Though it has become a general fashion in the liberal intelligentsia to curse Marxist analysis , it’s simply astonishing to note  that it has been very accurate in explaining the complex perspectives totally missed and unresolved by liberal analysis. Global Economic Crisis and Arab Spring are just two most outstanding examples, while BBC published a leading middle east expert testifying that Egypt will not follow Tunis on the road to revolution , the masses were flexing their muscles as Marxists were telling us since last year. While a lot as been said about the politics in the Islamic Republic , the text unfortunately has a Derridian flavour of  ever “said” is “unsaid”. Whatever has been said for past few years by our great anchors, intellectuals, key opinion leaders turned out to be simply rubbish. One really feels in awe about the job description of these great men and women who get paid in million for saying and writing rubbish. On the contrary it’s again astonishing that since the day PPP government took office , Pakistani Marxists have been very successful in explaining the complex perspective with a relative ease. They were accurate in their description of nature of judicial movement, the futility of black revolution , the coalition between PPP and PML N, the imperialist nature of war on terror ,and the ” relationship of mutual deception between USA and Pakistan military establishment. The parent descendant relationship between establishment and Islamists,  the sharpening of national question by establishment etc. Now that every one is talking about the great vision of Imran Khan i had the pleasure to read this great piece on him by leading Marxist intellectual Lal Khan. The article explains in concrete terms the phenomenon of Imran Khan and so-called civil society. If one reads carefully it will be a treat as it provides one with tools needed to analyze the fluid political perspective of Islamic Republic. Whats he says explains Khan superbly:

Imran Khan is no Oedipus in this crime infested politics of a rotten state and system. His odd admixture of Islamic crusades, western liberalism and a redundant nationalism can only add to the prevailing political confusion. The ideology of Pakistani national chauvinism he propagates withered away in the paddy fields of East Bengal drenched in blood forty years ago. The justice he vows to impart is unaffordable in market economics. The corruption he decries is not the cause of the crisis but the need and product of debilitated capitalism. Black money and corruption run the economic cycle that is prodding the country. The British parliamentary system he espouses is still a monarchy and increasingly facing revulsion by the British masses. The Pan-Islamism he idealises is in contradiction with the Pakistan nation state that he harps upon. The American police system he wants to impose has bred more crime than anywhere in the advanced world. The US he wants to befriend on an “equal basis” will not stop leeching off Pakistan as long as capitalism exists here. (LK)

Shaheryar Ali

 

Pakistan: Passions without truths – the myth of Imran Khan

Lal Khan. www.Marxist.com

It is often said that history repeats itself, but the truth is that it never does so in exactly the same way; it repeats itself but on on a higher plane. The general consciousness of the masses in any society is neither static nor eternal. It is in a state of constant change, flux and motion. Betrayals and defeats push it back but with the new resurgence of the class struggle it rises to new heights.

However, the temperament and moods of different classes in society can vary according to the conditions and the epoch through which it is passing. In general terms the social psychology of the middle classes or the petit bourgeoisie is empirical and suffers from bouts of impatience reflecting its social and economic base. This, in times of crisis, puts it in a state of permanent insecurity, discontent and unrest, swinging from one extreme to the other – trying to ape the bourgeoisie in ordinary times and jump into the proletarian bandwagon in revolutionary situations.

While the toiling classes can endure hardships for long periods of time and from an empirical outlook sometimes they seem to be infinitely dormant and docile. There can be decades of lull and yet these working classes can explode into volcanic eruptions that can transform the politico-economic systems and change the course of history through revolutionary insurrections. Such periods are historical exceptions. Most bourgeois experts and intellectuals cannot contemplate these tremors in advance as they are mentally blocked from doing so by their philosophy of logical positivism and methods of so-called pragmatism.

At the present moment in time, apart from some sporadic struggles, Pakistan is passing through a period of relative lull as far as the mass movement is concerned, yet society is immersed in a terrible social and economic crisis that has pulverised it. This contradictory state of affairs gives rise to a political vacuum where there is no visible force on the wider political horizon that can present an economic and political way out of this misery and distress. Nature abhors vacuum, however. Hence we see peculiar phenomena that arise to fill this vacuum with rhetoric that touches upon the burning problems but has no real solutions to avert the impending catastrophe. The ostentatious nature of the petit bourgeoisie or the so-called civil society makes them feverishly attracted to these “liberators”. As a class it is the petit bourgeoisie that provides the social base for religious fundamentalism, vulgar liberalism, national chauvinism and other metaphysical and sentimentalist tendencies in periods of social stagnation. The latest episode of this series of petit bourgeois binges is the “rise” of Imran Khan.

He has been hyped up by the media and sections of the ruling oligarchy and the state as a substitute, in a situation where yet another attempt by the ruling classes to attack the working classes through a democratic façade is being foisted onto the masses. After the failure of direct rule and the loss of the cohesion of the army’s apparatus that would permit it to impose its rule once more, this weary and weak attempt to salvage a redundant system, shows the pathetic state of Pakistan’s ruling elite.

Looking at the democratic political circus in Pakistan one is reminded of the celebrated words of the 18th century British conservative politician Edmund Burke: “The tribe of vulgar politicians are the lowest of our species. There is no trade so vile and mechanical as the government in their hands. Virtue is not their habit. They are out of themselves in any course of conduct recommended only by conscience and glory. The calculators compute them out of their senses. The jesters and buffoons shame them out of everything grand and elevated. Littleness is the object and in means, to them appears soundness and sobriety.”

Imran Khan is no Oedipus in this crime infested politics of a rotten state and system. His odd admixture of Islamic crusades, western liberalism and a redundant nationalism can only add to the prevailing political confusion. The ideology of Pakistani national chauvinism he propagates withered away in the paddy fields of East Bengal drenched in blood forty years ago. The justice he vows to impart is unaffordable in market economics. The corruption he decries is not the cause of the crisis but the need and product of debilitated capitalism. Black money and corruption run the economic cycle that is prodding the country. The British parliamentary system he espouses is still a monarchy and increasingly facing revulsion by the British masses. The Pan-Islamism he idealises is in contradiction with the Pakistan nation state that he harps upon. The American police system he wants to impose has bred more crime than anywhere in the advanced world. The US he wants to befriend on an “equal basis” will not stop leeching off Pakistan as long as capitalism exists here.

He is playing the part of a right-wing populist trying to console a beleaguered people with the rhetoric of reforms that the system has no room for. The Balouch and other oppressed nationalities he wants to negotiate and patch up a deal with, have  since long rejected the two nation theory that Imran Khan is trying to resurrect as its new Messiah. He may be the establishment’s black horse, but who can be in the ring without the blessings of the hierarchy of the state.

The Chinese alternative of time tested friendship is a hoax. Whenever have they made a policy not coherent with their interests? China is today the biggest exporter of capital. And capital is invested to extract profit, not to be eulogised. The workers’ rights he talks about can only be slashed in the present day investment that is capital intensive. Revolutionary parties and leaders are not built by media “exposure” and pampering, but conversely the revolutionary victories are snatched from the jaws of the hostile and belligerent media by rousing the masses against it.

Imran Khan is offering everything to everybody, that means that the status quo is retained and the rich will get richer and the poor will be impoverished even more. That is the only possible fate under capitalism in decline. But the most insidious aspect of the mobs around Khan is that as in the lawyers’ movement the ideological differentiation is being scorned. The ideological divide between the left and right is not a theoretical synopsis. It stems from the nature of the class divisions in society and the struggle for the surplus of labour that is in the last analysis the struggle of life and death. As long as class exploitation exists the ideological fight will continue to rage on. It is a line drawn in the blood of the generations of the toilers. Imran khan is rousing the petit bourgeoisie with passions sans truth. Once the mass movement erupts again, no deception will suffice. Class war will have to be fought to the finish.

“Hum hue Tum hue keh Mir Hue

Uski Zulfo ke sub aaseer hua”

With a great pomp and flair the Chief Justice of Pakistan has announced the “New Judicial Policy”. Our civil society and the associated ISI backed right wing media have started its usual consent manufacturing routine. Article after article and talk show after talk show is repeating the same lines , how people of Pakistan have been deprived of justice and how every problem of Pakistan revolve around justice [On an empirical note one wonders, have they ever seen the statistics that what percentage of Pakistanis actually face courts?], to be precise “lack of it”

justice iftikhar chaudhryFirst this dilemma of deprivation of justice was to be solved by the “restoration of judiciary” through the “Black Revolution”. The black revolution took place, few thousand protestors on streets of Lahore, the split of state on linguistic/ethnic lines when Punjabi bureaucracy refused to obey the Sindhi president. The ruling security establishment of Pakistan, eternally suspicious of Pakistan Peoples Party intervened; General Shuja Pasha and General Kiyani took matters into their own hands and brought in their American friends on the pretext that if “restoration” was not done “things will get out of hand”.

A telephone call from secretary of state Hillary Clinton completed the black revolution and Chief Justice of Pakistan was restored. This was a striking blow to the concept of democracy, national sovereignty and Independence of judiciary. The later so because rightly or wrongly Mr Chief Justice was standing on a political divide. The scandalous haste with which the case of Sharif brothers was dealt with leaves a lot of question marks on nature of “Independent judiciary”

Now after the restoration and completion of black revolution, people of Pakistan are still as deprived of justice as they were, not a single indicator by which courts are monitored has changed. In the classical Popperiancapt.photo_1244649023962-1-0 way, “ad-hoc” theories have been added to the original concept of “black revolution” to drag it further. This ad-hoc patch is the concept of “Trias Politica”, or doctrine of separation of powers. The theory goes like that “The fruits of black revolution are not reaching the public because judiciary is not separate from executive“. This is the soul of “new judicial policy”. Mr Chief Justice has recalled all judicial officers who were working in executive. Mr Chief Justiice has forbidden appointment of judges as “acting governors” etc. Mr Chief Justice has also informed the government that “judiciary will no longer help conduct the general election”. [Opening the door of yet another movement against election rigging by evil Zardari]. All these decrees have been widely celebrated in ex Stalinist, islamist and civil society circles. Alas concrete realities dont change. How many times have we seen and celebrated the “complete separation of judiciary from executive”? Many times this has been claimed and yet we again stand on the same road.

When Mr Chief Justice was busy separating powers his registrar was arranging his meeting with Ambassador Richard Holbrook who is effectively the viceroy of Pakistan. Mr Holbrook has been micro managing Pakistani politics, building alliances, setting up policy goals, etc etc. When Mr Chief Justice has taken an initiative to separate the powers, so that every organ of state remains in its own realm: Judiciary should not involve in executive matters so that it can maintain its independence, why than he has to meet Holbrook? Mr Chief Justice is not in foreign office? Neither do his constitutional role demands contacts with foreign powers? What kind of separation of powers is this? What was more tragic was the clumsy efforts by his registrar to hush up the matter. The statement issued by registrar office could have lead to resignation of the CJ in any civilized country. It said “Matters regarding national judicial policy, judicial reforms and overall judicial structure of Pakistan was discussed”. Why all these have to be reported to Mr Holbrook? He is a not a lawyer, never been in Law and Justice Department. Like our GHQ and president office our judiciary is taking lines from United States?

What kind of Independence is this? What kind of separation of powers is this? With this all the talk about separation of judiciary from executive has become a farce, it seems that this is being done only to further weaken the government.

The extensive lobbying done by Aitzaz Ahsan in United States on behalf of Chief Justice of Pakistan is paying off now. United States, Army and Nawaz Sharif , all three who played a role in restoration are getting partial treatment, at least that’s how it appears . Judiciary have to be very careful. Late Pakistani Marxist scholar Dr Hamza Alavi elaborated how Pakistani state is over developed due to the links of it with the metropolitan bourgeois [imperial power], this link makes them over developed as compared to national feudal and national bourgeois. It seems even the “black revolution” has not dented the nature of state– welcome back to reality my dear civil society

When Taliban target a city, their usual first act is to throw leaflets in the Music and DVD shops ordering them to shut down these because music is obscene and is destroying the moral character of the “youth”. After than they threat the traders of suicide bombings. Next step is a ritualistic burning of CDs and DVDs.
When they take over an area, they ban music, on their check posts , they destroy the CD players of any car which comes by. They destroy all tapes and CDs.
They threaten and torture the local singers and artists who they call prostitutes [dancing girls].
In Swat they brutally murdered a famous singer Shabana because she was “destroying the moral fabric of the society”
Our great Whiskey drinking champion of secularism Aitzaz Ahsan and the corrupt manipulator of foreign aid [Which has resulted in NGO becoming richer and the poor, poorer] the Civil Society for the last two years sat in the lap of religious Right which included fascist Jamate Islami and center right PML-N and de-railed the Anti-Taliban agenda of the secular parties which are in a very week coalition in name of “restoration of judiciary” which according to them was the greatest tool to fight Taliban and all over crisis facing Pakistan.
Today our “free judiciary”, Lahore Hight Court banned 41

Nasebo Lal

Nasebo Lal

Albums of two singers Nasebo Lal and Noora’n Lal both of which belong to the poorest of the poor “Gypsy” tribes of Pakistan who live by singing on the streets. Their halmark is to use a special milk pot, known as “gadvi” as a music instrument. These singers are known for their explicit and erotic songs which have traditionally made them popular in lower classes. Nasebo and Nora’n were discovered by film Industry and made them into two of the most popular singers in Pakistan. Of course our English speaking elites find them “distasteful” and “vulgar”. They only listen to AC/DC and Punk Rock and other western pop/rock music which preaches Bible.
The PML-N govt which these pseudo secular goons have brought back with help of Army had previously banned dancing in Lahore as well and also held a “dvd burning” in Lahore.
Now, their obsession free Judiciary has banned these two singers bcz they were destroying the morals of our youth. The 80% dispossessed who listened to these erotic songs have been saved. Our Urban lads and our bloggers with their broadband connections and air conditioned homes have full access to tons of porn un regulated, and they keep writing on “Shanakth festival” thus de-contextualizing fascism.
Pakistan has become Eqbal Ahmad’s “Land Without Music” and i suggest that Aitzaz Ahsan and Civil society and our Army-ISI -Judiciary worshiping and Zardari hating secular community should dance on Aitzaz Ahsan’s poem with beats of Taliban’s bullets and rhythm of free judiciary

Adal Bina Jamhoor na ho ga—
A democracy with censorship. Congratulation , after releasing Molana Aziz of Red Mosque by free judiciary this is our 2nd step toward Lawyer-civil society’s Utopian society

The great fruits of Long March continue—