The Tribune - Spectrum



Sunday, July 2, 2000
Books
Experts draw no lessons from Kargil intrusion
Review by Bimal Bhatia
Where balkanisation really belongs
Review by Surjit Hans
No capital letters, I am dinesh
Review by R.P. Chaddah
A granddaughter’s tale
Review by Cookie Maini
Globalisation cannot last forever
Review by Bhupinder Singh
 


Experts draw no lessons from Kargil intrusion
Review by Bimal Bhatia

From Surprise to Reckoning: The Kargil Review Committee Report. Sage Publications, New Delhi. Pages 277. Rs 295.

WHILE the initial setbacks in Kargil last year exposed the gaps in India’s security apparatus, due credit must be given to the government for setting up the Kargil Review Committee (KRC) and publishing its report, albeit with some deletions for "security" reasons. The media played a significant part in this conflict. The reporting of the intrusion which caught the Army and the government napping and which raised certain uncomfortable questions may have pressurised the government into constituting the KRC, which was not set up to conduct an inquiry but to review the events leading to the Kargil intrusion and recommend measures necessary to safeguard national security against future intrusions.

With noted defence analyst K. Subrahmanyam as its chairman, the committee comprised three other members — Lieut-Gen K.K. Hazari, a former Vice Chief of Army Staff, veteran journalist B.G. Verghese and Satish Chandra, Secretary, National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), who was designated member-secretary.

It has been suggested that there was a conflict of interest with two members of the committee also being members of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB). The report clarifies that the NSAB is a wholly non-official, advisory body and its members have no responsibility whatsoever for the government’s current security policies and management. The NSAB was asked to formulate a nuclear doctrine and to prepare a strategic defence review. Its members have no other responsibility. The National Security Council (NSC) met the NSAB members on June 8, 1999, a month after the Kargil intrusion, but only to hear their individual views on the J&K situation. Therefore, the KRC avers, members of the NSAB did not in any way hamper the independent functioning of the committee.

Despite the committee not being constituted under the Commission of Inquiry Act and hence did not have the powers to summon witnesses and requisition documents, it was given the widest possible access to all relevant documents, including those with the highest classification, and to various officials.

So what does the KRC say? After a historical background you get a review of events leading to the Kargil intrusions. This covers some familiar landmarks like the Simla agreement, the earlier attempts by Pakistan to internationalise the Kashmir issue, Siachen and Pakistan’s proxy war in J&K for which the army had to adapt itself to deal with terrorism and which also sucked in additional army formations.

The Pakistani army had waged a proxy war for nine years without the Indian Army being able to take proactive measures as in 1965. While Indian political leaders as well as some former army chiefs whom the KRC met have tended to discount the nuclear factor in this situation, the Pakistanis had articulated the view that their nuclear capability was the compelling factor in ensuring avoidance of escalation by India.

Contingency planning for the Kargil operation was formulated as far back as 1987 during General Zia-ul-Haq’s rule but the plan was vetoed by the then Foreign Minister Sahibzada Yakub Khan as being militarily untenable and internationally and politically indefensible. Post-Kargil reports from Pakistan suggest that this plan might have been revived in 1997 and preparations, including reconnaissance, may have been part of the build-up.

If these accounts are to be accepted, then the intrusion was politically driven. It may also explain the subsequent bitterness of the Pakistan army with Nawaz Sharif’s attempts to distance himself from the controversy. But on the basis of material available with the KRC, this remains a hypothesis.

Within two weeks of taking over General Pervez Musharraf visited the Force Commander Northern Area in October, 1998. The intrusion plan may well have been finetuned at this stage after approval by Nawaz Sharif.

Taking advantage of India’s winter posture when certain posts are vacated to reduce logistic problems and avoid casualties due to adverse climatic conditions, the Pakistanis used the gaps to execute its intrusion plan deploying 1,500-2,400 troops, both regular and irregular, most of them from the Northern Light Infantry masquerading as mujahideen.

Captured diaries reveal that small groups, primarily consisting of officers, moved across the LoC in the Mashkoh sector in February-March, 1999. A further build-up of advance elements was effected in early April, with the main body commencing occupation of the heights across the LoC during the second half of that month. A certain degree of helicopter help was also sought by the Pakistan army to support the intrusions which were effected by early May, 1999, over a frontage of 100 km with a depth of five to nine km in the Batalik, Kaksar, Dras and Mushkoh sectors.

Pakistani newspaper writings reveal the following politico-strategic motives for undertaking the Kargil intrusion: (i) to internationalise the Kashmir dispute as a nuclear flashpoint requiring urgent third party intervention; (ii) to alter the LoC and damage its sanctity by capturing unheld areas in Kargil; and (iii) to achieve a better bargaining position for a possible trade-off against the positions held by India in Siachen.

The military/proxy war-related objectives were: (i) to interdict the vital Srinagar-Leh road; (ii) to outflank India’s defences in the Turtok and Chalunka sectors thus rendering its defences untenable in Turtok and Siachen; (iii) to give a fillip to militancy in J&K by drawing away troops from the valley; (iv) to activate militancy in the Kargil and Turtok sectors and open new routes of infiltration; and, (v) to play to the fundamentalist lobby and the Pakistani people by daring action in Kashmir.

In undertaking the intrusion Pakistan assumed that its nuclear capability would forestall any major Indian move involving use of its conventional capabilities, particularly across the international border. Pakistan appears to have persuaded itself that nuclear deterrence had worked in its favour from the mid-1980s. It was also confident that the international community would intervene at an early state, leaving it in possession of at least some of its gains across the LoC, thereby enabling it to bargain from a position of strength.

The intrusion was first noticed by two shepherds in Batalik sector. By May 11 sufficient information had come by 15 Corps, and troops were ordered to move from the valley to evict the intrusion. The use of the Indian Air Force in support of the Army impacted strongly on the course of the tactical battle in terms of interdiction of Pakistani supply lines within Indian territory, softening the enemy defences and lowering the morale of the intruders.

Progressively, the strategic formations of the Army were also moved forward in the western and southern commands to deter Pakistan and prevent it from focusing solely on Kargil. The Indian Navy was deployed for surveillance and posturing in the north Arabian Sea, sending effective signals to Pakistan. On the critical failure in intelligence, the KRC analysed the inputs and finds that it was related to the absence of information on the induction of two additional battalions and the forward deployment of two other battalions in the area opposite Kargil from April, 1998, to February, 1999. The responsibility for obtaining information was primarily that of RAW and, to a much lesser extent, that of the military intelligence.

The committee also found absence of checks and balances in the Indian intelligence system to ensure that the soldier gets all the intelligence that is available and is his due. There is no system of regular, periodic and comprehensive intelligence briefings at the political level and to the Committee of Secretaries. In the absence of an overall, operational national security framework and objectives, each intelligence agency is diligent in guarding its own turf and departmental prerogatives. Further, there is no evidence that the intelligence agencies have reviewed their role after India became a nuclear weapons state or in the context of the increasing problems posed by insurgency. Nor has the government felt the need to initiate any such move.

On the nature of Pakistan’s nuclear threat and the China-Pakistan nuclear axis, successive Indian Prime Ministers failed to take their own colleagues, the major political parties, the Chiefs of Army Staff and Foreign Secretaries into confidence. The Prime Ministers, even while supporting the weapons programme, kept the intelligence and nuclear weapons establishments in two separate watertight compartments.

What Pakistan attempted in Kargil was a typical case of salami slicing, and despite its best efforts, it was unable to link its Kargil caper with a nuclear flashpoint, though some foreign observers believe it was a close thing.

That Kargil came as a complete surprise is well known and doesn’t need the approval of the KRC. Pakistan’s deception was made easy by India’s mindest, but the KRC didn’t come across any assessment at operational levels that would justify the conclusion that the Lahore summit had caused the Indian decision-makers to lower their guard!

The structure and content of the report has drawn flak for interpreting its terms of references too narrowly and justifying what had happened.

Was Kargil avoidable? A Kargil-type situation could perhaps have been avoided had the Indian Army followed a policy of Siachenisation to plug the gaps along the 168-km stretch from Kaobal Gali to Chorbat La, feels the KRC. Such a dispersal of forces to hold uninhabited territory of "no strategic value" would have dissipated considerable military strength and the effort would not have been cost-effective, it adds, justifying in a way that Kargil was not avoidable! The alternative, it says, should be a credible declaratory policy of swiftly punishing wanton and wilful violation of the sanctity of the LoC. This should be supplemented by a comprehensive space and aerial surveillance system.

Somewhere down this logic loop you get a hiccup. Retaliatory measures in support of a country’s defence need no rhetoric or declaration, just as our response in 1965 proved. A declaratory policy must also be backed by military capability, that in the case of India has been eroded due to several factors, and which Pakistan has been consistently monitoring. On intelligence, some significant inputs were sent by the Director of the Intelligence Bureau to the Prime Minister, but the RAW, Joint Intelligence Committee and Director General Military Intelligence were left out. These are individual lapses, not systemic failures, which required the accountability aspect to be probed further.

Welcome are the KRC’s recommendations of a thorough review of the national security sustem necessitated by the Kargil experience, the continuing proxy war and the prevailing nuclearised environment. While the National Security Council is still evolving, a full-time national Security Advisor is necessary. Also required is an integrated National Defence Headquarters along with revamping of the intelligence apparatus, processing and procedures. But no matter how efficient an intelligence agency, its output will always depend on the quality of political derection it receives.

 

Where balkanisation really belongs
Review by Surjit Hans

The Balkans 1804-1919: Nationalism, War and the Great Powers by Misha Glenny. Granta, London. Pages 726. 25.

THE book sets out to unravel the tragedy of Yugoslavia. "Jug" means south, Yugoslavia is the country of southern Slavs.

Russia and Austria-Hungary were open to the idea of dividing the spoils of the Turkish empire. These plans changed as the sands of international relations shifted. They rarely took account of the aspirations of the people who inhabited the region.

As the Austro-Hungarian (Hapsburg) and Ottoman empires began to fragment, historicist arguments to resurrect ancient Greece, medieval Serb and Bulgarian empires came in conflict ever more frequently with the modern demographic, linguistic and cultural realities of the peninsula.

The fate of the southern Slavs was profoundly influenced by the need of Britain, Germany and Russia to control access to the Black Sea from the Mediterranean.

The Serbs were the first to rise against the Ottoman empire in 1804. There was a second Serb uprising in 1815. The country was de facto autonomous under the local prince who established a tradition of "vigilance against the people, the enemy within", constant preoccupation of Serbian rulers down to the present.

By 1837 a Serbian politician was convinced that landlocked Serbia needed an outlet to the sea. One large obstacle between the dream and Serbia was the province of Bosnia. The idea of Greater Serbia was born.

Serbia was formally recognised as an independent country by the Berlin Congress in 1878. Gradually Serbian patriotism began to stand for the expansion and consolidation of the Serbian state through militarism.

There was the Timok rebellion in 1883 because the king wanted to disarm the peasantry. It killed the idea of rural socialism, inspired by the Russian narodniki.

The Berlin Congress gave (as yet Ottoman) Bosnia-Herzegovina to Austria. It was the prize most coveted by the young Serbian state. The assimilation of less than a million Serbs in Bosnia whose allegiance and territory were claimed by the Serbian state meant that Austro-Hungarian foreign policy and domestic issues of nationality were henceforth impossible to unravel.

A further effect of the occupation was of great moment for future relations between Croats and Serbs. After the cooperation of Serbs and Croats, the "one-blooded nation of two faiths" during the revolutionary years of 1848-49, the intellectual and political perspectives of the two peoples developed in different directions.

In World War I with the exception of Serbia, whose very existence was threatened by Germany and Austria, no Balkan country had an obvious ally. The attraction of a small Balkan country in declaring war lay in the possibility of furthering its regional goals. These regional goals, however, often clashed with the overarching tactics of a great power ally.

At the time of the armistice in 1918, Yugoslavia did not exist as a country. It was created as the kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes without clear borders and with no clear constitutional order. Was the country a novel entity in which Croatia, Slovenia, Dalmatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro would assume equal constitutional weight with Serbia?

Modern nationalism in Croatia and Slovenia emerged from a curious shadow of the Napoleonic wars. In 1809, Nepolean created "Illyrian Provinces" from the territory ceded by Austrians — a part of Slovenia, a part of Croatia, and a part of the Military Frontier (around Karajina, largely inhabited by Serbs).

In 1848, a new, revolutionary Hungarian government had effectively thrown off the rule of the Kaiser in Vienna. In Zagreb the new viceroy declared his commitment to "the one-blooded nation of two faiths".

The Serbs and the Croats are racially and linguistically the same but the former are Greek Orthodox Christians the latter Catholics.

Almost half a century after the outbreak of the first Serbian uprising, the Croats had risen against the Hungarian overlords in their own right but also in the name of their fellow Slavs, in particular the Serbs. Cut off from mother Serbia, the Serbs of the Military Frontier became enthusiastic supporters of the Croatian national movement.

Croatian nationalism begun its oscillation between two extremes. The first, pan-Slav pro-Serbia pro-Yugoslavia, giving way to the second, pro-Austrian, anti-Serb, central European.

The early leaders of the Illyrian movement could see that the Triune kingdom — Croatia, Slovenia and Dalmatia—had a weird shape like the English letter V resting on its side. The Ottoman strategic bastion of Bosnia-Herzegovina jutted into the kingdom like an intrusive arrow. They wanted it to be a part of the Croatian state. The Serbs assumed that Bosnia belonged to them.

Zagreb University was established in the early 1870s.

In 1903 there were protests against the dual evils of Hungarian nationalism and Austrian imperialism in Croatia. In Belgrade students protested against the royal dynasty generally regarded surrogates of the Hapsburgs. The sense of Slav solidarity cohered once more. The remarkable speed with which enmity could dissolve into solidarity and back again became a hallmark of Serb-Croat relations throughout the 20th century.

Hungary contributed its share of mischief to poison relations between Serbs and Croats "Don’t you be frightened of the Croats," the Hungarian Prime Minister told Parliament inBudapest. "Ihave an infallible whip to beat them with — the Serbs!" In cahoots with Vienna, Budapest engineered riots against the Serbs in Zagreb with the help of its police force and Croat toughs.

The port of Fiume (now Rijeka in Croatia) was under the direct administration of Hungary. The Hungarian authorities blocked the construction of a rail link between Vienna and Zagreb so that all goods transported by rail would have to go either via Rijeka or via Budapest. Budapest’s game, which helped to ensure Bosnia’s relative backwardness in the empire, was largely unnoticed but contributed to the coming crisis in Bosnia and the wider Hapsburg Empire.

The Berlin Congress (1878) transferred Bosnia-Herzegovina of the Ottoman Empire to the Hapsburg control. Equally, it was a blow against Serbian nationalism as it blocked Serbia’s westward expansion. Serbia obediently followed the logic of Hapsburg policy in the region by turning its expansionist ambitions south in the direction of Macedonia.

At the time of the Congress, Britain occupied Cypress. An upset France marched into Tunisia with Bismarck’s approval, which led to the "scramble for Africa". The modern history of Afghanistan, Bosnia and the Sudan starts with the Berlin congress to give them a similar future!

A charismatic criminal, Lojo, was at the head of an impromptu Cabinet. He invited some leading Serbs to join his National Committee and urged the Muslims and the Orthodox Christians alike to resist the invasion by Austro-Hungarian troops. In the capital, many ordinary Serbs locked themselves in for the duration of Lojo rebellion. Leading Croats, regarded as the fifth column, sought temporary protection in foreign consulates.

The cooperation between the Muslims and the Serbs during the rebellion contrasted remarkably with the grinding conflict of the three years prior to the occupation which set Orthodox peasants against the Muslims.

The Austrian occupation demonstrated that circumstances might well conspire to fuse any combination of the three communities into a specifically Bosnian identity. The flexibility of people’s identities, in conjunction with great power interference, meant that the final shape of the Balkan map could only be a matter of conjecture. There are several states which may yet melt into the air, and doubtless future ones which are still to solidify.

In 1908 Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia. As a result Archduka Franz Ferdinand was murdered in Sarajevo in 1914. The murder led to a chain reaction leading to World War I.

The Berlin Congress forced the Albanians to defend their territory awarded to Montenegro. Demonstrating courage and tactical skill, the Albanians warded off equally tough Montenegran forces until 1880. The Albanians achieved the distinction of securing the only revision of the treaty by force of arms. The Albanians felt as though the whole world was ranged against them.

"All Balkan nations felt deeply betrayed by the outside world at some point in their modern history, and this had a deep impact on the psychology of the states and nations throughout the region.’’

During World War II, the fascist Ustase collaborated with the German occupation in Croatia which then included Bosnia and Herzegovina. The usual targets were Jews, gypsies and Serbs. The problem of two million Serbs in Croatias was to be solved thus — a third to be expelled, another third to be converted from Orthodox Christianity to Catholicism and a third to be killed.

Ridiculously, but with the Fuhrer’s approval, the Croats were redefined as Aryan. Croatian Jews could apply for a "honorary Aryan" status. Reason: there was a high incidence of Jewish spouses among the members of the Croatian Cabinet.

Albanian students rioted in Pristina in 1981. What the Kosovars wanted was equality with other nationalities in Yugoslavia. Their movement was, in fact, a late flowering of national revival. They did not demand self-determination for the province. Instead, the Kosovo (Communist) party agreed to stifle any manifestation of nationalism.

In 1991 Slobodan Milosevic bussed a few hundred Serbs to a small town near Pristina. Thousands of Albanians were bemused at the proceedings when a Serb speaker ranted against Albanian "separatists and terrorists". The Serbian President stripped Kosovo of autonomy that Tito had conferred in 1974.

The parties and movements that indulged in reviving the darker moments of Yugoslavia’s recent past sought to instil fear less in "enemy" ranks than in "their" own community.

The transition from one-party dictatorship to a democratically elected government in Croatia led to an immediate rise in tension between the Croats and one of the most volatile Yugoslavian minorities, the Serbs of Krajina.

In March, 1991, Milosevic (of Serbia) and Tudjman (Croatia) met ironically in Tito’s hunting lodge in Vujvodina to divide Bosnia-Herzegovina — half going to Croatia and another half to Serbia. As events in Bosnia-Herzegovina were to confirm, Milosevic and Tudjman were acting in harmony at the expense of both Yugoslavia and Bosnia.

In 1995 the Serbian leader made no attempt to defend the Bosnian Serbs against air strikes. He had even agreed to the bombing before it began to cement the Holbrooke deal between him, Tudjman and Izetbegovic.

Earlier Carl Bildt, former Swedish Prime Minister and European Union’s mediator in Yugoslavia, had called for the Hague Tribunal to investigate President Tudjman.Prophetically, he asked, "if we accept that it is alright for Tudjman to cleanse Croatia of its Serbs, then how on earth can we object if one day Milosevic sends his army to clean out the Albanians from Kosovo?"

Tito had broken with Stalin but not with Stalinism. Yugoslavia ideologically invented "self-management" to set itself apart from Russian socialism. Self-management led to demands of devolution and federalism — an anathema to statist unitarist socialism. So Djilas was eased out in 1954.

Yugoslavia’s first strike broke out at the Trbovlje mine in Slovenia in 1957. Tito asked Rankovic to suppress the disgruntled workers by force. He made the police force practically Serb. In 1971 in Zagreb a majority of policemen were Serbs. He was turned out in 1966. The true villains of the period were Tito and Kardely (a Slovene), neither of whom, the latter in particular, welcomed reconciliation between Serbs and Croats. Between 1966 and 1972 they were playing off Zagreb against Belgrade, stirring up animosities in order to consolidate their own authority.

Kardely died in 1979, Tito in 1980.

Tito had driven both Serbian and Croatian nationalism underground. When they emerged from hibernation in mid- and late 1980s, they had lost their modernising and liberal characteristics.

For the largely rural Serb population in Croatia, numerical supremacy in Croatia’s security forces was a guarantee against a resurgence of Ustase ideology. For the Croats, it was a permanent reminder that Yugoslavia had never escaped its greater Serbian origins. Their conundrum lay at the heart of Yugoslavia’s national question: the status of Croats as a minority in Yugoslavia, and of the Serbs as a minority in Croatia, like Sikhs in India and Hindus in Punjab.

The history of the Balkans is a mirror in which India’s nationalism can see its own face. Nationalism is a mixed blessing; it has much to answer for.

"....Several Jews were hauled out of their apartments and shot in the street. After daybreak, the bodies were gathered in the town square. Jewish refugees were brought up from the internment camp. The refugees were forced to carry the dead men through the town and then hang the bodies from electric poles.

".... altogether 1736 men and 19 Communist women were killed that day, which also saw 20 iron crosses, 2nd class, conferred on the members of the units responsible for the massacre.

"..... Ustase slit the throats of Serbs over a large vat until the vessel was overflowing with blood."

Even their police stories sound familiar to us. Officially a Bulgarian woman had committed suicide by throwing herself out of a fourth-storey window. Yet she managed to have during her fall "knife and bullet wounds, toe nails pulled out, left hand hacked."

Djilas describes the trauma of sufferers of terror.... those who had survived, regardless of their nationality, were so traumatised by the events in the town that they exhibited "no ray of warmth or curiosity in their expressions, which remained apathetic, dull, inhuman. They were emaciated and yellowed, and dressed in rags."

Nothing testifies to the surreal insanity of Enver Hoxhaism (Albanian dictatorship) more than two men’s literal sentence: "to be sentenced to death by shooting and deprived of electoral rights for five years."

It was announced in Salonica that the Jews wishing to disinter their relatives should do so immediately as the authorities were taking possession of the Jewish cemeteries, which dated from the time of their migration in 1492 from Spain. The marble headstones were all confiscated and laid down as pavement which, to the shame of democratic Greece, the public walks over to this day.

The Balkan history is such a melancholy story of blood and tears that it, probably, could not be told without a spot of humour.

A criminal, sentenced to death, begged the Sultan to postpone his execution for a year while he taught his camel to talk. To his friends, at a loss to understand how he was going to do this, he explained: "I have a whole year at my disposal. God knows what may happen in a year — the camel, or the sultan or I may die."

During World War IIone American journalist claimed that Tito was not a person but an acronym for the Third International Terrorist Organisation!

The reader would be intrigued to find Ho Chi Minh addressing the Paris Peace Conference, Trotsky interviewing a Bulgarian general, and Onassis buying evacuation of his parents before the galloping Turkish onslaught!

 

No capital letters, I am dinesh
Review by R.P. Chaddah

Thinking Aloud — Mini Poems by Kanwar Dinesh Singh. K.K. Publishers, Shimla. Rs 175.

"THINKING Aloud" is a collection of mini poems from the pen of Kanwar Dinesh Singh, an academic-turned-poet, from the hills of Shimla. The poet e.e. cummings, I think, is in vogue again, he dispenses with capitals altogether and uses the lower case to express his thoughts in a haikuesque fashion. The longest poem is in seven lines and the shortest is just three lines. The mini poems are over hundred in number and there are as many right and proper illustrations by artist Suresh Sharma. The poems are, of course, about life, inane search, afterlife, nature, love and also about the ninth letter of the English alphabet "I" in lower case i.e. dotted i.

i watch multiplex patterns/formed by clouds/in the sky/everytime i get/a new picture of life."

Or, "death frees man/from the bondage/of life/what, if there be/another life/after death."

Or, "Love unrequited perishes not/turning inward implodes/ and purges out all malice."

Kanwar Dinesh is quite a bit unkind to womankind when he pens such venom-filled words as the ones that follow, must have been a felt experience:

"there dwell/miniature vipers/in all pores/ of integument hers; she’s honey-vase/with venom/ at the base."

In the plethora of I-oriented poems, once in a while we do come across some factually correct and real things. One such poem is "Indian woman".

"Vermilion/in the parting of hair/changes her identity/she writes/new surname."

The poet is in his element when he writes poems — pawns, my words, silent love, Shimla by winter, like a candle, etc.

"Winter winds are indifferent/sun turns even colder/honeymooners forment/each other.

Or, "i burn/ and burn to leave/no ash/, but only wax to be burnt again.’’

In this collection intellectual thinness and sentimentality are all too pronounced. At best the poems convey expressions of the joy of the "eternal i" and something about social concerns.

 

A granddaughter’s tale
Review by Cookie Maini

What the Body Remembers by Shauna Singh Baldwin. Harper Collins, New Delhi. Pages 475. Rs 495.

"SIR Cyril Radcliffe’s boundary line has cut Punjab in two, as a child might tear a newspaper, all the maps, data and plans placed before Radcliffe’s Indian commissioner at Lahore including Sardarji’s, having been treated as lumber. Ignoring the natural watershed between Lahore and Amritsar, ignoring Sikh pleas and arguments for all the land up to the Chenab, Sir Radcliffe has drawn his boundary line through Punjab in equidistant points between the Ravi and Sutlej rivers.

"Lahore has fallen in West Punjab — Pakistan." The lament of every refugee!

"What the Body Remembers" is a book which from the word go is like a collection of snippets of my grandmother’s memory of the life style in pre-partition western part of Punjab. For every family whose elders are refugees from the other side of the border, particularly the Sikh elite, this all too familiar backdrop never ceases to fascinate as one walks the streets of Lahore or the colonised mofussils of the present west Punjab.

Shauna Singh Baldwin, settled in Milwaukee, adds to the genre by immigrant-writers who live out their nostalgia for their country by writing about it. This is, an emerging trend among new writers like Jhumpa Lahiri, for instance, who do not scoff at things Indian (as was the habit of earlier immigrants) but savour the flavours of their country, revel in their traditions even vicariously, through their books. This is an emerging trend; the writers long for the sunny skies, the parched earth, the simplicity of the rustic folk, hot rotis and curries. I wonder though if the western rediscovery of the East has triggered this.

This novel is deeply imbued with the language, customs and layered history of colonial India, peppered with interesting features of the Raj. "Clutching the form filled out in English, Bachan Singh and Roop progress to the hospital verandah. There Bachan Singh drops Roop’s hand to open the cloth bundle. ‘What is that?’ asks Roop. ‘It’s our kursi nashin certificate signed by the district magistrate himself.’

Bachan Singh allows Roop to touch it. "The certificate, issued to Bachan Singh’s father, certifies that he and members of his family are permitted to sit in a chair when waiting or calling on an English gentleman. Bachan Singh has brought it with him as a precaution, to give himself confidence to sit on the bench outside Mayo Hospital."

Shauna Singh has meticulously researched her grandparents’ life style in pre-partition Punjab in the canal colonies in a lucid, simple yet captivating style. She has written a novel of pre-partition India from the point of view of the Sikh community, particularly Sikh women. The story is that of a village girl in Punjab in 1937. She is married to a wealthy Sikh landowner who is 25 years older, as his second wife since the first one has failed to give him an heir. This situation was quite common in that period, when a male heir was a must for landowning aristocracy.

The struggle for power between the two wives, the senior’s resentment, the demeaning of her, makes it an engrossing account of the social customs of the 1930’s Punjab. This is essentially a gender-based theme but in the backdrop lurks the escalating communal tension with the Muslims demanding partition. The author has carefully studied lives of her kin as well as historical trends. From all accounts of our parents (our source of oral history), there was total acceptance and social co-existence of the two communities. "When the light above the courtyard begins to dwindle, Nani rises from Mama’s side to close the Guru Granth Sahib in the small prayer room, putting the Guru to bed for the night. The muezzin’s call for evening prayers resonates from the mosque, calling all Muslims in Pari Darvaza. Roop climbs on to the manji with Mama, gently slips an arm under her neck and holds her bony shoulders."

In the course of the story, disparities surface. On the railway station, there was a Hindu "nalka" (tap) and a Muslim "nalka", though the water was from the same source or, even a "Muslim chai" and a "Hindu chai". These accounts and the story as it is woven around them show a fascination for the cultural mores which are now on the wane. Her narration brings alive the Punjabi world of pre-partition days. "The marigold and jasmine garlands Madani will exchange with her groom arrive in shallow reed baskets and it is Roop’s duty to remind Khanna to water them occasionally, so they will last till the ceremony. Madani will be married in the centre courtyard of Papaji’s haveli, circling her father’s prized new copy of the Guru Granth Sahib he bought at the Golden Temple bazaar in Amritsar. Then the musicians will sing their shabads and Sant Puran Singh will invoke God in blessings her to have many children. And then Papaji will tie a knot between Madani’s chunni and her husband’s silk shawl and they will all eat Gujri’s hot parshaad and Gujri’s special makki rotis and spinach saag and lots of sweet savaiyan."

The novel makes easy reading; what makes it even more interesting is the subtle blend of the sociological and the historical factors. On the one hand, there is the social scene where young Roop, who wants to get a rich husband and get one more than double her age is imaginatively captured. "She uses Sardarji’s blotter after writing, its solid blotting sides steamrolling her words, crushing the outlines of her tears to star-splotches, faint blue on the lined paper. Read between the lines, Papaji, read around them, past them, between them. In the spaces between the words is your daughter. In the unspoken, in the unwritten, there is Roop. From the blurred edges of memory comes the taste of abandonment."

On the other hand, history is being created; Punjab is very much part of the national movement for freedom at this juncture. Essentially, at the core of the entire novel remains the woman of that era, her psyche and her unfree spirit which must have yearned for release from physical captivity of the male-dominated social structure. The young Roop regrets at 19 her father’s decision. "Pretty clothes — were they really all I wanted or all I knew to want? Bachan Singh is right, but he forgets to remember he offered his Roop no other choice. He forgets to remember he shut her away in a school with walls 12 feet high. He forgets to remember how Roop’s heart became a storeroom where he hoarded the full measure of her giving, how he constrained Roop in his haveli. Even Pari Darvaza’s little post office, a mere hundred yards away, was too far for her to wander unchaperoned.

"He forgets to remember she could only attend the women’s ceremonies at Huma’s wedding. Forgets to remember she was forbidden to ride Nirvair for fear there would be no blood on the sheets. Forgets to remember that she absorbed his fears without even being confined in purdah till she was afraid to glance at an unrelated man in the village unless he was a small boy or a white-bearded elder for fear of what-people-will-say". Regretably, this remains the plight of many women in rural India even today.

In that era, the normal response of a man to a woman’s sensitivity was similar to Sardar’s gender stereotyping as is still prevalent at some places. "But women don’t see things. They just feel. The world would be better if only women were more objective; that is their basic problem. Lack of objectivity. They get too caught up in situations, feel too deeply, introduce too many variables and so their sense of judgement leaves their poor brains entirely. Now if they could be taught to see the whole, step back from looking at the veins of leaves on trees and see a whole forest, they would understand there are natural forces we all have to appreciate, such as the fact that some races of men are more capable than others, or that men are stronger than women, these are natural things." In that era a man valued his wife most as the mother of his male children, that is the bond.

Books set in pre-partition Punjab — like "Difficult Daughters" by Manju Kapur, "The Other Side of Silence" by Urvashi Buttalia and this one — have certain commonalities. The authors tell stories about their grandmothers’ lives, they have come out with women-centred stories, grounded in the prevalent sociological setting. In various accounts of that era, the women’s point of view was sadly absent; it has now emerged as their granddaughters have journeyed back in history, visiting their abandoned abodes as they dauntlessly cross borders and time, thus sensitising readers. This evolves as a gender theme in a regional context.

This blend of fiction and history may revive interest in the general reader in a moribund subject. People in the North, those who lived through that era will succumb to a bout of nostalgia; for their progeny it will be a recapitulation of the staple diet of anecdotes they were fed on, and for the present generation it will be as alien as it is to foreign readers — perhaps, even more fascinating as a voyage of discovery of a bygone era. For the last, a glossary of Indian words would have been helpful since the author has liberally used Punjabi colloquialism in her quest for family and country’s bonds.

 

Globalisation cannot last forever
Review by Bhupinder Singh

On the Edge of the New Century by Eric Hobsbawm in conversation with Antonio Polito. The New Press, New York. Pages 176. $21.

IF Eric Hobsbawm’s "Age of Extremes" was an anguished, even if intellectually stimulating, reflection on the 20th century from the vantage point of the early nineties, the present book is marked by a renewed exuberance. There are numerous questions that Hobsbawm is still vague on or treads hesitantly, but the change in mood is evident. The historian par excellence, now in his eighties, is back with perceptive insights and his characteristic ability to question accepted wisdom.

This is most evident in his treatment of the globalisation phenomenon. While most people believe that it is not only unstoppable but is increasingly gaining ground, Hobsbawm questions both these views.

He observes: "Globalisation is primarily based on the elimination of technical obstacles rather than economic ones. It is the abolition of distance and time. For example, it would have been impossible to consider the world as a single unit before it had been circumnavigated at the end of the 15th century — the turning point (for the enormous acceleration and global spread of goods transport) was the appearance of modern air freight.

Until the seventies, a company that wanted to produce motor cars in a country other than the country of origin would have to build an entire production process on the spot. Now it is possible to decentralise the production of engines and other components, and then have them brought together wherever the company wants. For practical purposes, production is no longer organised within the political confines of the state where the parent company resides… thus while the global division of labour was once confined to the exchange of products within the particular regions, today it is possible to produce across the frontiers of states and continents.

"This is what the process is founded on. The abolition of trade barriers is, in my opinion, a secondary phenomenon. This is the real difference between the global economy before 1914 and today. Before the Great War, there was pan-global movement of capital goods and labour. But the emancipation of manufacturing and occasionally agricultural products from the territory in which they were produced was not yet possible."

The drive for globalisation requires that ideally the world be seen not as a globe with national boundaries but as a map of the major corporations of the world.

And this, Hobsbawm avers, is not only an impossible but a very dangerous ideal. For one, it considers only the production aspect leaving out the distribution aspect altogether. Another, for the ideal to be realised necessitates standardisation and homogenisation. The point that Hobsbawm raises is that there are bound to be physical limitations and resistance to these attempts. That is the real Y2K problem that will determine the limitations to globalisation however omnipotent it may seem today.

Some indications to these limits are borne out by developments in the European Union itself where it has become "extremely difficult to determine a common foreign and defence policy and this proves that there aren’t the necessary conditions for an effective and total political integration, whereas there are for social and economic matters. The enlargement of the European Union will make the situation even more difficult."

The only two important fields in which Europeans have come close is the recognition by governments that European jurisprudence takes precedence over their national laws. The other aspect that unites Europeans is protectionism in order to resist competition from the USA and mass immigration from the Third World.

Hobsbawm is equally emphatic regarding the failure of the free market. "When historians in 50 years time look back on our era, they will probably say that the last part of the short 20th century ended with two things: the collapse of the Soviet Union and also the bankruptcy of free market fundamentalism that dominated government policies from the end of the Golden Age (1970s). The global crisis of 1997- 98 may very well be taken as the turning point".

The other is of course the implementation of the purest free market policies in the former Soviet Union whose tragedy has still not been well understood.

"The scale of the human catastrophe that has struck Russia is something we simply don’t understand in the West. It is the complete reversal of historical trends: the life expectancy of men has dropped by 10 years over last decade and a large part of the economy has been reduced to subsistence agriculture. I don’t believe there has been anything comparable in the 20th century… I believe it is (entirely due to the application of free market rules) if for no other reason than that free market rules, even if adapted, require a certain kind of society. If that kind of society does not exist, the result is a disaster."

That globalisation is not unstoppable is controverted by historical experience — control of immigration (humans being a necessary, even if an "evil" part of the production process) is an example.

The author regards Pope John Paul to be the last great ideologue to criticise capitalism for what it is, though it is "eccentric" in relation to "western conformist thought and the dominant political and intellectual consensus". This, of course, implicitly underlines the effectiveness of the Left to articulate this criticism — indeed the Left itself has been divided as the European socialists who are in government in most of Western Europe have demonstrated. Tony Blair and his guru Anthony Giddens term it the "Third Way". Hobsbawm expresses his disagreement, rather brutally one feels, by terming Blair as the "Thatcher in trousers".

Neither does Francis Fukuyama escape his acerbic taunt — he is branded as the Dr Plongloss of the 20th century (Dr Plongloss is a character in Voltaire’s "Candide"). Hobsbawm feels that it is also incorrect to consider the liberal and Left traditions as unrelated if not divergent. It was only with the Bolshevik revolution that the Left came to be identified with the specific form of Soviet socialism that ultimately failed to sustain itself and collapsed. On the other hand, the liberals too did not exactly manage to change the nature of the state. The welfare state always operated within the capitalist framework.

Some of Hobsbawm’s comments are personal in nature — for example, he comments that he deliberately chose to study 19th century history so as to remain above the debates regarding contemporary issues.

"I… have to admit that while I hope I have never written or said anything about the Soviet Union that I should feel guilty about, I have tended to avoid dealing with it directly, because I knew that if I had, I would have had to have written things that would have been difficult for a communist to say without affecting my political activity and the feelings of my comrades."

Some of Hobsbawm’s comments are disconcerting, for instance, when he notes that ethnic cleansing can actually solve problems. Others are more subtle; his observation that modern nationalism is generally top down. "Human beings were not created for capitalism," Hobsbawm remarks tongue in the cheek elsewhere in the book.

As a reversal of a centuries long process, the long historical wave which moved toward the construction and gradual strengthening of territorial states or nation-states comes to an end (the end itself starting around 1960s and accelerating after 1989), Hobsbawm notes that it has become increasingly difficult to mobilise people on collective lines, specially in the West. This underlines the crisis of class based action today and also the reason why Hobsbawm considers the most appropriate symbol for the 20th century not to be the working class or the peasantry but a mother with her children.

"The people who have most in common are mothers, wherever they live on the face of the earth and in spite of their different cultures, civilisations and languages. In some ways, a mother’s experience reflects what has happened to a large part of humanity in the 20th century."

These intensely humanistic insights remind one of what Antonio Gramsci in another era termed as the optimism of the will overcoming the pessimism of the mind. From the "Age of Extremes" to the present work, Hobsbawm has displayed tremendous optimism of the will and fired a salvo that may not completely overcome the pessimism of the mind, but somewhat light up the darkness that has characterised last decade. Alas! There is none of his calibre and perseverance after him in sight.

 

Book extract
Authority from above, responsibility from below

This is an edited chapter from "Power and Prospects" by Noam Chomsky.

GOALS and vision can appear to be in conflict, and often are. There is no contradiction in that, as I think we all know from experience. Let me take my own case to illustrate what I have in mind.

My personal visions are fairly traditional anarchist ones, with origins in the Enlightenment and classical liberalism. Before proceeding, I have to clarify what I mean by that. I do not mean the version of classical liberalism that has been reconstructed for ideological purposes, but the original, before it was broken on the rocks of rising industrial capitalism.

As state capitalism developed into the modern era, economic, political and ideological systems have increasingly been taken over by vast institutions of private tyranny that are about as close to the totalitarian ideal as any that humans have so far constructed. "Within the corporation," political economist Robert Brady wrote half a century ago, "all policies emanate from the control above. In the union of this power to determine policy with the execution thereof, all authority necessarily proceeds from the top to the bottom and all responsibility from the bottom to the top. This is, of course, the inverse of ‘democratic’ control; it follows the structural conditions of dictatorial power".

"What in political circles would be called legislative, executive, and judicial powers" is gathered in "controlling hands" which, "so far as policy formulation and execution are concerned, are found at the peak of the pyramid and are manipulated without significant check from its base." As private power "grows and expands", it is transformed "into a community force ever more politically potent and politically conscious", ever more dedicated to a "propaganda programme" that "becomes a matter of converting the public... to the point of view of the control pyramid".

That project, already substantial in the period Brady reviewed, reached an awesome scale a few years later as American business sought to beat back the social democratic currents of the post-war world, which reached the United States as well, and to win what its leaders called "the ever lasting battle for the minds of men", using the huge resources of the public relations industry, the entertainment industry, the corporate media, and whatever else could be mobilised by the "control pyramids" of the social and economic order. These are crucially important features of the modern world, as is dramatically revealed by the few careful studies.

The "banking institutions and moneyed incorporations" of which Thomas Jafferson warned in his later years — predicting that if not curbed, they would become a form of absolutism that would destroy the promise of the democratic revolution — have since more than fulfilled his most dire expectations. They have become largely unaccountable and increasingly immune from popular interference and public inspection while gaining great and expanding control over the global order. Those inside their hierarchical command structure take orders from above and send orders down below. Those outside may try to rent themselves to the system of power, but have little other relation to it (except by purchasing what it offers, it they can). The world is more complex than any simple description, but Brady’s is pretty close, even more so today than when he wrote.

It should be added that the extraordinary power that corporations and financial institutions enjoy was not the result of popular choices. It was crafted by courts and lawyers in the course of the construction of a developmental state that serves the interests of private power, and extended by playing one state against another to seek special privileges, not hard for large private institutions. That is the major reason why the current Congress, business-run to an unusual degree, seeks to devolve federal authority to the states, more easily threatened and manipulated. I am speaking of the USA where the process has been rather well studied in academic scholarship. I will keep to that case; as far as I know, it is much the same elsewhere.

We tend to think of the resulting structures of powers as immutable, virtually a part of nature. They are any thing but that. These forms of private tyranny only reached something like their current form, with the rights of immortal persons, early in this century. The grants of rights and the legal theory that lay behind them are rooted in much the same intellectual soil as nourished the other two major forms of 20th century totalitarianism, fascism and bolshevism. There is no reason to consider this tendency in human affairs to be more permanent than its ignoble brethren.

Conventional practice is to restrict such terms as "totalitarian" and "dictatorship" to political power. Brady is unusual in not keeping to this convention, a natural one, which helps to remove centres of decision-making from the public eye. The effort to do so is expected in any society based on illegitimate authority — any actual society, that is. That is why, for example, accounts in terms of personal characteristics and failings, vague and unspecific cultural practices and the like, are much preferred to the study of the structure and function of powerful institutions.

When I speak of classical liberalism, I mean the ideas that were swept away, in considerable measure by the rising tides of state capitalist autocracy. These ideas survived (or were re-invented) in various forms in the culture of resistance to the new forms of oppression, serving as an animating vision for popular struggles that have considerably expanded the scope of freedom, justice and rights. They were also taken up, adapted, and developed within libertarian Left currents. According to this anarchist vision, any structure of hierarchy and authority carries a heavy burden of justification, whether it involves personal relations or a larger social order. If it cannot bear that burden — sometimes it can — then it is illegitimate and should be dismantled. When honestly posed and squarely faced, that challenge can rarely be sustained. Genuine libertarians have their work cut out for them.

State power and private tyranny are prime examples at the outer limits, but the issues arise pretty much across the board: in relations among parents and children, teachers and students, men and women, those now alive and the future generations that will be compelled to live with the results of what we do, indeed just about everywhere. In particular, the anarchist vision, in almost every variety, has looked forward to the dismantling of state power. Personally, I share that vision, though it runs directly counter to my goals. Hence the tension to which I referred.

My short-term goals are to defend and even strengthen elements of state authority which, though illegitimate in fundamental ways, are critically necessary right now to impede the dedicated efforts to "roll back" the progress that has been achieved in extending democracy and human rights. State authority is now under severe attack in the more democratic societies, but not because it conflicts with the libertarian vision. Rather the opposite: because it offers (weak) protection to some aspects of that vision. Governments have a fatal flaw: unlike the private tyrannies, the institutions of state power and authority offer to the despised public an opportunity to play some role, however limited, in managing their own affairs. That defect is intolerable to the masters, who now feel, with some justification, that changes in the international economic and political order offer the prospects of creating a kind of "utopia for the master", with dismal prospects for most of the rest. It should be unnecessary to spell out here what I mean. The effects are all too obvious even in the rich societies, from the corridors of power to the streets, countryside, and prisons. For reasons that merit attention but that lie beyond the scope of these remarks, the rollback campaign is currently spearheaded by dominant sectors of societies in which the values under attack have been realised in some of their most advanced forms, the English-speaking world; no small irony, but no contradiction either.

It is worth bearing in mind that fulfilment of the utopian dream has been celebrated as an imminent prospect from early in the 19th century. By the 1880s, the revolutionary socialist artist William Morris could write:

"I know it is at present the received opinion that the competitive or ‘devil take the hindmost’ system is the last system of economy which the world will see; that it is perfection, and therefore finality has been reached in it; and it is doubtless a bold thing to fly in the face of this opinion, which I am told is held even by the most learned men."

If history is really at an end, as confidently proclaimed, then "civilisation will die", but all of history says it is not so, he added. The hope that "perfection" was in sight flourished again in the 1920s. With the strong support of liberal opinion generally, and of course the business world, Woodrow Wilson’s Red Scare had successfully undermined unions and independent thought, helping to establish an era of business dominance that was expected to be permanent. With the collapse of unions, working people had no power and little hope at the peak of the automobile boom. The crushing of unions and workers’ rights, often by violence, shocked even the right-wing British press. An Australian visitor, astounded by the weakness of American unions, observed in 1928 that "Labour organisation exists only by the tolerance of employers... It has no real part in determining industrial conditions."

Again, the next few years showed that the hopes were premature. But these recurrent dreams provide a model that the "control pyramids" and their political agents seek to reconstitute today.

In today’s world, I think, the goals of a committed anarchist should be to defend some state institutions from the attack against them, while trying at the same time to pry them open to more meaningful public participation — and ultimately, to dismantle them in a much more free society, if the appropriate circumstances can be achieved.

Right or wrong — and that’s a matter of uncertain judgement — this stand is not undermined by the apparent conflict between goals and visions. Such conflict is a normal feature of everyday life, which we somehow try to live with but cannot escape.

***

With this in mind, I’d like to turn to the broader question of visions. It is particularly pertinent today against the background of the intensifying attempt to reverse, undermine, the dismantle the gains that have been won by long and often bitter popular struggle. The issues are of historic importance and are often veiled in distortion and deceit in campaigns to "convert the public to the point of view of the control pyramid". There could hardly be a better moment to consider the ideas and visions that have been articulated, modified, reshaped, and often turned into their opposite as industrial society has developed to its current stage, with a massive assault against democracy, human rights and even markets, while the triumph of these values is being hailed by those who are leading the attack against them — a process that will win nods of recognition from those familiar with what used to be called "propaganda" in more honest days. It is ominous from a human point of view.

Let me again start by sketching a point of view that was articulated by two leading 20th century thinkers, Bertrand Russell and John Dewey, who disagreed on a great many things, but shared a vision that Russell called "the humanistic conception" — to quote Dewey, the belief that the "ultimate aim" of production is not production of goods, but "of free human beings associated with one another on terms of equality". The goal of education, as Russell put it, is "to give a sense of the value of things other than domination", to help create "wise citizens of a free community" in which both liberty and "individual creativeness" will flourish, and working people will be the masters of their fate, not tools of production. Illegitimate structures of coercion must be unravelled; crucially, domination by "business for private profit through private control of banking, land, industry, reinforced by command of the press, press agents and other means of publicity and propaganda" (Dewey). Unless that is done, Dewey continued, talk of democracy is largely beside the point. Politics will remain "the shadow cast on society by big business, and the attenuation of the shadow will not change the substance". Democratic forms will lack real content, and people will work "not freely and intelligently, but for the sake of the work earned", a condition that is "illiberal and immoral". Accordingly, industry must be changed "from a feudalistic to a democratic social order" based on workers’ control, free association, and federal organisation, in the general style of a range of thought that includes, along with many anarchists, G.D.H. Cole’s guild socialism and such Marxists as Anton Pannekoek, Rosa Luxemburg, Paul Mattick, and others. Russell’s views were rather similar, in this regard.

Problems of democracy were the primary focus of Dewey’s thought and direct engagement. He was straight out of mainstream America, "as American as apple pie", in the standard phrase. It is therefore of interest that the ideas he expressed not many years ago would be regrded today in much of the intellectual culture as outlandish or worse, if known, even denounced as "anti-American" in influential sectors.

The latter phrase, incidentally, is interesting and revealing, as is its recent currency. We expect such notions in totalitarian societies. Thus in Stalinist days, dissidents and critics were condemned as "anti-Soviet", an intolerable crime; Brazilian neo-Nazi Generals and others like them had similar categories. But their appearance in much more free societies, in which subordination to power is voluntary, not coerced, is a far more significant phenomenon. In any milieu that retains even the memory of a democratic culture, such concepts would merely elicit ridicule. Imagine the reaction on the streets of Milan or Oslo to a book entitled "Anti-Italianism" or "The Anti-Norwegians", denouncing the real or fabricated deeds of those who do not show proper respect for the doctrines of the secular faith. In the Anglo-American societies, however — including Australia, so I’ve noticed — such performances are treated with solemnity and respect in respectable circles, one of the signs of a serious deterioration of ordinary democratic values.

The ideas expressed in the not very distant past by such outstanding figures as Russell and Dewey are rooted in the Enlightenment and classical liberalism, and retain their revolutionary character: in education, the workplace, and every other sphere of life. If implemented, they would help clear they way to the free development of human beings whose values are not accumulation and domination, but independence of mind and action, free association on terms of equality, and cooperation to achieve common goals. Such people would share Adam Smith’s contempt for the "mean" and "sordid pursuits" of "the masters of mankind" and their "vile maxim": "all for ourselves, and nothing for other people", the guiding principles we are taught to admire and revere, as traditional values are eroded under unremitting attack. They would readily understand what led a pre-capitalist figure like Smith to warn of the grim consequences of division of labour, and to base his rather nuanced advocacy of markets in part on the belief that under conditions of "perfect liberty" there would be a natural tendency towards equality, an obvious desideratum on elementary moral grounds.

The "humanistic conception" that was expressed by Russell and Dewey in a more civilised period, and that is familiar to the libertarian left, is radically at odds with the leading currents of contemporary thought: the guiding ideas of the totalitarian order crafted by Lenin and Trotsky, and of the state capitalist industrial societies of the West. One of these systems has fortunately collapsed, but the other is on a march backwards to what could be a very ugly future.

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