Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Corporatising May Day

Corporatising May Day

(Daily The News refused to publish this)

S Akbar Zaidi and Afiya S. Zia
For more than a century, 1stMay has been celebrated universally, as International Workers' Day, or simply as May Day. It has been an event where trade unionists, progressives, radicals and Left political parties and movements have given a call to the workers of the world to unite, to rise up against exploitation at the work place, against imperialism, in defence of the rights for the working classes, for equality for women, and for the disenfranchised.
 Even after the collapse of socialism and in this neo-liberal imperialist order, the symbolic relevance cannot be lost on an older generation of trade unionists, radicals, feminists and progressives. Many are now retired from political praxis, yet, presumably aware that May Day still has significant political and ideological connotations.

The Missing Center Left Alternate?

(This was written in 2013 and shared privately with a number of Progressive individuals from around Pakistan, but is being shared publicly now)

The Missing Center Left Alternate?
Prof Ijaz Khan
University of Peshawar

Politically Human Society is divided in two broad groups – Left and Right. Both are sub divided into a number of variations, combinations and intensities. If one draws on a compass a D and divide it into two parts from the Center into left and right, one can understand the division better.  The Right starts with Conservative nearer the center to Reactionary on the extreme right point of the D. Similarly, start with Progressive / Social Democrat nearer the Center to Radical on the extreme left point of the D.
The Right positions stretch from preserving the status quo or conserving the existing to the extreme reactionary position of destroying the current, undoing all changes and going back to a real or (mostly) imagined glorious past, referred to as reactionaries. Those on left of center wants to push for reforms, changes and wants to move forward to those on the extreme who wants to destroy the existing (revolutionaries) and build a totally new system, which will resolve all the problems of today.

بکھرے موتی

  Shared by Mukhtiar Bacha on his Facebook page in 2014
 بکھرے موتی

مختا ر باچا

دو قطبی دنیا کے خاتمے کے بعد خیبر پختونخوا اور پاکستان میں بائیں بازو کے کارکن منتشر ہوگئے۔ کشش ثقل نہیں رہا اور یہ سیارچے فضا میں اپنے مقام کی تلاش میں تاہنوز سرگردان ہیں۔ وقت گزرنے کے ساتھ ساتھ کچھ کچھ شکلیں (Formations) وجود میں آنے لگی ہیں۔ سب میں تشنگی ہے منزل کیلئے دو ٹوک جواب کے منتظر ہیں۔ پیش نظر ایک مسئلہ فکری ہے اور دوسرا منتشر سیاسی ماحول میں اپنے مقام کا تعین۔
دیکھا جائے تو کئی مرغولے بنتے  جارہے ہیں فکر کی بات تب ہوتی جب انتشار میں ایک دوسرے کا گلا کاٹتے گالیاں دیتے اور اس طرح  بھسم ہوجاتے  جو مرکزے بنتے جارہے ہیں (شاید کچھ نظر سے اوجھل ہوں گے) جو اس وقت نشاندہی کے تعریف پر اترتے ہیں تو درجہ ذیل ہو سکتے ہیں۔

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Are you still a Marxist?

This was posted as note on Muhtar Bacha's Facebook page in 2012

Are you still a Marxist?
Shamoon Saleem
Haarlem, Holland
8 July 2012

“Are you still a Marxist?” This question makes many of my old comrades and me myself silent for a few moments. Though Marxism is an un-deniable part of human knowledge but I think that this hesitance comes because the signs are unmistakable that it has lost its significance as the banner of a political change.

I wish to make here a distinction between Marx and Marxism because Marxism consists of thoughts and practice of not only Karl Marx. Depending upon your past or present affiliations you can draw a lineage of leaders in intellect and/or politics whose contributions are included in what you believe Marxism is. I am alluding not only to the connotations like Marxism-Leninism-Trotskyism-Mao-tse-Tung Thoughts-or add the name of your choice. The huge additions to Marxism came from the state apparatuses (of like Soviet Union and China) which were as a matter of Marxist principle “instruments of oppression” (of one class by the other).