionary Dada Amir Haider Khan. The life and struggles of this eternal revolutionary who stood for advancing the cause of workers and peasants and firmly adhered to the world-outlook of proletarian internationalism is quite amazing. No matter what hardships he came across, he held belief in the eventual emancipation of the toiling masses, not by any outside force or agency but through their own struggles shaped by their political consciousness for a worthy human existence.

Dada Amir Haider Khan was not an idealist; he was a man of action. By his practical example he showed how to work and organise workers locally so that they could stand for and protect their political and economic interests. In his personal life, he always remained a fakir, a ‘homeless wanderer’, as he used to call himself. Neither did he own any valuable possessions. He had donated the share of his inherited land for building a school in his ancestral village, a poor and deprived area of small farmers.

I met Dada half a century ago, in 1957, when I started my college education in Rawalpindi. This early contact with him was to become a lifelong friendship and close comradeship. He was above all a sincere and trustworthy man and a political activist. But he was also a charismatic person; those who met him were drawn towards his magnetic personality.

Dr Hasan N. Gardezi edited and supervised the publication of Dada’s memoirs with great diligence and a sense of duty to preserve the historical role of a truly great and unique revolutionary who emerged from the part of the world now called Pakistan. I offer my thanks to Professor Gardezi for his tireless efforts to publicise the work of Dada, and also thank other friends who have in one way or the other contributed to the task. I believe all the progressive people who have known Dada or those who will come to know about him through the publication of his memoirs will highly appreciate the work of Professor Gardezi. He has preserved the legacy of the great revolutionary for the coming generations of radical and progressive people.

Volume 1 was first published in New Delhi in 1989, prefaced by our esteemed Comrade V.D. Chopra. Now the memoirs in two volumes are available from Karachi.

[ To obtain your copies please contact: Muhammad Kamran, Office Assistant, Pakistan Studies Centre, University of Karachi, Karachi, 75270, E-mail pscuok@yahoo. com

For further information the editor can be reached at: gardezihassan@ hotmail.com ]

Historians and scholars in Marxist tradition may also find the following publications and references to Dada Amir Haider Khan helpful:

  • Harry Haywood, Black Bolshevik, Liberator Press, Chicago, Illinois, 1978, pp. 164-5, 509.
  • Santimoy Ray, Freedom Movement and Indian Muslims, People’s Publishing House, New Delhi, 1978, p. 82.
  • S.S. Mirajkar, ‘Reminiscences’, Marxist Miscellany No. 15, March 1979, New Delhi, pp. 21-22.
  • Amir Haider Khan, ‘Reminiscences’, Marxist Miscellany No. 15, March 1979. (This is a memorable article written by Dada Amir Haider Khan on the 50th Anniversary of the Meerut Conspiracy Case.)
  • Subodh Roy (ed.), Communism in India, Ganashakti Printers, 1972.

I republish below a remarkable book review by Jamil Omar

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Book Review by Jamil Omar

Chains to Lose
Life and Struggle of a Revolutionary
Memoirs of Dada Amir Haider Khan
Edited by Hassan N. Gardezi,

Publisher: Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi

An Indian Che Guevara

The party had also begun extending its activities to Madras. A group of Andhra and Tamil students, amongst them P. Sundarayya were recruited to the CPI by Amir Hyder Khan … (E. M. S. Namboodripad Chief Minister of Kerala, The Communist Party in Kerala – Six Decades of Struggle and Advance.)

Thus, the CPI divided into two separate parties. The group which assembled in Calcutta would later adopt the name ‘Communist Party of India (Marxist)’. The CPI (M) also adopted its own political programme. P. Sundarayya was elected general secretary of the party. (History of the Communist Movement in India)

While he lived, Dada Amir Haider Khan struggled to change the course of history, now in death he would have us change our view of it.

Dada surfed the crest of change all over the globe during the first half of the twentieth century, which makes a simple account of his life read like contemporary world history. The account is so reliable and close to life that that it should prove a major primary source for scholars of history and politics. For political activists who have carried on the tradition bequeathed by Dada, the account is essential reading for a critical understanding of their own past.
His life

So little is known about Amir Haider Khan’s very full life that it seems appropriate to start by presenting a very brief overview:
1900 born in a remote village in Rawalpindi district. Orphaned at an early age, put in a madrassah. Escapes to Calcutta, brushes with the underworld handling Afghan opium.

1914 joins British merchant navy in Bombay. Observes at close hand the dilemma of Muslim soldiers in the British army fighting their Turkish brethren in Iraq.

1918 jumps British ship in New York. Joins American merchant marine. An Irish nationalist, Joseph Mulkane, introduces Dada to anti-British political ideas.

1920 meets Indian Nationalists and Ghadar party members in New York. Starts distributing ‘Ghadar ki Goonj’ to Indians in seaports around the world.

Passes the exam of Assistant Second Marine Engineer.

1922 dismissed from ship after the great post war strike. Works and travels inside the USA. Boiler engineer with the Pennsylvania Railroad. Airplane pilot. Autoworker in Detroit.
Political activist, works with anti-Imperialist League and the Workers (Communist) Party of the USA.

1926 sent by the American party to the Soviet Union to study at the University of the Toilers of the East.

1928 completes the University course in Moscow and arrives in Bombay. Establishes contact with Ghate, Dange Bradley, senior communists in Bombay.

March 1929 escapes arrest in the Meerut Conspiracy case and makes his way to Moscow to inform the Communist International (Comintern) on the situation in India and seek their assistance.

1929 arrives back in Bombay, meets and briefs B. T. Randive.

1930 Dada’s connection in Bombay with the Comintern turns informer. Dada rushes to Moscow to apprise them of the development and devise alternate plans. Attends the International Trade Union (Profintern) Congress as member of the presidium, also attends the 16th Congress of the CPSU.

1931 returns to Bombay. Sent to Madras to avoid arrest as still wanted in the Meerut Conspiracy case. Carries on political work all over South India under the pseudonym of Shankar. Sets up the Young Workers League.

1932 arrested by British for bringing out a pamphlet praising the Bhagat Singh Trio.

1936 transferred from Madras to Muzzafargarh jail, then transferred to Ambala jail.

1938 released. Starts open public political activity in Bombay. The Congress left elects him to the INC Bombay Provincial Committee. Attends the INC Annual General meeting in Ramgarh, Bihar.

1939 rearrested as Second World War breaks out. Interned in Nasik jail where Dada writes the first part of his memoirs.

1942 last of the Communists to be released after People’s War thesis. Trade Union work in Bombay. Attends the Natrakona (Mymansingh) All India Kissan Sabah in 1944.

1946 arrives in Rawalpindi on the eve of Pakistan to look after local party work. Organises a network to hide and safely repatriate Hindu families during the partition riots.

1949 arrested from Party office Rawalpindi under the Communal Act. Released after 15 months. Rearrested after a few months from Rawalpindi Kutchery for organizing the defence of Hassan Nasir and Ali Imam. When Liaqat government launches the Rawalpindi Conspiracy case Dada moved to Lahore fort and imprisoned with Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Fazal Din Qurban, Dada Feroz ud Din Mansur, Kaswar Gardezi, Hyder Bux Jatoi, Sobo Gayan Chandani, Chaudhry Muhammad Afzal, Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi, Zaheer Kashmiri, Hameed Akhtar etc. Released after campaign in Pakistan Times and Imroze, but restricted to his village. Shifted to Rawalpindi when Dada seen influencing the military jawans from his area.

1954 Bogra [Prime Minister] to appease his masters in USA bans the Communist Party of Pakistan on 24 July 1954. Dada arrested later bailed out by Mohammad Ali Kasuri.

1958 Ayub imposes martial law. Dada arrested interned in Rawalpindi jail with Afzal Bangash, Kaka Sanober and other comrades from the Frontier Province.

1970s and 1980s Dada spends his twilight years in Rawalpindi. Donates his land and with his own labour builds a Boys High School in his village, then builds a Girls School together with a science laboratory. Gets them approved and hands them over to the Government.

26 December 1989 Dada passes away.

The striking fact about the above chronology is that Amir Haider like Flash Gordon had an uncanny knack of being at the right place at the right time. But the analogy ends here. Flash is a fictional character representing the Imperial British, Dada was a real life adversary of Imperialism who fought the British with such skill and tenacity that American professors Overstreet and Windmiller were forced to admit that “Amir Haider Khan was the most dangerous individual in British India.” Throughout his life we see Dada, the born rebel, standing up against injustice and fighting to better the human condition. While Britannia ruled the waves, Dada fought for the rights of the Indian seamen working deep below the decks. When the sun did not set on the British Empire, Dada risked his life to distribute banned Ghadar Party literature to Indians all around the globe. As the new world started to prevail, Dada, a naturalized American at the age of twenty, learnt and struggled against the system from within – as an International Workers of the World activist, as a working class family member, as a hobo, as a Klu Klux Klan victim, as an avid reader of Popular Mechanics and Scientific American and builder and flyer of airplanes, as a political activist working closely with the great Agnes Smedley and much more. When the world was shaken by the great socialist revolutions, Dada, now a full member of the Bolshevik party in Moscow, was closely following on detailed maps the march of Chou En Lai forces towards Shanghai. And during the golden hour of the Indian freedom struggle, Dada almost single handedly broke the political isolation imposed upon India by the British. Despite being on the British most wanted list, Dada using different pseudonyms and covers carried on political and organizational work in various parts of India. Work, for which Dada is still loved in Rawalpindi, revered in Bombay and worshipped in South India.

Dada was an international revolutionary – a Che Guevara of another age and on a bigger stage. He met and worked closely with some of the greatest socialist leaders of the twentieth century, which included besides others Thomas Mann (Engles’ student), Rosa Luxemburg (German revolutionary), Clara Zetkin (German women rights activist), Karl Radek (leader of Communist International), Liu Shao Chi (later president of China), Agnes Smedley (American anti-imperialist), Ralph Fox (historian who died resisting Franco’s march to Madrid), Piatniski (secretary to Comintern and Stalin) and nearly all the leaders of the Indian freedom movement. Dada’s steadfast struggle for freedom earned him the respect of Indian nationalists from the Andaman Islands to Peshawar, from gentlemen members of the parliament to Naujawan Bharat Sabah revolutionaries.

His memoirs

Writing with revolutionary responsibility, Dada is careful not to wash any dirty linen in public. Like a true Bolshevik, Dada chooses to maintain public silence on issues where he disagreed with the official Party line. On the face of it this should make Dada’s memoirs politically anodyne. But Dada’s actions were anything but politically neutral and they speak for themselves. ‘Dada’ may be an honorific title in Pakistan but in Bombay it was applied to Amir Haider Khan and others to denigrate them as obstinate seniors, for these ‘foggies’ doggedly waged inner Party struggle against political opportunism. It is also rumoured that Pakistan provided the new generation of comrades in Bombay with an excuse to shunt Dada from Bombay to Rawalpindi. Yet Dada’s memoirs are a testimony that he remained faithful to Party discipline to the very end of his life. Even in his rumblings as an old man he was careful not to insinuate against some of the old comrades or the People’s War thesis or a host of other issues which clearly troubled him. However, a close reading of the memoirs reveals that even Party discipline could not compel Dada to distort or deny facts. For example, Dada, the main representative of the Third International (Comintern) in India, puts it on record that on the China question Trotsky was correct and Stalin wrong; he criticizes M. N. Roy, who has since been rehabilitated, of fiscal irresponsibility and S. A. Dange, who has since been debunked, of weak character. It is perhaps on account of such ‘deviations’ that Dada’s memoirs nearly got suppressed. Once by our own publisher of Baluchistan insurgency fame – although this may well have been the far worse crime of sheer irresponsibility; and once by the CPI press – which on the face of it appears to be a more deliberate act of indexing. But thanks to the untiring zeal of Dr. Hassan Gardezi, the memoirs’ editor, Dada’s invaluable autobiography has finally been preserved for posterity.

The memoirs in themselves are a straight forward narration of events, however, delayed availability of such rare and authentic material is bound to reopen many debates. A critical study of the memoirs would go a long way in helping us better understand and appreciate our past. Even a non-critical reading like the present one, sparked a number of politically relevant questions. I would like to briefly take up a few of these here.

Muslim demagogy and Pakistani Hagiography

Hagiography prefers to ignore rather than explain inconvenient facts. The mainstay of our local brand of hagiography is that Pakistan was created for Islam. However, our hagiographers have never bothered to explain that if so, then how come the Pakistan movement was led by modern secular Muslims and supported by the Communist Party while mullahs of all callings opposed it tooth and nail.

Another enigma for local hagiography is the Khilafat Movement. Khilafat Movement based on pan-Islamic demagogic sentiments was popular among urban Muslims for a brief period towards the end of the First World War. But with its fantastic scheme of Tark-i- Amwaal and Hijrat it violated the interests of propertied Muslim classes. The propertied Muslim classes, for their part, were always more attracted to the option of a separate homeland where they could pursue their economic interests unhindered by the dominant Hindu bourgeoisie. Hence it comes as no surprise that while the Khilafat Movement was befriended by the Congress, it was vehemently decried by Jinnah. Pakistani hagiography has long taxed itself to square the Muslim demagogic Hijrat Movement with its exact opposite, that is, the Pakistan Movement. The hagiographic compromise is to gloss over the unsavoury details of the Khilafat Movement while awarding Bi Amma’s sons the status of national heroes.

Dada’s memoirs clearly reveal the true nature of the Khilafat movement. In Bombay its support lay in the Urdu speaking Muslim mill workers in Madanpura, who were the descendents of ruined hand weavers of Bihar and UP. The Khilafat newspaper openly incited these Muslims to violence when Hindu-Muslim riots broke out in Bombay but with typical demagogic irresponsibility it blamed the Communists. This service must have been well appreciated by Khilafat’s bourgeoisie friends in the Congress, who watched with glee the fall of support for the fledging Red Flag Worker’s Union amongst Muslim workers and were keen to employ them as strikebreakers.

The Khilafat demagogy also ruined the poor Muslim Mopla peasants of Malabar. Muslim Mopala peasant’s under the influence of Khilafat demagogy left their lands and chose to migrate to Afghanistan. Like most muhajirs they were simply herded back by the Afghans. But on returning to Malabar they found their lands occupied by Hindu landlords. What ensued was a full-scale civil war in which thousands died and even more were herded like animals into prisons. Dada through his historic jail struggle succeeded in winning for these poor and illiterate Muslim prisoners decent living conditions.

Hagiography not only glosses over the crimes of yesterday, it makes us perpetrate new ones today. The truth of this aphorism is vividly demonstrated by the fact that while the Khilafat leader Mohammad Ali Johar is remembered through a prestigious Society in Karachi and a modern Town in Lahore, all trace of Dada Amir Haider Khan, the greatest of Indian Muslim freedom fighters, has been conveniently removed from our official history.

The conspiracy of conspiracy cases:

‘Divide and Rule’ may well have been the first rule of British Imperialism, but ‘give the dog a bad name and hang him’ was a close second. The second rule was repeatedly employed by the British against the Communists in the guise of Conspiracy Cases. During the 1920s British attempted to crush the nascent Communist Movement through a spate of Conspiracy Cases such as the First Peshawar Conspiracy Case, Second Peshawar Conspiracy Case, Moscow Conspiracy Case (in all these cases Soviet trained Muslim Communists were the main accused); the Cawnpore Bolshevik Conspiracy Case (local Communists main accused); Lahore Conspiracy Case (Bhagat Singh main accused), the Meerut Conspiracy (Dada Amir Haider one of the main accused).

Fortunately the outcome of the conspiracy of conspiracy cases seems to be determined by the Toynbee ‘Challenge-Response’ rule. Weak movements are destroyed by it while strong movements are strengthened by it. The Meerut Conspiracy case singularly backfired thanks to Dada’s efforts on an International scale, which resulted in Meerut solidarity campaigns all over the world. For its part the Communist Party of Great Britain put up Shaukat Usmani, who was a prisoner in Meerut, as its candidate in the 1931 general election for St. Pancras South East. The candidature of Usmani was aimed by the CPGB to ensure freedom for India, and to highlight the plight of the Meerut prisoners. In this election, the communists polled seventy five thousand votes.

After Independence, this Imperialist conspiracy of conspiracy cases was continued by the government of Pakistan, with Liaqat Ali Khan launching the Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case to counter the growing influence of the Communists.

Remote controlling revolutions

International movements never make successful local revolutions. The business is far to complicated to be successfully managed remotely. In his memoirs Dada, however, is of the view that had the Comintern trained and assisted the Indian communists on the scale it assisted the Chinese, he and his comrades could have built a strong United Front with the Congress and developed the Satyagarha Movement into a genuine revolutionary movement. But the facts as related in his memoirs show that the Comintern was unstinting in its assistance to India, the problem lay in more objective realities.

Perhaps the most valuable lesson hidden in Dada’s memoirs is that revolutions are made locally not remotely. Culled from the memoirs, here are some of the reasons why:

Priorities may change in the remote location. For example, under Lenin Central Asiatic Bureau of Comintern set up in Tashkent a school to train the Khilafat Movement muhajirs drifting in Central Asia into an Indian army of revolutionaries. However, the Indian Military School was closed in April 1921, as a quid pro quo for industrial assistance that Britain promised to Soviet Russia, under Anglo-Russian Trade Pact in March 1921.
Stalin in 1943, to appease Roosevelt and Churchill, dismantled the whole Third International.

Local political complexities cannot be fully determined from a distance nor can foreign representatives be relied upon to come up with correct on spot remedies. Comintern’s role in the Chinese revolution provides many examples of how the best of International intentions can create serious local problems. During the united front period the great debate in the Comintern regarding China was whether to launch the agrarian revolution or not. Trotsky as member of the Comintern Executive Committee proposed the immediate launching of the agrarian revolution in the countryside, however, the majority led by Stalin rejected Trotsky’s thesis on the ground that launching the agrarian revolution at this stage would split the National United Front and would throw the reactionary Kuomintang leaders into the imperialist camp. But when America and Japan got directly involved, split in the United Front became inevitable and saving the lives of the communist cadres became top priority, M. N. Roy, Comintern’s representative in China, bungled the situation by disclosing confidential instructions to the left wing of the Kuomintang, with the result that Kuomintang moved swiftly to liquidate all Communists they could lay their hands upon, more than 5000 were executed in Shanghai alone.

Promotes Embassy Socialism: Reliance on material or intellectual assistance from outside weakens local confidence and resolve. In the long run it promotes a degenerate political culture that serves the interest of the foreign embassies (and donors) and not of the local masses.

Epilogue

Commenting on Dada’s quiet passing away the local press reported that “He lived and died virtually unsung. That did not diminish him. It makes the rest of us look more small.” One hopes that with the publication of Dada’s memoirs he would be better known and the long conspiracy to deny and defame him will come to an end. For this little known Indian Che Guevara is yet to take his rightful place in the pantheon of twentieth century revolutionaries.

See also Uddari Weblog (but here  the date of  death in 1986 is wrong; Dada died on 26 December 1989. I had asked the Uddari Weblog to make the necessary correction. Instead they deleted my comment!)


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