Chin Peng and the struggle of the Malaysian Communist Party need to be understood to the fullest extent. It should be a good opportunity for the younger generation to learn what Marxism, Maoism, or even Anarchism means. Societies have lived in transitional hegemonies foundationed upon capitalism. The recent collapse of the global financial system beginning with the US credit crisis attest to the idea of that society’s over-subscription to laisserz faire and its overdose of casino capitalism.
After 50 years of Independence, we still cannot tell the difference between communism, Marxism, socialism, or anarchism. We are well versed in the foundations of crypto-corporate-cybernetic-crony capitalism, of the inner workings of the capital market, and on how to get cheap labour and squeeze profits out of modern-day indentured slaves from countries impoverished by the policies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
We are good at talking about ‘global economics’ and the ‘glocalisation’ of Wall Street and Silicon Valley industries. What we think profitable at the global market we import into our local economies, and what we see profitable in our country, we force our farmers and labourers to produce for the global economies.
We then complain about the evils of globalisation without realising that the big capitalists amongst us are the new globalisers of our own labour. At a time when we are exploring the possibilities of becoming a ‘bio-technologised nation’ (whatever that means to the padi planter/farmer in Changlung, Kedah or Tambun Tulang in Perlis), we still have not explored the meaning of ideas we ‘fear’. We still equate communism with armed struggle – just like some Western media conglomerate’s tendency of equating Islam with terrorism, and many other concept/word associations that are not accurate and dangerously misleading.
We need to explore the story behind the armed struggle to understand the ideology behind the movement. We might denounce the atrocities of the communist insurgents/Malayan co-freedom fighters, but we must also recognise the intellectual value and power of the Marxist critiques of society as a legitimate, systematic, liberating, humanising and praxical (the translation of theory to practice) body of knowledge that has evolved into an organic discipline itself.
One must engage in a systematic study of Marxism in order to be well-equipped with the understanding of what ‘national development’ means. Without this knowledge, we will forever colonise ourselves by importing more and more members of international advisory panel of any national project we blindly embark upon.