By Dev Virahsawmy
The Mauritius Labour Party (MLP) is not and has never been a working class socialist party but rather a middle class fabian socialist party or more precisely a social-democratic party. Under its leadership, the middle class has made an alliance with the working class to conquer state power and use it to promote middle class interests but it cannot be denied that the working class has benefited to some extent.
Neoliberalism, a right wing ideology, is represented today by the MMM which ignores class reality and which thinks that ideology is dead. It’s licensed historian, Jocelyn Chan Low, claims that his guru, Paul Berenger, has ‘abandoned‘ ideology when we know that what has happened is an abandonment of socialism in favour of neoliberalism.
Neoliberalism has accelerated and intensified the convulsions and contradictions of western capitalism and now the shallow and pompous leader of the MMM has suddenly discovered America on the map. His heart aches and angst chokes him. His once loathed and now much worshipped western world is mired in debt and is in the throes of impending collapse.
Note that he does not blame his opponents and this means that he is sending signals that a back seat in Government Limousine would be most welcome, for his lords and masters, the 1% filthy rich who control 75% of the country’s wealth need Le Petit Paul to feather their nests. The collapse of western capitalism means their doom as well and since their dream of putting in power their Berengers and Guinbeaus has turned into a nightmare, they urgently need to have their doormats inside the seat of power.
Middle class capitalists will face the same fate if they do not re-invent themselves and develop a new economic strategy which does not make of them obedient and subservient lackeys of foreign powers. Their political party, the MLP, has already shown that it has the clout to chart a new course with its enpowerment programme, the drive to sustainable development through Maurice Ile Durable and the establishment of strong ties with Asian capitalism. If some respite can be thus achieved, it will be short lived because the Asian capitalist countries are insatiable energy guzzling and resource gobbling systems. Consequently global warming and climate change will get worse.
What can the working class do? When the effects of global warming start to hit us hard, will the working class be ready to take the lead? Will AfroCreole working class have freed itself from the ideological fetters of present-day neoliberalism which blends with subtle racism? Will working class Hindus and Muslims have freed themselves from middle class interests? If the working class and its party can take the lead, well and good. It can then enter into an alliance with the middle class as a junior partner. If not, what should it do? Stay off limits as onlookers? Or should it negotiate an alliance as a junior partner and ensure some fundamental economic, political, social and cultural gains for its members?
Working class activists, leaders and thinkers should forget their petty quarrels and look into the possibility of building an efficient working class party so as to be able to give the right orientation to the struggle for survival for that is the issue of the day.
* Published in print edition on 25 June 2010