The state and the system are already collapsing. But the conflicts within the state apparatus can also converge on to class lines as the contradictions on this basis in the edifice of the state are sharper as never before
The ruling of the Supreme Court in Asghar Khan Case has laid bare the burgeoning intrinsic conflicts between and within the most vital institutions of the state, the titans, the political executive, military establishment and the judiciary. The judgement reprimands the ISI for doling out millions to the right wing and religious politicians and parties to forge the IJI (Islamic Democratic Alliance) to defeat the PPP in the 1990 elections. The verdict names Generals heading the Army and the ISI have been named as perpetrators of this act. This is unprecedented in the country’s history and shows the process of internal dissent, organic decay and erosion of the state due to the crumbling economy and disintegrating society due to the crisis of the Pakistani capitalism. The state is trying to impose it is now itself being afflicted by the ramifications of this diseased system. Instead of investigating the real causes of this crisis of the state and society, most of the analysis of dominant yellow journalism is accentuating the apparent panoramas of these conflicts and tries to confuse and convolute the general consciousness of society. Playing blame games and portraying individuals as heroes and villains, David’s and Goliaths is neither a serious nor a scientific method of analysing crucial events and a severe crisis. The main objective of the chattering classes in particular the media is to indulge the oppressed masses onto these clashes of the titans and take sides of one or the other, while trying to preserve the rotten system that is the cause of this turmoil and carnage.
The discussion on the wretched condition of the economy is rare, if any. With a pathetic growth rate of less than 2 percent and records deficits from budget to trade the state of the official or the formal economy is a looming disaster. According to a latest study of the FBR (Federal Board of Revenue) which is characteristically conservative, “it (informal economy) has already gone beyond $ 100 billion which is more than half of the total economy... the informal or black economy has been growing at the rate of nine percent from 1977 to 2000. It grows along with growth in corruption, speed money, smuggling, narcotics, government contracts and tax evasion.” However this study does not mention the rate of growth of the black economy in the subsequent years which in all probability would be much higher. The Economic Survey of Pakistan, 2011-2012 says the following, “The informal economy plays an important and sometimes controversial role. It provides jobs but in many cases they are low paid. This economy employs 73.8 per cent of Pakistan’s total labour force and hence is the largest employer in the country.” These are official figures that glaringly reveal the extent of the economy that is documented by the state. While bulk of the economy is unauthenticated, non documented and unaccounted for, the formal economy is forayed by spiralling imperialist debt servicing and the military and the state apparatus. It is common knowledge that not more than 10 percent of the total GDP is left for health, education development, infrastructure, running of the government etc.
But if the black economy is not in the control of the state, it does play a crucial role in the policies of the state and the politics of the ruling classes. Its deep penetration into the state institutions and politics has not only weakened the internal cohesion of the state institutions but has also aggravated the class divide. The rich have amassed obscene amounts of wealth while the toiling classes have been plunged into an abyss of impoverishment and misery. In a situation of social stagnation this black money decides party manifestos and policies. It buys political power and status, popularity through the media, cosy posts in the state apparatus, lucrative contracts and deals, loyalties and affiliations, law and justice through astronomical fees of the top lawyers and what not? Without its eradication a healthy bourgeois democratic society cannot materialize. But reality is that the nascent Pakistani bourgeoisie was historically so belated and in such economic and financial dearth that it neither had the means nor the will to complete the national democratic revolution. The rates of profits they yearned for could not be achieved under a normal capitalist regime through manufacturing, mechanised agriculture or even the services sector. Hence the intrusion of criminality and plunder of the state resources in businesses was a necessity for the debilitated Pakistani capitalism to sustain the privileges and profits of the corrupt and intransigent ruling classes. In other words these illicit methods of generating this black money were inevitable in the evolutionary patterns and methods of capitalism in this country. But now the reality is that this ‘informal’ economy has become a malignant tumour in the body politic of Pakistan. It has metastasized to such an extent that it is enmeshed with the capitalist system itself and cannot be removed or bifurcated from it.
Although the economic catastrophe is the most crucial factor in the decline of society, but this social decay is nauseatingly conspicuous in the degeneration of art, culture, ethics, morality, attitudes, behaviour, manners and social relations of this tragic society. One of the most lucrative beneficiaries of this black money is the mullah aristocracy and the fundamentalist outfits. They are also the most ardent defenders of this economic edifice. Even the official figures reveal that it was the late seventies when this tumour began to rapidly grow and expand. However the Dr. Frankenstein of this monster was none other than the US imperialism. The afghan Jihad was financed by narcotics trade and other criminal acts designed in its strategy by the CIA. The ISI was merely its executioner that later became the owner of this dirty money that has now engulfed the country’s economy and society. The social and political implications have been devastating. The neo Islamic fundamentalism evolved around this jihad and black money, with the mushrooming of madrassas and centres of fanatical indoctrination have created a large segment of youth who are trained and mystically envenomed to kill and maim in the name of religion. The social life not just of women and minorities has been traumatised but the whole society is suffering from the suffocation of this religious subjugation. The hard reality is that this social obscurantism has very little support amongst the vast majority of the people of this country. They are in a tiny minority of the 190 million inhabitants of this land.
Their social existence is only due to the rotten economic and social policies of the liberal and secular political elite who are voted by the masses for a change but in power carry on with the devastating capitalist policies that further pummel the lives of the already impoverished masses. The despair and dread that ensues retards the class struggle and a vacuum evolves where these mercenaries of black capital wreck havoc with the lives of ordinary people. But this vicious cycle is now engrossing the state with the vexing internal conflicts exploding out in the open dragging the society into a downward spiral. These conflicts and the socio economic conditions will only deteriorate in a perspective of a worsening crisis of capitalism. The state and the system are already collapsing. But the conflicts within the state apparatus can also converge on to class lines as the contradictions on this basis in the edifice of the state are sharper as never before. But the class revolt in the state will only erupt when the class struggle in society reaches a stage where a revolutionary victory becomes a real possibility on the horizon. Fredrick Engels said more than a hundred years ago that after a century mankind will be faced by a clear choice—Socialism or Barbarism. The working classes have no other option but to fight to overthrow this system for their salvation and the survival of civilisation.