Dominating Classes Vs Dominated Classes

Whose Crisis, Which?

Farooque Chowdhury

Crises deluge this region considered a sub-continent in Asia. The questions are:
(1)   Which crises?
(2)   Whose crises are these?
(3)   At which stage are these crises?

A question, also, encounters a part of the progressives: Are the endeavours for a revolutionary change going through a crisis?

The first three questions–which and whose, and which stage–help find out answer to the question related to revolutionary change.

The region–the sub-continent–, once colonised by the British imperialism, is in permanent crisis since the exit of the colonial masters. Crisis during the colonial period was different from the neo-colonial phase. This crisis in the neo-colonial era is of the dominating classes; and it's multiple. Hence, it should be identified as crises instead of crisis.

The reason to identify as crises is:
The dominating capitals in the region are facing more than one crisis. They face crisis in the areas of Economy, Politics, Ruling Machine, Environment and Ecology and Ideology.

For one thing, the crisis of production-distribution in the area of economy is permanent. It's, in reality, a crisis of mode of production. Above all, the crisis in social formation is omnipresent. The economy's ties and knots with the imperialist world markets, and imperialists' plunder/appropriation/exploitation system sharpen the crisis. This crisis of the dominating classes doesn't always outburst with catastrophic force. "Economic crisis may not involve political consequences tantamount to regime transformation: The Great Depression–or […] the specific crisis of the 1929 Wall Street Crash–toppled Weimar democracy but left the American and British regimes intact." (Alan Knight, "Historical and theoretical considerations", in Mattei Dogan and John Higley (ed.) Elites, Crises, and the Origins of Regimes, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., Lanham, Boulder, New York, Oxford, 1998) No doubt dominating classes or elite classes in this region are yet surviving their crises in the area of economy, despite periodic ups and downs.

As for crisis in politics of the elites in the sub-continent is as old as the crisis in economy. The political crisis is also permanent. At no point in its contemporary history, the dominating classes have succeeded in producing a coherent, stable, acceptable, credible politics to its taxpayers. Their factional fights have repeatedly (1) exposed the real face of politics; and (2) taken away the politics' credibility and acceptability. Its taxpayers are coerced or allured or partly bribed to give "consent" to the politics they pursue while the taxpayers at every opportune moment reject the politics to the extent their capacity allows. And it begets conflict, sometimes violent.

The ruling machines inherited by the brown sahibs from their white masters in the region have not turned less in atrocity, barbarity, crudeness, cruelty, which consequently always create hatred and sense of rejection among the masses of the people. This, in turn, compels these administrative establishments to resort to the only available approach: turn crueler with every passing day, more beastly with its every failure in imposing their will, more coercive with their every bankruptcy to gain acceptability. The feeling of hatred and rejection among wide sections of taxpaying citizens takes away all sorts of acceptability of the ruling elites. With passing time, all the apparatuses are shredding off all layers of their masks, which are essential to impose their coercive power.

The area of environment and ecology mirrors the elites' crude interests, and utter failures, which in turn, increase appropriation/exploitation of human beings and nature.

They are gradually failing to make their ideology acceptable to the wider sections of the societies in the region. With the powers of coercion, lies and manipulations, they are always struggling to impose their ideology. In this travail, they find no alternative other than invoking ideas more reactionary, backward and divisive in nature. Resorting to these hatred-filled ideas is one of their last tactics to confuse people and keep them divided–a part of their class war strategy against their opponents. Nevertheless, this approach pushes away many sections of taxpayers from their orbit/influence. The crises mentioned above are organically connected. They are inter-connected and influence/impact each other in multiple ways aggravating the whole situation while sharpening contradictions including class contradictions. As things are smoothening of contradictions is now beyond their capacity.

"Crises involve sharp confrontations among elites, and they often produce changes in elite composition and functioning that are manifested by new or significantly altered regimes." (Mattei Dogan and John Higley, "Elites, crises, and regimes in comparative analysis", in Dogan and Higley (ed.) op. cit.) In truth the sub-continent is plagued by factional wars all the time.

Mattei Dogan and John Higley mention types of crises ruling elites face that occur (1) when territories achieve national independence, (2) from defeat in war, (3) when there's revolution, (4) due to withdrawal of foreign support for ruling elites and the regimes they operate, (5) due to sudden break down of unstable regimes. (ibid.)

But, not all crises lead to collapse of a system. Even, all types of crises together may not always shake up a system. However, people's discontent and hatred towards the ruling system, sometimes lessened, are not fully eliminated.

A number of ruling machines in the region are yet to resolve contradictions related to the ruling machines. These include:
(1)   division of power between components of ruling machine;
(2)   division of power and resources between the units forming federating entity;
(3)   control over parts of ruling apparatus; and, these reflect incapacity of the dominating classes to resolve contradictions within their camp cropping out of sharing of the resources.Their problem is: Which faction to grab how much?

These contradictions and failures of the dominating classes
(1)   spill over to public life; and,
(2)   faction(s) of the dominating classes pull over the public or its parts to settle accounts with rival faction(s).

Competition, geopolitical/geostrategic rivalry in the imperialist world order creates competition/conflict/contradiction within the domestic elites.

Interests the dominating classes own cripples their capacity to attend to the essential needs of the taxpayers–more than one-sixth of the global population–although those, the essential needs, are always required for reproduction of capital, and for sustaining relations, conditions and climate for appropriation/exploitation.

Another aspect is there. That's the class war, which, in no narrow sense, the dominating classes unceasingly wage against the dominated classes. It intensifies the more as the dominating classes' crises turn more acute and precarious, and the classes' drive for higher profit intensifies. In shape and character the class war turns so ugly and brute that transgresses the "legitimate boundary" it has already erected for the sake of its ruling system's acceptability, credibility and legitimacy in the eyes' of the taxpayers/appropriated/exploited. The intensified class war by the dominating classes against the dominated classes is itself a show of the dominating classes' weakness.

On the opposite, there're the exploited classes, the people. The dominated classes are not going through any crisis. There's no scope and basis for cropping up of any crisis in the pole of the people. That's for historical, economic and, consequently, political reasons. In the ideological area, the same is the fact. There're immense possibilities in the peoples' pole.

There're other important questions: How other classes are swinging? How are these classes aligning–who are their allies and foes? Are there ruptures in the dominating system?

Debacle in revolutionary process is neither dissolution nor disintegration, nor it's complete and permanent defeat, a defeat forever. Revolutions experience debacles. It's a near-to-regular incident in all revolutions–a process that goes through periods; and the periods experience high tides and low ebbs. The process doesn't depend on a single element and a single action and reaction. Revolution isn't an act carried on in a controlled-environment in laboratory, in a contradiction-tight chamber. Revolution isn't organised and carried on by or with a single actor. Similarly, neither does it rely on a single factor, nor does it react in a single environment. Revolution doesn't depend on any single person or a group of persons. Class struggle in an entire society drives revolution through phases–phases of retreat and debacle, of forward march and victory. "[M]movement", writes Lenin, "proceeds in waves, a sudden drop following a rapid rise […]" ("Three crises", Collected Works (CW), vol. 25, Progress Publishers, Moscow, erstwhile USSR, 1977)

As the classes involved with revolutionary process, with radical change, with a march for a new society don't perish, so the revolution the classes organise doesn't die. It can't perish. Otherwise, the classes are to be perished. This region, as well as, revolutions in this region are not devoid of these facts. Therefore, revolutions in this region are alive and active, charging at times, and facing periods of stalemate at occasions–a show of power of opposing classes. This is the way social forces vying for a radical change encounter weakness in political and organisational terms at different turning points of history.

No doubt, there're problems in the area of formulating theories, and in the area of practice. A question always hangs around: Are the slogans effective, appropriate to unite the masses of the exploited, the people, correctly addressing the situation? The slogans are tested in the arena of class struggle.

Revolutionary forces in respective areas are sorting out these problems. May be, the process is slow, in relative term, in areas. But, in areas, these are gradually getting out of confusion. Reality doesn't allow, whether one likes or not, to go berserk with theory as act of indiscipline, utopia, etc. bring nothing but the wrong theoretician's destruction; and with that destruction, the wrong theory and the creator of the theory fades away.

Along with this elimination of wrong theories, wrong practices will also wither away. Wrong practices can't be exercised for long. This has also happened in this region for a number of times. Correct theories and correct practices will come out.

Practitioners–revolutionaries–will strengthen respective positions, instead. Nevertheless, that's a tough and difficult fight; but that'll happen, that has to happen, as that's a part of the dialectical process in social arena.

There shouldn't be any ambiguity that only economic crisis or only political crisis is not revolutionary crisis.

There's, no doubt, insufficiency in class-consciousness and organisation; there's indiscipline, lumpen practice and slogan mongering instead of persistent effort by groups. These are part of the reality.

The situation, at times appears stagnant, demands a few tasks.

The "task now", writes Lenin, "is to make a careful study of the forces, the classes, […] and to draw the relevant lessons [...] For it is the great significance of all crises that they make manifest what has been hidden; they cast aside all that is relative, superficial, and trivial; they sweep away the political litter and reveal the real mainsprings of the class struggle." ("Lessons of the crisis", CW, vol. 24, Progress Publishers, Moscow, erstwhile USSR, 1977, emphasis in the original.)

There's another task: "[R]eflect upon the historical interrelation of events and the political, i.e., class, significance of the revolution's present course." ("Three crises", op. cit., emphasis in the original.)

Thus, it's found, there're crises of the dominating classes while the dominated classes face problems and carry possibilities.

Vol. 53, No. 22-25, Nov 29 - Dec 26, 2020