lIKE Deendayal Upadhyaya, Karl Marx was also a great basic thinker. Though like any other thinker, he also borrowed from diverse sources. He utilised findings of Newton and Darwin for constructing his cosmology, though he rejected the latter’s law of natural selection. Besides the theories of Plato, he was influenced by the medieval heretics, Niklas Storch, Thomas More, Campanella, Winstanley, Vesras, Fontenelle, Meslier, Morelly, Diderot and Deschamps in his views on marriage, family, religion and private property. He used Hegelian dialectics and turned it upside down. Feuerbach’s method of transformational criticism’ was adopted by him for inverting Hegelianism. Moreover, the idea of economic interpretation of politics, linkage of the state with class interests and property system coming “through a long line of heritage from Aristotle to Machiavelli, Locke and James Medis” were his arsenals for substantiating his verdict against capitalism. Lassalle’s economic view of history came handy for his scientific formulation, Freud’s concept of alienation and existentialism in psychology for elevating his economic determinism to the status of a collective socio-economic problem. He collected the facts of contemporary British economy to attack both the ‘Laissez Faire’ system and the tenets of Adam Smith’s ‘The Wealth of Nations’.
However, he was not a blind borrower. Marx’s genius transformed ideas, Nothing on which he worked was left in its original form. Though economics, sociology, political theory, history and philosophy are all used in his sweeping analysis, he synthesised all these disciplines into his own basic thought-structure. English utilitarianism, French socialist thought and the beginning of German radicalism were suitably incorporated into his basic framework. All up-to-date knowledge was pressed into service of a single cause.
To be fair, one should not identify Marx with his more fanatic followers who carved a religion out of his thought system. They have gone so far as to assert that real science must flow from, and further subs¬tantiate the Marxian dialecticism. They are making a ridiculous attempt to prove that all scientists are unconscious adherents of dialectical materialism.
According to orthodox Marxists, Faraday’s discovery of electromagnetic induction, von Mayer’s discovery of the law of the conservation of energl, Einstein’s formulation of the theory of relativity, or the construction of quantum mechanics as a physical theory, could not have been possible had Marx not formulated his theory of dialeeticism. These fanatics trace the source of the theory of relativity and quantum theory to ‘Das Capital’.
But generally, the western scientists either ignore Marxism or positively reject Dialer Weal Materialism as the philosophy of modern science: some of them even actually oppose dialectical materialism whNh has not yet led to any major scientific discovery. Such assertions are certainly not in keetrinx with the scientific way of Manna thinking. What we are concerned with is original Marxian thinking and not its interpretation as presented by his dogmatic followers.
Nevertheless, any thinker can base his thought-systern only on the contemporary level of human knowledge. But the frontiers of human knowledge are own-expanding. Consequently, an absolute truth of today bemmes a relative truth of tomorrow. For example, conclusions drawn on the basis of the nineteenth century science are bound to appear outmoded in the light of the twentieth century science.
Long back Arnold Toynbee had observed; “On the surface, those Hindus who have adopted me, to them, extremely alien Western culture on the planes of techno logy and science, language and literature, administration and law, appear to have been more successful than the Russians in harmonising with their native ways of life a Western way that is intrinsically more . alien to them than it is to the Russians. Yet the tension in Hindu souls mud he extren-e, and sooner or later it must find some means of discharging itself.”
“Whatever may be the relief that Hindu souls are going to find for themselves eventually, it seems clear that, for them, there can be no relief from the impact of our Western civilization by opening themselves influence Communism; for Communism—a Western heresy adopted by an ex -orthodox Christian Russia—is just as much part and parcel of the Graeco. Judiac heritage as the Western way of life is, and the whole of this cultural tradition is alien to the Hindu spirit.”
It must, however, be noted that Deendayal ji was well conversant with all the thought-currents of the West.
Apart from Marxism, (and different versions of revisionists—from Edward Berstein to Tito) he was very well acquainted with the direct or indirect social experiments of Robert Owen, Fourier and Cabet, theories of Saint Simon, socialist militancy of Gracchus Babeuf; agrarian socialism of O’ Connor; proletarian socialism of 0’ Brien, ‘minority conscience’ theory of Blanqui, evolutionary socialism of Louis Blanc; the ‘self-help’ doctrine of Schulze-Delitzsclin and ‘true socialisrn’ of the German Bruno Bauer, Moses Hess, and trio, Grun. He had also studied Lassa the, Sismondi, Lammmis and Proudhon. He had critically analysed all the pre-and post-Marxian European thoughtsystems ranging from capitalism to an-archism and including all the varieties of ‘Socialism’.
Deendayal ji had an additional advantage of being closely acquainted with different streams of traditional Indian thought. He had fully grasped the implications of the term ‘Charm, which is the characteristic gift Hindu Seers to humanity. The claim of Shri Dange and Shin Bari Deshpande that most of the basic tenets of Marxism were anticipated by Vedanta may be controversial; but Mere can be no difference of opinion about the fact that Marxian thought-system would have been considerably altered had Marx been conversant with the Hindu view of life and universe.
Realisation of unity in the midst of diversity, on the rockdike basis of Advaita Darshana; understanding of complementarity between the material and the non. material; comprehensMn of truth alongthe line of ‘Syad.Patla, Me art of dealing with immediate human problems M the fight of the eternal universal laws; them, among other things,are some of the contributions of Hinduism which could have added valuable dimensions to Marxian thought and probably altered it beyond recognition. Both these thinkers were humanists of the first order, though their humanism assumed apparently different forms on account of differences their mental backgrounds, sources of inin spiration and contemporary world situations.
III. MARXIAN COALS
According to Marx, “The goal for man is to realise his humanity, his human nature, and this carries the categorical imperative to overthrow all the relations in which man is debased, enslaved, helpless, contemptible creature”. He sought to for an end to dehumanisation and selFalienation which is characteristic of capitalist system. He was sorry to find out “man exists in this world as ‘Unmensch’ (Unman)”. For him, conGunism was “me actual phase necessary for the next stage of historical development M the process of human emancipation and recovery”. Again, “Communism is for us not a stable state which is to Se established,an ideal to which reality will have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things.” The fundamental principle of a higher type of society, Marx thinks, is “the full development of every individual.” The accumula-tion of wealth eat one pole of society involves a simultaneous accumulation of poverty, labour, torment slavery, brutalisation and moral degradation at the opposite pole. Money is the alienated essence of man’s work and his being.
The end and aini of capitalist pro-ductMn is an endeavour to promote to the utmost the selfiexpansMn of capital,meaning thereby the production of the largest possible amount of surplus value and, therefore, the of possible exploitation of labour-power by the capitalist. HewastcAto be liberated from the bondage of economics, to leave behind the ‘realm of necessity’, and to enter ‘the realm of freedom’. Under ideal conditions, “the productive labour”, says Engels,”instead of being a means to the subjection of man, will bet their emancipation by giving each indivi¬dual the opportunity to develop and exercise all his faculties, physical and mental, in all directions”. Marx observes; “The main principle which must guide us in the selection of a vocation is the welfare of humanity and our own per-fection”. (To be continued…)
(The writer was an eminent thinker &
Founder-General Secretary of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh)