Mainstream, VOL LII, No 46, November 8, 2014
Why Is Left Unity So Vital Today?
Sunday 9 November 2014, by
At a time when the Left forces are in obvious decline, why is it so important to emphasise the need for unity of the Left forces and strengthening of the Left forces? The reason for this goes much beyond electoral gains or other narrow considerations.
The real reason why it is of the greatest significance to strengthen the Leftist forces is that to resolve the most pressing problems of the world in time the solutions need to have an important socialist content. The problems of inequality and poverty are serious enough, but from the point of view of survival of life, even these serious problems are overwhelmed by issues like climate change and weapons of mass destruction. However, what is not adequately realised is that even on critical issues of environment and peace, only solutions based on equality and justice can be widely accepted on a sustained basis.
For such solutions to emerge in a strong way at the world level and then get the acceptance of the world’s leaders, socialist movements with adequate understanding of such issues have to be strong in various countries, particularly in some of the larger countries. India is obviously one such country.
Socialist thinking with its emphasis on need and not greed, with its stress on planned development for meeting the needs of all, with its roots in equality and people’s involvement is much more capable of resolving the critical issues of environment protection and peace compared to capitalism with its emphasis on greed rather than need, unrestricted play of the market forces led by the concentration of corporate power and spread of consumerism, and with growing alienation of the people.
So while socialist movements have to grow at the grassroots on the basis of resolving the problems of the local people, they must have adequate sense of wider responsibilities so that the local can be linked with the global. Hence pushed by the greater need than ever before, a strong internationalist socialist movement for resolving the most critical problems of our planet can emerge.
When the stakes are so high, then surely petty issues which divide the Left forces should be of no consequence. The need for a broad Left unity is now greater than ever before. The emergence of new critical issues like climate change has created conditions in which the need for a socialist society is much more vital now than before. This will be realised by a larger number of people quite soon, but the question is whether the socialist forces will be united and ready for shouldering the new responsibilities.
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