Hegemony and Illusion
Sun 15th Feb 2015
At a gathering of loyalists in Glasgow, ex-Governor of Punjab, Choudary Muhammad Sarwar was bitter about the prevailing political and economic situation in Pakistan. He asserted that the land-grabbing mafia was stronger than the Governorate and accused the Nawaz Sharif regime of wasting their time in government instead of solving the power and energy crisis. He said that he used his personal contacts in the European Parliament to get favourable GSP-Plus status for Pakistan. Due to this, Pakistan was now benefiting by close to $1bn in tax-free exports to the European sub-continent. However, he was not satisfied with the performance of the Government and complained that when Bangladesh was granted GSP-Plus status, they managed to increase their exports by more than $20bn! He claimed that each one billion dollars’ of increase in exports creates one million jobs.
Choudary Sarwar has been holding consultative meetings with many of his well-wishers and loyal supporters in the UK regarding his political future. Most of the individuals and groups who have met him are of the opinion that he should join the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf. If he decides to join the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf, it could prove to be a great asset for Imran Khan since Khan’s credibility was dented after the resignation of the President of his party, Javed Hashmi. Choudary Sarwar now seems the most suitable candidate for this post.
Choudary Sarwar also has suggested that in order for political parties to win the election, it is important that they choose electable candidates. However, he indicated that election victories in their constituencies must guarantee ministerial portfolios. Too often, he asserted, successful candidates expect a return of the ‘favour’ in terms of commissions, kickbacks and other monetary benefits.
Choudary Sarwar argued for the creation of shadow cabinets in all major political parties. He wants the shadow cabinet to do their homework and to be prepared to do the job if their party is elected to form a government. In this way, precious time that is lost in the headhunt for the right person for the job is not wasted and the newly-elected government can start being productive from Day One.
The resignation of the Governor of Punjab Province shows that the Nawaz Sharif government is cracking at the seams. The moral legitimacy of the Sharif Government and that of the other major political parties has been shown to be hollow, a niqaab, merely, for the organised economic and social rape of the people of Pakistan.
However, a revolutionary cultural hegemony of Marxist ideology has yet to be established among the political psychology of the common masses, which means that a revolutionary upheaval at this moment in time will not lead to a complete overthrow of the existing productive relations prevailing in Pakistan. At best, there would be more lawlessness and confusion of which the right wing and religious parties would be the prime beneficiaries.The lack of class-based political clarity among the workers and peasantry already has been instrumental in the delay of the emergence of a revolutionary party of the Left and has facilitated the rise of right-wing demagogues like Imran Khan and Tahir ul Qadri.
On the other hand, the social democratic pseudo-socialist political programme of the recently-formed Awami Worker’s Party led by Abid Hassan Minto and Farooq Tariq and the opportunist-right wing of the so-called Trotskyite left in the Pakistan People’s Party, which is a protégé of International Marxist Tendency (IMT), provide no solution either. The former sows seeds of confusion among the masses by propagating reformist ideology, while the latter is no more than an advocate of the bankrupt policy of Entryism into social democratic parties, which deceitfully claim to be following Marxist tradition, but which in practice represent reformist and right-wing opportunist trends in the Left in Pakistan.
Under current circumstances, the role of the true Marxist and Leninist cadre is, to quote Lenin, to “patiently explain” to the masses the class-based nature of the state and its total dependence on international corporations for economic survival. The need to establish a class-based workers’ organisation, to drop all traits of revisionism from the Marxist trends prevailing in Pakistan and instead to fight relentlessly for the abolition of feudalism and corporate-comprador capitalism in Pakistan has never been so daunting. Until a cultural and political hegemony of class-based ideology is established among the masses, the possibility of a successful shift in an economic structure based on exploitation of human labour cannot be achieved. Currently, the masses have not begun to look farther than the parliamentary electoral politics in Pakistan. This they can learn only through their own experience. Only patient and sustained grassroots work among the masses can sharpen their consciousness and help them shed any illusions about the prevailing system. We must be under no illusions. There is no fast-track to the Revolution.
Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza is the Chairman of Tehreek e Itefaq e Rai. He can be reach at firstname.lastname@example.org