Political Fatalism

There is a set of wise people to whom each and every social or political happening is historically inevitable. They wag their foggy heads and declare with an air of mysterious superiority that there is no skipping over any stage of development of history. And then mightily satisfied with the profundity of their utterance, they stew happily in the juice of their own opportunism and cowardice.
This kind of loose talk about historical inevitability is nothing but political fatalism. It is a concession to spontaneous drift of things and an admission of sheer helplessness on the part of a class and its political party.
There is no inevitability in human history. Objective forces are certainly the stuff with which history weaves its patterns, but they do not, by any means, lead to the one and the same result every time. Even the most favourable objective forces fail to yield the desired results owing to the absence of an agency that can consciously mould the objective ingredients.
In February 1917, the Russian bourgeoisie came to power after the overthrow of the Czarist autocracy. Was this historically inevitable? Was the ten months’ bourgeois rule from February to November, 1917, an unavoidable phase historically? No, it was not an unavoidable phase at all. It was the masses who had overthrown Czarism and they could have easily seized the state-power if some of their political parties had not betrayed them, and the Bolshevik Party had not bungled. The Social Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks turned traitors to the cause of the Socialist Revolution, and the Bolshevik Party under the opportunist and cowardly leadership of Zinoviev, Kamenev and Stalin had succumbed to the theory of stages—first the bourgeois revolution under Kerensky and then the Socialist Revolution.
If there was a bold Bolshevik leadership in February 1917, and not the vacillating leadership that was responsible for the capitulation of the Bolshevik Party to the bourgeoisie, if there was Lenin at the helm of the Party, the Russian proletariat would have skipped ten months of bourgeois rule and established their own Soviet government.
The Kerensky period was not a historically unavoidable and inevitable phase of the Russian Revolution, it was just the outcome of the treachery of the Mensheviks and the Social Revolutionaries and of the vacillating and weak-kneed policy of Zinoviev, Kamenev and Stalin.
Those who are conversant with the history of the Russian Revolution know well how vehemently in April 1917, the above mentioned three opposed Lenin’s April Thesis in which Lenin had advanced the slogan of the Socialist Revolution. In fact, Lenin was forced to reach the rank and file of the Bolshevik Party and the Leningrad proletariat over the head of these men, and prepare the Bolshevik Party for the immediate seizure of power by the masses.
No, the February phase of the Russian Revolution was by no means an inevitable historical phase. It was only the result of the political fatalism which is the twin of vulgar mechanical determinism.
In India, the bourgeoisie cannot solve even a single problem that faces the nation today. It can neither solve the food problem nor the scarcity of cloth. It can neither improve the health of the people nor introduce large-scale scientific agriculture. Nor can it organise the planned industrialisation of India.
It is interested only in exploring the ways and means for a further intensification of the exploitation of the masses. It is interested only in black market, debauchery and corruption.
The projected ‘peaceful’ transference of power to the Indian bourgeoisie in June 1948, is by no means an inevitable phase of the national revolution in India. The masses of India can most certainly skip over this ‘February Phase’ of the national revolution by the timely seizure of state power, before British imperialism in accordance with a well laid-out conspiracy transfers political power to the Indian bourgeoisie in June 1948.
Only the revolutionary intervention of the masses can successfully scotch the conspiracy hatched jointly by the British imperialists and the Indian bourgeoisie for the transference of political power to the Indian bourgeoisie, so that a favourable condition is created for both of them for a more ruthless exploitation of the masses of India.
We must start right now to expose this conspiracy to the masses and tell the people that the Socialist Revolution is the order of the day that they should start making preparations for the final struggle without a moment’s delay.
And before we start our grim march, our first task would be to slay the ghost of political fatalism once for all, so that opportunists and traitors may not find a cover for their nefarious counter-revolutionary activities.

Saumyendranath Tagore
TOILERS’ FRONT: May 26, 1947.

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