WHY SOCIALISM IS NECESSARY FOR PAKISTAN
To put it in one sentence, the aim of the party is the transformation of Pakistan, into a socialist society.
The same objective can be stated as the attainment of an egalitarian democracy, wherein all members of the nation enjoy equal rights in every sphere of activity. Formal equality before the eyes of the law is a necessary part of democracy, but insufficient without the prevalence of economic and social justice. Only socialism which creates equal opportunities for all, protects from exploitation, removes the barriers of class distinctions and privileges-can establish economic and social justice. Socialism is the highest expression of democracy and its logical fulfilment.
The theories and doctrines of modern socialism are derived from the experience of about two centuries of the capitalist system of economy and from scientific investigation into its nature and effects. The knowledge acquired from the working of the capitalist mode of production is being continually augmented by the experience gained in countries where socialist ideas are being translated into practice under the most varied conditions, in some form or other. The range is as wide as conceivable. Apart from those that have undergone the process of revolution, there are many countries, among them, even constitutional monarchies, where socialist reforms have been progressively realized without violent changes in the political or social structure. The evolution towards socialism is not confined to any one continent or any one people.
The universality of the precepts of socialism is due to two reasons: firstly, the basis of modern socialism is objective. In other words, its tenets are neither the reflection of utopistic desires, however noble they might be, nor a means to attempt the creation of an arbitrary order of things springing from the imagination; but the result of a scientific into the condition of mankind in relation to the economic processes, which determine it. They are, furthermore in accord with the general opinion as to that constitutes the highest material good attainable in this earthly existence towards which human effort should be directed. Secondly, socialist thinking is relevant to all countries in every part of the world in their actual economic and political condition. They are all classifiable in three categories: those possessing a highly developed capitalist structure; those that have found in socialism their road to progress, and those known generically as the under-developed countries, which are the victims of capitalist imperialism. To the under-developed countries, socialism offers both the weapons for resisting exploitation and the means of elevating the condition of the masses to a higher level of civilized existence within the shortest possible time.
Socialism is therefore of direct interest to Pakistan, which is an under-developed country marked by internal and external capitalist exploitation. In the scale of national wealth, Pakistan stands at the lowest rung, and there is nowhere else to be found an aggregate mass of human misery present in a similar area as that of Pakistan with its population of 120 million. The region of the earth with the highest concentration of poverty is Pakistan.
Can socialism be applied in an under-developed country? We know that it can from the history of our time. The argument that every under-developed country must pass through the same stages of economic evolution undergone by the highly industrialized nations of the West is palpably false. If it were valid, then all roads to progress would be barred to a country like Pakistan whose past history has followed a course different from that of the Christian countries of the West. It has been maintained by some eminent Western the theoreticians of capitalism that the Judaeo-Christian culture, within the sphere of which modern capitalism was engendered, is an absolute condition for progress, along capitalist lines, comparable with that of Western countries. They may be right: if they are, it is all the more incumbent upon us who are Muslims to seek a path of progress other than that of the classical growth of Western capitalism. The true fact, however, is that in Pakistan the capitalist economic system prevails internally and, in addition, the country is submissive to the predatory forces of international capitalism. Whereas the highly industrialized countries of Western Europe have carried out far-reaching reforms aimed at greater social and economic justice, and some have even advanced a good distance on the way to the formation of a socialist society, the people of Pakistan are exposed to all the rigours of unchecked exploitation.
The advanced Western countries exhibit a number of features that deserve our admiration and which we would do well to imitate. Our local apologists of capitalist exploitation (they prefer to call themselves advocates of private enterprise) direct their attention solely to one feature of those countries-the predominance of private ownership over a large sector of their economy. However, in none of those countries is capitalism permitted to reign uncontrolled, and in several the public sector is very extensive indeed. Apart from that, they ignore what makes the Western countries attractive to the unbiased mind, which is the immense freedom enjoyed the individual. The civil liberties are the true measure of the greatness of the Western countries; for such plenitude of freedom has probably never existed in a previous epoch-the freedom of conscience, the freedom of speech, the freedom of expression, the right of free association-in short the kind of freedom of the individual possible in a true democracy. Indeed without such freedom the capitalist state becomes terribly oppressive to its own subjects and enormously destructive in its relations with other countries. One to think of two recent examples to appreciate the correctness of this view-Hitlerís Germany and Tojoís Japan. The predatory brand of capitalism, which is waging war upon freedom movements all over the world, is still held in U.S.A within certain bounds by the great freedom of expression enjoyed by its own citizens. A restriction of individual freedom there might well precipitate a catastrophe vastly greater than the Second World War, since the U.S.A is in possession of unparallel resources of destruction. For capitalism to be tolerable, the individual has to be allowed the largest possible measure of civil liberty.
The socialist society cannot come about tomorrow by the enactment of a law, the promulgation of an ordinance, or the fiat of a dictator. It can be reached only at the end of a long road of changes and evolution, divided into stages that the practical socialist will take as his proximate goals. A stage reached will not be for him a resting place but a point of departure for his journey to the next, and so on.
Employing another metaphor, we may liken the march of socialism to the re-conquest of a territory that has fallen into enemy hands. The enemy has built his fortresses all over the land, whereby he has consolidated his power. The socialist forces must reduce these fortresses one by one by one and be on the guard that they are not re-captured by the hostile armies of reaction. The further the advance, the more the territory liberated from the bastions of vested interest, ignorance, corruption, and exploitation, the easier becomes the subsequent task, since the enemyís forces dwindle and those of socialism acquire new adherents. There may be set-backs, as in every campaign, but the ultimate victory can only be on the side of socialism. Though we may have our eyes on the ultimate victory, we must not forget that it can only arrive as the consequence of winning a large number of battles, of which each one will have to be fought in its due time.
When a traveller sets out on a journey he must know in which direction to go, especially if he has to travel though a country where no roads have been laid. He must rely upon the description of others who have made such a journey before, while trusting to his own acumen in discerning the landmarks. The socialist army on the march, to employ again the military metaphor, will successively attack those strongholds, which hinder its further advance, and its generals will conduct the campaign in accordance with a plan based on the experience of similar campaigns.
The policy adopted by the party has the purpose of showing the path towards Socialism and of guiding the conduct of the campaign for its attainment. A correct policy must not only be based on correct principles, but take into consideration the particular situation of the country. Whereas socialism may be universally relevant, the ways to socialism are many; for they have to be in relation to the religious faith, economic and social evolution of the country, its immediate political situation, and its historical background.
We have said earlier that all countries fall into three categories:
(1) the advanced capitalist countries;
(2) those that have adopted socialism (without regard to their stage of evolution ); and
(3) the under-developed countries.
Since Pakistan belongs to the class of under-developed countries, the policy of our party must be fully adapted to the situation termed under-development and to the special case of Pakistan itself; for no two countries, whatever their common traits of misery, are exactly alike.
The under-developed countries exhibit a number of characteristic features that are symptomatic of their condition. The principal ones that concern us in this place are:
(1) Low standard of living and low national income:
(2) Under-nourishment of a large section of the population:
(3) An inefficient agriculture
(4) Low level of industrialization;
(5) Backward social structures;
(6) Low standard of education and, in many under-developed countries, particularly in Pakistan, large percentage of illiteracy;
(7) Large-scale under-employment, especially in the rural areas:
(8) Very high birth rate;
(9) Dependence upon the economy of the industrial capitalist countries.
All the above mentioned problems of under-development in Pakistan will have to be tackled simultaneously, whatever be the established order of government. It can however be asserted that the introduction of socialist reforms is the only method conducive to rapid progress. The time factor is extremely important in view of the high rate of population increase, which is estimated to be in the neighbourhood of 3.4 % per annum. The actual growth of national income is inadequate and is moreover inequitable, since a large proportion of the national wealth is possessed by a very small number of families. There is no indication that the standard of living of the masses has risen in these many years. Unhampered capitalist methods have been tried and must be adjudged to have failed to improve the lot of the people of Pakistan.
Because the transformation of the present system into a socialist society will take years to complete, we must not fall into the error that little effective can be done to improve the condition of the people until that transformation is well underway. The Party rejects the kind of philosophy, which maintains that things must be allowed to get worse in order that they might get better. On the contrary, its policy is to aim at certain proximate objectives, the attainment of which will both open the way to rapid progress and confer, more or less immediately, benefits upon the nation.