While reading a rant today against Arundhati Roy (Not again!), I came across a new (balancing) label. Neo-Marxism. The ranter says that she and others like her are neo-Marxist ‘intellectuals’. Since my political views have a lot in common with hers, I couldn’t help thinking that I too could be accused of being a neo-Marxist (‘intellectual’ or not).
The idea offends me. So much so that I have decided to declare in advance what I am not. What I most certainly never was. Or will be. I hope this will save the time of those (if any) who bother to pay attention to me and then may want to rant against me. I hope this would allow them to make better use of their energies.
Just in case.
And these are the things I wasn’t, am not and will not be:
- I most definitely am not a Marxist, let alone a neo-Marxist (whatever that means).
- I am, most emphatically, not a communist.
- If I am not a communist, I couldn’t be a Maoist. I hate Stalin and I rank Mao only a little better than him.
- Nor could I be any of the other things like Leninist, ‘Trotskyst’, etc.
Not just that. I don’t believe in a sudden (violent or non-violent) and quick revolution that will change the world overnight magically. I am almost sure that there will be no final victory and living happily ever after. There can only be a continuous long struggle which is unlikely to completely end ever. Because there are too many things (abstract and concrete; human, inhuman and non-human) which are too strong to be overcome easily. I am not even sure whether some of them can be overcome. Even to overcome a few of them is not going to be possible through just polite academic discourse and a bit of charity here and bit of social work there.
In other words, a dystopia is very likely (almost certain if we don’t try to keep preventing it continuously) but a Utopia is out of the question.
The fact is, I am not even sure whether I am ‘very left liberal’ as I have written on my Orkut profile (which no one visits, including me).
Sure, I might be a lot of other things which people like the above mentioned ranter might find worthy of attack. Or those who advocate ‘let’s discuss it over dinner and not make a fuss’ even if it’s a matter of thousands of lives (or deaths). The latter variety includes those who claim to be admirers and even followers of Gandhi. As far as my knowledge, intelligence and reasoning goes, Gandhi was a Big Fuss Maker (even if not big enough for many) for any cause that he was active for.
That takes me to another disclaimer. I am not a Gandhian either.
Am I a socialist? Am I a leftist? Am I a liberal?
It all depends on what exactly these terms mean for the person who is asking. They could be used to mean anything.
The other day I read someone’s comment on the Outlook website ranting against ‘communal Congress’ and raving in favour (favor for the dominant party) of ‘secular RSS/BJP’.
Even as a BJP national leader was feeling diminished by Nepal being declared a secular republic.
But I am not going to give out disclaimers about not being a communalist or fundamentalist or anything of the sort. Don’t think it’s necessary.
Am I definitely something? I could be, but I am not much interested in being labeled. I want to do many things. I have been many things. I am many things.
Who the heck cares? And why on earth?