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Not a Marxist if you don't adapt: Sita

Sitaram Yechury

New Delhi: CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury has said that Marxism is based on a "concrete analysis of concrete conditions" and that a true adherent analyses situations and adapts to changing conditions.

Yechury, criticised by a party lobby for advocating an understanding with the Congress to fight the ruling BJP, pointed to the success of communist China, which has "adapted to the changing conditions".

"Marxism is based on a concrete analysis of concrete conditions. As conditions change, if your analysis does not change then, in my opinion, you are not a Marxist," he said at a discussion in Delhi on the relevance of Marxism to India and Asia.

Karl Marx's theory is not a dogma or formula that can be mechanically applied, he added.

Yechury, re-elected to the highest post in his party in April, said that "assaults on reason and rationality, which rupture the social order", can only be fought with the help of Marxism.

He referred to the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, Jammu, in January, which provoked outrage across the country after some BJP ministers initially defended the accused.

"Dalit atrocities are growing in the country. The private armies attacking Dalits and minorities are no different from the Blackshirts and Brownshirts of Hitler and Mussolini," Yechury said.

Quoting the Hungarian Marxist philosopher Georg Lukacs, he said fascists had succeeded all over the world, especially in Italy and Germany, in the "destruction of reason" and added that this was being witnessed in India now.

"The only way to face such irrationality is through a battle of ideas. That is where the relevance of Marxism comes (in)... to re-establish the supremacy of rationality and reason," he said.

"The relevance of Marxism is not lost... (it) has become even more relevant. That's why on the 200th birth anniversary of Karl Marx, The New York Times had come out with a headline saying 'Happy Birthday Karl Marx. You were right!'" 

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