By Lal Khan
Monday, Mar 21, 2011
Patriotism, nationalism and self-sufficiency are myths created to
confuse and distract the deprived and the oppressed. National interests
in the last analysis are the interests of the ruling classes. In every
nation there are two nations, the exploiters and the exploited
The episode of Raymond Davis’s release has exposed the reality of
justice, the myth of sovereignty and the character of Pakistan’s ruling
classes. As Hegel once remarked, “Necessity expresses itself through
accident.” The whole incident highlights the economic, diplomatic and
military crisis the largest imperial power in history is experiencing in
this epoch of the senile decay of capitalism on a world scale.
the debacle in Iraq, the impotence of the military might of US
imperialism in Afghanistan is reflected in the failure to combat an
insurgency that has become its nightmare. The Afghan jihad that the
Americans had launched against the left-wing government of Noor Mohammad
Tarakai’s People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) in 1978 has
come back with a vengeance. The very forces that the imperialists had
unleashed are now a scourge for them.
The ISI that was sponsored
by the CIA and the Pentagon is now an antagonising force that they have
to rely upon. While being fully aware of the fact that the ISI is
playing a double game, giving covert support to the Taliban and other
fundamentalist outfits, they have no option but to continue to interact
and co-operate with it, at least on paper and as a face saving device.
CIA and the ISI are playing an ignominious act of mutual deception. In
its desperation, the CIA is trying to create its own parallel espionage
network to counter the ISI’s capability to double cross. Raymond Davis
was part of this covert operation.
The fundamental contradictions
that provoke this conflict are the financial assets and massive amounts
of black money that are being generated by this exorbitantly profitable
war of attrition. These are the real vested interests that motivate and
serve to develop the strategy of the ISI and important sections of the
Ironically, it was the CIA that instigated and
propped up the drug trade and other criminal activities to finance the
Afghan jihad in the 1980s. After the Americans abandoned the region with
the fall of the Soviet Union, this shadowy accumulation of black money
continued unabated. Now it has become institutionalised and it is not an
accident that more than two-thirds of Pakistan’s economy is in the
informal sector. In other words, it is the black economy that keeps the
state and society afloat, albeit on a very fragile and contradictory
It is this section of finance capital that determines the
strategic, foreign and domestic policies of the state. The war on terror
and the aggression on Afghanistan were also devised to defend the
vested interests of US imperialism. But this invasion was a sort of
irritating intrusion for the players already in this field, who felt
their interests threatened and their financial accumulation at risk.
there has been a temporary truce, negotiated by the top bosses from
both sides in the negotiations that took place in Oman, it is still
fragile and could breakdown sooner rather than later. This war of
attrition is a conflict without an end as long as the present
socio-economic system exists.
This affair also brings out openly
the contradictions within the Pakistani state and paints a bleak picture
of conflict and bloodshed as an infinite tragedy for the people of the
region. The so-called sovereignty of Pakistan has always been a hoax
throughout its history. But with the aggravating socio-economic crisis
it has flickered and been extinguished.
sovereignty no real political or national independence can be attained
or envisaged. Patriotism, nationalism and self-sufficiency are myths
created to confuse and distract the deprived and the oppressed. National
interests in the last analysis are the interests of the ruling classes.
In every nation there are two nations, the exploiters and the
A crisis-ridden ruling class promotes the prejudices
of nationalism, religion, sectarianism, caste, all divisive elements
that come from the past. But the Pakistani ruling class has failed to
create a genuine united nation state. They are forced into imperialist
subservience by their historical belatedness and their technological,
financial and economic backwardness.
The hue and cry of the
Islamic parties and other right-wing forces is a hypocritical farce and a
deception. They themselves were propped up by the imperialists and in
the wake of class struggle and revolutionary upsurge of the working
classes they would stand with the imperialists across the barricades.
That is their past and it will be the same in the times ahead.
masses may be in a state of relative lull at the present time but their
instinct tells them the real character of these forces of reaction. It
is not accidental that the anti-American rhetoric of the mullahs has not
been able to gather much support in spite of a seething hatred of
imperialism in society.
It is a disgrace that the Left and the
PPP leaders have capitulated to western imperialism in the guise of
democracy and liberalism. The PPP’s anti-imperialist traditions have not
just been abandoned but its leadership has gone to the extent of
unforeseen appeasement to imperialism.
The only genuine war that
can be won against imperialist hegemony is through the overthrow of
capitalism, the existence of which allows imperialist economic
exploitation to continue. This in itself ensures political hegemony.
judicial charade in the Raymond Davis case will go a long way towards
exposing the travesty of justice in a class society. In ancient Greece,
Solon of Athens answered the legalistic arguments of the reformists when
he said: “The law is like a spider’s web; the small are caught and the
great tear it up.”
Fredrick Engels pointed out that all rights
presuppose inequality and are therefore bourgeoisie rights. How many
ordinary people can go scot-free by paying blood money for murder?
Expensive justice is no justice. For the vast majority of the masses to
seek justice is beyond their means, hence the illusion of an independent
judiciary in a deprived and impoverished society is nothing but a
The French writer Anatole France effectively exposed
this hypocrisy when he wrote, “The law in its majesty makes no
distinction between the rich and the poor both are forbidden to sleep
under the bridges of Paris.” The social and ethical fabric is tearing
apart. This obscene system has to be abolished through a revolutionary
transformation. It is the only way out.
The writer is the
editor of Asian Marxist Review and International Secretary of Pakistan
Trade Union Defence Campaign. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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