Another response to Paresh Chattopadhyay

Farooque Chowdhury

Thanks to Dr. Paresh Chattopadhyay for his effort – his article “Character of October 1917: How they stood Marx on his head” (Frontier, on-line edition, July 15, 2020) – to  counter the arguments made in the article “A response to Mr Paresh Chattopadhyay on his claim on the October Revolution” (Frontier, on-line edition, July 5, 2020,, henceforth, July5-article) although he has made no response to any of the issues raised in the July 5-article. All the questions raised in the July 5-article went unanswered. It’s astonishing, no response to any of the questions! The questions are related to the issue he was trying to discuss, and answers to the questions will take away confusion on the issue he was trying to raise. For clarity and for avoiding any confusion, he, or any reader, can again check the questions one-by-one in the July 5-article.

Thus, by not attending to the questions, which challenged the premise of his article, Doctor Chattopadhyay has wittingly closed door for further discussion on the issue he raised – the October Revolution. His premise collapsed, and thus collapsed his entire claim. Actually, by not making any response to the questions he has admitted one fact: His claims related to the October Revolution were baseless; and he has failed to defend his position.

Instead of presenting any argument, counter-argument, fact, analysis to make a response, Doctor Chattopadhyay has shifted his position. He has concocted a new story – “the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks, not from the old Russian regime, but really from the soviets themselves”. This story itself says: It’s wrongful.

Let’s check the story narrated in the sentence quoted above.
[1] If the Bolsheviks seize power from the Soviet, where went the old Russian regime?
[2] What was the old regime doing while the Bolsheviks were seizing power from the Soviet? Gossiping in the Winter Palace or peeping from behind window curtains in the Tauride Palace?
[3] If the Bolsheviks seized power from the Soviet, then, power was with the Soviet before the Bolsheviks seized that power from the Soviet. If that’s the case, or sequence, how and when that power came to the Soviet?

Should more questions follow, Doctor Chattopadhyay? The questions are related to power, transfer of power, mode of transfer of power, composition of power, and source of power. It’s not change of scenes or act in any drama in any theater hall in London, Paris, Moscow or Petrograd.

Political power does never sit idly in anyone’s pocket, and there’s no pickpocket to steal that power from the idle man’s pocket. Political power, and its seizure is not a child’s play. Political power is a force; it carries a thrust; and certain type of power is required to seize political power. Now, what’s that force? What’s that thrust? What’s that power that’s required to seize political power? And, what’s that source of power that powers seizure of political power? If, Doctor Chattopadhyay’s claim which is so full with gaps is taken into consideration, the question arises, how the Soviet gained power before Lenin and his “band of Bolsheviks” “seized” power from the Soviet? Should this question go unanswered? Shouldn’t the questions related to source of power to seize political power, thrust of the power, etc. considered? Shouldn’t Doctor Chattopadhyay find answer to the questions for characterizing the October Revolution?

Then, Doctor Chattopadhyay has to check his answers with the composition of the All Russia Soviet of Workers, …, method of election of delegates to, voting and voting pattern in, election and composition of the Presidium of, resolutions adopted in, and resolutions sent from different soviets to that Soviet. What do those tell?

Doctor Chattopadhyay obviously have answers – the facts, information, data, descriptions – to the questions raised in the paragraph above as without having those information, data, etc. he wouldn’t have made the claim he has made in his response. So, expecting those in his next response, which he’ll take as a challenge. Let’s move to next issue for further examination.

What about the decrees adopted by the Soviet, which, according to Doctor Chattopadhyay, lost power to the Bolsheviks, “a small group of intelligentsia” as Doctor Chattopadhyay claimed in his first article? He knows about those decrees – on power, peace, land. Were those decrees materialized? How were those implemented, if materialized? Doctor Chattopadhyay knows the answers. And, he knows the answers to these questions will validate or invalidate his claims. Obviously, he’ll be careful about the answers, because the answers will lead to further questions leading to cancelling or accepting his claims.

Doctor Chattopadhyay writes: “I dare say that the basic work of the Bolsheviks amounted to standing Marx on his head.” [emphasis added] Amazing! Doctor Chattopadhyay dares to make a claim without any fact. He fails to refer any fact in support of his daring stand. He wouldn’t have dared had he made any response to the questions raised in the July 5-article. Let’s listen from Sweezy: “The Russian Revolution was indeed a proletarian revolution in the full Marxist sense of the term […]” (Paul M. Sweezy, “Marxism and the future”, Four Lectures on Marxism, Monthly Review Press, New York and London, 1981) Prior to this statement Sweezy states: “[R]evolutionary leadership concerns much more than the individuals at the top. The entire body of activists who make up a revolutionary movement, including both cadres and rank-and-file militants, also play a vital leadership role in relation to the masses as a whole.” (ibid.) Here’s Doctor Chattopadhyay’s problem with identifying the leadership of the October Revolution. He went to count heads by formal education, occupation, etc. type in the central body; otherwise, he wouldn’t have failed in seeing the fact. The reality that he misses is, as Sweezy says, “the virtual destruction of the pre-1917 industrial proletariat in the bitter years of civil war and foreign intervention. A large proportion was killed in the fighting. Much of the rest left the cities with the onset of famine and the collapse of industrial production. Still others, surviving members of the party and the unions, were incorporated into the army or the governmental bureaucracy and cut off from class roots. The new proletariat that emerged with the recovery of production and subsequent industrialization drives was drawn largely from the countryside and from declassed elements in the cities […]” (ibid.) This reality is missed by many scholars in quest of Marx while evaluating the October Revolution. Who can ignore reality? Shouldn’t reality be taken into consideration while looking at historical, political, social, etc. developments and processes?

Before entering into Doctor Chattopadhyay’s claim regarding “Marx on his head” – Marx, human emancipation, etc. – let’s move to Tagore Doctor Chattopadhyay referred to. He writes: “[…] Rabindranath in his discourse to the rurals (circa 1905), named such work COLLECTIVE SELF AUTHORITY (sammilito atmokortritwa), of course independently of Marx.” What’s the problem if it’s independent of Marx in 1905? Are Marx and Tagore properly perceived by Doctor Chattopadhyay? The question raises its head because of his observation – “such work COLLECTIVE SELF AUTHORITY (sammilito atmokortritwa)”. The path Marx follows to reach humanity/humanism is historical and dialectical materialism while Tagore does never tread that path. To push Tagore along that path would be like pressing him to demolish his world – the way he sees, feels, finds, perceives, dissects, analyzes the universe, life, nature, society, human being and human society, destiny and duty of life, nature, the universe, love, beauty, production, distribution, society’s journey, power, authority, etc. Because Tagore was not looking at these with the prism of contradictions, class conflicts, dialectics although many of his writings and other creations failed to escape contradictions and materialist viewpoint and arguments. Marx was on the opposite – contradictions, dialectics, class and class conflict, relations commodities establish and create conflict. Marx hasn’t found any society without contradiction. To Marx, class based societies are riddled with class conflict, and waging class war is a proper task to have a humane world, to attain emancipation. It’s applicable in India, in colonized India, in Bengal, in rural Bengal, in colonized rural Bengal, the Bengal for which Tagore suggested sammilito atmokortritwa, collective self-authority, as mentioned by Doctor Chattopadhyay. But, the problems are with that sammilito, collective, and atmokortritwa, self-authority, in the rural Bengal under colonial boot, where zamindar, jotedar, big landowner, mahaajan, owner of loan capital in informal credit market, zamindar’s master, higher officials of state, praja, zamindar’s subject or tenant, poor peasant debtor, landless peasants seeking mercy from masters of all varieties, village officials and hirelings of zamindar live with contradictory interests rooted in private property, land, rent, interest, etc. What shall be the form of that collective, and whose collective that be, Doctor Chattopadhyay? And, what shall be that self, Doctor Chattopadhyay? Whose self? Is that of the upper group – zamindar, jotedar, mahaajan and their class cohorts – sitting on shoulders and heads of the exploited multitude, the lower group – praja, poor debtor, landless peasant – pressed to the dust by the “noble”, aristocrat upper group engaged with thievery? Neither Tagore nor his suggested path has any response to these questions. That’s the problem, Doctor Chattopadhyay. It’s not that, as Tagore said in another context, deebe aar neebe, meelaabe meeleebe, shall impart and shall incur, and mingle as one [sorry for such a horrendous translation from Tagore’s Baanglaa]. Class riddled society is difficult to deal on with a simple solution with all classes. And, that’s the problem with perceiving Tagore and Marx, Doctor Chattopadhyay. Marx failed to find a path free of contradictions, neither on the question of humanity and humanism nor on the question of emancipation of humanity, neither regarding rural or urban or forest life nor regarding the rural or urban poor and their emancipation and power to emancipate, neither in dream nor in imagination. Forgetting this fact while searching Marx’s humanism will be like playing with Sukumar Roy’s haashjaaroo, duckupine, a hybrid of duck and porcupine Roy depicted long ago in one of his poems in Aabol Taabol. The strange questions that circles here: This useless idea is cited today, years and years after Simon Report, reports of the Central Banking Enquiry Committee, Famine Commission, Agricultural Commission, Bengal Provincial Banking Enquiry Committee constituted by the imperialist British rulers colonizing this sub-continent. This path of sammilito atmokortritwa is referred today, so many years, on an average about 90 years, after Romesh Chunder Dutt’s The Peasantry of Bengal, Radhakamal Mukerjee’s Food Planning for Four Hundred Millions, M Azizul Huque’s The Man Behind the Plough; and, sammilito atmokortritwa is cited as an example and as a similarity to Marx’s humanism by a scholar claiming to have understood Marx!!! Dutt, Mukerjee [Mukherjee] and Huque described the peasantry in detail, which show the reality, full with contradictions, the peasantry was dwelling in at that time although the issue of contradictions between classes were not always explicitly mentioned; but the contradictions couldn’t escape careful readers, and Huque’s telling was very explicit about the harsh, hostile reality the peasantry was within. Mukherjee even discussed the contradiction between religious sentiments and practical commonsense related to cattle, and living standard of industrial workers. But, today, at least one scholar very often referring to Marx to nullify Lenin forgets contradictions although he engages with questions of seizure of power by an exploited class and with the question of emancipation of humanity, which is shackled by finance capital and its class friends!!! It’s not clear whether this approach of perceiving Marx and Tagore is making them stand on their head or leg. Readers will judge.

Here – finance capital and its friends of all types – begins Doctor Chattopadhyay’s problems with Marx’s humanism, and the Bolshevik “band”, “a small group of intelligentsia” as Doctor Chattopadhyay claims, Lenin led.

He refers to Marx on the question of the emancipation of the workers – a task by the workers themselves. Who differs with this claim? Shall anybody aware of class struggle differ with this claim? Shall anyone, if not that person is a fool or serving exploiting masters, claim that the workers shall be emancipated by some force other than workers, the working class? Was not Lenin fighting, from the very beginning of his revolutionary work, against this sort of anti-emancipation trend in the labor’s political fight? Has his fight against the Mensheviks been forgotten by Doctor Chattopadhyay although he is taking the Menshevik stand on the question of seizure of power?

Doctor Chattopadhyay writes: “One of the striking aspects of this feature was their assault on democracy.”

Which democracy was assaulted, Doctor Chattopadhyay? Was people’s democracy proclaimed in Russia while the Soviet seized power? Is democracy class-neutral? And, who made the move to assault democratic rights – the provisional government or the Soviet? The Soviet emerged as a new organ of power of the working people, and that embodied the democracy of the working people. The Soviet power assaulted the ministers sitting in the Winter Palace and conspiring against people. The Soviet assaulted the tsarists, the bourgeoisie, and their friends. Consequently, that part, the assaulted part, made cries: “Democracy assaulted”. That was the democracy of those exploiting classes; and with that democracy they were planning to continue the bloody business of spilling blood of the workers, peasants and soldiers, mainly peasants in uniforms, in the fronts of the war that was flaming at that time – the World War I. With that democracy, they were planning to continue with their business as usual – exploitation, and retention of machines of exploitation. The Soviet foiled that plan. Therefore, that was the “sin” the Soviet and the Bolsheviks at the head of that new organ of power committed.

Doctor Chattopadhyay again escapes from facts as he writes: “Following the Manifesto [Communist Manifesto] again, this will of course mean the rule of the immense majority in the interest of the immense majority - no minority rule, as with the Bolsheviks from the beginning.”

The issue has already been answered above. Despite that, it is again answered with help from Trotsky, from neither Lenin nor Stalin, the very Trotsky Doctor Chattopadhyay refers. Trotsky writes in The History of the Russian Revolution (vol. II, The Attempted Counter-revolution, and vol. III, The Triumph of the Soviets, Victor Gollancz Ltd., London, 1933):

“The intelligentsia hardly came into the Bolshevik Party at all. A broad layer of so-called “old Bolsheviks,” from among the students who had associated themselves with the revolution of 1905, had since turned into extraordinary successful engineers, physicians, government officials, and they now unceremoniously showed the party the hostile aspect of their backs. Even in Petrograd there was felt at every step a lack of journalists, speakers, agitators; and the provinces were wholly deprived of what few they had. [….]

“How was it that with this weak apparatus and this negligible circulation of the party press, the ideas and slogans of Bolshevism were able to take possession of the people? The explanation is very simple: those slogans which correspond to the keen demands of a class and an epoch create thousands of channels for themselves. A red-hot revolutionary medium is a high conductor of ideas. The Bolshevik papers were read aloud, were read all to pieces. The most important articles were learned by heart, recited, copied, and wherever possible reprinted.” (Vol. II)   

“[A]n unqualified majority of the workers and soldiers of Petrograd had come over to the Bolsheviks.” (Vol. III)

“[A]ll the delegates of the Petrograd Soviet […] voted for a soviet government.” (ibid.)
“The February insurrection is called spontaneous. [….] It is quite otherwise in October. For eight months the masses had been living an intense political life. [….] Soviet parliamentarism had become the daily mechanics of the political life of the people.” (ibid.)
“Those standing for the Bolsheviks as a party were above all industrial workers, with the hereditary proletarians of Petrograd in the front rank. Those standing for the Bolsheviks […] were a majority of soldiers.” (ibid.)
“Broad masses knew of the Bolshevik slogans and the soviet organization. The two fused completely in their minds in the course of September and October. What the people were waiting for was that the soviets should show them when and how to carry out the programme of the Bolsheviks.” (ibid.)
“In Kiev, when the rumour went round that an insurrection was preparing, the Bolshevik Executive Committee immediately came out with a denial: ‘No action without the summons of the Soviet must take place …. Not a step without the Soviet!’” (ibid.)
“[E]ven in September the Moscow garrison had voted 90 per cent Bolshevik.” (ibid.)
“At a Petrograd Garrison Conference on the 18th, delegates reported that their regiments were awaiting the summons of the Soviet to come out.” (ibid.)
“Nobody mentioned the party, notwithstanding that the Bolsheviks stood at the head of many units.” (ibid.)
“The October revolution was a struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie for power […]” (ibid.)
“On the eve of the overthrow of the Provisional Government the overwhelming majority of the garrison were standing openly on the side of the workers.” (ibid.)
“If the Bolsheviks did not now call a general strike, it was not because they were unable, but because they did not feel the need.” (ibid.)
In October, in the hands of the government of Kerensky, “were only facades of power.” (ibid.)
“The Winter Palace was the last redoubt of a regime politically shattered during its eight months’ existence, and conclusively disarmed during the preceding two weeks.” (ibid.)

There’re more from Trotsky; and the reference source is the history-book on the revolution mentioned above. However, those aren’t needed now. The details described by Trotsky carry finer facts. The details have been omitted for keeping this response short. Nevertheless, one reference from Trotsky shouldn’t be omitted, and that’s:
“The October revolution can be correctly understood only if you do not limit your field of vision to its final link. During the last days of February the chess game of insurrection was played out from the first move to the last – that is to the surrender of the enemy. At the end of October the main part of the game was already in the past. And on the day of insurrection it remained to solve only a rather narrow problem: mate in two moves.” (ibid.)

Whatever comments Doctor Chattopadhyay makes on the basis of Trotsky’s claim on Trotsky’s or Lenin’s presence need no explanation as Trotsky cited above presents the explanation. Moreover, the revolution was not made by any single individual. No revolution is made by any single individual. Whoever tries to characterize any revolution based on one or a number of individuals is an ignorant having no intellectual capacity to enter into subjects like revolution. If Doctor Chattopadhyay tries to portray the October Revolution as an act of a single individual, that’ll be his failure to understand revolution.

Based on Trotsky’s claim regarding Lenin’s and his presence Doctor Chattopadhyay finds: “This very fact [Trotsky’s claim] would ensure that the movement led by the Bolsheviks could never establish an Association of free individuals or what Marx named ‘socialism’ Or Communism (no distinction in Marx between communism and socialism).”

Is it – establish association of free individuals – a logical conclusion based on that claim? Trotsky’s claim is related to the developments to the final hours of the insurrection while association of free individuals is an approach to a process. Here also, Doctor Chattopadhyay misunderstands the two or he understands neither Trotsky’s claim nor the question of that association. Trotsky was describing the situation, according to his evaluation of the situation; and the association is part of a process and form of a series of functions in a certain situation. To understand the issue Doctor Chattopadhyay has to define [1] association, and [2] free individuals. Both are delicate issues, not like the associations usually found around, and free individuals are not like the free individuals the bourgeoisie define.

Citing Engels and the 1848, Manifesto Doctor Chattopadhyay raises the issue of majority and minority. He admits that the proletariat is the majority in capitalist society. Then he goes by the claim: “Not only the Bolshevik rule was from the start a minority rule it was also a one-party rule.” How he defines majority and minority, and one-party rule and multi-party or more than one party-rule? Does he define “majority” and “minority” by number of individuals or seats or by class? Regarding the “majority” and “minority”, if he goes by number of individuals and seats, Trotsky, on whom Doctor Chattopadhyay relies for a certain period of time, has already depicted the scene. Or, if he goes by class, that’s also in Trotsky. Is Doctor Chattopadhyay failing to consult Trotsky fully, if he dislikes consulting Lenin? If he dislikes Trotsky, he can rely on the bourgeoisie scholars. If he feels those scholars as unreliable, he can rely on the bourgeois parliaments. In those legislative assemblies, he’ll find “majority party”, and he’ll find “majority parties” form the governments in those democracies. Does he demand that sort of “majority” party and that sort of “more than one party”? Discussion is not needed after this question, as that will go to a level, which is not befitting for scholars discussing Marx standing on head or toes.

Even, Doctor Chattopadhyay’s claim that “Not only the Bolshevik rule was from the start a minority rule it was also a one-party rule” nullifies or belies his earlier claim. If the Bolsheviks were minority, was not there a majority? In addition, if there was a majority, who were they? That means, there were other parties also. Therefore, that was not a single party legislative chamber or organ of power. Moreover, in the bourgeois democracies, don’t single parties form government if those are not coalitions? Therefore, the political power that the assembly the Bolsheviks were leading was not a single-party. Moreover, Doctor Chattopadhyay knows it, but he hides, which as an intellectual practice is not honest, that there were more than one party during the October Revolution, and a number of those parties and factions of those parties were with the Bolsheviks while others were opposing the Bolsheviks. A check with facts will relieve him from this sort of practice. Relevant facts will be presented if he fails to find facts.

Doctor Chattopadhyay refers to Roy Medvedev and makes silly, and such low-level of arguments that require no counter-argument. Any reader will find the answer if she/he dissects Doctor Chattopadhyay’s claim and checks with facts. Already a few silly arguments have been countered above. But no more.

He refers to the proletarian dictatorship, and admits that that “was conceived by Marx as a democratic republic.” But, amazingly, he puts the word “so-called” in front of the words “proletarian dictatorship”. For which does he stand? Doesn’t he stand for democratic republic? Doesn’t he stand for proletarian dictatorship? Does he stand for dictatorship of the bourgeoisie? What form his proposed “democracy” and “republic” ought to take? He should clarify his position before taking a position that meanders along the flow of an article. It’s hoped that Doctor Chattopadhyay will take these questions as a challenge and present his position in specific terms instead of rambling with cheap statements.

Doctor Chattopadhyay writes: “In fact, Lenin’s pre-October promise to destroy the old state machine and replace it by a Paris Commune type of state-non state fell by the wayside […]”

Wasn’t that old state destroyed? What happened to that old state if that was not destroyed? Was that serving the poor? If the poor were not served, were the imperialists-bourgeoisie waging war against that old state? Strange play of imagination!!! 

It’s hoped that Doctor Chattopadhyay will think twice before making response to these two questions, as the following questions will be more difficult to attend:
Were workers, peasants and soldiers operating the old state? What were they doing with that machine? Nothing? Or, confiscating something and executing something? Isn’t it? What were the bourgeoisie, the imperialists, the tsarists/monarchists, the Kadets, the Kerenskyists, the Denikinists, and all of this sort, the Mensheviks and the right faction of the Social Revolutionaries (SR) were riding the bandwagon of these ists, doing while Lenin’s promise to destroy the old state machine and replace it by a Paris Commune type of state-non state “fell by the wayside”, as Doctor Chattopadhyay claims? Why these “noble” souls, these ists, resisted the Bolsheviks if Lenin’s promise of destroying the old state “fell by the wayside”? Were these aristocratic “nobles” mistakenly acting against their class interest? Is it like that Baanglaa poem on a bear that claimed, after it was assaulted by bees for theft of honey from the beehive, that it strayed and only mistakenly bit that beehive – Path voole vaai eshecheelem peaaraa gaachher tale, I mistakenly came under the guava tree? Why were these bourgeois gentlemen and their faithful servants organizing sabotages if Lenin’s promise of destroying the old state “fell by the wayside”? Why the war named civil war was organized by these ists with imperialist backing – huge money and munitions pumped into that camp? What happened to the finance capital operating in Russia? And, the factories? The railroads? The mines? The old army?

Making arguments and claims, and presenting statements for dissecting and evaluating a revolution are neither a hatchet job, nor a leap in the dark, Doctor Chattopadhyay. Arguments should be well founded, and claims should be well organized. Further questions will follow following response to these questions from Doctor Chattopadhyay.    

The next points, i.e., “there appeared as in a class society an increasingly bigger bureaucracy”, “dreaded secret police”, etc, raised by Doctor Chattopadhyay will be attended after response to the questions raised above.

Doctor Chattopadhyay raises the issues of, as he writes, [1] “liquidation of the old Constituent Assembly election”, and [2] the Kronstadt incident, and uses the term “Bolshevik Commisarocracy”.

To answer the 1st question what is needed is that the question has to be correctly formulated as liquidation of the old Constituent Assembly (CA) or its election are different, and these two carry two sets of facts. There were two sets of incidents, developments and processes. It’s hoped that Doctor Chattopadhyay will carefully form the question. Otherwise, he’ll holdfast himself in a quagmire of confusion or be quaking in his boots while discussing the October Revolution as the Aurora shot salvos during the first hours of the seizure of power by the Soviet. He shall agree that the CA couldn’t assemble if its election was liquidated; and the CA could assemble if its election was not liquidated. There was the election of CA; and there was the CA’s session. Even, the bourgeoisie scholars, anti-Bolshevik political scientists, Mensheviki researchers today don’t claim that there was no election for the CA and there’s no CA session. They don’t claim that the CA’s election was liquidated. Rather, they boldly cite the election result and the CA session, but skip its real story; and the Bolsheviks and all others accepted the election result although the Bolsheviks dissented with the election process including the voter list, but they went to the CA with the election results – the distribution of seats. This issues of the CA and its election have been discussed in detail by many including a series on the October Revolution in Frontier (The Great October Revolution, Soviet and Constituent Assembly in Political Duel). That’s the reason to request Doctor Chattopadhyay neither to confuse readers with half-baked statements nor to stand on unsubstantiated claims, which will take away his credibility of a scholar dealing Marx.    

Doctor Chattopadhyay, in his train of disjointed statements, even goes down below the arguments the bourgeoisie market. He writes: “there would be no more free general election (true for the whole ‘communist’ world).”

He, first of all, confuses “communist world”. There was never a communist world. There’re many post-revolutionary societies struggling, in broader term, to move toward socialism, towards a society free from exploitation, a humane society, etc. It’s a childish mistake to confuse with “socialist” and “communist” while one goes by word for word in quest of evaluating a revolution. There remains no compulsion to attend to the issue after such confusion in the statement.

Despite that, a few words should be told for keeping records straight: he writes: “no more”. That means, there was at least one free general election. So, once he claims the Bolsheviks liquidated the election, the next moment his statement means that there was at least one free general election, and, at the same time, he writes, the CA was liquidated. Which one does he mean? Or, does he mean to create confusion in statements made by him? A garbled job by a scholar of his stature it’s!

And, what does Doctor Chattopadhyay mean by “free general election”? Is it that election that the bourgeois democracies organize, that the capitalist world crown itself with the label “free”, but exposed by numerous mainstream studies and investigative reports as money-game, as a competition between factions of propertied class? How shall Doctor Chattopadhyay define the election process in Cuba and in Venezuela? How shall Doctor Chattopadhyay define the election process in the US, where election process considers corporation and flesh-and-blood-made man equal? A verdict from a court of that land has done this “equalizing” job. Moreover, in that land, there’re voter suppression acts, which is known to Doctor Chattopadhyay. And, what about the huge number of disenfranchised taxpayers/citizens in that land? Doctor Chattopadhyay obviously knows this fact of disenfranchising huge number of taxpayers/citizens also. Before he opines on Venezuela, he will unmistakably keep in mind, it’s known, the Carter Center’s opinion on Venezuela election process. This discussion can move smoothly if he defines “free election”. Therefore, it’s hoped he’ll come forward with his definition. And, it’s hoped, his position – with which class interest he stands – will be exposed with his definition, which is expected to be present in his response following this article. Therefore, discussion on this point is kept suspended until his response on the issue arrives.

Doctor Chattopadhyay has made a nice, but old claim. It’s nice in the sense that it shows his actual position, which will be referred in the later part of this article. He writes: “As a matter of fact, Russia was not ready for a socialist revolution.”

Yah, Lenin and his Bolshevik “band”, according to Doctor Chattopadhyay, committed that “sin” – organized that revolution for which Russia “was not ready”. They should have [1] slept in their cots in hideouts, [2] let the exploiters carry on exploitation-as-usual, [3] refrained from opposing the spilling of blood of the toilers in the WW-I fronts, [4] let the blood-sucking tsarist-bourgeois machine move on unceasingly, etc. Is it Doctor Chattopadhyay? Whose position was this, Doctor Chattopadhyay? The “honorable” Mensheviks? Right Mensheviks? The “respectable” right SRs? The “estimable” Kadets? The “dignified” Kerensky? Isn’t Doctor Chattopadhyay’s position clear?

And, the question – let the bourgeoisie reign – has been discussed in detail, and repeatedly by Lenin, which his opponents failed to quash. To stand on his own claim Doctor Chattopadhyay has to annul Lenin’s arguments with at least one article instead of making a sweeping remark borrowed from the right Mensheviks and the right SRs as sweeping remark on this question makes a childish appearance of the person making the remark. Until that explanation from Doctor Chattopadhyay is presented, further discussion is suspended, as that will be a walkover; and already all questions presented in the earlier article got walkovers. Moreover, the arguments against the position of Doctor Chattopadhyay are already in Lenin.

There’s another gem in the article as it says, at the concluding paragraph The Bolshevik seizure of power (really from the soviets themselves) far from being socialist revolution constituted in fact the last bourgeois revolution in Europe as correctly noted by the great German council communist Otto Ruele.”

Referring to Otto Ruele is no problem. But the claim Doctor Chattopadhyay makes itself is a problem. How? If, as  Doctor Chattopadhyay claims, “The Bolshevik seizure of power (really from the soviets themselves) far from being socialist revolution constituted in fact the last bourgeois revolution in Europe”, then, [1] why did the entire imperialist world stood against it, and imposed a blockade against it? [2] Why did the Kerensky & Co., the tsarist Generals, Admirals & Associates, the Bourgeoisie & Brothers stand against it? [3] Why the civil war was initiated, and who organized the invading armies charging the Soviet power? [4] Why the Bolshevik concluding the “last bourgeois revolution in Europe” confiscated finance capital and other private properties of the exploiting classes? Oh, the Bolsheviks were carrying out a neo-type of “bourgeois revolution”! Is it, Doctor Chattopadhyay? [5] How shall the February Revolution be defined? Was that the preceding part of the bourgeois revolution the Bolsheviks took on their shoulders to carry forward? [6] What about the programs of the two – the February and the October – revolutions, and were those the same? [7] If the Bolsheviks snatched power from the Soviet pointing barrels of rifles and bayonets tied to those rifles to the Soviet, what the Soviet was doing prior to that hijacking of power? [8] What about the decrees the Soviet promulgated immediately after seizure of power? One has to be mindful before making answers to the question number 8 as a few of the decrees carried far-reaching implications in the area of class power, class equation, and at world scale as those were related to political power, land, WW-I. Other than a few more questions now further questions are withheld with the expectation that Doctor Chattopadhyay will come forward with answers/explanations to the questions presented above [1] to substantiate his claims, [2] to stand on his ground, [3] to vilify the October Revolution, which he is doing, and [4] to help Marx stand on Marx’s pair of legs. The few questions are: [1] Is it fair, logical, ideologically correct to expect from the Bolsheviks that they would stand Marx on his legs if they carry on “bourgeois” revolution? [2] Is it the duty and responsibility of those elements carrying out bourgeois revolution to let Marx stand on his legs or feet? [3] Is there any problem on the part of Doctor Chattopadhyay in understanding the role each class plays, because neither Marx nor any of his disciples understanding Marx fully expects that role of one class will be played by another class? [4] Unless Doctor Chattopadhyay has any problem in understanding the class question, bourgeois revolution, Marx, etc. how does he expect that the Bolsheviks, as he claims, carrying out a “bourgeois” revolution would handle Marx properly?

Rest of the article with issues of, as Doctor Chattopadhyay writes, “Marx’s idea of human emancipation founded on the self-emancipation of the working humans”, “Marx’s famous Circular letter (1879)”, “the spontaneous movement of the working class and not to prescribe or impose any doctrinal system”, the soviets’ “a very short existence,” and not waiting “for the civil war to wither away”, “the fear of freedom, which is the fear of the masses, characterizes the whole of the Russian Revolution” will be attended after Doctor Chattopadhyay’s responses to the questions raised in this and its preceding articles as his response will provide hard data, facts and information to make the outstanding issues clear. With that expectation – Doctor Chattopadhyay’s responses to the questions – the present article is concluded here.

Farooque Chowdhury writes from Dhaka.   

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Aug 20, 2020

Farooque Chowdhury

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