The Rebel Road…

I know you’ve come to kill me. Shoot, coward, you’re only going to kill a man. – Ernesto Che Guevara

On Democracy and dictatorships – reply to Mr. Aseem

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Greetings Mr. Aseem.

I would have loved to help you out in your debate, however, I disagree with the proposition. A dictatorship is not just an abstract phenomenon. It has depth and details that are not apparent at first glance.

The most pertinent question to ask is: Which class-interests does the dictatorship uphold and safeguard? Are these the class-interests of the Majority? Or the minority?

I do not mean to say that a dictatorship is good if the dictator is benevolent. In the case of a dictator who safeguards and upholds minority interests – it is a given that such a dictatorship will be absolutist and will, necessarily, impinge on the human rights of the citizens.

It is a necessity because without such measures the dictator cannot hope to stay in power.

What is the result of such a dictatorship?

The result is a general disenfranchising of citizens from all spheres of national and political life. Such a dictatorial regime will stifle freedom of thought and action – it will create social anomie. However, it will also sow the seeds of its own, ultimate, demise.

Such a regime also hurts the progressive ‘spirit’ of the working class and, in doing so, results in lower production etc. This makes such minority-oriented dictatorships highly reactionary as well.

The example of such dictatorial regimes can be found all over the globe. Let us look at Pakistan’s current situation.

For the first 4-5 years of Musharraf’s regime the citizens of Pakistan were systematically dis empowered both politically and socially. However, the seeds of dissent were also sown in this era – seeds which came to bear fruit in recent protests linked to the Chief justice issue etc.

Furthermore, if we were to analyze history we would find that Cuba underwent a similar condition with the dictatorship of General Batista. It is interesting to note that both Musharraf and Batista relied upon Imperialist backing (US- backing) to prolong their regimes.

However with the introduction of a majority-oriented leadership i.e with the introduction of leadership with upholds the class-interests of the majority of society Batista’s regime was ousted. Comrade Fidel Castro and the Communist party of Cuba led a successful revolution and ousted General Batista and brought his bloody rule to an end.

The next question we must answer is: What constitutes a relevant majority?

The answer is very simple. We must look at society and analyze society’s primary function.

Society’s primary function is to sustain its members and grow. This is referred to as ‘Progress’. Hence to formalize, society’s function is to progress.

Any majority that is directly linked to furthering that cause i.e any majority that is PROGRESSIVE is RELEVANT.

In today’s Capitalist society only the Proletariat (a.k.a Working class comprising of Urban and Rural proletariat) is the most progressive majority. According to conservative estimates the Proletariat constitutes nearly 85-90 percent of Pakistani Society.

THIS is the class whose interests must be safeguarded and upheld.

Only a democracy geared towards these interests can be ‘functional’ – other systems of governance being poor or reactionary substitutes at best.

It is my assertion that only a Communist party i.e the Revolutionary vanguard of the Working class can bring about a truly functional and progressive change in society today.

I hope this clarifies my stance on the matter. Please do not hesitate to post any further inquiries you may have on this question.

In Solidarity,
Mobeen Chughtai.


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