Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The interests of finance capital must take precedence over the people’s interests, and the country’s future

People's Democracy (Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Vol. XXXI No. 35
September 02, 2007 “TWO NATIONS” Prabhat Patnaik
The fracturing of the nation into “two nations” and the growing ascendancy of the “nation of the rich” for which it needs the support of imperialism, has serious implications for the country’s future. The most obvious relates to democracy. Broad-based democracy, democracy based on universal adult franchise as we have known it, is basically in the interests of the poor, since political empowerment gives them some opportunity for arresting or even reversing the process of their economic marginalisation. On the other hand, such broad-based democracy which threatens the ascendancy of the “nation of the rich” is anathema for the latter.
Its attempt therefore is always to attenuate democracy, to make it hollow, to reduce the effectiveness of the people’s political choice. Not that it necessarily wishes to do away with universal adult franchise, but it wishes to enfeeble its significance. It wishes to institutionalise the kind of democracy which the Americans push everywhere: “the government must be chosen by the people but must follow the policies we like”. Indeed the very instance of a government pushing ahead with a nuclear deal (which it would have done but for the opposition of the Left), even though a majority in the parliament is opposed to such a deal, throws light on the kind of “democracy” that the “nation of the rich” and its imperialist backers want.

There are a number of ways in which a democracy that has struck roots among the people, that has captured the people’s imagination, and that is vigorously used by them to assert themselves, is sought to be enfeebled.
  • These vary from a substitution of parliamentary democracy by a presidential form of government;
  • to a substitution of politicians by bureaucrats and technocrats as the heads of government even within a parliamentary democracy (to facilitate which a process of vilification of politicians is unleashed by the bourgeois media and “opinion makers”);
  • to the institutionalisation of a uniformity among all political parties on policy issues, ostensibly for the sake of “development”.

One national daily has even called upon both the prime minister and the CPI(M) to quickly reach a settlement (for which, needless to say, the latter must abandon its opposition to the nuclear deal), so that the “stock markets are not disturbed”! The interests of finance capital in short must take precedence over the people’s interests, and the country’s future.

The introduction of capital account convertibility greatly increases the voice of finance capital in the country’s affairs; and it is instructive that in the very midst of the stand off between the prime minister and the Left, a committee has been appointed to work out the modalities of introducing capital account convertibility. You may think it is a case of bull-headed obtuseness; but it is not. It is a part of a strategy.

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