Statements of Radical Socialist

Radical Socialist (RS) Positions on Important National and International Issues

Published on Sunday, 17 July 2022 09:51
Written by Radical Socialist

[Adopted at the All-India Conference, Delhi, May27-29, 2022]

 

1.     Russia and China are bureaucratised authoritarian capitalist states which are also imperialist powers.

2.     We support the application of the principle of the 'right to political self-determination' of historically oppressed nationalities or regional groups not only in India but in all countries including Russia and China.

3.     (i) Cuba is not a capitalist state, certainly not socialist but a non-capitalist society under one-party rule. Significant and remarkable gains in popular welfare have certainly been made in Cuba. There is, however, a tendency towards bureaucratic dominance and little space for the maturing and development of working class power. We unconditionally condemn US Imperialism vis-a-vis Cuba and its brutal embargo. We also recognise the generally progressive role played internationally by Cuba which was earlier motivated by a wider public sense of revolutionary internationalism but for some time now has been driven primarily by the progressive elements of the Cuban state. Moreover, current economic policies favouring greater development and entry of private capital  and market-based production and exchange along with the absence of greater democratisation and efforts towards workers' control, means both the orientation of the regime and rebellion against the one-party bureaucracy can lead towards a restoration of capitalism.

(ii) North Korea is not a capitalist state and certainly not socialist, but a highly authoritarian form of one-party rule with tremendous bureaucratic control of economic and social life. There is little that is redeeming about the North Korean leadership who have created a cult of personality and a highly centralised form of rule. While we categorically oppose American imperialist designs on North Korea, and call for both the normalisation of relations between North and South Korea (without US stipulated pre-conditions) as well as a formal peace treaty between the US and North Korea, we also look forward to the overthrow of the North Korean regime by the North Korean proletariat.

4.     RS supports Ukraine's right to self-determination and independence and therefore unequivocally condemn Russia's brutal invasion. We call for Russia's complete military withdrawal and for it to pay full reparations. We have always called for the complete dismantlement of NATO and opposed its expansionist efforts. But this cannot be made an excuse to justify or rationalise the invasion. Russia under the Putin government is an ambitious imperialist power seeking to expand its own regional dominance through its own arrangements such as the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) to shore up repressive allied regimes. The Russian government is a declared anti-communist one which explicitly repudiates Lenin's legacy and its own anti-capitalist past. We support Ukraine's right to obtain arms for its self-defence from wherever it can and through its struggle achieve a just settlement and an honourable end to the war. We, of course, remain free and willing to criticise the anti-democratic, anti-socialist and anti-left/progressive policies and practices of the current Ukraine government. 

5.     India is a capitalist aspiring regional hegemon.

6.     We support, in the name of building a more robust and democratic Indian federalism, greater devolution of power to the states.

7.     We call for Indian de-recognition of Israel which is a settler-colonial and apartheid state and therefore an end to all diplomatic, political, military and economic relations between the two countries. We also support the global BDS campaign against Israel and call for India severing all government to government diplomatic, economic and military relations.

8.     We support all efforts to establish a South Asian Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (NWFZ) covering India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri-Lanka as a regional disarmament measure along with all efforts to promote other regional and global nuclear restraint and disarmament measures.

9.     (i) We oppose the strategic partnership between India and the US in all its forms including the Quad arrangement.

(ii) We support the pursuit of a final border settlement between India and China on the basis of territorial give-and-take. This can become a realistic solution if India rejects a strategic partnership with the US and its allies.

10.  We want very substantial cuts in India's defence budget so that funds can be diverted and used for setting up a much stronger free, high-quality and universal public welfare system especially in the domains of health, education, social security and housing. There must be a strategic shift away from the current and fairly longstanding policy of military power projection regionally or globally (with its always escalating costs) towards a much more modest strategic policy perspective that confines itself to securing and maintaining the military means for adequate /appropriate territorial defence.

11.  We reject the strategy of "Protracted Peoples War" as the working class road to power and socialist transformation.

 

12.  We reject all two-stage theories of revolutionary change. Our struggle is to transcend capitalism and bring about a post-capitalist order moving towards socialism. In this respect we believe the leading socio-political force for bringing this about is the working class in the broadest sense, namely those who in order to materially survive, i.e., secure their means of subsistence, are decisively dependent on their wages/salaries (the proletariat in rural and urban India) for this and do not belong to the upper rungs of the managerial category. Important allies of this working class include the small and marginal farmers as well as lower rungs of self-employed small-assets holders such as hawkers, skilled and semi-skilled artisans who hire themselves out to companies and/or customers on a task-based or time-based manner.

 

13.  We are open to United Fronts with left forces (social democratic or further left). Tactical agreements with bourgeois forces on a specific issue/demand or a set of demands in the framework of extra-parliamentary campaigns is possible under exceptional circumstances. In the case of UFs, there is 'unity and outflanking' but more importance and weight is to be given to the former than the latter for the sake of sustaining the UF for fulfilment of its tasks. In the second case the general principle is 'march separately strike together'.

 14. We are totally opposed to nuclear energy in India calling for it to rapidly shut down with alternative public sector employment for workers displaced.

15. We support gender just laws which will be inclusive and for an optional common gender just code alongside reform of all personal laws for gender justice. Abolish HUF (Hindu Undivided Family) and de-criminalise Triple Talaq.

16. Withdrawal of existing 'freedom of religion' laws in states that unjustifiably make conversion difficult or somehow dependent on authorisation by some higher body. The only basis for opposing conversion is force--NOT 'fraud' nor 'allurement'. It is not for others apart from those converting, to judge their grounds for doing so or to decide whether to remain or not in that religion. This principle applies to a) freedom of marriage by personal choice; b) freedom of exit from a religious community.

17. We demand a constitutional amendment to add to the goals stated in the Directive Principles the abolition of the caste system itself. This does not mean doing away with affirmative active policies, which must be retained.

18. An end to and repudiation of all laws everywhere on buffalo and cow-slaughter. There should be full freedom to eat or not eat beef whenever people wish.

19. There must be no restriction on wearing of hijab in educational institutions. There should be a law against the forced imposition of dress codes of any kind on adults over 18, whether by their families or otherwise, wanting to discard that form of dress.

20. No government aid, even partial, to educational institutions controlled by any religious body and imparting religious instruction. Even in such institutions attendance in such classes cannot be made compulsory for any student. These classes are distinct from the study or discussion of religion in social science studies or syllabi which of course is acceptable.

21. Unconditional release of all Undertrials who have been incarcerated beyond a certain designated period, itself short and clearly specified in law.

22. The Constitution must be amended whereby laws on sedition, special anti-terrorism laws that move cases to special courts, those giving  special powers that abrogate the fundamental rights of people are all nullified.