Chapter XXV PART II
War and the need of Economic Unity
The month of September, 1917 was a hectic month as very shortly the Russian revolution would culminate in the first decisive triumph of labour. Lenin finishes his treatise titled ‘The State and Revolution’ in this month wherein he poignantly expresses the hypocrisy in democracy:
‘Democracy for an insignificant minority, democracy for the rich – that is the democracy of capitalist society...Marx grasped this essence of capitalist democracy splendidly when....he said that the oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class shall represent and repress them in parliament!
‘Democracy for the vast majority of the people, and suppression by force, i.e., exclusion from democracy, of the exploiters and oppressors of the people – this is the change democracy undergoes during the transition from capitalism to communism.
‘Only in communist society, when the resistance of capitalists have disappeared, when there are no classes...only then ‘the state...ceases to exist’, and “it becomes possible to speak of freedom”.(From the Chapter: The transition from Capitalism to Communism’ in ‘The State and Revolution’ by Vladimir Lenin).
In the same month when Lenin completes the writing of his treatise in exile in Finland (which would be published in 1918), Sri Aurobindo, in his self-exiled seclusion at Pondicherry writes how the economic motive surpasses and modifies the quest for wisdom and the zeal for expansion so that Capital and Labour move forward at expense of the literati and the aristocracy:
‘The phenomenon of modern social development is the decline of the Brahmin and Kshatriya, of the Church, the military aristocracy and the aristocracy of letters and culture, and the rise to power or predominance of the commercial and industrial classes, Vaishya and Shudra, Capital and Labour. Together they have swallowed up or cast out their rivals and are now engaged in a fratricidal conflict for sole possession in which the completion of the downward force of social gravitation, the ultimate triumph of Labour and the remodelling of all social conceptions and institutions with Labour as the first, the most dignified term which will give its value to all others seem to be the visible writing of Fate’ (Ideal of Human Unity, pg 486). How correctly he provisioned the outcome of the revolution the very next month when for the first time a government would be formed without capitalists, money-lenders and the royalty! Communist Bolsheviks under the stewardship of Lenin created the Soviet Union in October, 1917. Those who were present but did not participate were told by Trotsky to consign themselves in the dustbin of history! After ceasing power on October 25th, 1917, Lenin does not waste time and on October 26th, issues the decree on Land for the abolition of private ownership. What Sri Aurobindo anticipated as ‘the visible writing of Fate’ barely a month back had become a tangible reality.
Date of Update: 18-Feb-17
- By Dr. Soumitra Basu