But despite my reservations and criticism of the various Communist parties in India (my novel The God of Small Things was denounced by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kerala as anti-Communist), I believe that the decimation of the Left (by which I do not mean the defeat of the Soviet Union or the fall of the Berlin Wall) has led us to the embarrassingly foolish place we find ourselves in right now. Even capitalists must surely admit, that intellectually at least, socialism is a worthy opponent. It imparts intelligence even to its adversaries. Our tragedy today is not just that millions of people who called themselves communist or socialist were physically liquidated in Vietnam, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, not just that China and Russia, after all that revolution, have become capitalist economies, not just that the working class has been ruined in the United States and its unions dismantled, not just that Greece has been brought to its knees, or that Cuba will soon be assimilated into the free market – it is also that the language of the Left, thediscourse of the Left, has been marginalised and is sought to be eradicated. The debate – even though the protagonists on both sides betrayed everything they claimed to believe in – used to be about social justice, equality, liberty, and redistribution of wealth. All we seem to be left with now is paranoid gibberish about a War on Terror whose whole purpose is to expand the War, increase the Terror, and obfuscate the fact that the wars of today are not aberrations but systemic, logical exercises to preserve a way of life whose delicate pleasures and exquisite comforts can only be delivered to the chosen few by a continuous, protracted war for hegemony – Lifestyle Wars.
A quote from Arundhati Roy…
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