The Crisis of the Comprador Capitalist Oli Regime
The dissatisfaction, indignation and anger of the people who have suffered terribly during the Oli regime’s 80-day Lockdown, which has shown itself hopeless and helpless in health administration, is mired in corruption and has repressed the people, has spilled onto the nation’s streets.
Many people who failed to understand and recognise the reality of the Oli government, are now burning with anger at its betrayal of the country and their expectations. The recent unholy alliance of former opposition Nepali Congress with the ruling CPN (Maoist) also provoked many young people to take to the streets of Baluwater in a spontaneous demonstration, that is a clear expression of intensifying class-struggle against growing socio-economic inequality and the regime’s attack on people’s rights, brought about by the crisis of Nepalese comprador capitalism.
In May, the US think tank, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), warned about the effects of the global capitalist crisis and expressed fear of world-wide resistance that threatens the very survival of international capitalism.
“We are living in an age of global mass protests, the size and continuity of which is historically unprecedented.”
The government’s ban on the corona virus is unlikely to stifle protests in both town and country public, as people express their dissatisfaction at huge public gatherings, but the government’s continuing failure to confront the pandemic could itself trigger another major political upheaval. The worldwide massive protests against racist violence, injustice and inequality were sparked-off last month in the United States by the brutal murder of black American, George Floyd, confirm another aspect of the crisis regarding the survival of global capitalism. While it expresses itself in Nepal as a national emergency in public health and socio-economic breakdown, is also causing the rapid disintegration of the comprador capitalist system, and the hopeless, unscientific and fascist behaviour of the Oli regime is leading to a final showdown.
The slow pace of PCR tests, the use of unreliable RDTs, and Oli’s attempts to cover up the serious question of the substandard buffalo herdsmen quarantine with the silly “story of a clever buffalo trader” shows utter irresponsibility in handling the public health crisis. So far, more than 8,000 people have been infected and 22 have died in the country. His argument that all those who died did not lose their lives because of Corona, but instead was due to WHO protocol is unfounded.
“The fact that turmeric, salt, chilli, and cumin in the kitchens of the ups and downs of the Nepalese people automatically proves the immunity (stamina) of the Nepalese people to a very high level confirms how irrational and unscientific the WHO are in understanding and resolving the health crisis of the Corona epidemic.” (Oli’s long speech in Parliament on Wednesday, June 12) Even today, more than 70 percent of the Nepali people die prematurely due to disease and hunger without being able to eat healthy meals. For example, during the Lockdown Mallar Sada and Surya Bahadur Tamang died of starvation. Oli’s hypocrisy is to deny that the Corona pandemic has exacerbated the crisis in peoples live, claiming it is a myth. This line deliberately rejects health science, whereas a leading pathologist, Dr. Rudolf Virchow has clearly stated; “People need science and there is, indisputably, nothing better for saving lives.” Dr Virchow is among the foremost pioneers in advancing public health and is regarded as;
“The great founder of modern scientific medicine.”(William H. Welch, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 1902)
Poverty, lack of education, and class-based oppression have been blamed for the epidemic spreading. Yet the Oli government has not only neglected health science, but also ignored the need and demand for health care. It is obvious that to protect a population during a health crisis can only be achieved by a governing system that understands and applies science as the essential instrument in that process.
Because of the caste system and feudal patriarchy, based on the Hindu religion, with its anti-humanist ideology and values, heinous violence, blatant discrimination and even murder, continues against the seven-million Dalit community and women is a continuing feature of Nepalese society. After the rape of Angira Pasi, over the issue of an inter-caste love/marriage, involving Nawaraj VK on May 26 in West Rukum Soti, and the subsequent horrific massacre of six other youths’ results from the continued existence of the feudal caste system afflicting Nepali society. Yet the government’s home minister pathetic attempts to minimise these shameful incidents by claiming: “Such incidents of discrimination take place, not only in Nepal, but also in the United States.”
The ruling Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) made a formal statement on the sensitive issue only 11 days later. This has exposed that caste discrimination, its structure and cultural roots, are deep in the hearts and minds of the rulers of the present comprador capitalist regime.
Against this background the resistance struggle of multi-communal, progressive, and freedom-loving people is moving forward, spurred on by the necessity for a radical alternative to comprador capitalist state power. In this situation the Oli regime, is an obstacle to the eradication of the oppressive caste system, and its removal is now a national necessity.
The Oli government has been using the question of Indian encroachment and defense of national independence as a card to prolong its rule. All the parliamentarians who have previously surrendered in the face of Indian encroachment and intervention now appear to have woken up following India’s unveiling a new map incorporating Nepali land.
There was an urgent need at that time for Nepal to publish a new map which protected its national integrity. But seven months after the crisis, the unveiling of a new map only recently as Oli’s problems within his party and government have intensified, and the question of defending the nation has come to the fore. The fact that at the same time they are talking of amending the constitution in order to implement the treacherous MCC agreement with American imperialists, which again poses a threat to national sovereignty. Whereas India has been encroaching on Nepalese land for the past 58 years, it was only the patriotic struggle against MCC that forced the regime into publishing a new map on June 13th. This is merely a stratagem to keep their government in power and to turn the question of national defense into a mysterious drama of ‘elephant comes – elephant does nothing’
The Indian encroachment taking place in the areas including Kalapani-Limpiyadhura-Lipulek, the complete protection and victory of national independence can be achieved only by India immediately removing its army from Nepali land. The principal question is that of liberating people and nation from both trespassing onto Nepali territory and by plundering national resources through treacherous treaties and agreements. The progress and freedom of the people cannot be advanced through imperialist ideology, politics and leaders. Repealing all unequal treaties and agreements from 1950 onwards is therefore a great historical task if the country is to be truly free and independent. It cannot be fulfilled by the comprador Oli’s party and regime, which blackened the nation’s history by agreeing the 1996 Mahakali Treaty and even more recently with the treacherous proposal to agree to the MCC agreement with the Americans. This unfolding crisis of national defence is certain to deepen in the coming days and the leadership of a patriotic, communist party and leadership is indispensable if it is to be resolved in favour of liberation and sovereignty.
The ruling class it appears has set aside humanity regarding the survival of the people and instead have chosen a political path that serves capitalism and global financial corporations. The evidence is shown by regime’s budget which feeds money-hungry compradors, while its programmes and policies for the people living in a swamp of poverty are completely bogus. In this respect the failure to produce a budget with the essential aim of saving lives in the public health crisis brought about by the Corona pandemic, and ignoring the socio-economic problems confronting peoples in oppressed classes, castes and communities only serves to underline the regime’s reactionary class position. Furthermore, the fiscal position is perilous and the World Bank has estimated that remittances from Nepalis working abroad will fall by 14%, this is a loss of 4% of GDP amounting to 37 trillion rupees, with unemployment among foreign workers now at 25%.
Also, the Asian Development Bank has estimated that should the Corona pandemic continue, jobs losses of Nepalis working abroad will rise over next the six months to 6 million, 80% of all Nepali migrant workers. With unemployment rising rapidly and declining foreign exchange reserves, millions of middle and working-class Nepalis have sunk into extreme poverty. The failure of the government for the past two years to manage its finances properly to produce a budget that can tackle these problems. Only a socialist budget can seriously deal with these many problems. Even now millions of Nepalis are stranded abroad and in need of rescue. The failure to deal with the major problem of potentially over six million unemployed Nepalis, home and abroad is a serious threat to the country’s socio-economic security. The regime’s refusal to set aside up to 10% of GDP in order to deal with the crisis food scarcity shows exactly whose interests it is serving. Even the link of public ownership of land and social justice has been broken with the creation of land bank that puts land in the hands of compradors. The amounts set aside for health service of Rs 90 billion along with Rs 12,46 billion for hospitals has awarded to market mafias. The regime, which has ignored the activities of western countries, has therefore handed over public health, threatened by the Corona pandemic to the free market, and has established itself as a vanguard for capitalist profiteering.
The government’s budget is approximately Rs 1,4 trillion, of which Rs 524 billion is raised domestically, Rs 890 billion comes from foreign loans with an additional Rs 60 billion from grants, showing a 65% dependency on foreign grants. Present state expenditure totals Rs. 948 billion from a revenue of Rs. 889 billion, and more than 70% of budget plans are mere window dressing to deceive the people, while feeding the compradors.
This moreover results from allowing imperialism to impose its neo-liberal capitalist economics, (as formulated by Milton Friedman), onto Nepal and strangle its economy. The expanded ranks of comprador capitalists are revealed as agents of imperialism and the Nepalising of its geo-political programme.
The expansion of employment can only be achieved by developing the nation’s infrastructure and ending old relations of production. This entails breaking with the neo-liberal comprador economic policies that has pushed millions of Nepalis into disease, hunger and hardship, and establishing a self-reliant economic system that will bring about essential change in people’s lives. The market economy cannot end poverty or guarantee full employment and only represents the looting of the nation’s treasury, raging hyper-inflation and serves only international monopoly capitalism. The Oli regime has pursued neo-liberal economics, which have severely degraded both public and private sectors for the past twenty-five years, but with more systematic methods that has privatised education and health services, against the interests of the population. Also, ignoring the important sectors of agriculture and industry has driven the nation’s entrepreneurs into comprador capitalism. Consequent of this inefficient, corrupt system has forced over 60% of the nation’s youth to find work in foreign climes. Yet Oli has the nerve to claim that: “Nepal has been ranked among the top ten fastest growing economies in the world by 6.5 percent economic growth in three years”, is a lie designed to hide regime’s failures. Furthermore, the slogan “Prosperous Nepal and Happy Nepalis” is an empty one and cannot disguise the fact that every year sees on average half a million people added to unemployment figures. The sink of ideological garbage, incompetence and blatant corruption that the Oli regime has sunk, into, and the lies told to hide these truths, weighs heavily on the entire country and its coming generations.
Relations of production with public ownership of the means of production are essentially linked in a socialist economy. Yet while hypocritically claiming to be ‘communist’ the corrupted Oli regime is in fact the bearer of a neo-liberal capitalist plague. The people and nation have been betrayed by compradors of post-imperialism.
For the country to progress there needs to be rapid radical economic and social change that transforms Nepalese society. In this respect the present comprador parliamentary system and the Oli regime have utterly failed to deal with the country’s needs and the people’s hopes. Sunk in corruption the regime has set its face against transparency and is hiding in an ivory tower. Yet the list of its criminality grows, from the; Sunkand Syndicate scandal, the Melamchi Drinking Water case, the Widebody scandal, the Yeti Holdings case, the Baluwater land case, the MCC treachery, the ban on the Communist Party of Nepal, the Ncell case, the Information Bill, the Sugarcane Farmers Movement, the Nirmala scandal, the First Year Wine case, the Mahara case, the 700 million Audio case, the return of the Two Ordinances, the MPs kidnapping, the Map case, the Omni case, and the Security Printing Press scandal, all constitute the activities of the Oli regime’s second year. Instead of satisfying the peoples hopes regarding tackling graft and bribery through effective governance, they have driven forward into even more outrageous corruption. The need for a planned, incorruptible, socialist economy is even greater now, if nation and people are to be saved from the twin plagues of neo-liberalism and Covid-19.
People understand Oli’s world-view from his comments about “terrorist activities” and his antipathy to a republic was shown in 2009 comment that:
“the people’s movement will never get to America in a bullock-cart”
However, the historical change that has swept among the popular masses has effectively rejected this ideology. Following Prachandra’s betrayal of the People’s War and his surrender to the CPN-UML, shows that only the revolutionary CPN remains as the major challenge to the Oli regime. It is now clear that nothing can halt revolutionary change, as the people rise-up against all the scandals and particularly the suppression of the popular CPN, and the proscribing of its programme of Unified People’s Revolution for establishing scientific socialism. The political crisis now necessitates the dismantling of the comprador, capitalist parliamentary system through socialist revolution. Mao, in this respect, observed that:
“The socialist system will eventually replace the capitalist system,”*
This objectively reflects the hopes of the people and victory is inevitable, no matter how hard the reactionaries try to roll the wheel of history back. Those clinging to the status quo can never stop the forward march of social revolution! Therefore, the end of comprador capitalism with the overthrow of the Oli regime, and the establishment of a socialist society is inevitable.
*(November 7, 1957 Mao’s speech, the 40th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution)