I used to not believe in that theory, but it looks like there is something to it. Perhaps by promptly removing litter, graffiti, etc., we can reduce crime in general.
I used to not believe in that theory, but it looks like there is something to it. Perhaps by promptly removing litter, graffiti, etc., we can reduce crime in general.
Rambo: I wonder what percentage of these murders are in some way drug-related? I’ve never seen actual numbers but would have to guess those numbers would be pretty high. It just seems that in so many of these cases drugs were at least the “chain of events” starter that led to alot of these murders; an ever present link in the chai
RL: Most of these Black on Black shootings in our big cities these days are gang warfare. And what sustains the gangs? The drug trade. Legalize the drug trade and for what purpose will the gangs exist? How will they make money? They may just fold up altogether. Those gangs are primarily money-making operations.
So since most of the shootings are gang related and the gangs exist because of the drug trade, I would say that probably the vast majority of these murders are drug-related in that sense. Not so much related to the consumption of drugs as in people getting high and crazy and blowing each other way but more related to the sale of drugs.
Rambo: Which brings up the question once again: should all drugs be legalized? A lot of Libertarian types say it’s the obvious solution to halt murderous gangersterism, but since Libertarians never get elected to anything, aren’t they just banging their heads against the wall? If all drugs were legalized, how would hardcore drug addicts get the money to acquire the narcotics they desire? Would drug-related crimes increase? Since addicts aren’t likely to be long-term job holders, how would this affect the society at large? It’s not an easy issue to address.
This has already been tried in a sense in Seattle and in some ways, it is being tried in other places like the city of Fresno very close to where I live.
In Seattle, possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine are legal. However, drug dealing is still illegal.
In Fresno, meth addicts state that police are not prosecuting meth possession crimes of under a certain amount. So users are carrying precisely this amount with them and possibly dealers are delivering packages in this precise amount. It’s not a tiny amount of meth either.
Legalizing possession of hard drugs in Fresno and Seattle has not led to a decline in drug use, of course. And since drug sales are not targeted and remain illegal, the problem of drug trade-fueled gangsterism obviously carries on regardless.
Legalization of cannabis promised to put a stop to all cannabis-related crimes, but now illegal street sales of cannabis are somehow competing with legal cannabis sales in cannabis shops. I’m not sure on what basis the illegal sales are competing. But legal cannabis is very heavily taxed, possibly taxed so highly that the price has become noncompetitive, and street sales can beat the cannabis shops on price. Border Patrol agents are still seizing huge amounts of marijuana at the border and arresting people for trying to smuggle it across, but this strikes me as absurd considering that restricted use and sales of the drug are already legal in much of the US.
In Seattle, police were arresting street people and the homeless, the vast majority of whom had either mental illnesses or drug addiction issues, regularly for all sorts of petty crimes. The local jails were overcrowded and typically they would be jailed for a month or two and then released. Police complained about a revolving door involving these petty offenders, but it’s hard to see what else could be done. This situation is very much ongoing.
Since use is legal, entire sections of downtown Seattle streets have been taken over by mostly homeless addicts using meth, cocaine, and heroin right out in the open. Low level drug dealing is also ubiquitous.
As a result of all of this, Seattle has become a magnet for homeless people all over the country who are flooding there due to the good treatment the homeless receive there. Nevertheless, downtown streets are now full of homeless people sleeping rough on the sidewalks. People going to work have to step over these human eyesores as they negotiate their way to their jobs very morning. Mentally ill homeless people regularly act loudly and frighteningly crazy right on the sidewalks and streets, creating huge embarrassing and scary scenes. Not much seems to be done about these lunatic ravers.
Perhaps most importantly, now that drug use is legal, addicts have swarmed to the city, and petty theft rates in local businesses have skyrocketed as addicts steal goods to pawn to buy their dope.
So, sure, partial legalization solves some problems, but it also creates a whole lot of new ones.
As usual, I have no ideas on how to ameliorate this situation. I’m going to throw up my hands on this one like I always do.
Rishi: Off topic, Robert, but what do you make of this news? It’s left me sad seeing the faces of the victims.
This stuff happens all the time, but keep in mind that the vast majority of those killed by Black criminals are just other Black people. Black criminals positively nuke their own people. If Blacks should be getting mad at anyone, they should be getting mad at their own criminal class which is devastating them. Blacks bear by far the largest brunt of the damage that these men cause, and of course, they are almost all men.
Whites are not particularly at risk of homicide from Blacks.
Blacks make up 13% of the population, yet only 16% of the killers of Whites are Blacks. However, 60% of Whites are killed by other Whites. The average White person you see on the street has an average risk of killing you.
The average Black person you see on the streets is 25% more likely to kill you a person of any race. Hispanics are 18% of the population and 21% of the killers of Whites. The average Hispanic is 16% more likely to kill you than a person of any race. 2% of Whites are killed by the combined group of Asians and Amerindians, which accounts for 7% of the US population. This group is actually the safest to be around if you are a White person. They are 70% less likely to kill you than the average person of any race. It’s much safer for Whites to be around Asians than to be around other White people!
Whites having a 25% increased risk of being murdered by Blacks and a 16% increased risk from Hispanics is not a large risk. It’s not like the average person of these races is 2, 3, 4, or 5 times more likely to kill you.
Note that that 25% elevated risk is taking into account all of the avoidance of Blacks and heavily Black neighborhoods that Whites engage in. So at the present rates of avoidance, the average Black person is only a bit more dangerous to you than the average White person. On the other hand, if you are a White person hanging out in the middle of the ghetto at night, everything is different.
Most Whites are killed by other Whites. If you are White and you get murdered, chances are another White person will have killed you. 84% of Whites are killed by non-Blacks. 1 in 6 murdered Whites are killed by Blacks. 5/6 are killed by non-Blacks. If you are murdered as a White person, chances are you will be killed by a non-Black person.
People don’t get it.
Black men are highly homicidal. Their homicide rate is fully 8X higher than that of White men. But they’re not real particular about who they kill. Actually in fact they are. Black killers massively over-select their own kind for homicide and appear to under-select or go out of their way to not kill Whites.
Black criminals kill everyone. They kill their own people (for the most part), they kill Whites, they kill Hispanics, they kill Asians. And they victimize all these groups for violent crime too. Black criminals simply prey on and kill other humans. If you’re human, you’re at risk from them.
This idea that these evil Black criminals are going out of their way to massacre, wage race war on, and even genocide our White race is a particularly ugly and nasty racist lie. Granted, these folks are murderous and some of us Whites are among their victims, but I assure you that they don’t go out of their way to select us for murder.
People wonder what real racism looks like. Well, it looks like this – this lie that Colin Flaherty et al are pushing. You want to print articles about Blacks killing Whites? Fine, if you run a newspaper. But if not, why not run articles about all of the other races being killed by these people too? Or run articles about every race getting kiled by every other race. In other words, leave race out of it. You’re writing about homicide, not race relations. Homicide isn’t a race problem. Homicide is a human problem, part of the human condition.
Because if you solely focus on Blacks killing Whites, you are pushing a racist lie that Black killers are preying on us Whites like hunters against prey, going out of their way to murder us for some reason, possibly due to their extreme racist hatred of us.
There is a very racist publication (and note that I don’t use the word racist lightly – I only use it where it absolutely applies) called New Nation News. Every month they print an issue of all of the Black on White homicides that month. In a typical month, there might be ~25. Of course most of the cases are very tragic.
If you read that and don’t know what’s going on, you will be outraged and infuriated. It will seem like Black killers are waging a genocidal war against us Whites. And you will start to hate Black people. The more articles you read like that, the more you will hate Black people. Which makes sense because the only reason White people write those articles is to get White people to hate Black people or hate them more if they already do. Their inciting people to anti-Black racism. It’s outrageous.
But that needs to be taken in context.
First of all, 83% of the victims of Black killers are other Blacks, 10% are Whites, 3% are Hispanics, 2% are Asians or Amerindians, and 2% are of unknown race.
Victims of Black Murderers Blacks Whites Hispanics Asians Unknown 83% 10% 3% 2% 2%
Since Whites make up 60% of the population but are only 10% of Black homicide victims, Black killers are going massively out of their way to avoid killing Whites. Why is that? Who knows? Blacks are 83% less likely to kill a White person than a person of any race. They are also 83% less likely to kill an Hispanic than a person of any race. And they are 67% less likely to kill an Asian than they are a person of any race. Obviously Blacks are going dramatically out of their way not to kill Whites and Hispanics and to a lesser extent Asians.
But they are 640% more likely to kill another Black person as they are a person of any race! So Blacks massively over-select for their own kind when it comes to choosing who to murder. They go wildly out of their way to preferentially kill their own kind while going seriously out of their way to avoid killing non-Blacks. They clearly have a strong preference for killing their own kind and a strong disinclination to kill non-Blacks.
Victims of Black Murderers Odds Ratios Blacks Whites Hispanics Asians +640% -83% -83% -67%
So while Blacks may have killed 27 Whites in the US in November, a similar article about Black victims would show that Blacks killed 224 of their own people in that same month! Holy homicide, Batman! That article would be almost 10 times longer than the one above and would contain almost 10 times more victims.
So what’s the real problem here? 27 White people getting killed by Blacks every month or 224 Black people getting killed by Blacks every month. Clearly the latter, no?
And this is the particularly vicious racist lie being pushed in these publications – that the murders of 27 Whites every month by Blacks is somehow a phenomenally worse problem than the 224 Blacks (8.3X more!) murdered by these same folks. I guess those 224 Black people don’t matter. Why should they? They’re just a bunch of fucking niggers, right? But when a White person is killed? Holy Moses! It brings the house down and it’s a national emergency. Whites lives matter! Black lives clearly don’t. I hate BLM but I will give them that one.
The very notion that one White homicide victims is a vastly worse moral offense than five Black homicide victims feels like an ugly racist lie to me. Black lives are only 1/8 the worth of White lives, if that? We are back to Dred Scott now and going even beyond that. What an appalling mindset.
In recent years there have been reports that in certain large cities, 98% of the homicides involved not only Black killers killing Black victims. In these cities where Black homicide rates are raging like Chicago (Chicongo – sorry, racist slang, but it still applies), New York, Philadelphia (Killadeldphia), Minneapolis, St. Louis, Baltimore, etc., sure, a lot of the rise is due to police backing off due to all of these stupid anti-cop BLM protests, but still, in all of those cases, almost all of the killers and victims are Black.
And the homicides are very closely associated with gang warfare, which accounts for the overwhelming majority of the killings. Racists freak out about this and scream and yell, but shouldn’t they be happy? Hey, the niggers they hate so much are Shoah’ing each other. Should be time for celebration, right, boys? Break out the champagne. Guess not.
If anything, these crime waves ought to make us feel overwhelming sympathy for any innocent Black lives that are taken by these killers.
We should also feel sad that Black America has descended this low and debased itself in this matter.
But these city massacres have about 0% to do us White people.
It’s basically a Black on Black Civil War. In a way, I hate to say it, but it’s really not even our problem. They started it and they’re continuing it. They own it. It’s their problem. Maybe they should sort it out.
You can only tilt at windmills for a while before a lot of people will figure out that it’s futile. Of course some keep trying to bail out the ocean and denying reality forever. We call those people Identity Politics types or SJW’s.
The problem with SJW’s is that they refuse to acknowledge that humans are humans. Most of the things SJW’s are screaming about are simply humans acting like humans or God forbid, men acting like men. Why have all of those men been getting fired lately for #metoo garbage. They were fired for acting like men. I’m afraid all men can do is act like men, just as all Mexicans can do is recreate Mexico. Perhaps as a higher version of itself, but nonetheless…
SJW’s and IP types remind me of the Soviets trying to create “the new Soviet man” or “the new man.” As a Leftist, that’s all fine and dandy of course except when it runs into the wall of human biology and human nature. In which case you are just building castles of sand.
No matter how much time you spend building them, they wash out with the next tide. Since humans can’t do anything but be human and men can’t do anything but be men, Identity Politics is doomed to fail. You can only re-engineer, or try to re-engineer, humans so much. At any rate, humans and men will keep relapsing back into humanness and man-ness despite any and all efforts. It’s a fool’s game.
I think also people resent being told they’ve been evil their whole lives. I know I do. I know I resent it when I wake up and find that with every new week there’s another damned word I’ve been using my whole life that is banned as evil bigotry. At some point I’m afraid we’re going to run out of words to ban. Blacks are already complaining about “blackmail, blacklisted, black holes,” etc. Let me know when we stop calling out the language police.
Worse, I wonder how any of this matters. If we stop saying “blackmail” because it hurts Black people’s poor widdle feelings, what is that ultimately going to do for the issues that plague Black America? And how many Black people stew every time someone says “blacklisted?” And suppose we do ban the word at least somewhat? What will happen? SJW retards will beam and feel a swell of accomplishment in their chests.
Ok. And then? Then the next weekend another several dozen people will be shot in Chicago in only 24 hours, that’s what. Another year will close where Los Angeles sets a new record for homicides. Another seven year old girl will get shot coming home from school. Another funeral will get shot up. Almost all of the people shooting these guns and getting hit by these bullets will be Black people.
You clowns actually thought that Black people in those cities are massacring each other because they’re mad that we use the word “blackmail” that makes them look bad? You morons actually thought that by banning a few perfectly good words that no one but idiots worry about anyway you were going to stop the ongoing Black bloodletting in our cities?
Polar Bear: Blacks on the other hand will steal your cheap plastic lawn chair. Blacks are always up to no good on my block.
I have a feeling this is more universal than we think. I was talking to a Brazilian woman I knew well. I told her,
“You don’t want to be racist against Blacks, but it’s hard.”
Meaning it’s hard for obvious reasons. She immediately commiserated and said,
Yes, it’s hard. Here in Brazil, we have a saying about Blacks. “If they don’t steal from you when they’re coming, they steal from you when they’re going.” (obviously in Portuguese).
In other words, “If they don’t steal from you when they come in, they steal from you when they leave.”
They don’t really act all that bad around here in my city except that they are ghetto as Hell. I made friends with one older Black man though. He hated Whites but I was able to get through to him. Later he saw me with a hot 23 year old part-Black woman, so now he probably likes me even more.
We just don’t have many Blacks in this town, period. Hence they cause few problems, and they tend to keep their heads down because they don’t have any numbers, which is what they ought to do anyway. When you only have a small % of Blacks in a city, they tend to act pretty good, mostly because they simply don’t have any numbers. They still cause problems. Blacks like that always cause problems. But they don’t cause mayhem like they do when they have larger numbers, and the difference between problems and mayhem is all the difference in the world.
Further, they are surrounded by Whites and Hispanics who almost always act better than they do. To their credit, these typically ghetto Blacks imitate the Whites and Hispanics around them and act a lot better.
A lot of them still act like shit but still act a lot less shitty than they ordinarily would. They’re still antisocial but they are antisocial in petty, neighborly ways and not in serious criminal ways. Like always asking to borrow money and then you never see the money again. They see you with an expensive object and they “request” that you give it to them. Just typical ghetto nig shit, but they won’t menace you if you don’t fork over your property, and you can always quit loaning them money.
All the young women in their 20’s have at least one kid, obviously with no man in sight. However, these basically ghetto women are quite well behaved.
Also around here the better behaved Blacks dislike the more ghetto ones like I just described. So there are varying degrees of morality even among a hardcore Black population.
In addition, the Whites and Hispanics simply will not put up with any shit at all from these ghetto Blacks. They call these Blacks on their tiniest antisocial bullshit, so that tends to nip the usually mandatory escalation in the bud. I have often thought that if these ghetto Blacks around here were living in a Black ghetto, they would act a lot worse.
It’s so obvious to me that even ghetto Blacks are not doomed to any particular behavior level. It’s also painfully clear to me that their own kind not only serve as horrific role models but also don’t call these Blacks on much of any of their antisocial bullshit. They don’t call them on the little stuff, and they probably don’t call them on the bigger stuff.
Humans aren’t stupid. They’ll get away with just about whatever the Hell you let them get away with. White people act quite good, but we aren’t angels, and every White community has its scumfucks. We are only human after all. Living in White communities my whole life, I was told and learned the hard way that (White) people will get away with just about whatever you let them get away with. So this isn’t a ghetto Black thing. It’s a human thing.
The behavior of even ghetto Blacks can be markedly improved.
First of all, they need to be a minority, preferably under 25%. 25% Black seems to be a tipping point in many cities, after which things start to go seriously to Hell in a handbasket. Below 25% Black, you can look at the statistics of various pathologies, and they don’t rise that much from 5 – 10 – 15 – 20% Black. The city remains more or less livable.
But somewhere between 20-30%, most cities tip over. What follows is probably White flight, usually slow rather than fast, and worse than that is that the decently behaved Blacks (of which there are many – many millions!) start taking off too. Well-behaved Blacks aren’t stupid. They’re not going to sit around in some ghettoizing shithole due to racial solidarity. Sanity and safety trumps racial consciousness any day of the week.
This does not apply to wealthy Black areas like Ladera Heights in Los Angeles, and it probably doesn’t apply to small Black towns in the South where a remarkably decent authentic Black culture is often present.
Second of all, the small population of Blacks needs to be a part of a better behaved larger population, preferably White, Hispanic, or Asian. Ghetto Blacks act remarkably better even in majority-Hispanic cities because Hispanic pathologies are much exaggerated and they act better than most people think.
Third, the larger population needs to call these ghetto Blacks on their antisocial shit, starting with the most petty neighborly BS. Just shut it down before it even starts. Either due to this or due to the general environment, the better behaved Blacks start shutting down the bad actors too. People, even supposedly irredeemable ghetto Blacks, do respond to harsh correction at the societal level.
In England, the poor and peasants lived off what was called The Commons. This was royal land but they didn’t have much use for it other than foxhunting, so they didn’t care. People had enough to eat and often made a lot of their stuff or bought it from nearby tradesmen. There was a small capitalist economy made up of selling agricultural produce, meat, and mostly the small tradesmen, most of whom didn’t even hire labor. There were hardly any hired laborers because everyone had all they needed.
The capitalists decided that they needed to develop a capitalist economy. They had a problem. No workers. All of the workers were living off the land doing fine on their own. The capitalists would have to drive them off the land, proletarianize and impoverish them in large cities, where they would make up the reserve army of labor Marx’s discusses.
So the Commons was fenced off. The people lost all their livelihood because they no longer had any land to live off. They moved to the cities as an impoverished, downtrodden, often starving proletariat, where they formed large miserable slums. Crime rose. The capitalists starated building factories in the cities. With this newfound reserve army of labor, the capitalists now had captured workers who had their livelihood tied to their job at the factory. The capitalists waved the threat of impoverishment and starvation over anyone who complained.
A similar thing actually happened in the American West and in fact this was how capitalism in the American West actually developed, believe it or not. Herders versus farmers wars, common in the West and still in many parts of the world (Sudan, Northern Nigeria) are similar in that they also involve driving farmers off the land but also quite different as the land is taken over to grazing by herders. But now this new landless class or former landholders was proletarianized and stuck as a reserve army of labor for the development of capitalism in the West.
A similar thing was done with the railroads. The government was getting very worried about all of the people who were just living off the land on their own. At first, the state gave people small plots because this helped in the theft of land from the Indians which was essential for the development of the nation.
But by the late 1800’s this had become a liability. So vast tracts of land were given to the railroads before homesteaders could snap them up. In this way, the development of rural self-sufficiency in the countryside could be slowed and the creation of a large impoverished, hungry class of workers could form in the city slums to serve as the reserve army of labor for the development of capitalism in the West. Until recently, Southern Pacific had large landholdings in the West.
Based on James Ellroy’s novel of the same name. I’ve never read any of his stuff, but I’m told that he’s great.
Quite a movie!
Anyone here watched it?
Interestingly, True Romance, Mulholland Drive (had to be), Se7en (believe it or not!), and LA Confidential (duh) were all set in LA! Of course, I am an LA man myself, born and raised. I was born in Inglewood, believe it or not. That was when it was livable, before it become Inglewatts.
Even after it became Inglewatts, we still went to the LA Forum there all the time to see rock concerts. Also the LA Lakers always played at the forum. It was Black and dangerous when we went to concerts there, but you just parked in the parking lot, and it wasn’t that big of a deal.
Just try not to get out of your car on the way in or out if you can help it. You really don’t want to be in the hood after dark. I’ve been in the hood many times in daytime, mostly driving but sometimes even walking (!) around. It’s not particularly dangerous but I didn’t go far away from my workplace. There are some crackhead women out there, but they’re not really dangerous. They’re just nuts.
Never had any problems walking or driving around the hood in the daytime all my years except for one time when I was a boy, and that was in Watts.
I did go to Lynwood at night once though. I used to drive around there all the time ion daytime to go out to get lunch. It was nothing.
But once I went there after dark for some insane reason, and I was absolutely terrified. I was at a red light, and the guys in the car in front of me all turned around and looked right at me. They were all Black or Hispanic or mixed (that’s quite a common mix in the hood nowadays, especially in Lynwood). The looks on their faces were of stark, homicidal hostility and perhaps incredulity that I was even there at all.
Seriously, don’t go to the hood at night if you can help it. Day and night are two different worlds in the hood. One’s doable but not optimal by any means (mostly bad scenery), but the other is sheer, utter terror.
Jason: I’m sorry you had a rough time in LA – but I wouldn’t take it to heart.
Ah, it’s ok, man. That was a long time ago. I get over things. Here’s another meaning of life lesson. Get over stuff. Don’t hold grudges. Sure it made you mad when it happened back then but that was then and this is now. Drop it. Get over it. It’s the past and the past is dead.
Life’s basically a shit test, right? Well that was one serious shit test, teaching those Black kids. But from 10th-12th grade, they act pretty good. That’s because you can legally drop out by 10th grade and all the bad ones are on the street, in juvenile hall, or dead. The only ones that are there want to be there.
They won’t do any work of course, but they are quite jolly, and the whole class is pretty much a sort of chatty party. I gave up on trying to get them to do any work. I would just go over and sit with the kids and join the chat party, usually. They were very friendly so it was easy to join their chat party. And get paid $20/hour for doing so, too. And this was 30 years ago. It’s probably a lot more now.
The Black administrators know it’s a fucking zoo, and they basically don’t care. It’s sort of like a an actual warzone. You’re a hero just for showing up on the front and you’re a hero just for surviving another day alive. The Black admins treat you like a rescuing hero just for showing up for work.
“Whoa! Look at this heroic White man, come to the fort to teach our people!”
Plus they figure you’re not that racist because no racist White would do a job like that. I don’t care what SJW’s say. They just wouldn’t. Everyone who is there is there by choice.
Jason: Well, people are always saying “man up” – but honestly, if you were saying “join the KKK”, then that stuff bothered you.
Well, yeah. Sure it bothered me. It stresses you out really bad. Sometimes on break I would fume and rage in my classroom alone, pounding on desks and cursing to myself. I used to have a lot of fantasies.
I’m not sure if I fantasized about killing them, though I might have. A lot of them pretty much deserved it, but they wouldn’t be worth the homicide rap. Anyway even a lot of them probably start acting a lot better in adulthood if they even make it that far, so murdering them in their temporary sociopathic youth wouldn’t be right ha ha..
I do remember fantasies of tying them to their chairs so they couldn’t pop up out of their chairs every 30 seconds like human jack-in-the-boxes. That actually didn’t seem all that cruel to me, and it seemed to be the only sane way to deal with them.
Jason: It’s just that majorities tend to be tyrannical – picking on the minority – especially if you got on their bad side.
I’ve seen them act pretty bad towards Black teachers too, especially Black men. I saw a couple of Black men who looked like they were being driven insane or to ill health by those kids.
One man had bloodshot eyes – hypertension or heart disease? The poor guy looked like his heart was going to literally explode and splatter all over the room. I felt so sorry for him.
Another poor Black man, a fellow sub, actually was literally being driven crazy. He was shaking, raging at the kids, and he’d also turned paranoid. He was start shaking and raging at the kids and the kids would start ridiculing him. The Black boys would say, “Ohhhhhh, you’re niiiiiiiice.”
It was mean but their insults were actually pretty funny. They’re evil but a lot of them are still pretty damn funny. I talked to him though, and I really liked him a lot and vice versa. He wasn’t a bad person. Just a good person being driven insane by bad people.
There was a light-skinned Black man, a fellow sub, who was being driven crazy by them too. He and I became pretty good friends. He would come over to my class and help me teach or hang out with me on breaks. I forget why he was in the class with me. I think we were teaching the class together for some insane reason.
This was all at junior highs in Compton and one in LA. For some reason the female teachers control them a lot better at that age.
Black kids are a handful, man, especially in the ghetto. Black adults act far better than Black kids. Imagine teaching a class full of Black adults. Unless it’s a class in a prison, they probably act pretty damn good if they’re civilized enough to set foot in a classroom as an adult.
Now, why would some comment about Black teenage fathering push the brats overboard?
They’re ghetto shits, typical ghetto monsters. It was at a place called Centennial High School. You can look it up. And I was in Compton right next to Willowbrook, too. Which is right next to Watts. Even in the hood some places are better than others. That for example would be the very deepest and frankly Blackest heart of Compton.
As you get deeper and deeper into the hood, people seem angrier and angrier, and there’s more and out and out ghetto nig behavior. But it’s not real dangerous, at least in daytime. I used to leave a lunch and walk over to fast food joints and buy food. There were just crazy crackhead women walking around, but they aren’t dangerous. They’re just nuts.
And even the Black teachers start looking hostile, especially the women, and Black teachers are generally quite nice and civilized. They just look pissed off and when they saw me, they got even more pissed off. Their faces got this stone cold, hard, and determined look. Resentment, I would call it.
And the faces on the residents actually get darker too. Go to the hood sometime and drive towards Watts if you dare. Once you get to Watts the Blacks themselves will actually be a lot darker. I saw Blacks in Watts who had faces that were so Black they were almost blue, blue-black or very deep purple. The behavior and the humans themselves get darker as you move deeper into the heart of the ghetto.
PB: Poles stayed in Detroit. Most Whites left, as Trash said. Can’t be easy to “save” there.
Some Poles are still in Detroit, right? Detroit’s like ~90% Black. I hate to say it, but let this be a warning sign. Any good-sized city in the US that gets to ~90% Black, well, I’m not optimistic about that place to put it mildly.
Even Blacks don’t want to live with Blacks, believe it or not. I mean they don’t mind living with their own kind, but they do not want to live in majority-Black places. When asked what sort of racial environment they prefer, most Blacks checked “diverse.” That would mean Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians and maybe Indians, etc.
I’ll say one thing for Black people. They aren’t stupid in some very important ways. Black people are very good at “adaptive” thinking.
They have a knack for cutting to the chase and getting right down to basics, screw all the emo BS. In the above case, instead of using emo thinking and thinking and saying they want to live in majority Black places, they’ve figured out with intellectual honesty that those places are are often not real great.
Not great for non-Blacks, sure, but also very much not great for Black people either. And a “diverse” community is indeed probably one of the better places for a Black person to reside. Good on them for figuring that out instead of retreating into lame emotional thinking that’s bad for their best interests.
Blacks look out for their best interests politically better than any other race. There’s no reason at all that ~90% of Blacks should not vote Democrat. Blacks are adaptive and intellectually honest enough to figure out that the White Republican Party is not their friend.
Polar Bear: As far as Hollywood as a gay mecca, Eyes Wide Shut is the closest most will see of it, but there are always VIP orgy gatherings. Kat Williams, Richard Nixon, and others have walked into some gay shit. Spirit cooking parties, Bohemian Grove, etc. are on record. I don’t believe they’re all gay, but gay sex is part of the rituals.
The music industry is highly involved in this stuff too. Check out Celine Dion promoting transgender baby clothes.
Any A-list star with long lasting fame has done some rituals. Don’t do the ritual? Go make low budget movies. If you don’t play ball, you’re a one-hit wonder or an underground artist.
I am afraid that Polar Bear is onto something here. I was around that place for many years. Hell, I practically lived there on weekends. It’s a blast but it’s insanely fagged out and so degenerate it almost makes you want to puke. And I’m a libertine!
Hollywood is a mean, vicious town. It literally eats people alive, chews them up, and spits them out when it’s done with them. Las Vegas is another cruel town. It also eats people alive and bulimically vomits them out when it’s done. Neither town gives a damn about you – or anyone, really.
Both towns are all about money and the nice things that money can buy, like everything in the world, including humans for sex – sex which is pretty much pump and go to the club to grab a new one. There’s narcissism everywhere in Hollywood. Hollywood literally breathes, eats, sleeps, and even shits narcissism. Narcissism is the gas, Hollywood is the engine. No narcissism, no Hollywood.
Both towns are predatory, with the rich preying on the poor suckers filled with the naive hope of fame or riches in both places. Both cities seem soulless and post-Christian or possibly never even Christian in the first place, as in heathen.
Both Hollywood and Vegas are in a race for the bottom behavior-wise, and no one gives a damn in either place. No one gives a damn about what? Anything. No one gives a damn about anything.
A lot of people move to Hollywood and LA to party their brains out for a while and then die. LA is literally a suicide trip for a lot of people. If narcissism is the gas for the Hollywood engine, nihilism is the exhaust.
Check out Sunset Boulevard in cinema, Nathaniel West or John Rechy in literature, or the Eagles, X, and the Germs in music for more. LA’s right on the edge of the sea after all. One earthquake and it all falls into the surf. LA is literally the end of a continent, and after you spend some time there, it really feels like it. It’s a lot of fun if you can take it, but it’s basically a stone evil town with pretty much zero morals about anything.
Blacks will never understand White feelings towards them because they did not grow up in our culture. If Blacks grew up in White culture, and yes, it is absolutely a thing despite what the White self-haters say, Blacks would have figured this out a long time ago. More than anything else, it is a set of values. Fairly strict and serious values, not as serious as the Asians, but pretty damned serious, especially with very strict rules about politeness, appropriate behavior, and whatnot.
If you consistently go below the bar in White culture, people will get in your face, scream and yell at you, cause huge scenes in public. Scenes in public are outrageous in White culture and either mean someone is deranged or someone is in horrible violation of codes.
If you consistently violate the moral rules of White culture like 50% of Blacks routinely do, in White society, you will literally be thrown out of restaurants, stores, and homes, and people will make big scenes when they do it.
People will even start retaliating against you – throwing rocks at you, stealing your stuff, vandalizing your property. Someone might leave dogshit on your front porch. And you are cruising for a bruising too. You simply going to get hit if you keep this up.
For this reason, there are multitude of things that “You just don’t do!” in this nonexistent White culture of ours. A lot of the time it is too strict. I was fired from a job for taking a sick day on the 10th day of a new job. The response from the depraved Normie faggot boss who fired me: “You just don’t do that! You just don’t do that!” But I was sick.
Whites do not look at “Black culture” because there is no such thing. There are various Black cultures here in the US, maybe 20-30 of them. Quite a few are functional. Alpha has shown me this and I am very thankful to her for that. I will be indebted to her for this for the rest of my life.
But there are certain Black cultures, mostly urban and modern, which fall into the rubric of ghetto or low class Black cultures. Perhaps 50% of Blacks live in cultures of this type.
They are different but they all have certain things in common. In these cultures the sort of behavior that will very quickly make you persona non-grata in any White community is done habitually, casually, on a daily basis without a thought in the world. And that’s when they are acting pretty good.
When they are acting bad, which is very regularly, their behavior is off the charts menacing, criminal, dangerous and often deranged, unfathomable, or simply insane.
In White communities, we don’t deal with much open criminal behavior. Armed robbery and homicides are rare. We feel safe most of the time. We usually don’t feel menaced except by a few psychos and punks who everyone hates.
Black cultures in the US have six times more crime and eight times more violent crime than White societies. You can’t expect Whites to not notice or react to discrepancies like that! But if we notice it we’re evil!
Blacks never grew up in our White culture, so they will never understand what sort of otherworldly violations of our moral and politeness cultural rules so many Blacks engage in as automatically as breathing.
Further, those of us who are liberal are concerned. Bad Black culture mostly impacts Black people. Antiracists literally don’t care about how these cultures holocaust their own Black communities because even to acknowledge this fact is racist in and of itself. For these Blacks, mention of the facts above are all bad PR, so it’s like the problems are not even there.
Blacks get their pride and ego hurt by the truths of Black culture and behavior, so they shut it all down, deny that these truths exist, project the bad Black behavior onto Whites, and claim that Whites are the awful, criminal, evil people. This stuff is Psychology 100.
But we White liberals care so much more than antiracist types about the devastating effects of Black cultures on Black people themselves than antiracists do. To us it looks like a Holocaust. We see how many Blacks are horribly victimized, damaged, traumatized, assaulted, robbed, beat up, shot at, and even murdered by their own culture. Our sympathy is with these Black victims.
Antiracists literally do not care about these victims because to acknowledge them hurts their feelings, so it’s off the table. Fighting evil racism is more important that acknowledging the truths about Black cultures and showing sympathy for these urban battlefields full of wounded and killed Blacks that their own culture causes. Fighting racism is more important than the Holocaust of Black victims of their own cultures.
We want to help the victims. We want to ameliorate the problem. We look out there and see Black society at large as a clusterfuck, a public health crisis (the Black victims are actually a public health crisis in and of themselves), and near warzones. You can’t expect liberals not to be concerned with literal warzones as bad as Iraq in our big cities.
Mostly this does not affect us because we are not victimized by it. 90% of the victims are Black. We care about these people – care much more than antiracists. It breaks our hearts.
We are appalled. And we are shocked. Shocked that these conditions exist in our society. It’s a black eye and an embarrassment.
Because this is a clusterfuck and a holocaust of Black people, some liberals care. It’s obvious that there are problems here.
This caring means we are literally evil.
We are not pessimists. We do not think this situation is genetically doomed. We are trying to figure out why it happens and make some suggestions for improving this matter – in order to save Black lives, preserve Black bodies, make Black cities livable, and to keep so many Blacks from being victimized.
And for this, the antiracists condemns us. Why? It’s embarrassing. It hurts their egos. It’s humiliating.
Well, we care more about helping all those Black victims than we about the hurt egos of antiracists, sorry about that.
I always wondered why is Jazz so popular among people living in former Soviet bloc countries.
On the other hand, I met many Brits (and Americans) who not only hate Jazz but any of its paraphernalia. You just have to mention Jazz and the conversation will end right there. Maybe it’s old-fashioned today to be swinging to Jazz beats? But then there’s Latin Jazz which is phenomenal.
Maybe my experiences were subjective. But, I did encounter so many Jazz-haters. I couldn’t believe my ears: “how can anyone hate such a soulful, melodious music.”
I love Jazz because it has a hint of romance in every beat. Jazz is the rhythm of the most beautiful life.
Most of us rockers don’t hate jazz. At worst we find it rather boring. We hate jazz fans or jazzholes as we call them! See below.
Jazz is very nice music and it is often also very good music. The great Black jazz musicians like Coltrane and Miles Davis were absolutely out of this world. I mean they were in another category altogether – sort of on a higher plane.
I don’t like “jazzholes.” A lot of jazz fans are like that. They are anti-hipsters who hate rock and roll and think it is stupid and lowbrow, except that it’s not. They think they are intellectual and sophisticated, often wear suits even as young men, despise hipsters, refuse to smoke pot or do any drugs at all and instead prefer to drink alcohol, preferably the hard stuff in mixed drugs.
I always considered them to be a bunch of squares and never liked them very much. Jazz versus rock got caught up in the anti-hippie culture wars on the 1960’s-1080’s which at its mildest form simply hated rock music and pot and at its worst hated long hair and the whole nine yards.
Jazz isn’t British music. British music is rock and roll!
Jazz came out of the US and it all came from Black people. The roots were all the way back to the 20’s and it was long associated with a drug-using, mostly Black underground in big US cities like New York where the scene was big Harlem.
I have no idea why jazz is so popular in the former Soviet bloc.
The jazz underground has always been associated with Black people and drugs even from its early days in the 1920’s.
The drug back then was mostly marijuana which was widely demonized back then because it was mostly used by Blacks and Hispanics. Whites who used it were more or less White niggers or wiggers so to speak.
My Mom has believed this garbage her whole life. She keeps bringing it up. She got infected with this propaganda way back as a girl. This shows how strong propaganda is and how it has the potential to override all reason.
This is where the myth the crazed psychotic violent pot crazed murdering maniac comes from – the fact that most pot users were either city Blacks or low-skilled Mexican workers. These people were considered to be violent types – and they are more violent than Whites. They also used pot, so it was assumed that the pot and violence went together except that it didn’t and if anything it probably calmed them down.
There were also a few notorious cases in which unstable pot smokers went wild and committed some savage murders. The relationship of pot with these cases is unknown but back then, few people smoked pot, but one thing was for sure – almost all criminals, even White criminals, smoked pot. In fact it was seen as a drug of criminals which is why a lot of people didn’t want to use it.
The completely serious movie (now a so bad it’s great movie) Reefer Madness is emblematic of the anti-pot propaganda of the time.
A man named Henry J. Anslinger headed the Drug Enforcement Agency back then, and he had some sort of a hard-on for pot for some crazy reason. He led the anti-pot campaign in the US for many years starting in the 1930’s. He was more of a brainwashed (and racist) fool than anything else, but he damaged the lives of a lot of innocent pot smokers.
Of course anyone who has smoked pot knows that it calms you down. I knew Jack Herrer, a famous post activist.
He told me that when he was in jail and prison, prisoners who smoked pot always calmed down a lot and became less aggressive and violent. He said some of the wardens even turned a blind eye to pot use for his reason. In fact, the passivity that this drug causes is one of its biggest problems, as people get lost in their bong hits and become apathetic as the world passes them by.
This amotivational syndrome is mostly an issue for teenagers and young adults and it is quite common among young potheads. However, I have hardly ever met an adult past age 23 who had amotivational syndrome, as most even very heavy pot-smokers develop the work ethic needed to survive in our society by that age.
Teenagers and young adults are notoriously apathetic and poorly motivated as it is, since they have not yet been beaten over the head with the Reality Stick of Life. Encapsulate such a young person in a perennial cloud of pot smoke, and it just makes the laziness and lack of guidance, direction, and purpose typical of this age group all the worse.
Anyway, the jazz scene lingered in mostly Black and rather sleazy nightclubs in ghettos where nevertheless a lot of lowlife White types who lived my sort of lifestyle liked to go to slum it up on weekends. White men have been slumming it up forever. There is a cool element to it as long as you do not get too taken in by it.
Cocaine and heroin were also pretty widely widely used in this scene – cocaine all the way back to the 1920’s, when we were already getting warnings about the insidious nature of this drug. Heroin was always around too, as it’s always been in the ghettos. It got more popular in the 1950’s and many great Black jazz musicians become junkies.
Psychedelics were never popular, as not only were they not around then, but also people in the ghettos and barrios of big cities have never been big psychedelic fans.
Psychedelics actually do expand your awareness and exaggerate whatever environment you are in. This is great for self-exploration if you have a fairly cozy life, but if your life blows for any reason, you might just have a bad trip.
I kept a hit of strong LSD in my refrigerator for two years until I finally felt that my head was perfectly clear and sane enough to take the stuff. The importance of what is called set and setting is extremely important for drugs like this. Psychedelics are not escapist drugs – they are the opposite.
As Blacks and Hispanics in city ghettos and barrios are usually living anywhere from a hardscrabble to nightmarish existence, the last they want to is to take a drug that makes that very existence about 10 times as powerful as it is.
On the other hand, PCP was popular in the Black and Hispanic communities, but it is not a psychedelic per se, as it is more of an anesthetic – it was originally an animal tranquilizer, and people used to refer to it as “elephant tranquilizer,” which was exactly what it was used for.
Yes, that stuff was actually used to literally knock out massive elephants. Now think about a drug that is strong enough to put an elephant on its ass and try to imagine what it will do to a comparatively puny human.
The PCP experience can be profoundly weird, but I suppose it is also a form of escapism, as when you use PCP you are basically traveling to another planet right here on Earth. Going all the way to another planet while never leaving your own is about as powerful as escapism gets, I would say.
From the web:
A well-placed EMP blast country-wide and a few nukes in five major cities (DC, NYC, Chicago, LA, and Mountain View, California) would solve the problem once and for all without causing too many millions of deaths, and I say this as someone well within the fallout zone of one of those cities.
I think you would find many, many Americans wailing and gnashing their teeth, and many more dancing in the streets and shouting some variation of “Thank God Almighty, I am free at last!” for as long as it were safe. The former would come around, having no other realistic option.
These paragraphs are difficult but it’s an interesting thought scenario. How would Americans react if a nuke hit us? Anyone?
I am not going to get down with dropping a nuke anywhere in the USA, not even if radical feminists had their own state. No wait. Let me think about that one for a second, ok?
Anyway, I may be a lot of things, but I am not a traitor. I don’t want my country to suffer. God knows it’s screwed up enough as it is. That’s obvious to anyone who lives here and doesn’t have their ears, eyes and mouth shut tight. You want to make this place even worse than it already is? Really? Why!?
This is one of the reasons I oppose illegal immigration. The illegals are screwing up my country. Every city that gets taken over by illegals goes to Hell in a sense, even if it’s a low-crime Hell. At the very least Idiocracy takes over, there are gangs everywhere, there’s a bit of low level ripoff here and there, and there is a sort of feeling of general decline from when the place was White. You end up with something like a somewhat upgraded version of Mexico.
Cities full of legal Hispanic immigrants with green cards or Hispanic-Americans, either born here or naturalized, are quite different. They are always at least a grade above an illegal immigrant-struck city.
I’ve got no real complaints against foreigners who wish to live here. Just be born here or come in with the visa. I don’t ask for much more. Is that too much to ask? I guess it is.
Yes, I can sort of figure out the IQ’s of the people I talk to, especially on the lower end. But it’s better if you spend some time around them so you can really get a handle on them.
For instance, the average Hispanic IQ is 90. My city is full of Hispanics. After a bit, you get a feel for the “average Hispanic” in my town and just how intelligent they are. So there’s your 90 IQ. Now a 90 IQ? They’re not stupid at all. 85 is when people start appearing dumb. But even though they are not dumb at all, I would describe them as “not that smart.”
Your average White has an IQ of 100. I lived in an all-White working class town for a long time. Once again you figure out how smart the average White person is in town and there’s your 100 IQ right there. A person with a 100 IQ does not appear dumb at all.
Nor do they seem like they are “not that smart.” They are quite intelligent and they always surprise me. But they don’t seem like the type of people who we think of as “brainy” (higher than average intelligence) and most of them give off the impression that they didn’t go to university. A lot of them are doing blue collar or working class jobs and they are quite happy that way.
Now that I have lived in two towns, one with 100 IQ and one with ~93 IQ (most of whom are ~90 IQ), I can tell you right off the bat that the difference is absolutely remarkable.
I was driving around with a friend the other day and he noted that there was sort of a general decline in this Hispanic city compared to an all-White town.
I told him, “That’s the difference of 10 IQ points you are seeing.”
It’s hard to see much intelligence difference at the individual level between average level IQ’s, but you can definitely see cumulative effects when you have two cities, both with average IQ’s, which are 10 points apart.
The decline is hard to describe in words as it encompasses a lot of things. But at that level the town looks somewhat fallen apart, decrepit and has a general lackadaisical, don’t give a damn attitude about it. Now mind you the decline is not great. I hate to say it but it’s nothing like the decline when a city from White to Black. But it’s definitely there.
A city going from White to Hispanic definitely undergoes somewhat of a decline and it’s absolutely noticeable.
Lot of interesting food for thought here.
From a conversation on the Net. I didn’t write the text below! So please don’t blame me for it. Another man wrote this in the course of a conversation I was having with him on a website, American Renaissance of all places.
What I have noticed is that you have a tipping point that changes a community. Let’s say you are in a community of 90% White and 10% Black. The community will largely reflect White values and norms. If you have 60% Black, 40% White, things shift, and the community largely reflects Black norms.
And it is similar if we use I.Q. instead of race or some other measure. What has happened is mainstream American culture has radically changed since 1950 or even 1980.
I have witnessed this myself. You have massive amounts of crime and corruption everywhere, along with a lack of professionalism, and a lack of accountability (for bad police, bad teachers, bad CEOs etc.). Even in majority White areas there is usually this culture of incompetence.
With the huge influx of Mestizos you have a blending of American culture- American society just tends to look and act a little more Mestizo, as the genetic tendencies and intelligence of the community become more like Mestizos.
In the early 1900’s you had the opposite effect in the United States, which blossomed into the 1950’s heyday.
Germans are one of the most successful people in the world. Germany is generally cleaner, less corrupt, and more prosperous than other European nations. And where Germans go their success usually follows. There was a huge influx of German immigrants to here around the early 1900’s. More Germans immigrated in the United States than any other group (although the Irish come close).
This had a civilizing effect on America. The English are very similar to Germans but they had largely sent their criminals, chronically poor, etc. to populate their colonies. America blossomed into a clean, well oiled, low corruption society. After WW2 Operation Paper Clip brought Nazi scientists to the U.S., we had the greatest innovation the world has ever seen. Most scientific inventions seem to be done by white males of Germanic ancestry.
Similarly, a large influx of Yiddish Jews contributed to the financial dominance of the United States in the world and the country’s dominance in the arts (such as Hollywood).
After the 1950s, as we began to get immigrants from less successful races, we have seen the effect on our society- we are less competitive in the world of cutting edge science (although we still hold the lead), corruption is more commonplace, and academic test scores are down (although there is a lot of effort to conceal this fact).
American society more and more resembles a Second or Third World nation and less resembles the exceptional achievements you find in German or Yiddish communities.
Incidentally, a lot of the anti-illegal immigration Trumpies actually want what’s best for the country too. I dislike a lot of the fanatical attitude about these folks and in particular the way Trump is going about it which is unnecessarily harsh and yes, divisive. But I do believe in giving credit where it’s due. Just because I dislike Trump supporters doesn’t mean that their hearts are in the right place on some issues.
Importing vast numbers of low-IQ, poorly educated peasants from Third World Mesoamerican countries doesn’t seem to benefit the US one bit. Everywhere these people settle in large numbers turns into something of a slum. Not nearly as bad as a Black ghetto but usually a decline from a previously existing White locale.
Illegal aliens are not good for America. Illegals are bad for America. They drive down wages while driving up rents. Their descendants increase the crime rate by 3.3X. And there are no jobs that Americans won’t do. I lived in a White working class town for many years and there was not one job that a White person would not do, including many that are the illegal-lovers say Americans won’t do.
Farm work is a bit different, but around here, a lot of legal immigrants and even 2nd generation American citizens (possibly anchor babies) go out and work in the fields. In fact, by age 18-23, many former gang associated types are out working in the fields! Isn’t that incredible? From gangbanging to picking crops in the fields, something Americans won’t do.
It’s not all illegals out in the fields or in the packing houses. I hear about jobs in those places regularly and I often hear, “You need papers.” So they’re only hiring people who are here legally. In fact I have heard in the last few years that a lot of the farms and ranches are requiring papers for field work.
I was told that this is one reason why a lot of the illegals are going home. I suppose I am guilty of furthering this problem. After all, I like to hire young illegal alien Mexican women as maids. I mostly do this to try to seduce them because I’m a scumbag, but I also like to get the place cleaned up and help them out.
First of all this whole rather offensive “a Black a block” theory only applies to low class or ghetto Blacks who are causing all the problems. The middle class Blacks get furious every time I bring up this theory, but I’ve got some news for you: We aren’t talking about you! You are not part of the Black a block theory. We don’t think middle class Blacks need to be spread out in order to act more civilized. They already act ok as it is.
Sam: “A Black a block. Spread em out and civilize em!”
This has already been tried and shown to fail. The study of this was done in Memphis Tennessee. They tore down the public housing and everyone went to Section 8. Everywhere they moved crime followed them.
Your comment is not correct. Yes crime went up in the areas they moved to but they followed the Blacks from public housing to the new neighborhoods and they did act somewhat better in the new places. They committed somewhat less crime in the new places than they did in public housing, so it was a net win for society.
In fairness to the idea that spread out they are not so bad we should note that they did seem to cluster on section 8 but it was because there was only so much lower cost housing.
So they weren’t really spreading them out so much after all.
Sam: This plague of black criminals was of course was foisted on poor Whites by the rich.
If Black crime goes up in White areas but goes down overall, is it worth it? I argue that it is. It doesn’t particularly matter where Blacks commit their crime, and 90% of the victims of Black violent crime are other Blacks anyway. I argue that if Black crime goes up in White areas it is still worth it because Black crime went down overall. We want the lower class Black crime rate going down. It doesn’t particularly matter where they commit their crimes. As long at the rate goes down, it’s all good.
Sam: The real solution is to build mass high rise housing projects. The basic idea is sort of like what they had in the Soviet Union but refined. With mass production they could very low cost.
They already tried that. Google Cabrini Green. It didn’t seem to work. Crime was very high in those high rise projects for whatever reason. There was a theory for a while that there was more crime in the high rises and the idea was to spread them out to one or two stories. Not sure how it worked as public housing in Watts such as Nickerson Gardens (puns anticipated) is very low-rise like that, and those places are Hell.
Jason Y writes:
Towns full of low class Whites are not ruined, but they’re full of swindler types, thieves. Also, they’re full of drug addiction (pain pills specifically).
But you can live there. But you don’t want to get too close to many of them, and you need security.
Hispanic neighborhoods are much the same. They’re not wrecked at all really, and you can absolutely live there. Maybe you will think they are not much fun, but no man ever died of boredom.
But Hispanic neighborhoods are full of lousy human beings, not all Hispanics. There are some ghetto Blacks there too, and they are pretty lousy. The lousy Hispanics will generally leave you alone, which peace you won’t get in a ruined Black city. As long as you don’t make friends with them, you are ok.
Even the ghetto Blacks act far better in my city than they would in your typical ruined Black hellhole. That is because they don’t have any numbers, so that right there makes them act a lot better for some reason. They are still absolutely ghetto Blacks with all that that implies, but these ghetto Blacks are far better behaved than the ones in Detroit or whatever.
The reason is that when ghetto Blacks are only a small minority, they don’t ruin places and they act a lot better. The Hispanics and Whites here act a lot better than ghetto Blacks, so perhaps being around folks who act better causes these ghetto Blacks to improve their behavior via good examples the way the Talented Tenth used to provide good examples for behavior and hold down the fort in Black neighborhoods of yore.
Also for some other reasons they tend to act better. Perhaps they feel completely outnumbered, so they get a lot less bold and try to constrain their behavior due to fear. Any bad behavior gets their asses called out way more around here than in Baltimore. Whatever the reason, small populations of Blacks of any kind don’t seem to cause a lot of mess. They still cause problems, don’t get me wrong. But they don’t cause mayhem, which is what they do in Newark.
Avram Davidson was a well-known science fiction writer. You can look him up on Wikipedia if you wish. He was a friend of my fathers. He was my friend too. I knew him quite well. He was an Orthodox Jew but I hate to admit that he didn’t like Blacks. Part of it was due to fear. He was terrified of ghetto Blacks especially in his old age, which is a reasonable fear.
He used to say, “A Black a block. Spread em out and civilize em!” It sounds nasty but there’s a decent argument to be made. Arguments are not bad because they have an ugly sound. Ugly noises never hurt anyone, and hurting feelings doesn’t count, snowflakes. Arguments are bad is they produce ugly outcomes. And this argument does not produce an ugly outcome.
I understand that Portugal, 4% Black, did just this, and concentrated on spreading Blacks out and not letting them congregate in huge numbers in any one place, which, upper and upper middle class Black neighborhoods aside, just seems to bring out the worst in Black people. If it works, do it. Who cares about people’s petty feelings? You don’t refuse to engage in a good project because a few babies are going to get their feelings hurt.
And yes, a Black tipping point exists. This is good for a couple of reasons. First it shows that even ghetto Blacks are not horrible per se. They are only bad when they concentrate in large numbers and start dragging each other down like crabs in a barrel. Like all human beings, they imitate other humans for good and for ill, and they are indeed capable of imitating others for good and acting better.
Second, even ghetto Blacks are not genetically doomed to horrific behavior. Even if there is a genetic component to ghetto Blacks’ acting lousy, genes are never the whole story. Environment effects human behavior too, and a better environment improves outcome of even people who may have a genetic tendency to cause problems.
Indeed, in some cases a superenvironment might even completely wipe out a genetic tendency to act bad. This is how we have African tribes of 1 million population where Blacks literally turn into Japanese people, something I always said was impossible. But superenvironments are hard to create.
Back to the tipping point. I looked into it, and it’s 20%. Detroit was fine with a small Black population. I did the research. As long as the Black population of Detroit stayed below 20%, there were few if any noticeable problems, and it was still a decent place to live. I noted that at 20% things started to decline, and the decline accelerated as the Black population increased.
The increase and behavioral decline also drives out Whites and probably better behaved Blacks who might otherwise constrain these people’s bad behavior by example or negative reinforcement. So the decline accelerates.
Not only do people who previously acted pretty good start acting worse and worse, but as the city declines, the better behaved folks of any race start taking off. Of course this makes everything all the worse, as these better behaved folks were holding down the fort so to speak.
Although this Black a Block argument sounds too awful to implement, nations have already done so, and we are already doing so right here in the US.
Under the Obama Administration, liberals at Housing and Urban Development (HUD) employed precisely this argument when they started getting rid of housing projects and instead giving ghetto Black residents vouchers to go anywhere they wanted to. Many took the opportunity to move to better neighborhoods which were often Whiter. Of course this caused a huge backlash because crime did go up in those neighborhoods as ghetto Blacks moved in.
However, a curious thing happened. Those ghetto Blacks who previously lived in projects in concentrations of poorly behaved people indeed started acting better when they were shifted out to White neighborhoods and sprinkled around. They did not act dramatically better but they did act somewhat better. And whatever people say about the crime rate, these ghetto Blacks’ crime rate indeed went down.
So the Cultural Left can scream all they want that A Black a Block is an evil racist theory or project. But the thing is, it’s already being implemented. And the people who are implementing are very liberal and progressive people of various races, including very liberal Black people.
And regardless of its ugly name, the project works. It’s better for ghetto Blacks and it’s better for society as a whole. One wonders why SJW’s would object to a project that improves ghetto Blacks, everyone else, and society but these people are hung up on words and feelings, not results. And that’s called having bad priorities.
One more reason why SJW’s suck.
Sami: Very good points, Thinking Mouse.
The majority of our immigration comes from Latin American, average present IQ 90-95, and from East Asia, average present IQ 100-107. This averages out to close to 100 as it is, if you look at those two groups in combination. And this doesn’t take into account the Flynn Effect (though, unfortunately, I doubt Mexican American Barrio culture, as it presently is, at least, is something that would do much to accelerate the Flynn Effect, sorry to say.
And we get smaller input from places like the Middle East, present average IQ 84-90, if Richard Lynn’s methods for assessing this are valid (highly questionable, at best). However, Arab Americans and Iranian Americans both have average incomes and average levels of educational attainment — both considered to be rough proxies for average IQ — than the White American average. So, it is clear, that within American culture (in stark contrast to the case with Europe) those groups seem to be Flynn-effected upward.
In short, I am unconvinced that our present immigration policy is dysgenic.
Instead of simply not being Flynn-effected, I would argue that barrio culture is actually IQ-impairing. I don’t have any evidence for that, but I can hardly think of a more aggressively, belligerently, arrogantly ignorant culture in the US. Even US Black culture is more educated and intellectual than US barrio culture. Isn’t that pitiful?
Latin America does NOT have an average IQ of 90-95. Most of the immigration is from Mexico, IQ 90. The rest is from Central America, IQ 85-90. Average IQ of Hispanics in the US is ~90. We don’t get that much immigration from East Asia. China is where most of it comes from, IQ 105. Combined together, you get IQ 96, but there are many more Hispanics, so that lowers it to ~93. At the end of the day we don’t know what the IQ of immigrants, legal and illegal, is in the US.
Hispanic IQ in the US is not undergoing any Flynn rises compared to Whites. It just stays at 90. Arab and Iranian IQ is not high, but in the US, they may be selected. Anyway, they appear much smarter than Hispanics here in the US, whatever their IQ’s are.
You have only to look at large Hispanic communities to see that the IQ is not the same as a nearby White town. This Hispanic city here may have an IQ of 93. I came from a nearby White town which probably had IQ of 100. The differences were so stark it was shocking. So you can see that even seven IQ points at a macro scale like that has a huge effect on the intelligence of a city. You can really see IQ differences when you look at whole cities full of people of different IQ’s.
US IQ has always been 100. In recent years it has fallen to 98. How did that happen?
Thinking Mouse: Many African nations have a similar homicide rate to far eastern Europe, despite having much lower incarceration rates and younger demographics.
Incarceration rates are low because the police are often incompetent and much crime is not prosecuted or even reported.
Black Africa has had some of the highest homicide rates on Earth for decades. Crime is so bad there are travel warnings against going to most of those countries. Are there travel warnings telling people not to go to Eastern Europe? I recently went through the US State Department warnings for Black Africa and in every single country in the region, there were warnings about high levels of crime and violent crime. I believe Senegal was somewhat of an exception and most of the crime there was property crime.
I would not feel frightened going to Eastern Europe. I would feel frightened in most large Black African cities except possibly in the Sahel. I have heard that Senegal is relatively low crime. There is terrorism now in the Sahel though, so it is dangerous on that basis, but the crime is not very high. Of all of the countries in Black Africa, I would probably recommend Senegal as safe enough to take a careful vacation there. I’ve also heard that it is a very interesting country. It might be nice as a human to visit Black Africa once in a lifetime.
Generally the Muslim parts of Black Africa are safer, more orderly, calmer, and have less crime than the Christian areas.
However, there is an ethnic group of 1 million people in Burkina Faso that has a homicide rate of ~1/100,000, about the same as Japan’s. So this shows that not all Black populations automatically commit lots of violent crime and homicide. But whatever environment this group has created to make such a safe culture does not seem to be easily replicable outside of that group. The group is Muslim, and study of Muslim texts is mandatory for all young people, so the group is educated. Elders are revered and respected and children fear their wrath and do not disobey them much. Elders take it upon themselves to mentor youths and young adults as a matter of course. Ethnic pride is high and members read texts about the group and participate in frequent cultural exercises.
In addition, much of the crime in Black Africa is simply not reported, as police are incompetent, corrupt, and take bribes. In a number of those countries, police set up roadblocks specifically to take bribes from motorists.
The Black Caribbean has a high violent crime and homicide rate.
I read a recent figure for the UK that Blacks were 2% of the population, and they committed 20% of the homicides. In the US, Blacks are 13% of the population, and they commit 53% of the homicides.
All of the high homicide US cities are Black. In LA, the top nine most dangerous police precincts are in Black neighborhoods.
Has the commenter ever been around large numbers of Black people? Gone to school with them, went to their parts of time, driven around in cities where there are many of them? You need to stay out of areas where there are large numbers of low income Blacks. Those areas dangerous as Hell. I taught in Black schools for years.
You had to leave school before sundown. Once I went back to see my school at 9:30 at night and it was absolutely terrifying. Basically these neighborhoods can be more or less ok in the daytime (I drove around them a lot and went out to eat a lot), but don’t go off the main streets even in the daytime and make sure you are out of the area after dark.
However, having worked in those schools for years and spent some time in the deep inner city of LA (South Central LA), I will say that it is trivial to meet decent people in that area. My car broke down twice in Black areas, once in South Central and once in Compton. Both times, Black adults came out and helped me get my car going. In both cases, there was an older man in his 40’s. In one case there were some young men in their 20’s helping him. They were extremely nice people.
I dated a Black woman in South Central and though she was a scumbag crack addict, I spent some time in her barbershop talking to some older Black men in their 50’s and 60’s. They were extremely cool. One man acted a bit strange around me and I asked my date and she said he hates Whites and has not been around them much. But he was very nice to me, although he seemed a bit awkward around me. I think he was surprised to find a friendly, decent Black man.
Even in South Central, a lot of the older Black men from 40-60 are very good people, assuming they are not imprisoned and are still alive. Particularly if they own a home. Black culture has a way of winnowing out the worst people who tend to spend much of their lives incarcerated or else die young.
A number of the incarcerated ones get out and though they are not great people, I would not say they are bad people either. I spent a couple of hours talking to a 45 year old Black man who had done ten years in prison for robbery and attempted murder. He seemed quite a bit calmed down.
People tend to age out of crime and bad behavior anyway and even among adults, it is young adults who act the worst and commit the most crime. Even many psychopaths burn out in middle age and become depressed/alcoholic while the condition lessens and moderates quite a bit.
The Black teachers and aides at the schools I taught at were generally very nice people, although some were pretty angry. I mostly befriended Black female teachers. Some of the administrators were very cool too.
However, in the very heart of the ghetto, in deep Compton near Willowbrook, not only were the students the worst of all, but they hated Whites the most. In addition, a number of the Black female teachers seemed to hate Whites, something I never dealt with before.
Many of the older Black women even in the ghetto are very good people, especially if they are deep into religion. Even some of the Black students I taught were good people, especially if they were deep into religion. At one school, a Black female senior seemed to be in love with me and asked me out and tried to get my phone number.
The problem with these areas is not that everyone is lousy. In fact there are many decent and even good people even deep in the ghetto. However the rate of lousy, bad and out and out evil and dangerous people is much higher than in White areas. There are just too many bad people around (although they are a minority) such that it makes traveling and spending time there a dangerous endeavor.
Rahul: What I noticed about crime in South America was that in most areas crime isn’t really prevalent, however cities just yank up the crime rates. And the cities are very very bad. In the rural areas, a lot of drug production happens, in the cities, the drug shit happens. Oh, and gang rivalries and violence certainly help in increasing the crime rates.
Chavistas studying the issues think it started with the drug production and dealing in the area. Drug production and dealing is going on all over the region, and a lot of crime is associated with it. Yes the crime in poor parts of Venezuelan cities is very bad, but in the wealthier areas, it’s not that dangerous.
Other cities in Latin America are similar. Colon, Panama supposedly has a very high crime rate and it’s a real shithole.
A lot of Black Caribbean countries are serious shitholes of violent crime.
There is a lot of crime in the rural parts of Mexico though because that is where the drug cartels are.
Lima, Peru, has a lot of crime. Hold onto your wallet or get a money-belt, better yet. Watch out for your purse. Pickpockets, petty thieves and purse-snatchers are everywhere, especially in tourist areas.
Crime has been horrific in Brazilian cities like Rio and Sao Paolo forever now, of course.
There is a lot of street crime in Latin America. You need to be very careful of your surroundings and who you are associating with, especially at night.
You are starting to see a lot of articles in the capitalist press bashing China now, saying their economy is not as good as they say, that it cannot be sustained, and that it is headed for crash. They base this on a comparison to other Communist countries, but those economies fell behind far before China’s did.
China has sustained Communism under various forms, including presently under market socialism, for 70 years now. That’s as long as the Soviet Union, and the Soviets started stagnating a long time before that. China is an example of a smashing success for a Communist country, and the capitalist press is freaking out because that shows that their anti-Communist propaganda has been crap for all of these years.
Incidentally, Deng Xiaoping emphatically stated that he was a Communist. Deng’s idea was to create “a rich Communist country.”. In an interview in 2005, a top party official was asked if China was still committed to spreading Communism all over the world.
“Of course,” the minister beamed. “That is the purpose of the Communist party (CCP).”
Incidentally, China still has 5-year plans and the whole economy is planned. The business sector has to go along with the plan, and if you do not go along with it, they can confiscate your business. A party committee sits on the board of all large corporations. The government owns every inch of land in China. The state invests an incredible amount in the economy and also overseas where it makes vast investments. This is because some Chinese government companies are very profitable. A number of Chinese government companies are on the list of largest companies in the world.
Capitalists in the US openly complain that they cannot compete with Communist Chinese government corporations, crying that they get subsidies so it’s not fair. So here we have US corporations openly admitting that they can’t compete with Chinese government Communist state-owned companies.
45% of the economy is state owned and it is very profitable. 87% of all investment in the economy is made by the state. This figure includes all Chinese private investment and all foreign investment.
Much of the state sector is owned by small municipalities, and this works very well. Further, cities compete against each other. For instance, City A’s steel mill will compete against City B’s steel mill, and both will compete against a private sector steel mill, if there is one. Successful enterprises bring in a lot of money to the city, which it uses to upgrade the city, which results in more workers moving there, which grows the economy more with more workers and more demand.
There are also still a number of pure Maoist villages in China that are run completely on a Maoist line. Everything is done as it was right out of the Mao era. I understand that they do very well, and there is a huge waiting list to move to those villages.
I did a lot of research on China recently, and the party is literally everywhere you look every time you turn around. The party itself still runs many enterprises all over the country, especially in the rural areas. There are party officials in every village and city, and they take a very active role in developing the municipality in every way, including culturally. They have an ear to the ground and are typically very popular in the villages and cities.
Party officials lobby the state to try to solve any urgent problem in the area. The government is always spending a lot of money all over China on public works, on fixing various environmental problems, or on really any societal problem or issue you can think of. This of course includes economic development, which tends to be state-led. I read synopses of many dissertations coming out of Chinese universities, and most were on how to deal with some particular societal problem or issue. Many others dealt with technology and industry. So a lot of the research on technology and industry that is driving economic development is coming straight out of state universities.
Instead of leaving it up to the private sector to deal with the problems in society, create public works, and even plan the economy, the government does all of that. Incidentally, the way the US leaves the planning of the economy, such as it is, up to the private sector is insane. All sensible economic planning in any nation will always be done by the state with a view towards allowing the country to prosper. Capitalists have no interest in whether the country profits or not, so they engage in no economic planning at all. Leaving economic planning up to the whims of the capitalists is economic malpractice.
There are 1,000 protests every day in China. Yes, there is corruption and there are government abuses, but if protests last long enough, the party usually gets alarmed and tries to do something about the problem because they don’t want serious unrest. This is party that does everything it can to serve the people and try to remain popular with citizens by giving them as much as they can and doing as much for them as possible. The party spends every single day of its rule literally trying to buy off unrest and keep its citizens satisfied.
It’s illegal to be homeless in China. If you end up homeless in China, they will try to put you in a homeless shelter, or if they cannot do that, they will send you back to your village because most homeless are rural migrants who moved to the city. The state is now investing a vast amount of money in the rural areas because these places have been neglected for a long time. The state still wants to own all the land because they want to keep the rural areas as a secure base where rural migrants to the city can always return if they fail in the city.
How can a government in which 45% of the economy is publicly owned, 87% of investment is done by the state, and every inch of land is owned by the state possibly be called as capitalist country? No serious political economist anywhere on Earth considers China to be a capitalist country. The only people who say that are ideologues and liars, which includes almost all political conservatives and most businessmen.
The state spends an unbelievable amount of money on public works all over the country all the time. Many projects that in the US have “conclusively proven” to be too costly to be implemented have been done in China quickly and easily. And China’s per capita income in less than 10% of ours.
Most ethnic minorities are still allowed to support their culture, and in most cases they are allowed to have education in their native language. In these areas, the native language is co-official with Mandarin.
In recent years, the Chinese government has begun to support a lot of the Chinese dialects, of which there are over 2,000 main ones, many of which are actually separate languages. Cantonese is still an official language in Hong Kong, and it is widely used in Guangdong. The other major Chinese languages or macrolanguages still have millions of tens of millions of speakers. Lately the Chinese government is telling people they can preserve their dialect as long as they also speak Mandarin. Many schools now have classes in the local dialect.
Cheap medical insurance is available and it covers 85% of costs. State medical centers are still very good. However, if you have a serious medical condition in China, you will quickly run out of money with no recourse.
This is a serious problem but it is much better than earlier in the Deng Era when millions were dying from lack of health care. However, the state still need to cover everyone. They got away from universal coverage when they moved away from Maoism early in the Deng era. In addition, tens of thousands of schools, many of which were built during the Cultural Revolution, were closed early in the Deng era.
The introduction of a market had a lot of problems in the early days. The capitalist press was cheering wildly as thousands of schools were closed all over China, medical care was cut off from or reduced for hundreds of millions of people, while millions of Chinese died from lack of medical care. This was all cause for celebration! Isn’t capitalism wonderful? What’s millions of humans dying from lack of health care as long as a few rich people can buy ridiculously expensive, useless items that they don’t even need?
A recent good survey done by a Western polling firm found that 87% of the population supported the Communist Party. The excesses of the Mao era, especially the Great Leap and the Cultural Revolution, have been widely discussed and the party has admitted that many errors were made and resolved not to do this again. These excesses are being blamed by the party on what they call “ultra-Leftism.”
The economic model of China is called Market Socialism and a lot of modern day Leftists and even Communists support it and agree that this is the way forward for the left and Communist movement. Like all words, the word Communism has no inherent meaning. It means whatever people who use it say it means. So the definition of Communism can clearly change with the times as Communists update their definitions of what the word means.
China cannot be called capitalist in any way. Their model is far more socialist than anything in any European social democracy. It also goes far beyond the US in the New Deal and of course beyond beyond the social liberalism and its more left analogue in Canada, not to mention beyond social democracy in Australia or New Zealand.
Interestingly, Japan is not a capitalist country. They don’t have neoliberalism. That country does not operate on the capitalist mode of development. Instead the resemblance is, I hate to say, to Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany also did not have a capitalist mode of development. I’m not sure what you call it, but it’s not capitalism. For instance, in Japan, the commanding heights of the economy, including almost all of the banks, is owned by the state.
The state still plans the economy. They plan the economy together with the business community and the state allocates a lot of funds and loans to areas of the economy it wishes to develop. There is probably a similar model in South Korea, which also is not capitalist and instead operates on a series of monopolies that are owned currently by large corporations and the government. The South Korean economy is also planned, and the plan is worked out by the government and the business sector working together.
Apparently the French have had such problems with men urinating in public in their cities that they have now installed open air urinals that look something like a brightly painted trash container.
Feminists are saying that men like this because now we can take over the streets, whip our dicks out in front of women any time we like, and piss right in front of them to in effect, show that we own the streets and women are trespassing on our territory.
I don’t know about that. All I know is that neither I nor most men I know would want to use those things. I would only use one maybe at night if there was no one around to see me. I don’t understand men who would want to do this in public.
Most of us men do pee in public if we can’t find a bathroom nearby. Of course we do it in rural or wild areas off the road where it’s quite easy, but I did it quite a few times in alleyways, etc. in the Hollywood area or after rock shows at night in various places like shrubbery or alleyways. You only do it if there’s no one in sight, and then you do it really fast so you can get away with it.
Most of us men like to pee in private, believe it or not.
And I don’t see why the French can’t put four walls on these things and make them open to women and children.
The Hispanic IQ is 90. I am sure you want to say that’s low, but the IQ of the average human is 89. So if you think 90 IQ people are stupid, then you have to think your average human on Earth is a complete idiot. And I suppose some might like to make that case.
Having lived around these people, the first thing I will say about them is they are not stupid at all. But even though they are not dumb, on the other hand, they are not real smart either. It’s a very average type of human, even on the low side of average. The main thing about them is their ignorance. Hispanics are frighteningly, terrifyingly ignorant. Why this is, I have no idea.
Around here your average Black person knows more about history, sociology, even psychology, and especially politics than the Hispanics do. They Hispanics don’t know, and it seems like they don’t want to learn.
It is also interesting to note that the ignorance comes largely though not exclusively from Mexicans. A lot of them have told me that they only had 2-5 years of education. A 40 year old woman told me her kids only had 5 years of education. The second generation who are born here act worse than the immigrants, and they are just as ignorant, if not more. At least the Mexicans seem to have some desire to learn. The 2nd Generation doesn’t even want to learn anything. They are very happy with empty heads.
The Mesoamerican immigrants know a lot more about politics than the Mexicans do. In particular the ones who went through revolutions such as Nicaragua and El Salvador know quite a bit about politics.
One strange thing is that the people you meet from South America seem a lot smarter and especially less ignorant that the Mesoamericans. I’m not sure why that is, but the culture of Spain is still very prominent down there, and that culture revered learning, men of letters, etc. The women down there actually love intellectual men because it is a sign that you are upper class or have an upper class mindset.
They’re certainly intelligent enough to function and more or less run a metropolis. It will work so much better if there are a few Whites around to keep the lights on and whatnot. We have had a couple of towns around here that have gone 100% Hispanic, no Whites anymore, and it is not a good thing. It’s not even a decline. It’s more of a complete collapse.
Does this mean they are stupid? I’m not sure about that.
A better argument is that when the Whites all leave, and you have a city that’s 100% Hispanic, Mexico takes over. It just becomes another town in Mexico. Ever been to Mexico? If you have you will understand what I am talking about. If you want to know the particulars, there’s no money anymore, local government collapses, nothing works and there’s no money to fix stuff, gangs take over very badly, and in particular, some heavy-duty Mexican style corruption rears its head.
When Mexicans come to the US, which is fine by me, they really need to leave Mexico behind. Bringing Mexico with them doesn’t work.
Famous case from late 2014 in Chicago. It didn’t happen the way the media said it did. He wasn’t walking away from police. He was approaching them and he was armed with a knife. Cops had guns drawn and warned him repeatedly to drop the knife but he continued to approach police armed with a knife. When he got to within 10 feet of police, one officer opened fire. However, 16 shots were fired, many of which when he was already down on the ground after being shot, and that doesn’t seem to make sense at all. The officer Jason Van Dyke is on trial for murder. The trial has not yet started.
Mr. McDonald was not portrayed properly in the media. Photos showed him as a boy and another showed him with a graduation cap on, but that must have been from junior high as he never graduated from high school to my knowledge.
McDonald was 18 years old going on a very early grave, full speed ahead. I figure this shooting postponed the inevitable for probably less than 10 years. He had already been shot multiple times by rival pharmacy organizations while he was employed as a Street Pharmacist for the New Breeds Pharmacy Group, a profession he took up at the tender age of 12.
The ward was born to a 15-year-old mother who herself was a ward. The teen mother entered DCFS care at the age of 12 because of her mother’s extensive drug history, including giving birth to a substance-exposed (PCP) infant, her lack of participation in services, and her extensive criminal history for drug charges.
By the age of 18 the teen ward lost custody of her then 3-year-old son and his younger sister after she left the children home alone and the younger sister suffered extensive burns which required hospitalization. The mother was indicted for inadequate supervision. The two children were placed with several relatives and were returned to the mother in 18 months under an order of protection.
A year after they were returned to their mother, the then 5-year-old boy and his sister reentered DCFS custody because of physical abuse by the mother and her boyfriend. The boy reported that he often witnessed domestic violence between his mother and her boyfriend. His father was incarcerated.
The mother, then 21 years old, did not participate in services, struggled with continued drug use and did not visit her children. After several failed placements, including one where the boy was sexually abused, the maternal great-grandmother took the children into her home. In first grade the boy was described as sometimes explosive. In 2006, when the boy was nine, the great-grandmother obtained subsidized guardianship of the children and DCFS closed its case.
The boy became involved with gangs and selling drugs on the street at age 12. He was a member of the New Breeds gang and had sold drugs for the gang and had been shot at by rival gang members but did not engage in gang violence. At the age of 13 he was arrested and referred to juvenile court for possession of a controlled substance.
At the age of 16 he was incarcerated at the juvenile detention center for violation of probation. He was released and placed on electronic monitoring so he could visit his 79-year-old great-grandmother before she died and attend her funeral. Afterward DCFS became his guardian and learned that he had been living with his mother prior to his detention.
While in detention he exhibited aggressive behaviors, but his behavior was uneven. At times he was respectful and insightful; however his poor judgment put him at risk of harm. At one court hearing he was high on PCP and had an aggressive outburst in the courtroom resulting in his being taken into custody and placed in detention.
He violated probation several times and cut off his ankle home monitor. His mother became involved in treatment and began family therapy with her son.
The community service provider recommended intensive outpatient treatment while probation recommended commitment to the Department of Corrections or a residential treatment center. The court-appointed advocate recommended residential treatment. A DCFS staffing resulted in a referral to an intensive specialized foster care program for dually involved (delinquent and child welfare) youth. He and his mother agreed to attend therapy. His uncle agreed to have the youth placed with him.
Intensive probation stayed involved and the ward was enrolled in an alternative school. He was suspended once but was enrolled when he died.
Judging from the biography of this famous young American Black man, this is looking more and more like what I call a “PSK” or Public Service Killing. Nevertheless, I do not agree that Black scumbags should get the death penalty by extrajudicial execution without trial. Black scumbags suck all right, but they should be dealt with properly by the criminal justice system via the courts, and penitentiary system. We don’t want to turn into a banana republic with death squads running around. Despite the Hispanicization of America, we are yet too good for that at this early date. Death squads are not just White, at least not US White. American White people don’t do it like that, not yet anyway.
However, I will disagree with the narrative and I do think this punk bitch was a threat to the officers. But he was no threat lying on the ground shot armed with a knife.
I am just hearing about this right now, but it has been going on for a couple of days now ever since Saturday night, August 13. There was more rioting on Sunday night on August 14 and early this Monday morning on August 15.
This is a very ugly race riot. It reminds me of the Watts Riots and the LA Riots in 1993. The things that remind me of those riots:
When things like that start happening, it is more than just a police riot. Now you have an out and out race riot similar to the ones we had so many of back in the 1960’s.
Several cars, including one police car, set on fire.
BP gas station, O’Reilly auto parts store, beauty supply store and BMO Harris branch bank set on fire. The gas station was looted before it was burned.
Supermarket and liquor store destroyed.
Metro PCS along with other stores looted.
When police arrived, gunshots were heard. Firefighters could not put out gas station fire at first due to gunshots but eventually got the fire under control. Rioters attacked fire trucks with bricks. One fireman injured when hit with a brick. Reporters and photographers attacked. One shoved to the ground and assaulted.
Four police wounded.
17 rioters arrested.
Crowd threw objects at police.
White man shot and wounded near the rioting, apparently by Black rioters. Possibly targeted due to his race. Police needed armored car to retrieve him.
Rioters attempted to pull White motorists out of their cars in order to assault them them.
Gunfire reported. 30 shots fired during the rioting.
Three police cars and one BearCat vehicle damaged.
One vehicle and one dumpster set on fire.
Windows broken on store.
Four police wounded.
14 rioters arrested.
Peter Tobin is a Marxist activist and author who is an experiment on the recent goings in in Nepal especially with regard to the Maoist revolutionaries who recently fought a brutal civil war there and are now part of the government. Turns out that with disarmament, a lot of the Maoists sold out completely on almost all of their revolutionary principles, become rightwingers and in the process become millionaires with huge mansions. In addition, as you might have guessed, all and I mean all of the Maoist leaders were Brahmins.
And this was an anti-caste revolution.
In this part of the world, caste is like dirt. No matter how many times try wash the dirt off, there’s always some on your skin. And no matter how many attempts are made by South Asians to cleanse the body politic of caste, there’s always some of it remaining on the skin of their culture. you can’t take enough showers to wash all the dirt off and you can’t do enough reforms to wash caste out of the culture. It’s looking like caste in now an integral part of South Asian culture like curry, saris or gurus.
Warning: This work is very long. If it was a book, it would be 60 pages, long enough for a novella if it was fiction.
The cartoon above reflects a widespread perception among many Nepalese that the four parliamentary parties are servants – in varying degrees – of New Delhi. It appeared in the 2013, August edition of Nepal – a popular monthly – showing Prachanda (UCPN(M), Nepal (UML), Sitaula (NC) and Gaddachhar (MJN), (Brahmins all!) blubbing uncontrollably as Nepal against history and the odds beat India 2-1 in the South Asia Football Championships in July 2013.
What’s more, you can’t in good faith give the nobles what they want without doing harm to others; but you can with the people. Because the people’s aspirations are more honorable than those of the nobles: the nobles want to oppress the people, while the people want to be free from oppression.
Machiavelli, The Prince, 1516, p.39. Penguin 2009.
To the present day:
How can people trust them to run the state? Our boycott is therefore a political act to expose the failure of this parliamentary system. To build a new democracy and renew the revolutionary process we must go in a different direction.
– Mohan Baidya, ‘Kiran’, Chairman, CPN-Maoist, October, 2013
Political parties in all societies reflect specific histories and display the balance of social and political forces at any point in their narratives. Nepal is no exception to this truism; the classes and strata arising from the socio-economic conditions obtaining in the country’s history gave rise to caste, party and faction. The aim of this article is to provide detail of their historical gestation as a means of examining and explaining the present impasse in Nepalese society.
This is presently evidenced by argument as to whether a Consultative Assembly, elected in November 2013 in a disputed ballot, has authority to promulgate a new constitution and is another issue of serious division that pervades every sphere of Nepalese society – political, cultural, social and economic – that cumulatively call into question the legitimacy of the essentially unreconstructed state founded by Prithvi Nararyan Shah in 1769.
The article will argue that discord has been inherent since the state’s inception in the mid-18th century, with the campaign of unification driven by a minority elite imposing a nationality upon a multi-ethnic majority and which despite changing modalities of state power in the succeeding two-hundred and fifty years, remains the dominant power in Nepalese society, surviving monarchical absolutism, feudal clan autocracy, constitutional monarchy and multiparty democracy, successively appearing as contrasting if not antagonistic systems.
It is certainly the case that internecine power struggles among ruling Nepalese elites, regarding modalities of power, are crucial to understanding the forces shaping the present. However, evident systemic discontinuity should not obscure persistence of upper caste, particularly Brahmin ascendancy, surmounting every upheaval, and turning every change of polity into a vehicle for retention of power and privilege.
Responding to the pressures of the modern world, and with long experience in judging the vagaries of historic authority, these same castes have melded seamlessly into the local bourgeoisie – domestically hegemonic but internationally subservient.
Not every ancien regime is oblivious or impervious to demands for change from formerly subaltern classes. Note the nationalist leader Tancredi’s maxim, in di Lampedusa’s epic novel The Leopard about the 19th century Risorgimento (Italian unification):
“Things have to change so that everything can stay the same.” (“Tutto deve cambiar perche tutto reste uguale.”) (Il Gattopardo, G. di Lampedusa, 1958)
The Nepalese ruling castes are exemplars of this paradox, having survived successive changes in polity, a point underlined in contemporary Nepal where the major constitutional parties and organs of state are dominated by the same higher caste/class, as supreme in the new democratic republic as they were under the preceding Hindu God-Kingdom created through war and conquest by their Brahmin/Rajput ancestors in the 18th century. Unification was more empire than nation building, pitting a warlike Indo-Aryan warrior caste against a rural majority comprised of over sixty Tibeto-Burman ethnic groups, each with its own languages and specific Buddhist/pantheist/shamanist cultures.
Over time this may not have precluded the forging of national identity: consider the example of Britain, which emerged from English subjugation and colonization of the tribal Celtic peoples that flourished on the periphery of the later named, with breast-beating triumphalism, British Isles.
Similarly the English had emerged as a distinct people following military invasion and occupation by French Normans over Anglo-Saxon natives. Christianity in the form of Roman Catholicism already provided a common ideology for conqueror and conquered. In the centuries following, the former lost both their French language and territories with the European feudal system they imposed upon Anglo-Saxon England taking root and dominating until the emergence of bourgeois capitalism in the Late Middle Ages.
Nepal has never overcome the contradictions engendered by its violent birth which was compromised by its Hindu ruling castes retaining political, cultural and economic ties with caste peers governing India the sub-continental empire, and who, since Bhimsen Thapa, Jonge Bahadur and the Ranas, have, unlike the nation-builders of medieval Europe, proved unable or unwilling to act with national impunity.
The notion of the present ruling caste elite representing the national interest is presently even more unlikely as their growing cosmopolitan class interests political, ideological and economic necessitate the country continuing as neo-colony of Brahminical India, subject to the ubiquitous, all-conquering global market and the multinational institutions established by US and other First World powers after 1945.
The last serious threat to centralized caste power was the People’s War from 1996-2006, which saw a 12-point peace agreement between parliamentarians and revolutionaries, following the success of these two former bitter enemies allying to overthrow King Gyenendra in the 2006 second Thulo Jana Andolan (Great People’s Uprising/Revolution). It did not, as promised, lead to a ‘New Nepal’, instead seeing the elites of ‘Old Nepal’ regrouping, and remaining ensconced in power.
This had also happened after the 1990 Jana Andolan, when the Brahmin leaders of the democratic movement summoned the Janjatis (ethnic minorities) and oppressed castes and classes to join the struggle for democracy against King Birendra and the feudal Panchayat system.
Promises made, offering cultural and political autonomy to redress historical injustices, were later reneged on, with the subsequent constitution drawn up by the victorious New Delhi-backed political parties even retaining Nepal’s status as a divine Hindu Kingdom. It was not until 2008, with the declaration of a republic, that the monarchial system was finally abolished.
However, that was the only tangible political gain from ten years of People’s War, while the major socioeconomic and cultural inequities that had provoked it were left in place, with attempts to ameliorate them blocked or sabotaged by a resurgent rightist bloc that seized the political and military initiative in the years following the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
Nepal’s political parties are defined by which side they take in relation to this history; whether they want to either preserve the existing system, albeit with minor tweaks and modest reform, or completely replace it with a new dispensation. Conservatives and revolutionaries are adversaries in the struggle for the body and soul of the nation.
First, some empirical details about the country that provide the inescapable, epidemiological conclusion that the socio-economic antagonisms fermenting in Nepalese society point inevitably to further eruption.
Nepal is an aid-dependent, landlocked country, accessed principally from India, with a population of approximately 28 million. It has over sixty ethnic groups or Janjatis (called Adivasis in India) reflecting a rich linguistic and cultural diversity. Over 80% of its peoples are rural inhabitants, mostly dependent on subsistence farming. The agricultural sector contributes approximately 38-40% to GDP, with the tourism/service industry adding 47-50%, and the industrial/craft sector contributing 10-13% (1).
The CIA World Factbook estimates its labor force at 16 million: 70% of those employed are in agriculture and 18% in the services sector with the remainder in industry and craft production. The imbalance between numbers of population engaged respectively in these sectors and the value each one adds to GDP is striking. What distorts the figures is that 25-30% of the tourism/service GDP (where it measured by income) comes from Gurkha pensions and increasingly over the last decade from émigré labor remittances (2).
As its contribution to GDP shows, the manufacturing sector is small, with carpet weaving dominating its light industrial sector and the rest made up of skilled handcraft production in metal, stone and wood. Since the decline of the jute industry based in Biratnagar, heavy industry is negligible, and Nepal has to import everything from cars to computers – necessities of modern life – which add to its trade deficit.
Nepal has always faced the difficult situation of being a small economic power next to a big one that is denied economies of scale that accrue from size, thus insuring that Nepali companies could not compete with bigger Indian ones in the home market. This problem has, for example, caused the virtual collapse of its cotton and garment industry. Exports are inhibited because India imposes high import duties to protect its own industries.
The pan-Indian Marwari Corporation/Clan dominate the domestic industrial and commercial sector in collusion with the traditional caste elites of Ranas/Shahs. A further aspect of its neocolonial status is that Nepal is forced to concede an open border with India and must endure a ‘take or leave it’ in terms of trade with India, a market that accounts for nearly 70% of Nepal’s total exports. In some instances Delhi has even reneged on prior agreements in order to sabotage specific Nepalese attempts at establishing nascent industry (3).
Nepal’s manufacturing base was further weakened by the global march of neoliberal capitalism (4) that saw, for example, Structural Adjustment Programs introduced in Nepal from the mid-1980s’.
SAP’s are loans to aid-dependent, underdeveloped or economically unstable countries that have strong conditional clauses requiring adoption of rigorous free market policies, including privatization, trade and finance-sector liberalization, prices determined by the market and precluding and retreating from state intervention in any form.
They were implemented by the IMF and World Bank, acting in a ‘bad cop/bad cop’ scenario and affected all sections of Nepalese society; the removal of subsidies on such items as cooking gas hit many homes, while those on fertilizers reduced agricultural production. Privatization programs ended public enterprises, many of which had been initiated by a dirigiste Rana regime in the 1930’s in a desperate attempt to modernize.
There was, for example, sustained pressure from multilateral development financial institutions – the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank in particular – forcing a sale of water utilities, resulting in their complete privatization by 2006. Tariffs protecting indigenous industries were also removed and the penetration of multinational capital was facilitated across all sectors.
This regime, which does not even manufacture a needle in the name of a self-reliant and national economy, has handed the whole economy to a dozen families of foreign compradors and bureaucratic capitalists. This handful of plunderers has become billionaires, whereas the real owners of this country and the national property – the toiling masses of Nepal – are forced to eke out a meager existence of deprivation and poverty.
– (CPN(M) leaflet, distributed on the eve of the start of the People’s War, 13th February, 1996.
The UN Human Development Report 2014 listed Nepal as the 31st poorest country in the world and among those classified low in Human Development indices with glaring inequalities in incomes and lifestyles that has the top 10% owning 42% of wealth and the bottom 10% accruing 2.7%. The Multidimensional Poverty Index, which measures schooling, nutrition, infant mortality, sanitation, and access to clean water among its criteria for standards of modern life, puts incidences of poverty at 65% whereas an income-poverty criteria at $1.25 per day gives a 55% figure of those suffering deprivation. (5)
Government Household Survey statistics for 2010/11, by contrast, estimated deprivation at 25% of population but only by using a smaller cohort, with the sole criterion defining poverty as daily consumption of less than 2,220 calories. By whatever measure, poverty is endemic and exacerbated by increased levels of unemployment that since 2000 have inexorably risen to nearly 50% of the working population in 2014. By conflating the above figures along with other relevant indices, the Gini Coefficient statistics for 2010 (6) showed that inequality has worsened over past two decades of western-style parliamentary democracy and capitalism. (7)
While the majority of Nepalese are rural dwellers, the agriculture sector is weak and inefficient; hilly and mountainous topography with subsequent scarcity of arable soil apart from the southern Terai plains allows mostly for only subsistence farming. A poor infrastructure of roads and communications inhibits movement of produce. The continuing failure to reform land ownership sees huge, growing numbers of landless Dalits, Muslims and other minorities, especially in feudal and populous Terai. The failures to implement scientific management and introduce modern technology combine to render Nepal dependent on importing foodstuffs from or through India.
The failure of the present system to provide necessary conditions of existence for an expanding demographic adds greater urgency to the antagonisms between the Establishment Right and Radical Left. These will be further accentuated given that India’s newly elected BJP administration has signaled the intention of pursuing more aggressively expansionist policies and is fully committed to the neoliberal economic project. The latter is being promoted as ‘shock therapy’ necessary for economic lift-off that will rescue the Indian people from poverty and deprivation.
It is it problematic because it is set out as an ideological as opposed to an economically rational project deliberately masking the aim of increasing the penetration of Western monopoly capitalism into the Indian economy through the mediation of the Brahmin/Banyia oligarchy. One of the new regime’s first acts was to increase hikes in diesel prices, allowing the state subsidy to shrivel, while signaling an intention to do the same to fertilizer subsidies. It has since announced that the health budget is to be slashed in a country that already has one of world’s lowest expenditures in this sector.
When all such state aid is rolled back, if wealth ‘trickles down’ perhaps by the conspicuous consumption of luxury commodities and lifestyle of a privileged cosmopolitan caste elite or charity (not a noted Brahmin characteristic) and alleviates some poverty – so be it, but it will be serendipitous. Such an outcome is not what drives au courant ‘capitalism with its coat off’ mutation, (4) so eagerly embraced by India’s caste elite as greed is a noted Brahmin characteristic.
However, for all the Hindutva histrionics and bravura posturing of the demagogue Modi, his BJP regime is in fact morphing effortlessly from Mohan Singh’s Congress Party Administration’s line of march. This became apparent in 2005 US/India Memos of Understanding (MOU) which, inter alia, initiated opening up India’s agricultural research establishments to American monopolies and activated policies of ‘rapid commercialization’ of already hard-pressed Indian farmers.
One commentator noted at the time:
The treaty is a partnership between two unequal partners. American agriculture is highly mechanized and organized, energy-intensive and market-centric. Indian agriculture, by contrast, has been for millennia the way of life for the vast majority of the population. (8)
The present Nepalese establishment invariably marches in step with New Delhi and accordingly rolled out the red carpet for the newly-elected PM Modi’s August 2014 official visit to Kathmandu. Addressing the Nepalese Parliament, he emphasized his government’s neoliberal economic priorities and the benefit Nepal would derive from deepening existing bilateral links by “…taking our relationship to an entirely new level.”
Nepal’s establishment parties were receptive, as the post-1990 administrations had closely shadowed India’s descent into neoliberal policies, and Modi’s regime was seen as continuation of this course.
The August visit was also marked by concluding agreements that increased Indian access to Nepal’s vast untapped water resources, which the revolutionary opposition denounced as a blatant example of neocolonial subservience to Indian expansionists and betrayal of the national interest.
The argument over this abundant but as yet untapped natural resource constitutes a longstanding fault line in Nepalese politics that bears examination; it concentrates many existing socioeconomic and political contradictions in one issue.
On September 6th 2014 the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist announced its intention to publicly burn copies of the Power Trade Agreement (PTA) recently negotiated between India and Nepal which allows for the construction of hydropower projects by Indian companies so as to facilitate energy trading, cross-border transmission lines and grid connections between the two countries. (9)
The coalition government concluded a further agreement with the Indian company GMR to construct a 900MW hydropower project on the Upper Karnali. It was claimed that combining these two accords would enable Nepal to utilize its hydropower resources to produce enough surplus to permit the already agreed export of electricity to India and help reduce the country’s trade deficit.
The extraction of Nepal’s water resources began in 1920 when the Indian Raj signed the 1920 Treaty of Sarda that secured access to the Mahakali. After independence, India’s Nehru’s Administration continued in a similar manner with the 1954 Koshi and 1959 Gandak Treaties that saw dams constructed solely to irrigate the thirsty Gangetic Plains of North India. There was outrage at these one-sided deals from Nepalese nationalists and communists, which led to greater caution by successive regimes faced with India’s insatiable water demands paralleled with failed attempts in securing international aid or a loan from the World Bank to develop the country’s hydropower resources independently.
After the 1990 upheaval that ostensibly reduced Birendra to constitutional status, the fledgling democracy experienced renewed pressure from New Delhi that led to the 1996 Mahakali Treaty which was described as revealing:
“…the larger neighbor as bulldozer and the smaller one as hapless and internally divided.” (10).
While this treaty was supported by the both the constitutional communist party, the Unified Marxist-Leninist Communist Party which turned full circle from the anti-Indian position of its mother party in the 1950’s, and the always reliable pro-Delhi Congress Party (NC), it was denounced by CPN (Maoist) spokespersons who pointed out that Nepal would only get 7 out of the projected 125 megawatts output. (11)
The symbolic burning of the present PTA as ‘against the national interest’ by the new Maoist party was manifestation of an ongoing campaign for retaining Nepalese jurisdiction over its water resources, resisting New Delhi’s strategy to monopolize them. This is underscored by observation that Nepal has huge hydropower potential estimated at 40,000 MW but is presently realizing only 600 MW.
All of this is happening against a backdrop of daily power cuts and the fact that 60% of the population have no access to electricity. Harnessing hydropower resources will provide the means of modernizing and enriching the country, putting its growing young unemployed to work and ending its dependent, underdeveloped status.
Lenin famously stated that for USSR: ‘Communism was Soviet power plus electrification’ to which Nepal’s unreconstructed Marxist-Leninists paraphrase the end as: ‘plus hydropower’; reflecting the importance of this power source for realizing an independent socialist Nepal.
The PTA is described by patriots of left and right as yet another unequal treaty among the many that began with the 1816 Treaty of Sugauli imposed by the East India Company. This is now seen a British land grab that resulted in Nepal ceding one-third of its territory to the Company, including Sikkim and what is now called Uttarakhand.
The reduction of ‘Greater Nepal’ to its present territory resulted from military invasion and defeat. Treaties covering trade and resources have been facilitated by the Nepalese ruling caste/class acting in collusion with first imperial Britain then Brahminical India .
The Brahmin/upper caste supporters of the power deal tend either to not recognize or to remain oblivious to the idea that any treaty agreed with brother India has ever been ‘unequal’. The same political class once again faced a 2011 furor over by the ‘Bilateral’ Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) which allowed for greater penetration and increased security for Indian capital in Nepal. This sellout document earned the parliamentary apparatchiks, parties and the Bhatterai Administration who negotiated and agreed to it epithets from the stooges and hirelings of the extra-parliamentary Maoist opposition and royalist factions.
The definition of unequal agreement is where an imbalance of power, political, military or economic, exists between the parties to the agreement. Chinese nationalists and communists in the 20th century used the term to describe all treaties extracted from China in its ‘century of humiliation’ at the hands of Western imperialists in the 19th century.
These treaties between Nepal and India involved loss of Nepalese sovereignty over territory and domestic markets and facilitated imports of commodities, including, notoriously, opium produced by East India Company, accompanied by the threat or use of superior military force. The period also saw the emergence of indigenous merchants acting as East India Company agents/intermediaries described as ‘compradors’.
Nepalese patriots use the term “unequal treaties” to describe a history that began with Sugauli, was carried over from the East India Company to the Raj and continued in postcolonial India with the 1950 Peace and Friendship Treaty formalizing Nepal’s neocolonial status by allowing India increased access and control of the Nepalese economy and veto over Nepal’s foreign relations with third parties.
It guaranteed Nepal as a captive market for Indian commodities and along with further revisions and succeeding agreements allowed exploitation of Nepal’s natural resources, principally water as described above, and access to cheap Nepalese migrant labor.
New Delhi was driven as much by geopolitical considerations; Nehru saw Himalayan Nepal as a bulwark on India’s northern frontier against Communist China, and serving along with Bhutan and Sikkim as part of a “chain of protectorates,” so described by Curzon, a particularly bellicose, expansionist Raj Viceroy at the turn of the 20th century.
Nehru was a ruthless autocrat and saved his fine words regarding nonintervention and non-aggression for the Pansheel Principles set out as a stratagem to bamboozle Mao’s Communists, burnishing India’s Gandhian credentials and non-aligned status in 1954 Treaty with the PRC. Nehru accordingly extracted the 1950 Treaty from the last Rana PM three months before he authorized an invasion of Nepal from India by a joint royalist/ democratic army which signaled the beginning of the end for Rana rule.
Independent India under the imperious Pandit owed more to the martial warrior spirit of the Maharbarata than it ever did to the myth of Hinduism’s essential ahimsa (pacifism) peddled by the casteist charlatan Gandhi. Recent information shows that Nehru may have slaughtered even more Muslims in Manipur in 1947 than Modi managed in Gujarat in 2001.
The new Maoist party, the CPN-M, is extra-parliamentary and does not accord legitimacy to the present institutions of state, distinguishing it from the three major parties in the Constituent Assembly, who supported and negotiated the PTA. In descending order of electoral strength, they are: Nepali Congress, Unified Marxist-Leninist CPN; and Unified CPN (Maoist). The first two are in coalition government, with the NC leader GP Koirala as Prime Minister. Koirala’s family is a Nepalese political dynasty akin to India’s Gandhis.
A split in the third biggest party, the UCPN(M), in 2012 led to the launch of the CPN-M by cadre led by veteran Maoist leader, Mohan Baidya (‘Kiran’) (12), increasingly disillusioned with perceived growing revisionism of the UCPN(M) under the leadership of Prachanda and Bhatterai. They concluded that following the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the UCPN(M)’s political practice had degraded into reformism, conforming to Lenin’s bitter reasoning for the ultimate treachery of the German SPD’s voting for war credits in 1914:
…by making a fetish of the necessary utilization of bourgeois parliamentarianism and bourgeois legality.
In the view of many cadre, the party had lost its revolutionary edge and has been remade to suit New Delhi’s requirements. The party was guided by two leaders, Dahal (Prachanda) and Bhatterai, reconnecting with their Brahminical caste roots.
The final betrayal was the surrender by Bhatterai’s ostensibly Maoist-led administration of the People’s Liberation Army and its weapons to the Nepalese Army in 2011 after being laagered in UN cantonments following the 2006 CPA. In reaction to this and policies such as handing back expropriated land to the feudal landlords, the new CPN-M declared a return to revolutionary first principles and building on the foundation of the principle of People’s War as a precondition for future political work.
A fourth political bloc represented in the Constituent Assembly (the National Assembly – an upper house created in 1990, was abolished in 2007, and Nepal now has a unicameral system) is the United Democratic Madeshi Front representing landed property class parties from the Terai, a region of flatlands in southern Nepal and topographically an extension of the Gangetic Plains of North India.
Ethnically and culturally the Terai’s upper castes are closer to India, so this group’s political support for increasing bonds between the countries is guaranteed. The Terai was formally a NC fiefdom, but party membership collapsed when leaders and activists principally drawn from the Bhadraloks (Terai upper castes) deserted the party which they believed had become dominated by the Brahmins of the Kathmandu and the Central Hill regions referred to as Pahadis (Hill People).
This political bloc, following the 2006 Peace Agreement, appeared to upper caste Madeshis to be too weak to stand up to the Maoists, perceived as all-powerful after ten years of People’s War and a real threat to feudal and zamindar (landlord) interests in the Terai. Madeshi parties subsequently emerged seeking either regional autonomy or direct integration with India.
The more militant among them advocated armed struggle and were instrumental in driving the 2006/7 murderous conflict with the Maobaadi (Nepali for Maoists) in order to defend the status quo in the region. Indian security services were rumored to have been heavily involved in arming and funding these groups, signaling New Delhi’s growing alarm at the threat to Indian interests posed by the Nepalese Maoists as they stood on the verge of a takeover.
There are 22 other parties represented in the CA, the largest two being royalist – the Rastriya Prajantra Party (Nepal) and the Rastriya Prajantra Party – representing the ancient regime and seeking in one form or another a return to divine Hindu monarchy abolished when the Prachanda’s 2008 UCPN(M)/UML coalition government declared the republic. However, many monarchists are patriots with a deep distrust of India to the extent that some prefer China in all circumstances.
After the RRP(N) and the RPP, there are many small socialist, communist and peasant parties reflecting the patchwork and multirepresentational nature of Nepalese politics. This plethora of parties is also apparent among the forces outside the CA led by CPN-M in a 33-party alliance.
The CPN-M (13) and its allies – other communist, socialist and social democratic parties along with Janjati (ethnic) organizations – came together in 2013 to boycott the November election for a second Constituent Assembly. They argued it was a ‘phony, rigged election’, promoted by the same forces that had blocked a progressive federal constitution in the first CA. Now the parliamentary ‘Four Party Syndicate’ was seeking a mandate to forge an anti-people constitution ensuring that power was retained by upper castes and that in any event, asserted the boycotters, would be written in New Delhi.
Among the international supporters of the second CA election were the US, China, EU, India, the UN, NGOs like the Carter Center, ANFREL etc. 70,000 police, army and paramilitaries along with 50,000 temporary police personnel were mobilized to counter the campaign organized by the CPN-M, leading a 33 party alliance around the slogan:
Boycott this corrupt/so-called election (Kathit nirbaachan bahiskaar gare).
The election duly took place, pre-weighted through the creation of a High Level Commission that excluded all other parties, ensuring the ‘Four Party Syndicate’s unchallenged control of proceedings. Rs 30 billion was allocated to pay for it, a staggering amount considering only Rs 2.8 billion was spent on the 2008 election. The election was further tainted as turnout figures were disputed, with nearly five million voters disappearing from the 2008 election rolls. There was also no postal vote provision for the estimated two million émigré workers scattered through the Gulf States and South East Asia.
Each side claimed higher or lower percentage turnouts, but the significant result was the major setback for Prachanda and Bhatterai’s revisionist UCPN (M). The party lost its place as the biggest party gained by a shock victory in 2008 election, where it garnered 40% of the vote but was now reduced to third party status after the NC and the UML.
In any event, the CPN-Maoist ‘Dashists’ did not halt the election, but held their nerve in spite of powerful domestic and international enemies, a sustained hate campaign from the Brahmin/bourgeois controlled media sequestered in Kathmandu led by the Kantipur Corporation, Nepal’s largest media house, and internal party tensions. Notwithstanding the final number of votes cast, the election showed that the boycotters represented a critical mass of the citizenry. Whatever the outcome of the charade, Kiran said emphatically, they would burn any constitutional declaration emerging from the new CA and “write one in the streets.”
However, it may also be stated that most Dalit leaders are right when they blame the ‘Brahminical’ order of society for the grievous discrimination practiced against them…the reification of the caste system, even to this date, depends for its authority on the socioreligious observances of Brahmins, the high priests of Hinduism.
– V. Rajan “Dalits” and the Caste System in India, p 3, 2010)
As in India, it is formally illegal under the Nepalese Constitution to discriminate on grounds of caste, and the education system is also nominally open to all. In reality though, the caste system remains pervasive with the upper castes constituting 70-80% of personnel in all institutions of the state, education, media, commerce and health sectors, while forming only approximately 20% of the population.
The Kathmandu Valley Newaris, for example, form 3% of the population but occupy 13% of civil service posts. In the 1990’s it was shown that 80% of civil service, army and police posts were shared among Brahmin and Chetri castes. (14)
A more recent study in 2004 showed little change. Brahmins, while forming 13% of the population, accounted for 74% of top civil service posts. (15) Brahmins also lead the establishment parties which espouse the virtues of western-style multiparty democracy and the global market.
Nepalese Brahmins in politics, culture and business defer easily to fellow Brahmins ascendant in India, claiming a realism similar to the pragmatism of a small boy before a bigger sibling.
This assumes that Nepal and India are ‘family’, albeit one where might confirms right. They also note admiringly that Indian Brahmins have since Independence retained power and privilege in alliance with the Kshatriyas, the military caste, and the Banyias, the commercial and merchant caste, making a mockery of the great Dalit scholar/statesman Ambedkar’s 1947 Constitution prohibiting discrimination on grounds of caste and guaranteeing equality for all citizens.
Words were also cheap in the 1972 Amendment to the Indian Constitution that added the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ to the original declaration of ‘sovereign, democratic republic’. Against the evidence and from the beginning India was also touted in the capitalist West as rival to Red China’s ‘totalitarian ant heap’ and gushingly described as the ‘World’s Biggest Democracy’.
Yet caste and democracy are mutually exclusive; caste rule is anti-egalitarian, and democracy requires equality. India and Nepal are clear examples, still controlled by the same caste configuration that in the political sphere refracts into parties and factions with acquired skills, resources and enough cohesion to collectively jump through regular electoral hoops. Effective democratic camouflage disguises elective oligarchy. A lesson well learned from the White Sahib’s mastery over and increasing sophistication in the dark arts of electoral manipulation and illusion, important because the popular mandate confers legitimacy to uninterrupted ascendancy of the bourgeois capitalism.
The Dashists and their allies program the end of the upper caste monopoly of state power by establishing a New Federal People’s Democracy that represents the hitherto excluded Janjatis, Dalits, minorities, working classes and urban underclasses. Federalism is crucial to New Democracy as it means breaking up the centralized Brahminical state by devolving power to previously oppressed national minorities.
It will correct the historic wrong that began with the autocracy founded by Narayan Shah and extended by the Ranas through King Mahendra’s Panchayaat and continued since 1990 with elective dictatorship coalescing around establishment parties as they cartelized political and state power.
It was significant that one of the organized manifestations that followed victory in the 2006 Andolan was the mocking of Prithvi Narayan Shah’s statue in Kathmandu by Janjatis, indicating both that there is continuing antipathy to the oppressive central power he founded and that this historical wound remains very much open. The event was complemented by royalist outrage at such desecration, further testament to the irreconcilability of contending forces in Nepalese society.
…the entanglement of all peoples in the net of the world market, and with this, the international character of the capitalist regime. Along with the constantly diminishing number of the magnates of capital, who usurp and monopolize all advantages of this process of transformation, grows the mass of misery, oppression, slavery, degradation, exploitation…
Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, p. 73
To the present day:
Gender, Dalit and regional issues are important, and they are tied into the class struggle. But working to solve just these issues will not bring a full solution. This can only be reached by completing the class struggle.
– KB Bishwokarma, Prakanda.
The CPN-M Dashists affirm their wish to break with global capitalism and establish economic autarky featuring tariff walls to protect infant industries along with land reform and infrastructural development, all through socialist state planning and ownership. Nepal, they argue, has failed to straddle the transition from feudalism to capitalism, and its traditional ruling classes have been incapable and unwilling to provide effective governance to tackle deprivation, poverty and inequality. Since 1990 it has increasingly aped India’s development, a huckster capitalism overseen by wholly corrupt caste elites dressed in “emperor’s new clothes” of bourgeois Western multiparty democracy.
Maoists maintain that socialist transformation will improve conditions for the people and ensure genuine national sovereignty. Kiran, citing Mao and Stalin, argues that the national question in the case of Third World countries like Nepal is a class question. These weaker states have become subject to the interests of a dominant First World requiring them to be maintained in various stages of underdevelopment and to enable open markets for imported goods and foreign investment and to increase the plunder of their natural resources to feed insatiable Western consumer societies.
Third World countries are further valuable sources of low-paid indigenous labor for production of cheap commodities intended for the Western market, dramatically highlighted by the 2013 Rana Plaza clothing factory tragedy in Dhaka. These nations also provide a reservoir of migrant labor for international capital projects, graphically exposed by the slave-like conditions endured by émigré workers, many of them Nepalese, on the notorious Qatar World Cup project.
Even if not dramatically affected as migrant workers, neoliberalism, through international institutions led by IMF and World Bank, impacts on the Nepalese masses by shackling its government along with those in other impoverished, underdeveloped Third World countries to market-based austerity policies and denying whole populations benefits of modernity, decent infrastructure, modern schools, basic health care, access to clean water and sanitation, decent housing &c. Measuring everything by market criteria also blocked welfare programs, food subsidies and all state intervention aimed at reduction of poverty or stimulating domestic growth.
In Nepal it has led to growing numbers of Sukumbasi (squatters), increasing, persistent mass unemployment, landlessness, rural flight to towns/cities, especially Kathmandu, exacerbating already high urban poverty, bonded, émigré and child labor; all salient features of a failed state, where a traditional elite continue to flourish, retaining social and economic privilege.
This elite increasingly lives in ‘forts of gold’, while the world and the city outside crumbles over the head of the excluded and increasingly impoverished majority. Kathmandu is symptomatic, where, as in many Third World urban centers, the spectacle of private affluence for the few contrasts starkly with increasing public squalor for the many.
Hope for a more egalitarian Nepal following the 1990 transition from monarchical absolutism to multiparty democracy was quickly dashed in the years of corruption and reaction that followed, when a newly empowered political elite proved even more venal than the Panchas they had supplanted. Ideologically colonized, like the Brahmins of Congress India, they were transfixed by western liberal democracy, whose representative institutions and personal freedoms, they were conditioned to believe, enshrined universally applicable and superior European Enlightenment values.
Whereas imperialists once hawked a Christian Bible, their contemporaries now peddle the snake oil of capitalist democracy as salvation for, in Kipling’s infamous phrase from the poem Recessional, “lesser breeds without the Law”. Just as missionary societies once flourished, now Human Rights industries thrive and NGO’s promoting Western values and practices proliferate, employing some indigenous educated and enlisting them into the comprador class while sustaining patchwork schemes in a parody of development.
From the beginning the conditioning of native elites through education invariably inculcated western values and ideologies which, on one hand informed and articulated claims to national independence and produced the leadership for anticolonial struggle, while one the other, ensured the same leadership was sufficiently psychologically colonized to slavishly adopt after independence the parliamentary model, including the flummery. An exotic plant in wholly unsuitable conditions. (16)
As Franz Fanon caustically opined:
The colonialist bourgeoisie, in its narcissistic dialogue, expounded by the members of its universities, had in fact deeply implanted in the minds of the colonized intellectual that the essential qualities remain eternal in spite of all the blunders men may make: the essential qualities of the West, of course.(17)
Bourgeois parliamentary institutions emerged in the Europe of the Late Middle Ages as a revolutionary and contingent challenge to residual feudal control by divinely mandated monarchs scattered across the kingdoms of Europe. Increasingly, with bourgeois power assured, they became functional requirements for regulation of class interests and instruments of chauvinist aggression against other nations, initially in Europe. In their early gestation they provided an arena for systemic compromise where differences could be aired and reconciled by parties representing old and new forms of propertied ruling classes in given historical transitions.
This occurred in England following the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688, establishing a constitutional rapport between Whigs, the nascent bourgeoisie, and Tories, the old landowning class, but significantly this same transformation did not emerge from Les Etats Generaux of Bourbon France, making inevitable the 1789 Revolution and bloody, bourgeois victory over L’Ancien Regime. However, modern First World states, despite the potential democratic threat of universal suffrage, increasingly stabilized, and bourgeois capitalism established unchallenged supremacy.
Parties are now even less class-based, representing sectional interests within the ruling class competing for control of the state apparatus, with elections determining which of the intraclass rivals accedes to government, enabling exercise of executive power and policy implementation until the next poll. Among the mature Western democracies this increasing homogenization of parties barely masks elective bourgeois dictatorship, now tricked out in ballot box ritualism, steeped in what Marx derided as ‘parliamentary cretinism’ and nailed by Engels as:
…an incurable disease, an ailment whose unfortunate victims are permeated by the lofty conviction that the whole world, its history and its future are directed and determined by a majority of votes in just that very representative institution that has the honor of having them in the capacity of its members.
– Frederick Engels, Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Germany, 1852, ME Selected Works, Vol 1, p. 370)
Yet this system was adopted by the ex-colonies of the British Empire in Asia and Africa, all of which have signally failed. India is the worst example, especially after the collapse of Nehru’s dreams of socialist democracy involving state ownership, five year plans, and deficit spending within integument of a mixed economy, etc. all evaporated in the early 1960’s, following the disastrous defeat in the war of aggression launched against China in the Kashmir Aksai Chin. Nehru had always allowed for a degree of corruption, but after him it was unchecked; reflected in the Lok Sabha which degenerated into the kleptocracy presently extant.
In Nepal, similarly, after 1990, the new democratic state institutions quickly became synonymous with cronyism, nepotism and carpetbagging. A pervasive corruption disfigured Nepalese society and subsequently Nepal scored 2.2 on the 2011 World Corruption Perception Index, where 10 is ‘very clean’ and 0 is ‘highly corrupt’. (18) The economist Arun Kumar further estimated that the Nepalese black economy, in 2006, accounted for $4 billion in contrast to an official GDP of $7 billion, an even higher percentage than India where the same phenomenon accounts for a still eye-watering 50% of GDP.
Like a fish stinking from the head, the godfathers or Thulo Hakimharu of NC and UML contributed to this state of affairs by pursuing a brazen policy of enrichessez-vous as vigorously as the state campaign of terror and foreign-funded mayhem they unleashed before and during People’s War against the Left and rural agitators who challenged the new corruption.
Nevertheless, communists are not anarchists, grasping that participation in bourgeois elections is often a tactical necessity, so that if on occasion normative bourgeois control of electoral process as a result of political, economic or military crises is problematic, then communist parties should participate, particularly if it offers them the possibility of advancing proletarian interests. It was on such practical eventualities as well as principles that Marx and Engels campaigned for universal suffrage in the Communist Manifesto. They saw communists using the extended franchise to subvert the elective dictatorship of the bourgeoisie:
Transforme, de moyen de duperie qu’il a ete jusqu’ici, en instrument d’emancipation. (Changed by them from the usual means of deception, into one of transformation.)
(K. Marx, Manifesto for French Workers’ Party, 1880. ME Selected Works, Vol 1, p. 546)
It was in this spirit that the CPN (M) following the CPA entered the 2008
election campaign for a Constituent Assembly from which it emerged as the biggest party with 40% of the vote, to the surprise of many and to the particular alarm of domestic and foreign reactionaries. Prachanda had used his premature cult of personality, giving him unique authority over the party, PLA and United Front, to promise that the CPA would provide access to the towns and cities, enabling the party to use a CA as an engine for bringing the urban masses into the revolution.
The Maoists were aware that they had considerable support in towns and cities but could not connect with it as People’s War had reached military stalemate, with the PLA controlling the countryside and the RNA and Armed Police Force (APF) paramilitaries the urban centers, particularly Kathmandu. It was a logjam that had to be broken if the Prachanda Path strategy, the fusion of Maoist protracted rural struggle and Leninist urban insurrection, was to succeed and the revolution carried through.
In any event, the CPN (M) formed an administration in alliance with the UML with Prachanda as Prime Minister.
The administration’s first act was to abolish the monarchy and declare a republic, but an attempt by Prachanda to bring the army under civilian control by sacking the insubordinate CoS, Katawal and the royalist generals around him for refusing to integrate PLA ex-combatants en corps into the NA as per the CPA provoked a virtual coup openly orchestrated from New Delhi involving its Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) foreign intelligence service acting in collusion with NA officers and apparatchiks from NC, UML and UDMF.
This resulted in Yadhev, Nepal’s first President, significantly one of the few remaining prominent NC Terai Madeshis, exceeding his constitutional authority and reinstating the insubordinate Katawal.
The UML, following instructions from New Delhi, pulled out of the coalition, and with the Maoists now unable to secure a majority in the CA, Nepal’s first Maoist-led government collapsed after only eight months in office.
What provoked New Delhi to act with such speed and malice was triggered by Prachanda’s challenge to India’s right of veto over Nepal’s foreign policy by ‘playing the China card’, repeating Birendra’s ‘mistake’ with an attempted arms purchase from the PRC. Any hint of a China/Nepal alliance was anathema also to the Nepalese officer class and high command, who were historically close to India, and had, post-9/11, forged a deep relationship with Washington and the Pentagon, based on dollars, weaponry and training in return for allowing Nepal to become another link in the US chain surrounding the People’s Republic.
When Biplav (Netra Bikram Chand) was asked during the 2013 boycott campaign why he opposed elections, he replied that Maoists were not opposed to them per se as they were a ‘relative matter’. He opposed this specific one as political and financial larceny on a grand scale, attesting:
“It is a criminal conspiracy against the Nepalese working class.”
The 2009 coup showed that electoral results as democratic expressions of the popular will are also, when the occasion demands, a ‘relative matter’ even for those who peddle democracy as a universal panacea at least when it serves class interest but are as quick to ignore or subvert it when it doesn’t.
It would not be incorrect, if very insulting, to say that Nepal’s top leadership vis-à-vis India, has been morally bankrupt, greedy, hypocritical and have served as no more than errand boys. People are tired of these slick, fast-talking politicians. In fact their reputation has gone down the drain. In a culture aimed above all at seizing power, with material motivations, political democracy and thereby sustained peace is unlikely.
– G. Thapa, Republica, Nepalese daily newspaper, September 30, 2013.
Marxist-Leninists argue that nation and class are linked in Third World countries. In these countries, traditional ruling elites and the emerging bourgeoisie have been suborned by transnational capitalism and accept
neocolonial status as preferable to revolutionary change and national independence. It is therefore not in their increasingly cosmopolitan class interests to seek genuine self-determination; only the exploited working and marginalized classes have a genuine interest in such an outcome. (19) The symbiosis of communism and patriotism is therefore contingent to the epoch of imperialism.
The lack of concern of the present ruling elite for its people is shown in the case of Nepali migrant workers in Qatar, cited above, because their remittances contribute over 25% when included within the tourist/service sector’s contribution to GDP. At the macro level they improve the immediate balance of payments but over a longer term contribute to decline in manufacturing and agriculture, which leads to rises in imports, augmenting the structural weaknesses noted earlier in the economy.
Aside from BOP advantages, the money sent back also reduces governmental responsibility for the alleviation of poverty, especially in rural areas. Consequently there has been little or no representation from successive governments for the rights and well-being of the estimated 2.2 million émigré Nepalese presently working in India, Malaysia and the Middle East. (20)
This echoes an early initiative of Jonge Bahadur, who established Rana power after 1846 Red Kot Massacre by reducing the monarchy to titular status. He negotiated a payment per head for every Ghurkha recruited into the British Army. (21) This was one aspect of a new strategic alliance with the East India Company through which the new rulers began to draw material benefit from trading their subjects as commodities in the form of mercenaries, while being left unchallenged in Nepal to establish Rana monopoly control over all trade and to plunder state coffers and lands with impunity.
The arc that connects the establishment of Gurkha mercenaries with migrant labor is one where benefit accrues to the same high castes exercising state power, albeit under superficially different political systems by different means of extraction in different epochs.
Kiran’s Maoists, in this sense, expand the concept of patriotism beyond concern for territory and existing culture into one that includes the justice and welfare of the people. This criterion goes beyond but does not ignore traditional concerns: the defense of borders against constant Indian encroachments, ending the shameless political obedience to Delhi, the rolling back of foreign ownership in vital economic sectors, and protecting Nepal’s largely untapped vast hydro resources from continued Indian predation.
The CPN-M Dashists are equally quick to point out that they are only anti-Indian to the extent that they oppose the Indian government’s neocolonialist meddling in Nepal. The hatred of Brahminical expansionist policies does not extend to the Indian people, who they argue have and are beginning to make their own revolution against the same enemy.
This internationalist perspective is axiomatic for the patriotism of national liberation struggles in countries oppressed by imperialism and distinguishes it from bourgeois chauvinist nationalism that breeds racist hatred and jingoist aggression. This was the ideology that fueled rivalry between the nascent European states and then mutated into the racial superiority engendered by the subsequent colonization and subjugation of native peoples in Africa, Asia and the Americas.
Imperialism no longer requires direct colonial occupation but operates in neo- or semi-colonial form. Exploitation of peoples and resources continue, and even intensify, but are now fronted by local ruling elites, comprador upper castes and classes, conditioned and rewarded to front for and spare imperialist powers from the obloquy and resistance engendered by 19th century European colonial empires.
Mao described the modus operandi:
When imperialism carries on its oppression not by war but by milder means – political, economic and cultural – the ruling classes in semi-colonial countries capitulate to imperialism, and the two form an alliance for the joint oppression of the masses of the people.
– Mao Zedong, On Contradiction, Selected Works, Vol 1, p.331
The present Nepalese ruling class, in this respect, cannot represent the national interest, Maoists aver, as they constitute an anti-patriotic bloc sustained by and servant to international capital and great power geopolitics. Kiran concluded:
Both the King and the Nepali Congress Party represent the feudal, bureaucratic and comprador bourgeoisie.
Patriotism in Nepal and similar Third World countries, is not, argue the Maoists, ‘a refuge for the scoundrel’, but rather a home for the homeless and the hope of the hopeless. In this regard Pushpa Lal, when founding the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) in 1949, absorbed Mao’s definition of patriotism and learned how the Koumintang degenerated from the patriots of Sun Yat Sen into the quislings of Chiang Kai Chek. He also derived lessons from the Soviet Union’s Great Patriotic War against Germany’s virulent, fascist imperialism. Patriotism in the modern age was, by these examples, anti-imperialist by definition.
Therefore, in the epoch of imperialism, the mantle of patriotism falls upon the shoulders of the proletariat in the oppressed Third World. The bourgeoisie in the metropolitan heartlands invoke it to mask imperial aggression and aggrandizement, while the big bourgeoisie of monopoly financial and industrial capital have transcended the nation-state and its parochial ideology, instead pledging allegiance to the ascending global megalopolis of money.
Inspired by China’s liberation in 1949, the newly founded Communist Party of Nepal took up arms against the Rana regime, which was in power via an alliance with NC led by the Koirala brothers and royalist forces under King Tribhuvan (Nepal’s Ivan the Terrible to the Ranas’ Boyars) Together they forged a Mukti Senaa (Liberation Army) which invaded from India in 1950/51.
These activities were supported, with arms, funds and facilities and funded by Nehru’s Congress government, and even included providing officer staff from Bose’s recently demobilized Indian National Army. Nehru had already godfathered the creation of Nepali Congress in 1948 from progressive Nepalese democrats exiled in India, and wanted to settle accounts with the pro-British Ranas. In the final event India limited their support to the NC, forcing it into a three-way peace agreement with the Ranas and the King.
There followed a short-lived NC/Rana coalition government, the collapse of which signaled a decade of political struggle between the NC and the King, followed by thirty years of monarchial executive government, with New Delhi steering a seemingly contradictory ‘Two-Pillar’ policy of supporting the monarchy and the aspiring democrats of Nepali Congress.
Lal, who, in 1949 first translated the Communist Manifesto into Nepalese, linked armed struggle to a domestic program, principally advocating a ‘Land to the Tiller’ policy in tandem with breaking up big feudal estates and following the example of China’s ‘New Democracy’ also proclaimed the intention of promoting state-sponsored national capitalism.
The party also advocated a Constitutional Assembly, which was agreed among all the parties, foreign and domestic, but reneged on by Tribhuvan’s successor, Mahendra, who, following the 1960 coup, replaced the parliamentary system with a feudal Panchayat, a series of interlocked consultative committees, starting at village level and ending with the King as final arbiter.
It was in these conditions of a Shah/Brahmin autocracy and the international US-led post-1945 onslaught to roll back Communism that saw the Communist Party and movement grow, recruiting from the intelligentsia, disillusioned radical NC members, urban workers, Dalits and oppressed rural minorities.
However, aside from having to operate underground, it faced the same problem as that of succeeding communist parties and cadre in maintaining a united revolutionary line. Lal’s CPN split in the early 1960’s between pro-Moscow reformists such as Tulsi Lal Amatya and pro-Beijing revolutionaries.
There was a parallel split between the Rayamajhi faction which scuttled off to serve the Panchayat system and Puspha Lal, who remained committed to proletarian revolution against domestic reaction and international US imperialism, supported by Mao’s communist China, at least until Deng Xiaoping’s 1976 Rightist coup left the proletariat at home and abroad to its own devices.
After the Japha Uprising in 1971, Nepal’s first communist armed struggle, the UML emerged. But by 1990, it was fully committed to multiparty democracy and conciliation with Delhi, following the lead set by its homologues in Communist Party of India (Marxist).
Its transformation into a comprador bourgeois parliamentary party epitomized when the short-lived 1994 UML Adhikary administration instigated the Integrated Mahakali Treaty, which, under its NC successor, signed after an orgy of corruption, ceded sovereignty of the river to India. The UCPN (Maoist) path from People’s War into parliamentary politics and accommodation with Delhi has already been noted.
However, Nepalese communism, while disputatious, has shown great vigor, and unlike the post-1945 Western communist parties has never surrendered intellectual or political hegemony to the bourgeoisie. Schisms and splits followed deviations, but the result always ensured that the torch of patriotic, anti-imperialist revolution was passed to a new generation and party. The CPN-M is the latest manifestation of this cycle of action and reaction and may not be the last, but it has inherited the legacy of Puspha Lal Shrestha at a time when Luxemburg’s historical option of ‘Socialism or barbarism?’ confronts with even greater urgency, a century after she coined her prophetic question.
The feudal system was by no means brought complete from Germany, but had its origin, as far as the conquerors were concerned, in the martial organization of the army during the actual conquest, and this evolved after the conquest into the feudal system proper through the action of the productive forces found in the conquered countries.
– K Marx, Feuerbach – Opposition of Materialist and Idealist Outlook, Selected Works, Vol 1, p.72)
Nepal was unified in 1769 when the Gorkhali warrior state subdued the three kingdoms in the Kathmandu Valley and created a myriad of fifty or more smaller principalities under the leadership of Prithi Narayan, who became its first Shah and centralized royal power in Kathmandu. It was not an organic process with common national identity evolving from a shared history, economy, language or culture but one of force majeure that involved conquest and subjugation over many indigenous ethnicities, each with their own language and customs.
Narayan Shah’s ruthless empire building was partly driven by desire to forestall the inexorable northeastern expansion of the East Indian Company, then easily colonizing small kingdoms in its path. The creation of a martial Greater Nepal did indeed halt the feringhees (foreigners) advance, which appeared unstoppable following Clive’s decisive victory at Palashi (Plassey) over the Nawab of Bengal in 1757. This battle secured Company rule over India until the precise centennial challenge of the first War of Independence in 1857, denigrated by the British using the euphemism, ‘The Indian Mutiny’.
However, a decade after Plassey, in 1767, Narayan Shah’s Gurkhali army routed a British expeditionary force under Captain Kinloch at Sindhulighadi and kept the greedy, expansionist British in the guise of the East India Company out of Nepal until the second decade of the 19th century and, many claim, helped ensure that the country was never formally colonized. It necessitated creating a domestic power imbalance with a minority ruling a majority that, apart from some cosmetic modification, exists to the present day and for a century was marked by Rana regimes so servile to British interests that invasion and colonization were rendered unnecessary.
The extent of dominion had been acquired entirely during the last fifty years, by the systematic prosecution of a policy likened by the Goorkhas themselves, and not inaptly so, to that which had gained for us the empire of Hindoostan.
– HT Prinsep, The Goorkha War, p 9, 1825)
Prithvi Narayan Shah established a state in Nepal that in many way was analogous with those of European feudalism that emerged from the collapse of the Roman Empire and lasted until the rise of capitalism in the late Middle Ages. It also was an agricultural society presided over by a divinely ordained monarch, nobility and priesthood existing on the labor and produce of a mass of serfs. Even the manner of its inception by force of arms echoes Marx’s comments on the origins of feudalism in Northern Europe as a response to anarchy and decay of the times:
From these conditions and the mode of organization determined by them, feudal property developed under the influence of the Germanic military constitution. (Marx-Engels, Feuerbach – Opposition of Materialist & Idealist Outlook, p.23. ME Selected Works, Vol. 1)
In this respect, Narayan Shah’s unification of Nepal was similar to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, where advanced military forces involving disciplined infantry and cavalry in integrated battle tactics was decisive in sweeping aside patchy and ill-coordinated Anglo-Saxon resistance.
In terms of comparative logistics and technical support, it was complemented by Narayan Shah’s adoption of modern weaponry and training of a third of his army along British lines that proved crucial to eventual success in a grueling twenty-year campaign culminating in the declaration of Nepal as a Hindu Kingdom in 1769.
Gorkhalis and Normans conquered foreign lands and peoples, and Kings William and Narayan used countrywide grants of confiscated lands to their warrior and clerical castes as both reward for past service and to secure the future of the central regime. In each case repression was used to entrench the system and reduce respective populations to serf/Shudra servility. The speed and ruthless nature of Norman expropriations was such that by the end of William’s reign in 1087, 20% of the land was owned by the royal family, 25% by ten of his leading nobles and another 25% by the Church.
It was a more attenuated process in Nepal, but by the time of the Ranas in mid-19th century, similar patterns in ownership and access to land were firmly established that, despite some fragmentation and formal abolition of feudal land titles, remain into the 21st century for want of serious reform. A 2004 Human Development Report, UNDP, reported the top 5% owning 37% of the land, with the bottom 47% in possession of 15% (22). A decade earlier the Maoists presented more dramatic statistics calculating the top 10% as owning 65% of the cultivable land with exactly reversed percentages for poor peasant possession of land. (23)
From the birth of the new state, each of the subjugated peoples were subject to feudal rent in labor, goods or money in the case of Nepal where a sizable portion took immediate monetary form, while in Europe such remittance mode emerged gradually, attenuated by feudal society fragmenting under the impact of a growing urban society of flourishing markets and small-scale commodity production. In this situation money’s use-value as means of facilitating commodity exchange enriched and accelerated the rise of an increasingly prosperous merchant burger class that finally burst the constraints of European feudalism.
Should the direct producers not be confronted by a private landlord, but rather, as in Asia under direct subordination to a state which stands over them as their landlord and simultaneously as sovereign, then rent and taxes coincide, or rather, there exists no tax which differs from this form of ground-rent. Under such circumstances there need exist no stronger political or economic pressure than that common to all subjection to that state. The state is then the supreme lord. Sovereignty here consists in the ownership of land concentrated on a national scale.
– Marx, Capital Vol 3, p 791, New World edition)
Aside from the geopolitical considerations of blocking the feringhees, the Gorkha state was driven by hunger for land, and Narayan Shah particularly desired the fertile Kathmandu Valley. Brahmins and Rajputs who had settled across Nepal, having being uprooted from North India by Mughal invasion and settlement, were also instrumental in securing the new system established by Narayan Shah from the Kathmandu center.
They were particularly enthusiastic participants in the abolition of tribal land rights and the creation of a royal monopoly over all land under the Raikar Law. This allowed for individual/family use and transfer as long as taxes were paid to the King’s state treasury. Private ownership of land eventually mutated from this private use, creating a largely Brahmin landlord class.
When Raikar was abolished in 1950, the system accounted for 50% of cultivated land. Equally important for the Shahs and especially the later Ranas was Birta tenure where land was allotted to servants and soldiers of the King free of tax. When it was abolished in 1959, it accounted for 36% of cultivated land. (24)
The Guthi system further allowed for state or private grants of land to religious institutions and was free from tax and repossession by the donor. This continues to the present time but accounts for only 2% of cultivated land.
A specific subset of Birta was Jagir tenure, which was land in lieu of pay to army personnel, both officers and privates, which intensified expropriations of a scarce resource and entrenched the new order by, as one historian notes:
…granting of Jagir lands to such of them as received appointments in the government and army was an important factor contributing to the stability and organization of the newly established regime. Without the Jagir system it would have been virtually impossible for the government to distribute rewards to its nobility and military personnel.
– Land Ownership in Nepal, p 74, MC Regmi).
Certain ethnic groups in Eastern Nepal had traditional rights to common land under the Kipat system. The Limbus in particular had these rights as quid pro quo for their agreement in 1774 to accept merger with Nepal under Narayan Shah’s sovereignty, which extracted a pledge that Kipat land would remain outside the Raikar system in perpetuity. This was never honored by succeeding shahs and particularly the later Rana regimes that relentlessly encroached upon these lands during the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Limbus suffered especially as literate and legally informed Brahmins exploited their skills to dispossess them of their traditional lands. It was comparable to the enclosures of Tudor and Georgian England, where the gentry used Acts of Parliaments to dispossess an equally unwitting rural people of their common lands.
Rai Kipat land was largely untouched, reflecting the uneven development in the extension of royal autocratic hegemony mingled with deliberate divide et impera strategy. It shows how oppression was relative, with some national minorities eventually binding to and serving Narayan’s state, even applying stratification by caste among their own peoples, acquiescent in their deities’ acceptance as avatars of the Hindu God, &c.
When born in the same way – all are one. None superior –none inferior. What is the use of caste that discriminates between human beings?
– From Basavanna’s Vachanas, written by a 12th century Indian philosopher/statesman.
The modalities of tenure imposed by the first Shah were pivotal in creating the economic and political sinews of a strong central state and went hand-in-hand with the imposition of the Hindu caste system throughout the country. This showed that feudalism in Nepal, while it shared features with the European variety, was deeply rooted in the culture of Indian tributary societies which flourished in the Middle Kingdoms between the first and thirteenth centuries.
The caste system originated as a means for a colonizing group of light-skinned Indo-Aryans to distinguish themselves from the indigenous dark aboriginal peoples (Adivhasis) they were colonizing by establishing three Varnas (Varna denotes color) – Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishaya in order of superiority.
However, according to scholars, by the time of Gupta Dynasty around 100 AD, this structure was recast as a socioeconomic hierarchy after large grants of land were given to the Brahmin priests, administrators, astrologers, temples and monastic institutions. This largesse had earlier been declared a sacred duty in the Dharmashastra, Hinduism’s foundational scripts where Brahmins are declared Pratigraha, the one caste entitled to receive gifts. There are further references along these lines in the epic poem Mahabharata.
The fourth caste, Shudras, were called forth during this period as an agricultural labor force in servile symbiosis with a rapidly expanding landlord class. Slaves at worst, chattel at best; a Shudra could be killed by a Brahmin with impunity. They were untouchables, subject to enforced endogamy and exclusion. The peasantry of contemporary village India are their descendants. Eventually a fifth category evolved, Dalits (Hindi for oppressed) which took over menial tasks connected with bodily waste, pollution and dirt – they and other tribal subgroups became the ‘Untouchables’.
This essentially was the system that Narayan Shah and his Gorkha warriors imposed upon Nepal, notwithstanding the Shah’s attempt at inclusivity by describing his Kingdom as ‘a garden of four castes and thirty-six subcastes’. No rosy description could, however, mask the reality of a ruthless struggle for land (intensified by salient, topographical fact that only 20% of the country’s area is cultivable) resulting in the new masters seizing the best land and extracting disproportionate produce as feudal rent.
Janjatis were accorded the same status as Shudras and Dalits, and aside from extractions of surplus and rent, had to provide free labor for specified periods and military service as necessary, under the Jhara Code, comparable to Corvee Labor in European feudalism. Hindu patriarchal law deprived Janjati village and farmstead women of property rights. This was accompanied by a sustained campaign to ban ethnic languages and culture that culminated in the Panchayat slogan: ‘One nation, one king, one language.’
In Kalikot, Hinduism has incurred into disfavor after the Maoist uprising, temples have been abandoned or even demolished. There was no use for them after the upper castes lost their land and moved to the city. In this place we had a temple of Dedhedu, and we were not allowed to enter the temple from this area onward. If we are not allowed to worship the idols that we ourselves made, then there is no point. We came to understand this and stopped maintaining the place.”
– Interview with Dalit Kalikot resident.
The Panchas did not add ‘One God’ to the attributes of the Khas nation as this was axiomatic to the state’s divine Hindu conception where religion was integral, functioning as means of ideological control over the laboring masses. It is strikingly similar to the role played by the pre-Reformation, Roman Catholic Church in European feudalism.
The Church of Rome preached that serfs were chattel, a property category introduced into the world as divine retribution for the original sin of Adam and Eve and carried from birth by their descendants. However, by virtuously accepting his/her lot and offering it up as penance in this life, a serf could attain a ‘state of grace’, ensuring admittance in the next life to Heaven at Dies Irae (Judgment Day). The Church was also a great land and serf owner and had a vested material interest in the temporal status quo. As is so often with organized religion, the basest of motives were tricked out as divinely inspired credo by ferocious, proselytizing clergy.
Their Hindu Brahmin homologues achieved the same end by teaching Shudras, Dalits, and other lower castes that their reward for accepting low caste in this life and creating good karma would be reincarnation into a higher one in the next. There is a potentially endless cycle of life, death and rebirth expressed in the concept of Samsara until the totality of Karma, achieved by soul’s migration through various physical manifestations is sufficient to achieve final mukti (liberation).
There are, of course, significant differences between Catholicism and Hinduism – one a transnational, centralized, corporate entity, the other a syncretic, subcontinental, decentralized network, but in credal terms of ‘justifying the ways of God to Man’ as mechanisms for strict hierarchical control, they were equally prescriptive. The Brahmins are as fanatical about prohibiting intercaste marriage or upholding Sati as Catholic clerics were about burning heretics for denying the Trinity or Transubstantiation doctrines.
Each presented priestly castes functioning to reconcile the exploited and submerged masses to their inferior position by rationalizing the respective socioeconomic systems as ‘divinely ordained’ and eternal. The historian Kosambhi’s assessment below on role of caste in Hinduism could be equally applied to that of the Catholic Church in medieval Europe.
Caste is class at a primitive level of production, a religious method of forming a social consciousness in such a manner that the primary producer is deprived of his surplus with the minimum of coercion.
– D. D. Kosambhi, Combined Methods in Indology, p 59.
Whatever the arguments concerning the urban genesis of Indian feudalism (25) in the Gupta period (300-600 AD), there is no doubt that in Nepal it was driven from a central urban power in Kathmandu. Whereas towns and cities in Europe rose in opposition to the feudal countryside, in Nepal the city of Kathmandu was instrumental in superimposing a unified feudal system in a region, and the process was marked by an uneven impact upon urban and rural populations. For the former it was consolidation or even preservation, for the latter – a ’Big Bang’ whose reverberations, like the cosmic microwave background, are still detectable.
In this regard, the unification of the petty principalities, city states and major kingdoms within the Gandaki Basin of Central Nepal ranging from Pokhara to Kathmandu was facilitated by shared Indo-Aryan ethnicity, religion and language among the various protagonists. The regional ubiquity of Hindu upper castes – Brahmins, Chetris, Newaris, Thakuris and Rajputs – in various independent micropolities, petty principalities and kingdoms thus enabled Narayan Shah to develop a strategy that allowed for guile, diplomacy or force of arms to be juggled as necessary on a shared terrain as predominantly a manageable political or dynastic problem.
Most of the town and city statelets absorbed were, nolens volens, either feudal or proto-feudal, with rural lower castes and untouchables producing the agricultural surplus appropriated by urban higher castes.
Devout Hindus obviously welcomed the extension of the caste system that underpinned their privileged conditions of existence but were also roused by the Gorkhali King’s call to defend Hinduism against the Christian feringhees’ inexorable advance – Bible in one hand, rifle in the other. The warrior castes, forged in the wars against Buddhism and the later Mughal incursion, responded with particular fervor, ensuring them an influential position in the ruling elite thereafter.
For the Janjati Tibeto-Burman (26) peoples it was a military conquest by Indo-Aryans subjecting them to economic exploitation and cultural coercion. It created multifaceted oppression based on ethnicity, caste and gender that intensified under the Ranas who, led by Jonge Bahadur Rana, seized power in 1846. The Ranas were Rajput warriors (the name means, ‘field of battle’) raised originally by Narayan Shah, and their century-long rule was marked by persecution, corruption, and debauchery. In return for being left alone to plunder the country, a succession of mostly Shamsher Ranas developed a neocolonial relationship with the British that began seriously starting with the 1857 War of Independence.
Domestically, they used the Birta system extensively in order to seize more land, which increased rural deprivation and landlessness. Birta was particularly applied to award large tracts of the fertile Terai Plains to the Rana clan and other upper castes such as Thakhuris, Brahmins, Chhetris and Rajputs.
The 1854 Muluki Ain (Country/Civil Law) was essential to the process of freezing Nepal in the Middle Age. This set of laws derived from orthodox the Hindu sanctions and laws of the Dharmashastras, giving legal validation to the caste system by, inter alia, prohibiting intercaste mixing, regulating submission of peasants before landlords, and generally preserving the sociocultural and economic status quo. It also continued the tradition of Brahmins being exempt in law from capital or corporal punishment.
There was always resistance in some form to Rana autocracy – for example, the Gurung and Magar Risings in the 19th century and the mass movement inspired by a young widow, Yog Maya, a campaign for rural justice and against caste discrimination which lasted for two decades until the early 1930s. The response to any challenge to the existing order, whether socioeconomic or political, was always repression. In 1940 activists from the Prajaa Parisad (Citizens’ Council) Party were hung for daring to advocate a constitutional monarchy.
While the Ranas’ political grip was loosened after 1950, it has maintained military influence in the officer class and high command of the Nepalese Army, with the present Chief of Army Staff, J. B. Rana, one of the seven Ranas out of eleven occupants of the post since 1974.
Towards the end of the uncertain 1950s’, Nehru’s duplicitous Delhi Compromise disintegrated, with the Ranas retiring from political, but not military, power. Nepali Congress and King Mahendra entered a struggle to determine ascendancy, as the democratically elected 1959 Koirala government tentatively began land reform with the twin aims of raising agricultural productivity and alleviating rural poverty.
This was undermined in 1960 by Mahendra’s military coup, proroguing parliament, banning political parties and trade unions, and beginning direct monarchical rule through a Panchayat system of ‘managed democracy’, and in 1962 implementing a pro-landlord program.
This provoked the American agronomist who had helped draft the previous NC administration’s progressive legislation complaining, in a 1963 letter,that landlords were an obstacle to reform because:
They opposed any attempt to improve the situation of tenants.
They were content with low productivity because it generated enough surplus that would be at risk from reform. They were pursuing narrow caste/class sectional interests at the expense of national prosperity and advancing the forces of agricultural production. (27)
Garibiko Bahas. Discussion on Poverty
However, by this time Mahendra had consolidated power with help of a ruling elite that included a significant tranche of landlords and therefore substantial reforms such as setting upper limits on land ownership, increasing access to land for marginalized groups, and greater legal protection for poorer tenants were rejected. Subsequently, his successors, kings and democrats alike, emulated this approach, paying lip service to land reform and radical transformation of the agricultural sector.
Probing Mahendra’s support for the landlords encapsulates the premise of this essay, limning a ruling elite that established its caste predominance by force majeure in 1769 and was still clinging to political power and economic privilege.
Looking at the composition of the landlord class extant at Mahendra’s accession provides a microcosm of Nepalese history, with soldiers and high civil servants from established Brahmin and Chetri castes forming a core of absentee landlords. This was leavened by in situ landlords who became the activists and officers (Panchas) of the Panchayat system and were instrumental in implementing the 1967 ‘Back to the Village’ campaign and generally eliminating rural opposition to the absolutist regime.
From 1964 on there were a succession of five Land Acts, none of which led to any perceptible change to the basic inequities suffered by the rural masses. Hopes for restructuring the sector were dashed when both NC and UML’s ‘Land to the Tiller’ policies failed to survive the transition from underground to legality, following the 1990 Andolan that humbled King Birendra and established for New Delhi a more amenable multiparty system.
The short-lived 1996 Adikhari UML-led coalition administration tried to pick up the pieces and set up the Badal Commission which recommended measures to increase access to land by hitherto marginalized rural peoples. Its recommendations fell with the government that commissioned it, and reform was off the agenda, as successive administrations preferred stasis to reform.
The NC-led Deuba regime, in 2002, did propose a program of radical change, ostensibly to aid poor farmers and tenants but which in reality turned out to be a political stratagem rather than a serious reform initiative, the purpose of which was to neutralize and outbid support for the Maoists’ truly radical rural agenda at the height of People’s War.
The only changes attempted by the many governments from 1990-2006 were guided by neoliberal policies enforced on loan-dependent Nepal by the IMF and World Bank. Permitting only market mechanisms, they enabled the landlord-moneyed class to acquire even more land through a Land Bank. Furthermore, land registration and government improvement grants were designed to benefit big Hindu landlords. Meanwhile, the governments resisted ceilings on land ownership aimed at sharing land more equably by creating tenancies among the hitherto landless and marginalized rural populations and also rejected improving rights and security of tenure for existing small and single family tenancies.
It was significant that the landlord class, following the collapse of the Panchayat system in 1990, flocked into the ranks of Nepali Congress, entrenching it further as a formidable conservative bloc, winning the 1991 election that, after a hiccup, saw the ferocious anti-communist GP Koirala installed as Prime Minister. He needed little urging to launch a harsh campaign of state repression against the urban Left and their Janjati allies in the countryside.
This commenced in April 1992 with police shooting demonstrators in Kathmandu and led remorselessly to the notorious 1995 Operation Romeo which subjected the western district of Rolpa to sustained police terror, lasting weeks and featuring arbitrary killing, rape and mass arrests, followed by detention and often torture. This insensate, brutal operation was decisive in swelling the ranks of a nascent Maobaadi (Maoist) PLA, and provided the spark that ignited a prairie fire of rural revolution marking the decade following 1996. Dr. Bhatterai provided an overview:
The most disadvantaged regions within the country include those inhabited by indigenous people since time immemorial. These regions, which were independent tribal states prior to the formation of the unified state in the latter half of the 18th century, have been reduced to the most backward and oppressed condition due to internal feudal exploitation and external semi-colonial oppression.
They have been left behind in the historical development process because of the blockade of their path to independent development and the imposition of sociocultural oppression along with economic oppression with the backing of the state, by forces that came from outside.
B. Bhatterai, Political Economy of People’s War, 1997, from PW in Nepal, Seddon-Karki, p 153)
It was no accident therefore, that the Maoists in 1996 chose to launch People’s War from rural West Nepal, beginning with the ransacking of an Agricultural Development Bank office located, with appropriate historical symmetry, in Gorkha District. Loan agreements lodged there, which extracted rent from tenant farmers by usurious repayments, were seized and torched, while ownership documents, held as collateral against the loans, were carefully retrieved and returned to respective titleholders.
It was no accident that land reform was a key element in 2006 negotiations for CPA, where Maoists wanted further confiscation of land from the big landlords without compensation and the application of ‘scientific management’ to agriculture. In so doing they were echoing longstanding communist aims of land reform, highlighted in the 40 demands promulgated in 1996 by CPN (M) and whose anticipated rejection was the trigger for People’s War.
Communists and anti-imperialists argue land reform is crucial for underdeveloped Third World countries if they are to gestate into modern genuinely independent societies. Forgetting the propaganda about it being the ‘world’s biggest democracy’, India is presently the world’s greatest failed state, with staggering levels of poverty and deprivation.
This stems from the failure to transform its inefficient feudal land system after independence, because, prior to it, Gandhi and Nehru had made an alliance with the feudal landlords and guaranteed their property and privilege. The much vaunted ‘Green Revolution’ of the 1960’s came and went without altering the systemic depressing reality noted by a leading economist:
Famines in India were very frequent during the period 1940’s to 1970’s. Due to faulty distribution of food and because farmers did not receive the true value of their labors, the majority of the population did not get enough food. Malnutrition and starvation were a huge problem.
Sen, A. Poverty and Famine, 1981
In 2008 the World Bank estimated the global poor at 1.29 billion, of whom 400 million were in India. Communist China by contrast expropriated its landlord class and created over 70,000 communes that overcame residual difficulties and not only eliminated famines by 1970, but also, against the background of the mid-1960’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, provided the springboard for Deng Xiaoping’s launching China in the direction of state capitalism (28) after 1976.
Other socialist countries have followed this path: DPRK, Vietnam, and Cuba. Even Japan, post-1945, under MacArthur’s US imperium – initiated land reform clearing away feudalism as precondition for a capitalist future and a bastion against the march of communism in Asia. In all cases it was intended as precursor to industrial development and national autonomy. It is the only way for semi-feudal (29) and feudal societies to advance beyond subsistence agriculture – by planning, collectivization and ‘scientific management’ in order to expand reproduction and accumulate the surplus necessary to feed the urban populations.
It is especially crucial in supporting a growing working class engaged on infrastructural projects or in domestic industries that hopefully flourish when protected behind tariff walls.
The nature of the society shapes its revolution’s priorities; as Dr Bhatterai, then in camp of revolution, detailed:
In a semi-feudal agriculture based economy like Nepal, the New Democratic revolution means basically an agrarian revolution. Revolutionary land reform, is, therefore, the biggest and the most important economic program of the New Democratic revolution. (B Bhatterai, ibid, p 158)
The imposition of a feudal system from the urban center created unresolved contradictions in Nepalese society. These contradictions are intensifying under pressurized conditions effected by the modern global capitalist market, but their provenance lies in Narayan Shah’s successful, ruthless unification campaign. More conquest than consensus, it seeded the antagonisms that continue to flourish in a divided, heterogeneous society and are recapitulated below.
1). The urban and rural paradox, which saw an urban center dominating the countryside as was touched on earlier, was an inversion of European feudal experience where towns and cities grew in dynamic opposition to the stagnant nature of rustic society. This caused Marx to remark in the Communist Manifesto that the one thing you could thank the bourgeoisie for, was that they built cities and rescued the mass of the people from ‘rural idiocy’. On the contrary in Nepal, unification and comprehensive extension of Hindu feudalism/Brahminism was driven by an autocratic, central state that remains largely intact and unreformed.
As with many capital cities in the developing world, Kathmandu has also come to epitomize uneven development, with the city growing into a First World citadel, in a Third World society, a progression expedited because its ruling elites in politics, the civil service, the armed forces, business and, increasingly, the media have been suborned by global and regional imperialism, manifested in mixtures of military, economic and cultural Soft Power.
In today’s Nepal, continuing resentment of central power, even dressed up as ‘democracy’, is revealed in dissension between those defending it against federalists seeking to liberate national minorities in the regions.
The CPN (M) placed decentralization among its 40 demands in 1996, and it has since provided detailed policy necessary to establish a federal state. The major parliamentary parties are opposed, wanting to either retain power in the Kathmandu center or gerrymander a federal state that ensures continuing upper caste/class hegemony.
2). Narayan Shah’s triumph is echoed in the confrontation between Hindu Khas chauvinists and Janjati national minorities, with the former from the outset dressing up socioeconomic oppression of the latter in religious and linguist garb. The Rana record of attempting to stamp out the many ethnic languages and cultures is attested, but successive Shahs and soi disant democratic politicians were no better.
As late as 1994, the Adhikari UML administration launched a Sanskrit radio station and tried to make its teaching compulsory in schools. Something to note – Sanskrit, the root of all Indo-Aryan languages as Latin for the European ‘Romantics’, has no linguistic connection with any ethnic minority language in Nepal, and the strategy of its imposition was another cultural humiliation, provoking an anti-Sanskrit campaign led by Janjatis.
This event was a particularly salutary example of the gulf between the UML’s communist appellation and its political practice, which in this case was distinguished by arrogant, implicit Hindutvaism.
Reflecting back to the 1066 conquest of England, Marx, quoted earlier, noted that the Norman system was grafted onto a pre-existing embryonic form of Anglo-Saxon feudalism. It could also be said that the two peoples shared the Catholic faith, perhaps offset by the Papal blessing given to William, rewarding his Ultramontanist credentials and the Church’s temporal interest in extending this more efficient and proven pious Norman feudalism and its own theological-political hegemony.
However, even points of concurrence did not disguise a brutal invasion followed by a century of military oppression at the hands of a French-speaking army and a new nobility ensconced in castle, on expropriated land. The evolution of feudalism into the more benign form of manorialism and the consolidation of Royal and Papal power in England was greatly facilitated by fact that within four generations, the hitherto alien invaders, kings and nobles alike, had abandoned the French language for an evolving English one. This linguistic event was crucial to the formation of the modern English language and vital in establishing a cohesive national identity.
It was not, therefore, unification by force-of-arms at the behest of foreign invaders that has precluded a similar Nepalese national identity from appearing; rather it is the failure to heal the original divisions created between vaunting conqueror and resentful conquered.
3). Landlord and tenant antipathy is rooted in the appropriation and expropriation of land that continued until the second half of the 20th century. The abolition of feudal land tenure and its subsequent mutation from private use to private ownership under market conditions benefited upper caste landlords by enabling them to consolidate their lands, with access to capital giving them immediate preference in acquiring released former royal/state lands.
As shown previously, the pattern of land ownership has scarcely changed since the covetous Ranas and upper castes used the state and its repressive apparatus to monopolize swathes of it. Reforms such as setting ceilings on land holdings were either resisted or circumvented. Small tenants were given few protections, and they either fell prey to usurers or were driven into sharecropping and landlessness.
This last group have swollen to include almost 30% of the rural population, mainly Dalits, ethnics, Terai Muslims, and together they form a reservoir of cheap labor, first supplementing and then replacing Kamaiya bonded labor after its abolition in 2002. Thus the feudal landholders devolved into landlords, rentiers – often absentee – and usurers. Over 80% of this last category were drawn from this traditional rural elite (30) despite the Asian Development Bank’s attempts to break their monopoly of usury. Consequently feudal relations continue to dominate an increasingly proletarianized rural workforce.
4) The crucial component defining the relations of production in the tributary system established by Prithvi Narayan Shah was the rigorous application of the Hindu caste system and the enforcement of it on Buddhist, pantheist, or shamanist Janjatis. The ideas of the ruling class, as Marx observed, tend to constitute the dominant ideas in any society, and in the subcontinent, caste was the Brahmin elite’s mechanism for maintaining and rationalizing oppression and exploitation.
It expressed a fusion of ideological and economic function in a society characterized by the rigid hierarchy of caste and rendered immutable by divine genesis and command:
The rich man in his castle
The poor man at his gate
God made them high and low
And ordered their estate
This Christian hymn’s maxims are paralleled in the precepts of Hindu casteism as set forth, among other sources, by the God Krishna in the Bhavagad Gita:
“The caste system has been created by me…According to the differentiation of…Karma”
Ch 4, Verse 13
“…of (the castes) the duties are distributed according to the qualities born of their nature”
Ch 18, Verse 41
The continuing grip of this system, however informal, is evidence of residual feudal mindset and practice. A contemporary Brahmin is just as likely today to be a newspaper editor, political boss, professional, or civil servant, as a Pujaari (priest) or Jyotisi (astrologer), but this has not diluted the influence of the caste; rather it has equipped it to expand into the many crevices of power in contemporary civil societies.
In all events, the secular opinion-former or the Thulo Hakim (party godfather/boss), laagered in Kathmandu, is no less the arrogant, prescriptive Brahmin, than is the cleric, functioning as interlocutor between humanity and God, under the gold roof of Pashupatinath Temple, on the banks of the Bagmati River that flows through Kathmandu and from where Dalits, as with all temples, are barred from entering.
Caste in Nepal often overlaps with class, with Brahmins and Kshatriya morphing into bourgeoisie, and Dalits in their designated laboring and semi-skilled occupations recalibrating as workers and forming unions. Whatever the taxonomy, caste discrimination remains deeply ingrained in a society dominated by upper caste Hindus, despite the advent of multiparty democracy. Dalits and their organizations and unions have consistently supported the Maoists, seeing the revolution as the means of consigning the system into the dustbin of history.
In this respect the CPN (M) were decisive in purging caste-discriminatory practices in liberated base areas, setting an example that stills cries out for general application.
5). The creation of Nepal under the auspices of deeply patriarchal culture was a qualitative setback for gender equality as post-pubertal females under Hinduism were regarded as domestic chattel to serve and gratify male needs and reproduce the species.
This conflicted with the more liberated mores of Janjati societies based the villages and valleys of the hinterland. They represented the close-knit, gemeinschaft ideal, where survival in a harsh, unforgiving environment, was problematic for both sexes, precluding prejudice and requiring cooperation and mutual respect. Consequently women were influential in the community and could obtain and inherit property.
This was prohibited under Hindu religion and law; women were also stopped from working in the fields under this rubric and generally subject to humiliation and constraints that marked their low status. They suffered the twin oppressions of class and gender, expressed in economic, social and political forms.
The Maobaadi slogan was:
Working Women of the World, Unite. You Have Nothing to Lose but Your Double Chains!!
There is also significant empirical evidence that discrimination has deleterious health effects, especially to lower-caste women. Nepal is unique because female life expectancy has always lagged a few years behind that of males, an inversion of the normative death rate gender differential obtaining in most societies. Up to 2000, the country had one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world – 875 per 100,000, and it is little better now.
Lower caste women suffer further sexual oppression, are subject to rape with impunity by high caste males and are forced into sex slavery and prostitution. Hindu women, especially in urban centers, are made to observe Teej (husband worship), and the fifth day Tihar (Nepal’s Deepawali) is set aside for Hindu sisters’ Bhai Tikka (brother worship).
However, People’s War raised a challenge to the subordination of women in Nepal; the CPN (M) was committed to female liberation, from Marx to Mao a consistent communist principle, and proved this in the red base areas. There were dramatic effects on women in these zones, both indirect and direct. In the first place the conflict caused male displacement into PLA and militia and accelerated the increasing flight of men into migrant work, leaving the work traditionally assigned to them, from plowing the fields to repairing roofs, to be carried on by females.
That many women enthusiastically took up these challenges and supported the revolutionary cause is further demonstrated by the fact that by the time of CPA, one-third of the 30,000 PLA ranks were women serving alongside men in the front line. As with caste, the Maoists promoted and enforced equality, in stark contrast to the patriarchal and chauvinist Hindu culture of towns and cities. Even these urban centers were affected, as there was an increase in women’s’ organizations and agitation which owed as much to the impact of cosmopolitan petit bourgeois feminism as it did to urban Maoist women engaging in those legal or semi-legal campaigns for women’s rights that were open to them.
However, there remains a long struggle for full equality between the sexes on the subcontinent. The appalling treatment of many, especially Dalit, women in India, highlights the worst effects of Hindu male chauvinism. It is also apparent in culture with the Soft Power of Bollywood and in politics with the election of a Hindutva BJP government showing that patriarchalism is systemic and pervasive on the subcontinent. For Nepal, it forms part of Narayan Shah’s enduring legacy, and for those of Indo-Aryan stock, secular or Hindu, male chauvinism is reinforced by cultural and political mores emanating from ‘Mother India’.
The major divide between patriots and compradors is not directly attributable to the first Shah but began with the deliberate neocolonialist turn taken by the military clan he had called forth as the monarchy’s Praetorian Guard, the Ranas. Following Jonge Bahadur’s precedent, their subservience to the British rendered direct colonization unnecessary.
In the light of the post-1857 rebellion which the Ranas helped the British put down, the new Raj was more concerned with consolidating what he held than advancing into new territory and he actually returned to Nepal parts of the Terai seized following the 1814-16 Anglo-Nepalese war and Sugauli Treaty.
While the Ranas suffered for their pro-British proclivities in 1950, with Nehru aiding the King and NC invasion, the returned Shahs from Tribhuvan to Gyenendra were always ambivalent towards India. Mahendra, for example, was quite willing to play the China card after its decisive military victory over India in 1962 by securing Peking’s aid in constructing a modern highway from the Tibetan border to Kathmandu. Birendra’s humbling in the events of 1990 Andolan was precipitated by an Indian blockade on Nepal that closed four out of the five major roads and quickly brought hunger to Kathmandu.
This was prompted by the King’s attempt to purchase anti-aircraft equipment from China without consultation with and the agreement of New Delhi. These and other royal stratagems were nevertheless exercises and attempts at national sovereignty opportunistically exploiting interstices in the bedrock of Nepalese general political, cultural and economic deference to India and pragmatic royal acceptance of India’s strategic interests as the regional superpower. This ambivalence continues today as even the two RPP royalist parties are divided by pro- and anti-Indian sentiment.
It is all the more surprising that, from Nehru onward, Indian administrations maintained a ‘Two Pillar’ policy towards Nepal following the collapse of the Delhi Compromise which supported the king and the political parties. It was never a rational option; attempting to balance the conflicting interests of Royalist absolutism and popular democratic sovereignty was destined to end with the victory of one group or another. Tigers want blood – not grass, and New Delhi appears naïve not to have understood this.
It was especially puzzling that it involved India, as mentioned, supporting frequently freewheeling monarchs and marginalizing its natural allies in NC, and latterly UML, who had followed their Indian CPI comrades onto the parliamentary road and establishment status.
New Delhi had a major geopolitical stake in ensuring a compliant regime in Nepal as a bulwark against the threatened proletarian expansionism of the PRC and yet tolerated often opportunist, awkward Nepalese monarchs who, in their turn, were trying to maintain neutrality and pursue and independent foreign policy. They were conscious of Narayan Shah’s warning that: ’Nepal was like a yam between two stones’, therefore, cunning and room for maneuver was required to avoid being crushed.
Why successive Indian administrations continued to tolerate an, at best, ambivalent monarchy, when it had much more congenial partners in waiting is puzzling, especially given that the policy was not abandoned until 2005, when New Delhi finally lost patience and facilitated talks in India allowing the prorogued seven parliamentary parties and the Maoists to forge an anti-Gyanendra alliance.
NC, after all, was created under Nehru’s aegis, and he effectively betrayed the party in the aftermath of the 1950 invasion, with first the Delhi Compromise and next with the subsequent Two Pillar policy.
It may be argued that as the supreme arbiter of power on domestic and international issues, Nehru’s quixotic and capricious nature – if not Brahmin presumption – led to unchallenged contradictions. But even that does not fully explain the persistence of this approach post-Nehru, especially after the 1990 Andolan, which New Delhi precipitated and again drew back from by agreeing to having King Birendra stay on condition of accepting constitutional status (yet crucially allowing him to keep control of the army) in a ‘parliamentary democracy’.
A former Indian diplomat turned critical establishment sage noted in exasperation in 2003:
“There is a serious inherent conflict between the interests of multiparty democracy based on the concept of popular sovereignty and the King’s political aspirations and self-perceived divine role to rule. Even in 1990 the coexistence between the King and the political parties was neither natural, nor sincere nor honest.” (31)
– S. D. Muni
As this essay has argued, it was obvious from 1990 on that the parliamentary parties, governments and upper castes were either supine or in active collusion with Indian interests against the interests of the nation. They stood in even greater neocolonial submission to India than the Ranas before the British Empire. Their anti-national character was reinforced by functioning as agents/functionaries/transmission belts for imperialism in all its manifestations.
There is no role for independent states under the present global imperium. The modern state was called forth by the European bourgeoisie during the early progressive birthing struggles against feudalism. These states later degenerated into a struggle between these new nations across the European continent. It was nationalism distinguished by a xenophobic hatred, intensified when rivalry spread from the continent to a world stage in the age of mercantilism and colonialism as each European power fought rivals for a ‘place in the sun’.
The aim of these various rampaging states was to either exterminate or exploit native peoples and by blocking independent development maintain their subjugation. The aim of the First World has always been to kick away the ladder of protection it climbed up, from under Third World countries preserving them as arenas for super-exploitation. If there are domestic capitalist sectors in underdeveloped countries, they are crushed by unfair competition or leveraged out by multinationals using the dominant financial and political institutions and instruments of international capitalism.
Since national capitalist sectors are not permitted in underdeveloped countries like Nepal, no national bourgeoisie can exist. Only one that is comprador can flourish. Individuals from upper caste/bourgeois backgrounds do at times betray their caste/class interest and join the struggle for national liberation, and their contribution is not negligible, but patriotism finds critical mass among the rural and urban working masses because it is materially intertwined with class interest and takes political counteroffensive against oppressive conditions created by international capital.
For the ‘wretched of the earth’, Fanon’s memorable, passionate characterization, in Nepal and other Shudra states of the present global dispensation, there is no ‘trickle-down’ from the engorging imperial heartlands. The much-touted benefits of capitalism are chimerical, a Coca-Cola sign on a Third World shanty mocking poverty inside.
The gap between a banker on Wall Street and a sharecropper in an Assamese paddy field is as wide and unbridgeable as that between a patrician Brahmin or Newari Thulo Hakim in the gated Lazimpat area of Kathmandu and a barelegged Dalit sanitation operative sifting city filth and inhabiting a hovel in a less salubrious quarter. Capitalist imperialism has overseen Brahmin and bourgeois class rule equalized by mutuality of greed and hierarchical praxis.
Just as Darwin discovered the law of development of organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of development of human history; the simple fact hitherto concealed by an overgrowth of ideology, that mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing, before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion, etc.; that therefore the production of the immediate material means of subsistence and consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given people or during a given epoch form the foundation upon which the state institutions, the legal conceptions, art, and even on ideas of religion, have been evolved,…..”
– F. Engels, Speech at the Graveside of Marx, 1883, Selected Works, Vol 3, p 162.)
“…an economic rationale can be provided for the origins of the Indian caste system as it can for European feudalism. All the great Eurasian civilizations being dependent on plow intensive agriculture needed some institutional means to tie labor…..Serfdom, indenture, slavery and the caste system were all ways to do so.”
D. Lal, The Abuse of History, p. 2.
The genesis of Nepal’s divisions principally lies in the system imposed by Narayan Shah after 1769. This was an economic process galvanized by political means, with a ruling elite extracting surplus from downtrodden peasantry in an agricultural society through control of the land. Following Professor R. S. Sharma’s taxonomy (32) of this phenomenon in India during the first millennium AD, the appellation feudalism is used. Asok Rudra created the term ‘Brahminism’ (33) to emphasize the unique nature of the Indian system, rejecting parallels with European feudalism.
What unites them, however, is mutual recognition that, whatever its discrete mechanisms and subsequent nomenclature, this was a tributary society. In other words, a type of pre-capitalist economic formation marked Eurasian history in this period. It was characterized by two main classes – first, a peasantry deployed in communal production, and second, a ruling class comprised of a priesthood, a nobility/military and an absolute monarchy that appropriated the surplus product/labor through control of land by repressive and extra-economic mechanisms
There were marked divergences in the forms taken by these societies in Europe, India and China, but all instantiate the level of class struggle at this historical stage, albeit subject to differential momentum, development trajectories and cultural configurations.
This is applying the methodology of historical materialism, précised in Engels’ quote above, which posits a sociopolitical superstructure arising from and sustained by an economic infrastructure which is appropriate to specific historical stages and the development of the forces of production therein. These successive modes of production encompass therefore not just the technological level of the productive forces but the corresponding relations of production under which they operate.
The conditions under which social formations organize immediate physical necessities such as food and shelter shape their culture and provide a dominant worldview consistent with specific modes of reproduction. There have been qualitatively distinct historical stages in systematizing preconditions of physical existence, each sustaining its appropriate ideology. Marx reasoned:
“The hand mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam mill, society with the industrial capitalist. The same men who establish social relations in conformity with their material productivity, produce also principles, ideas and categories, in conformity with their social relations.”(34)
– Karl Marx.
Therefore European feudalism gave rise to Roman Catholicism with all souls subsumed in the Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) and with divinely ordained functions complementing hierarchical society.
Capitalism, for its part, produces bourgeois individualism as an appropriate ideology for a dynamic or even unbridled society that is in constant flux.
Similarly the caste system on the Indian subcontinent, as has been argued earlier and noted by Lal above, is a socioeconomic phenomenon brought forward by exploitative elites applying superstitious doctrine to rationalize and mask their extraction of surplus. It is, as Dr. Ambedkar rightly concluded, a mechanism for the ‘social division of labor’ within an ’unequal hierarchy’.
Just as Hindu metaphysics spawned numerous avatars and manifestations of Para Brahman (the Supreme Being), increasing refinement in allocation of fixed, discrete socioeconomic functions gave rise to a plethora of subcastes and Jatis that remain determinate to this day, despite the impacts of urban cosmopolitanism and the phenomenon of many Dalits and lower castes forming their own organizations and joining trade unions. Hinduism’s credal syncretism contrasts strikingly with the rigidity of its hierarchical stratification by means of caste.
Religion is an ideological component within a general culture and along with political and legal systems is a constituent element of the superstructure which consistently corresponds to the economic base. It is called forth and shaped by ruling classes to serve the base and changes accordingly as it does. It cannot be otherwise. It is not economic determinism, acknowledging there is a reciprocal relationship between the two.
So, for example, changes to the social relations of production in the base give rise to distinct world views; while conversely, political activity in the superstructure such as revolutionary upheaval can transform the base. Feudalism gave way to capitalism, which reduced religion to residual role and developed education as mode of enculturation.
These are Blake’s “mind-forged manacles,” prefiguring Gramsci’s concept of hegemony in civil society, showing how a dominant class maintains ideological control over exploited classes and thereby complements its monopoly of the physical means of repression. Human societies have always commingled consent and coercion in varying combinations according to circumstances and history, but all rest on specific, sequential economic infrastructures that are ‘determinate in the last instance’:
“… According to the materialist conception of history, the ultimate determining factor is the production and reproduction of life.” (Engels to J. Bloch, 1890. ME Selected Works, Vol 3, p.487)
The ideal for any ruling class is where its ideology takes root and is accepted by the subordinate classes as expressing normative, eternal human verities. The lower classes then, as Marx held, “…share the illusion of that epoch” (35). In this essay I have argued that the brutal genesis of modern Nepal continues to engender resistance that precludes mass popular consent to such ‘illusion’ because its inceptional arrangements remain largely intact.
The caste system therefore remains pervasive and influential, if sotto voce, because the upper castes it benefits retain political and economic power, despite changes in polities from monarchy through the Ranas back to the return of monarchy and finally culminating in the multiparty parliamentary system, with each in turn representing a different modality of Brahminical predominance. This elite has lasted nearly two-hundred and fifty years, and it has managed to preserve a feudal/tributary mode beyond its epochal termination elsewhere.
Although circulation of money, small scale commodity production and burgeoning private property penetrated this society assisted by inherent Brahmin avariciousness mediated as hucksterism, it did not produce a strong national capitalist sector. Therefore, it was easily sold out by entrenched upper caste interests ready to accommodate the socioeconomic and geopolitical authority and objectives of India’s Brahminical oligarchs and international capitalism’s power elites and institutions.
Consequently the heirs of Narayan Shah via the neocolonial Ranas have mutated into today’s comprador ruling class, equally marked by cupidity, corruption and cultural capitulation.
The Seven Party Alliance was squeezed between Gyanendra’s royal coup complete with dissolution of parliament and banning of parties on the one hand and the Maoists, strengthened by the gains of Protracted People’s War, on the other. The parliamentary parties in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement gave formal assurances to the latter in order to defeat the former regarding restructuring the state and army.
In the following years, re-energized as a reactionary bloc and assisted/prompted by New Delhi and Washington, the same parties, led by NC and UML, decisively reneged on those commitments which they had conceded in a moment of weakness. Those promises, if translated into effective policies, would have effectively ended their role as Nepal’s traditional governing class functioning from the Kathmandu center.
Thus discord continues to disfigure Nepalese society and is characterized by a plurality of contradictions reflected variously as antipathy between landlord and tenant, Brahmin and Dalit, Khas Hindu and Janjati, comprador and patriot, casteist and egalitarian, capitalist and worker, patriarchalist and feminist, centralist and federalist, Maoist and Status Quoist.
They are all aspects and expressions of fundamental class antagonism, with a ruling elite on the right confronting the interests of the popular masses on the left.
Finally, I will conclude with a quote from an assessment made just after the 2006 CPA outlining the steps necessary to avoid a repetition of Protracted People’s War. It encapsulates the arguments made at greater length in the preceding pages. It is not from class warrior ‘usual suspects’ or any of more erudite and equally committed Nepalese specialists, but it hails from a well-meaning and of course well-funded Norwegian ‘Conflicts Resolution’ NGO:
The long-term conflict trends in Nepal are linked to whether or not one succeeds in replacing social, political and economic exclusion with more inclusive institutions, processes and practices. Continued exclusion on the basis of caste, ethnicity, gender or other means of distinction will provide the basis for continued armed conflict, including the possibility for further violence.
In political terms the key issue revolves around the ongoing efforts to establish legitimate political institutions accepted by all groups in society. In socioeconomic terms, this system will also have to, over time, succeed in becoming more genuinely redistributive that the current system.
In the short term, several factors might trigger increased violence in Nepal, including:
Increasing poverty: As noted above, the poverty and exclusion issue will remain central, in particular for the new regime when it will be established. Meanwhile, the government should succeed in providing at least some symbolic progress on the economic front in order to encourage belief in the system and indicate the way forward.
Ethnic mobilization: With widespread exclusion and discrimination still the norm across Nepali society, the danger will remain that some groups may mobilize on the basis of violence. This danger will grow unless the government and Maoists succeed in driving the negotiations forward and ensure redistribution in broad terms. (36)
These aims, necessary for Nayaa Nepal (New Nepal), have been either ignored or had their implementation blocked by a revived Brahminical status quo that despite its rampant corruption and its inability to provide functional government or generally represent the national interest still clings to power and privilege. Meanwhile the country decays and the people grow poorer while a younger generation takes up the challenge of the unfinished revolution.
“The old world is dying away, and the new world struggles to come forth: now is the time of monsters.” (Gramsci, A. State and Civil Society, Prison Notebooks, p 276)
Gramsci’s apercu applies to the present right/left impasse in Nepalese society – for the moment.
In these poor, underdeveloped countries, where the rule is that the greatest wealth is surrounded by the greatest poverty, the army and the police constitute the pillars of the regime; an army and a police (another rule which must not be forgotten) which are advised by foreign experts.
The strength of the police force and the power of the army are proportionate to the stagnation in which the rest of the nation is sunk. By dint of yearly loans, concessions are snatched up by foreigners; scandals are numerous, ministers grow rich, their wives doll themselves up, the members of parliament feather their nests, and there is not a soul down to the simple policemen or the customs officer who does not join in the great procession of corruption.
– F. Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 1961, p. 138)
At the turn of the millennium, the Royal Nepalese Army had a complement of approximately 35,000 front line personnel, and bolt-action 303 rifles (first issued to the British Army in 1892) were the standard infantry rifle. Now, post-2008, as the Nepalese Army is 105,000 strong the and standard issue weapon includes the much more deadly American M-16 fully automatic, state of the art, high-velocity, assault rifle, replacing the substandard, fault-prone INSAS light machine gun, India’s generic AK-47.
This results from Washington’s geopolitical strategy of encircling a rising China with a chain in which Nepal forms an important potential link. Egyptianizing the Nepalese Army was important in advancing this aim. Under the pretext of post 9/11 ‘War On Terror’, following the 2002 Powell mission to Kathmandu, Washington agreed to help Gyanendra by equating Maoist rebels with Jihadis in a spurious world ‘crusade’.
In the following years, except for the brief blip of Gyanendra’s absolutist rule, guns, guidance and greenbacks have flowed in to the army as US military advisors implemented a strategy of re-equipping the army. The US has supplied the army with improved weaponry. In the air, the US is supplying aerial reconnaissance and attack capability with helicopters and short take-off-landing aircraft (STOL). And the US has introduced counterinsurgency training. All of this for an army that, prior to being sent into serious action against the PLA following the pro-Maoist King Birendra’s assassination, was only experienced in UN peacekeeping duties in various hotspots.
Through the Office for Defense Cooperation, Nepal’s top military convene monthly at one of the two US Embassies in Kathmandu under the auspices of the US Commander in Chief – Pacific (CINPAC). (37) Many of the NA high command and officer class are Sandhurst trained, and like their Indian Army homologues are willing Koi Hais, the Indian colonial term for a native servant.
Collusion with Uncle Sam, allowing him a forward base in Nepal in return for practical assistance turning the NA into a primarily domestic counterinsurgency force, came easily with this pedigree.
Aside from the Pentagon’s infantry weaponizing of the NA, most of the army’s supplies have come from India. In 2013, India resumed its role of supplying most of the army’s other military requirements, including means for ground and air mobility. This followed an eight year break that had begun in protest against Gyanendra’s coup but was also motivated by suspicion and resentment at growing US presence in India’s traditional sphere of influence.
The recent unity of purpose between Washington and New Delhi in regard to Nepal is evidence of a broader and deeper economic and strategic partnership between the two countries. This has been extended into the military sphere with the Pentagon providing guidance for Operation Green Hunt, a counterinsurgency campaign launched in 2009 aimed at defeating Maoist and Adavasi rebels who are resisting the plunder of resources and destruction of their traditional lands by insatiable multinational corporations in the five states comprising India’s ‘Red Corridor’.
There is also a 40,000 strong paramilitary group, the Armed Police Force (APF). This group was originally set up under Deuba’s NC 2001 administration to offset Gyanendra’s NA monopoly of state repressive potential. With the advent of the republic, it morphed into common purpose with NA, giving the state nearly 150,00 armed personnel at its disposal. The UK, with twice the population of Nepal, has an army half its size of the NA.
Further, Britain’s imperial heritage marks it as a singularly bellicose state, permanently at war with someone somewhere, usually as faithful deputy in various American campaigns of international aggression.
Apart from the People’s War, the Nepalese Army fought a minor war in the 1970’s, routing a marauding Khampa rabble in Mustang Province that had been trained and primed by the CIA to cross into Tibet and continue America’s war-by-proxy against the People’s Republic. Nepal is not threatened by imminent military invasion from either of its neighbors and has a particularly casual arrangement of an open border with India without even a dedicated border guard. The Nepalese Army’s UN peacekeeping duties involve 4,000 personnel at most at any one time.
It is obvious that the NA and APF are primarily intended as forces for domestic repression; they are ostentatious and ubiquitous across the country, with six fixed army divisions straddling the regions, backed up by three mobile specialist brigades. They have used the years since 2006 to improve fortified positions and entrenchments in rural areas and are everywhere in urban centers. Katmandu City itself is like a military camp, with never less than 20,000 personnel in barracks dispersed across the City like chocolate chips in a cookie.
Soldiers regularly patrol streets and thoroughfares, man major chowks (public squares and intersections) and parade in Tudikhel Park, a private army marching ground in the center of the city which, apart from the national football stadium is the only grass covered area in Kathmandu. Strutting their stuff, the soldiery are designed as much to intimidate as impress.
The army is the elephant in the room in the Nepalese situation, and has been referenced throughout this paper for its role and influence at key points in Nepal’s history from its birth under Narayan Shah, to the early years of the 21st. century. In the last decade it has become bigger and better armed, equipped and trained than at any point in its history.
It proved politically decisive in forcing Gyanendra’s surrender that signaled the victory of the April 2006 Andolan, and crucially succeeded in overthrowing Prachanda’s administration when it attempted to enforce the CPA provision that the PLA regulars be integrated as a corps into the NA. The further seizure of PLA weapons from the UN cantonments in 2011 on paper cemented the Brahminical state’s monopoly of violence in Nepal.
Its comprador officer corps and high command, well-groomed by American and Indian patrons, have demonstrated in such interventions decisive executive ability; dumping a malfunctioning, hubristic King, blocking army reform, martialing the phony 2013 election, and holding an informal veto over policies or proposals inimical to the status quo.
The officer corps is dominated by Chetris and Thakuris and represents a military ascendancy formed under the banner of Narayan Shah. It stands ready for counterrevolution either as a state of emergency or military dictatorship as possible options should the existence of the state be problematic or in imminent danger of collapse. The State’s political class presents no coherent power, and in any event is presently sunk in corruption, paralyzed by the specific difficulty in getting the existing order ratified in a bogus constitution and its sheer general uselessness in providing clean, functioning government.
War hath determined us, and foil’d with loss
Irreparable: terms of peace yet none
Vouchsafed, or sought: for what peace will be given
To us enslaved, but custody severe,
And stripes, and arbitrary punishment Inflicted?
And what peace can we return,
But, to our power, hostility and hate,
Untamed reluctance, and revenge though slow
Yet ever plotting how the Conqueror least
May reap his conquest, and may least rejoice
In doing what we most in suffering feel?
Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 2, lines 330/40.
However, the People’s War may resume in some form based on the announcement in early December that barely two years after the CPN-M (Dashists) broke from the UCPN(M) (Cashists), the CPN-M (Dashists) haves also split, with a faction led by Biplav (Netra Bikram Chand) forming the CPN Maoist.
At the time of writing, the Two-Line Struggle’s policy differences that prefigured the rupture are not fully understood, but the new party is driven by what it perceives as the treachery and reversals of the eight wasted years since 2006 and declaring that if provisions given by SPA on behalf of the status quo are not honored then struggle will resume, and organs of dual power will be revived in re-established liberated zones.
The split does not appear as politically and ideologically rancorous as that between the Cashists and Dashists and may exhibit a generational difference regarding timing; Biplav and many around him are in their forties but have considerable battlefield experience from the People’s War. On the other hand, Kiran’s close comrades are in their fifties and sixties, and while many are primarily political figures, they also include active-service veterans.
Each party recognizes that the stalled revolution is certain to recommence at some point, but the lack of technical support makes any attempt in the short term to ‘go back into the jungle’ or resume any form of armed struggle against a new, domestically refocused, re-equipped, and expanded state repressive apparatus militarily inadvisable if not suicidal.
A more immediate likelihood is military and police repression of the party that, whatever its evident caution, has openly declared the task of completing the revolution, sooner rather than later. That is why its launch was held at a secure location in the Kathmandu Valley, but there was still a palpable sense of urgency behind Biplav’s opening statement that, failing the NC-led elite unblocking and implementing the reforms of the 12-point agreement of 2005 between the SPA and CPN (M) that were ratified the following year with the post-victory CPA, there would be a return to:
Armed struggle in order to protect national unity, integrity, sovereignty and rights of people. (38)
The Nepalese security establishment and its foreign advisers have every reason to take Biplav seriously. He was an effective military leader during the People’s War. With his close ally Khadga Bahadur Bishwkarma, Prakanda (Mighty) offered a vision of a reformed PLA with the creation of a youth wing in the CPN-M, the National Volunteers, that made a strong impression during the 2013 election boycott with uniform red T shirts and formation marching. It is a proto-army and significantly, most of its cadre have gone over to the new party.
State surveillance agencies will also note Kiran’s statement:
We will meet if Chand will raise arms and fight for people (39).
All of which makes a pre-emptive strike by security forces a rational option. It also demonstrates that the understanding that ‘political power comes out of the barrel of gun’ is the one point of agreement between implacable enemies. This is not only perceived in abstraction, an axiom that distills a precondition for establishment and maintenance of power in human society from its tribal origins to the contemporary nation-state, but it is directly informed and shaped by Nepal’s recent history since unification in the late 18th century.
The major and inescapable lesson is that violence was the midwife of the new state and has marked every significant subsequent upheaval since. From Prithvi Narayan Shah to Jonge Bahadur’s seizure of power in the Red Kot Massacre that established a century of brutal Rana despotism to the NC/Royalist 1950 invasion and uprising to Mahendra’s 1960 feudal coup to the People’s War and Andolans of the last decades to the 2001 assassination of Birendra which paved the way for Gyanendra – all of these events combine to confirm that there has never been any significant change in Nepal without the use of physical force.
All of the present political parties have their roots in violence; the RPP, NC, UML, UMF, and UCPN(M) all emerged sequentially from Nepal’s history through force of arms.
This paper commenced with Machiavelli’s comment on the right of the people to engage in struggle against the ruling class nobility of his time and so will conclude with an equally apposite rubric from the first great European political scientist. It expresses a truth understood by revolutionary communists everywhere on necessity for the revolution to have an experienced, disciplined, combat-ready armed wing, and is reflected in the author’s his rueful conclusion on witnessing the execution of the charismatic Florentine preacher Savonarola in 1498 following Rome’s condemnation of heresy:
That is why the visionary who has armed force on his side has always won through, while unarmed even your visionary is always the loser.
– Machiavelli, The Prince, p 23, Penguin ed.
Peter Tobin, December 2014
(1) Index Mundi, Nepal Economic Profile, 2014.
(2) Karobar National Economic Daily, 05/10/2013.
(3) Economist, “The Trouble With Ghee”, June, 2008.
(4) A political project to re-establish the conditions for capital accumulation and restore the power of economic elites.
See A Brief History of Neoliberalism, D. Harvey, p 19. Harvey provides further elaboration of neoliberalism’s elevation of market criteria over all aspects of life, particularly the shrinking of the state’s responsibility for welfare, economic planning, subsidies, &c. From the 1970’s on, it began dethroning Keynesian policies, with neoliberals believing that the Keynesians’ emphasis on state deficit spending as means of stimulating employment and production distorted the market and lacked fiscal rectitude. The phenomenon has also been described in popular parlance as, “Capitalism with its gloves off.”
(5) OPHI Country Briefing: Nepal, 2010.
(6) B. P. Bhurtel. 17/10/2013. “Rich Man’s World as Wealth Gap Grows in Nepal.” The Nation/Kathmandu Post.
(7) However, it can be argued that the link between bourgeois capitalism and bourgeois democracy is purely contingent, with neoliberal capitalism flourishing equally in dictatorships and democracies both. It is worth noting in this respect that Pinochet’s Chile was chosen by Washington as an experiment in extreme free market capitalism, dispatching Friedman monetarist acolytes of the ‘Chicago School’ to Santiago and placing them in charge of the Chilean economy.
This is not because contemporary transnational capital is neutral but because it has become a superior executive power reducing political systems and governments to irrelevance. A review in Le Monde, 10/10/2014, of the German scholar Wolfgang Streeck’s Du Temps Achete – La Crise Sans Cesse Ajournee Du Capitalisme Democratique (Borrowed Time – The Postponed Crisis of Capitalist Democracy) quotes his comment describing advancing global capital as class avatar:
“…elles est inapte a tout fonctionment democratique, par le fait qu’elle pratiquee en tres grande parti, en particulairement en europe, comme une politique international – sous la forme d’une diplomatie financiere interetatique.”
– Wolfgang Streeck. Borrowed Time – The Postponed Crisis of Capitalist Democracy.
A rough translation of which argues that it is incapable of functioning democratically, because it is, in fact a politically dominant power, especially in Europe, in the guise of interstate financial diplomacy. He uses the word ‘post-democracy’ to describe this stage of the present era.
(8) K. P. Prabhakaran Nair. February 2006. Grist for US Mills. GMWATCH. It is salutary to note that up until 2014, over 250,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide as a result of such policies reducing rural populations to immiseration and destitution.
(9) Republica (English language Nepalese daily newspaper) 07/09/2014.
(10) D. Gywali/A. Dixit. April, 2000. “How Not to Do a South Asian Treaty.” Himal South Asian.
(11) H. Yami/B. Bhatterai. 1996. Nationality Question in Nepal.
(12) ‘Kiran’ is a nom de guerre for Mohan Baidya. It means Ray of Light. All Maoist leaders adopted one during People’s War. ‘Prachanda’ (P. K. Dahal) means ‘Fierce’, ‘Biplav’, (N. B. Chand), means ‘Revolt’, &c.
(13) Colloquially known as ‘Dashists’ because of the –M in their name. Conversely, the UCPN (M), the party the Dashists split from, are called the ‘Cashists’ by their opponents because their leaders and many cadre were accused of falling before ‘sugar-coated enemy bullets’ after ‘coming out of the jungle’ and decamping to Kathmandu and corruption in 2006, following the CPA.
(14) 1991. “Caste and Ethnicity,” Ch. 7 in Nepal – A Country Study.
(15) R. Dangal. Administrative Culture in Nepal, p.95, Table 9: Caste Distribution of Higher Civil Servants.
16) This needs an essay in itself! Briefly parliamentary/presidential, multiparty systems emerged as systems to meet needs of emerging bourgeois capitalist society in the West. The various parties represented class interests devising contingent institutional solutions. Part of Western hubris is claim their necessity in all circumstances.
It was applied unilaterally by an indigenous elite in many postcolonial situations. Apart from a democratic deficit, adoption of this project indicated loss of nerve and residual ideological colonization among otherwise resolute anticolonial political leaders of independence struggles such as Nehru, Nkrumah, Kenyatta, Kaunda, and Bandaranaike, &c).
But the main reason it proves ‘wholly unsuitable’ is total failure to provide effective governance in postcolonial situations anywhere and to have descended into nests of thieves and similar mechanisms of naked class aggrandizement when not replaced by sanctioned western ‘strongmen’ or red revolution.
Going hand in hand with capitalism and its contingent institutions demonstrated how indigenous elites were fostered and suborned by their colonial masters.
Marx, enthused, saw the inception of the program:
From the Indian natives, reluctantly and sparingly educated at Calcutta, under English superintendence, a fresh class is springing up endowed with the requirements for government and imbued with European science.
– Marx, Future Results of British Rule in India, 1853, M/E Selected Works p. 495.
Nehru is an exemplar of the success of this project:
“By education I am an Englishman, by views an internationalist, by culture a Muslim and Hindu only by an accident of birth.”
He epitomized Macaulay’s ‘Brown Englishmen’. His pretensions, along with his secularization of Hindutva, are set out in his 1943 magnum opus, The Discovery of India, (written in English of course) where he establishes the existence of a precolonial Hindu ‘golden age’ civilization and his particular ancestral call to restore its historic harmony expressed in language reflecting his Cambridge education in the classics with references to Pericles, Demosthenes, et al, although when required he could refer to:”..the old Vedantic spirit of the life force.”
(17) Fanon, Wretched of the Earth, p. 36. Marx benignly notes emerging use of education as conditioning and improvement mechanism, A hundred years later Fanon is responding to its deleterious postcolonial effect as the ideological component of a comprador class.
Vide (16) above re Nehru shows how this strata were eventually conditioned to reproduce bourgeois polity, albeit in ersatz, parodic form.
(18) WCPI, 2011. Transparency International,
…the peasantry constitutes the main army of the national movement…there is no national movement without the peasant army, nor can there be. That is what is meant when it is said that, in essence, the national question is a peasant question.
– J. V. Stalin, The National Question in Yugoslavia, Works, Vol 7, pp. 71-72.
(20) Prachanda’s short-lived 2008 administration might be excused, as it was forced out by a military coup orchestrated by New Delhi in league with NC & UML. But Bhatterai’s second ‘Maoist’ administration, 2011-13, had less excuse for being so supine.
(21) Ghurkhas are not an ethnic group but, according to their websites are a warrior caste claiming descent from the Hindu Rajputs and Brahmins of Northern India. Their valor, tenacity and loyalty deeply impressed the British enemy. After a successful invasion and defeat in 1814-16, the East India Company began recruitment into a specially created regiment that, in modern times, has been mainly drawn from the Rai, Limbhu, Magar and Gurung ethnic nationalities.
The added glory of Hindu provenance (possibly a retrospective embellishment), but their cry “Jaya mahakali – Ayo gurkhali!” (“Glory to great Kali – Gurkhas are coming!”), shares an evocation of Kali as the goddess of destruction and death with the Rajputs, belonging to the Kshatriya warrior caste, spread across Northern India, many driven into Nepal by the Muslim invasion of North India.
In the Terai they became one of the ruling Bhadralok castes mutating into professional occupations as doctors, lawyers &c. Also Narayan Shah was from a Kshatriya jati, although he was pragmatic enough to recruit given national ethnicities into his army while raising up Hindu upper castes and establishing a divine Hindu Kingdom.
The Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymological root of Gurkha as:
ORIGIN name of a locality, from Sanskrit goraksa ‘cowherd’ (from go ‘cow’ + raks – ‘protect’), used as an epithet of their patron.
– Oxford English Dictionary
This lends credence to Gurkhas’ claims of provenance from Hindu warrior castes.
(22) J. Adhikari. 2008. Land Reform in Nepal, p. 23.
(23) CPN (M). 1997. One Year of People’s War in Nepal. GS’s Report.
(24) J. Adhikari. Land Reform in Nepal, p 39.
(25) The early Marx claimed centralized despotism as the essential feature of the Asiatic Mode of Production – a pre-capitalist form that he believed existed in static, ossified, oriental societies.
He infamously commented:
Indian society has no history at all, at least no known history.
Marx – Future Results…ME Vol 1, p. 494. 1853.
and, while acknowledging the base motives of the English colonizers, he thought that imperialist incursion would, nolens volens, drag it into the modern world. However, after the first War of Independence in 1857 and subsequent study he revised AMP and undermined the despotic, stagnant society premise by declaring the uprising a ‘national revolt’, and expressed support for the insurgents. Though he never accepted that India, precolonial incursion, was feudal, he conceded that it could be described as in transition to feudalism.
In this respect he wrote in 1859:
In broad outlines, Asiatic, ancient, feudal, and modern bourgeois modes of production can be designated as progressive epochs in the economic formation of society.
Marx – Preface to Critique of Political Economy, ME Selected Works, Vol 1, p. 504, 1859
The concept has been an issue for polemic and debate among Marxists and communists and survives more as an analytic than a descriptive term. Whatever the taxonomy, Marx, by looking at the relations of production, outlined how an elite could appropriate surplus using the state as a mechanism for generalized exploitation. Dalits and Sudras stood before their Brahmin masters in the same relationship as a slave before a slaveowner, a serf before a lord, or a worker before an employer.
(26) These are linguistic categories used by modern ethnographers, and while there were obvious physical differences between the two groups that added to perception in the case of Nepal, they are not a racial classifications. For example, the other linguistic group in South India is Dravidian, with minimal physical differences between its speakers and those of the Indo-Aryan bloc.
(27) J. Adhikari. 2008. Land Reform in Nepal, p. 25.
(28) ‘State capitalism’ is as fraught a term as feudalism, with multiple definitions, inspired by political polemics not only expressed between left and right but also a lively source of debate within the left denoting ultimate political allegiance .
For the right, it can mean any state intervention either through ownership or control such the post-1945 policy of Dirigisme in France where, apart from extractive and heavy industry, private ownership dominated in a free market but was subject to indicative planning from a government setting national objectives.
It could also be applied to the Scandinavian and British mixed economy model that was discarded after the 1980’s. In the case of France, state intervention predated capitalism and the rise of the bourgeoisie, and in the form of Colbertism, was initiated under Louis IV’s first minister, J. B. Colbert.
The concept of ‘state monopoly capitalism’ has also been applied by left wing and extreme rightwing free marketeers to describe the state protection and support for the big corporations in the USA. The Military-Industrial Complex that emerged in the new triumphal global imperium following the Second World War is often cited as example because huge contracts are awarded rather than won, characterizing a cozy symbiotic relationship between business and the political functionaries of the American ruling class.
For anarchists, Neo-Trotskyites and the Ultra Left, it is what happened after 1917 in Russia and 1949 in China, or indeed anywhere else there has been a socialist revolution. It assumes that party apparatchiks and bureaucrats inevitably become a new ruling class, owing to their control of the means of production and the appropriation and direction of the resulting ‘social dividend’ (surplus value).
For Marxist-Leninists/Maoists it is what occurred in the USSR after Stalin’s death with Khrushchev’s failed attempts to follow Yugoslavia’s ‘market socialism’ and re-occurred with a vengeance in the PRC after Deng Xiaoping’s seizure of power in 1976.
Apologists for China’s system describe it as a ‘socialist market economy’, where the commanding heights of the economy, the banking sector and land are state owned and where the state is responsible for macroeconomic policy with microeconomic decisions left both to management of state enterprises and licensed capitalists operating as private companies in designated Special Economic Zones.
Therefore the political decision to allow free market mechanisms to determine price and allocations of goods and services with retention of profit by private companies, commentators opine, is more indicative of state capitalism especially when set against the background of scrapping the egalitarian, ‘Iron rice bowl’, full employment guarantee from the heroic period of socialist construction and mass mobilization. Therefore, it should be said that, like feudalism and indeed semi-feudalism, the concept of state capitalism is often used subjectively, indicating class or political orientation. See following note.
(29) ‘Semi-feudal’ obviously relates to accepting the thesis of pre-existing feudalism on the subcontinent, Samantabaad is the Hindi and Nepalese word for feudalism and derives from the nobility of the Gupta Period, which some historians claim led the emergence of feudal society in India. The Samantas were also influential during the Licchavi Dynasty (400-750 AD) who established the first central state in Nepal.
Even those who do accept the taxonomy applied recognize that it was a tributary society of a type that flourished the early city states, empires and later, nascent nation-states. European feudalism was one type of tributary society, with the exception that it enabled the growth of classes and productive forces that eventually burst its integument and established the capitalist society and mode of production.
Marx did not recognize this dynamic in the Orient, and his AMP was his initial response in distinguishing its ossified despotisms with those of medieval Europe. It was this formulation that, while recognizing the utter venality and brutality of the British, nevertheless led him describe them as unwitting agents of progress, in breaking down the ‘Chinese Walls’ of societies incapable of generating internal change.
Subsequently it has been argued that Indian society, pre-colonization, was subject to change, but that compared to Europe’s historical transformation it was imperceptible (as indeed was most of its history at that time). This had important political ramifications for Indian communists because they refused acknowledging any positive results from imperialist incursion and applying the term feudal to describe periods of Indian history implicitly underpins this position. Plus ‘Down with feudalism’ is less of a mouthful than, ‘Down with the Asiatic Mode of Production!
The notion of semi-feudalism follows this thesis because it posits transitional developments. In the case of Nepal, it is marked by backwardness of the productive forces, sharecropping, increased tenancies and the growth of usury. The last are linked, representing the dominance of money payment in feudal rent, reflecting generally growth of a market economy but specifically the transition of feudal owners into capitalist rentier landlords.
Semi-feudal is also used to describe relations of production continuing after their originating conditions of existing have changed, as expansion of agricultural capitalism has led to increasing numbers of landless and sharecroppers, who are objectively proletarianized but are learning to recognize residual feudal deference as subjective flight from their objective class reality. As descriptive tools, these terms are a continued source of argument not only between Marxists and bourgeois, but also intestinal within these respective groupings.
As a slogan, however, ‘Down with Feudalism’ and the commitment to abolish ‘neo/semi-feudalism’ is a political call to the oppressed to break free of feudal/exploitative relations in order to confront the reality of capitalist modes of employment and exploitation in the agricultural sector. (cf: Pushpa Lal’s CPN’s program and Mazumdar’s for the Naxalite struggle in 1960s.).
The informal rural credit markets of Nepal seem to be characterized by an aggregate constraint at the village level and oligopolistic collusion on price discrimination. Entries of new lenders are likely to be rare, due to high initial information cost. Lenders need to interact with the borrowers for a long period to be able to screen the borrowers and enforce payments….
Although it is reasonable to target poor households, the analysis indicates that one may as well target the higher priced segments. The analysis thus supports credit programs that target low status castes. Examples from Nepal are programs that target ethnic groups living in Terai. These households pay real interest rates that are almost double of the rates paid by high castes living in the hills.
– M. Hatlebakk. 2000. “Will More Credit Increase Interest Rates in Rural Nepal?” Technical Report and Recommendations, pp. 42-43. Nepal Rastra Bank.
(31) S. D. Muni. 2003. Maoist Insurgency in Nepal, p.61. Muni is perhaps too close to see the Brahminical tree from the wood, he is a pragmatic, secular ex-diplomat critical of and puzzled by the ambivalence of Nepalese policy that allowed King Mahendra, e.g. to block: “India’s legitimate and enlightened interests in Nepal.” (ibid, p 62).
His views are an apologia for Indian expansionism, pitting progressive capitalism against residual feudalism, which synchronically informed the position of Dr. Bhatterai, earning him the sobriquet of ‘Mr. India’ in anti-revisionist Maoist ranks. I would also speculate that the attitude towards the last divine Hindu monarchy was schizophrenic, with even ostensibly Westernized secularists like Nehru acknowledging the weight of Brahminical Chaturvarna tradition and unconsciously deferring to caste supremacy, however apparently exotic and uncongenial to a Cambridge-conditioned cosmopolitan world statesman.
Nehru was a Hindutva with an occidental humanist face. Successive Indian administrations, particularly Rajiv Gandhi’s administration, elided further into more open Hindutvaism, which, mixed with growing accommodation with Western capitalism in triumphalist form following the suicide of Gorbachev’s USSR and collapse of Soviet Bloc, was Modiism avant la lettre.
(32) R. S. Sharma, Indian Feudalism, 1965.
(33) A. Rudra, Non-Eurocentric Marxism and Indian Society, 1988.
(34) Marx. 1847. The Poverty of Philosophy, p.105.
(35) Marx, Feuerbach. 1846. Opposition of Materialist and Idealist Outlook, ibid, p 43.
(36) NORAD. 2007. Report on Conflict Sensitivities, pp. 67-68.
(37) Tobin, P. 2011. “Balance of Military Forces in Nepal” Beyond Highbrow – Robert Lindsay, website.
(38) http://www.ekantipur.com, Chand Announces CPN Maoist, 02/12/2014.
(39) Republica, D. B. Chhantyal, 06/12/2014.
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Charles is a very good friend of mine, although he is quite to the right of me politically. Nevertheless, we agree on more things than you would think. I do not agree with his lament about California declining into socialism, since as a socialist, I consider that an upgrade and not a downgrade. Charles is also one of the smartest people I know. He has a PhD in Anthropology and Archeology from Harvard and he also has a law degree. He reblogged my article, White California RIP: The Death of a Dream, with this commentary below. Let me know what you think of it.
Reblogged this on TIERRA LIMPIA by Charles Lincoln and commented:
Robert Lindsay is a raging liberal…far, far, far to the left on most issues. It’s very interesting to see his perspective here…I would beg to differ with him on one point however: Cultural and racial diversity and both unambiguously good, positive features of both biological and cultural evolution as well as world history. I would go so far to say that the generation of diversity is the heartbeat of all kinds of evolution and history.
But the California melting pot (and globalism generally) create the antithesis of diversity. A world of the dichotomous Rich and Poor, of those who shop on the Monte Carlo Riviera, London S.W. 7, Paris Rive Gauche, and Beverly Hills 90210 especially Rodeo Drive, against those who shop exclusively at CVS, Target, and Walmart, is not an evolving world. It is a frozen world. A world where all cultures come together and become one, a world where all races come together and become one, is standing at the end of history in my opinion.
California does seem to me to be in an apocalyptic moment, about to fall, willingly, into a millennium of degraded human slavery called Socialism. Governor Brown, A.G. Harris and Senators Boxer and Feinstein are the apostles and acolytes of this Horrible Brave New World. The California soup is now so dark…there is no room for light.
Even during my high school years in the early 1970s, Los Angeles was mostly a White Christian city, with what we then thought was “admirable” tolerance for Buddhists, Jews and Muslims who were still distinct and very small minorities. In fact, it was in the 1980’s that I really saw the change, when I came back with my soon-to-be wife (a Greek-born UCLA cheerleader interested in Maya archaeology), the city was still majority White but Reagan had unleashed the floodgates – yes, Ronald Reagan, whose name is so reviled by the multi-culti crowd…is the one who really did the major damage to White California…
Chinedu writes: Baldwin Hills begs to differ. Fox Hills begs to differ. Ladera Heights (“the black Beverly Hills”) begs to differ.
Ever roll through the Crenshaw area and see all those immaculately kept mid-century homes in those immaculately kept neighborhoods? Try it. There aren’t many whites there, they’re mostly black.
Most cities are not wealthy places for rich people. Most cities are middle class, upper middle class, lower middle class, working class or poor. When most of those places go from White -> Non-White, there tends to be a decline. Upper middle class cities and towns don’t usually change over anyway. A White upper middle class city tends to stay that way.
Most cities and towns don’t go from rich White -> rich non-White. In that case, there might not be much of a change. How many non-Whites are rich? How many Blacks are rich? Only a few. Yes rich Blacks act better than most of the rest of them, but the vast majority of Blacks are not rich and never will be, so how does that help us solve our problem?
Anyway, in the vast majority of cases in the US, White -> Non-White = decline. The decline varies in severity from quite mild to catastrophic, but it’s usually there.
I met a teacher who lived in Ladera Heights and I said, “That’s a Black area with a high socioeconomic status, right?”
He looked very cynical and said, “Socioeconomically yes, sociobehaviorally, no.” The Black teachers sitting across the table gave him a sort of dirty look.
Actually Baldwin Hills, Ladera Heights and the Crenshaw have a fairly high property crime rate. They are right next to South LA, and the ghetto Blacks from South LA move up to Ladera Heights and Baldwin Hills to prey on the rich Blacks. They can get away with it because they are Black and they can blend right in.
My father taught at Crenshaw High for a while and it was NOT paradise. I taught there myself for a bit, and yes, it was better than your typical Black school, but the place still had your typical Black problems. There were some hot Black teachers there though. I remember this one basically mulatta with glasses. She liked me too. I just didn’t have the guts to go for it.