(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
June 7, 2009
World Capitalist Crisis And
Growing Racist Attacks
Migration leading to racist outrages is fairly common. We have our own domestic variety like what was witnessed in Mumbai recently. We had seen such expressions earlier in the North East as well. The rivalry associated with the size of the share of the cake, so to say, is normally attributed as the main reason for the `locals' outraging the migrants. Some have reaped political benefit, like the Shiv Sena, which uses racism as its electoral mascot.
The record of
racist abuses in
attribute such attacks as an
expression of racism alone, in the present context of global recession
like missing the woods for the trees.
Racist outrages are an expression of a deeper malaise. Between January 2008 and January 2009,
The century-old world's automobile leader, General Motors, declaring bankruptcy indicates that the global recession is worsening. The World Bank has declared that the year 2009 will see the “first decline in world output on record”. How this recession will be tackled by the governments in different countries will determine the nature of social conflicts that arise as various sections of the people scramble for their share of the shrinking cake. Bail out packages for the corporates, however necessary, cannot go unaccompanied by huge doses of public investments that will generate both employment and importantly domestic demand. It is the latter that will provide the much-required stimulus for the economy. The way of tackling the present crisis must be based on putting people before profits and not the other way around.
however, requires the recognition that the
path of neo-liberal globalisation of
recent decades has ended. Corporate
It is also necessary to learn from history. The devastation caused by the great depression of the 1930s was met in different ways by different capitalist countries. One of these ways laid the basis for the rise of fascism. As Georgi Dimitrov underlined in his speech at the Communist International in 1935, “Fascism adapts its demagogy to the peculiarities of each country. And the mass of petty bourgeois and even a section of the workers, reduced to despair by want, unemployment and insecurity of their existence fall victim to the social and chauvinist demagogy of fascism.” Further, he explained how “it is in the interests of the most reactionary circles of the bourgeoisie that fascism intercepts the disappointed masses who desert the old bourgeois parties. But it impresses these masses by the vehemence of its attacks on the bourgeois governments and its irreconcilable attitude to the old bourgeois parties”.
The large-scale unemployment created by the crisis was a huge army that was mobilised by fascist demagogy heralding Hitler's rise to power. Nazi fascism was also the most extreme expression of racism – Aryan supremacy. It's horrific consequences of the concentration camps and the second world war continue to haunt us even today. The building of the fascist war machine was, probably, the biggest economic stimulus of that time. The question therefore is not one of giving an economic stimulus. The question is what type of economic stimulus is given that does not engender authoritarian and fascist tendencies.
Popular pressures must be mounted to ensure that such ways of meeting the capitalist economic recession are prevented. This can only happen when the governments of different countries are forced through popular pressure to embark on a path of taking a quantum leap in public investments to build and strengthen the social and economic infrastructure. In the meanwhile, all efforts must be made to ensure that ugly, uncivil and anti-democratic expressions like racist abuses are contained on the basis of decisive deterrent action by the authorities.