Social Scientist. v 8, no. 89-90 (Dec-Jan -1) p. 80.


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MALINI BHATTACHARYA

Marxian Aesthetics and People s Democratic Movement

IN his article, "Two Tactics of Social Democracy", Lenin introduces the concept that the "only force capable of gaining a decisive victory over tsarism" is the proletariat and the peasantry as well as the rural and urban petty bourgeoisie who are distributed among these two "main, big forces". Their victory would result in the establishment of the "revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry."1 The implications of this position arc carried to their logical conclusion by Mao Zedong. He asserts that the first step towards a proletarian-socialist dictatorship cannot any longer be the establishment of a capitalist society under bourgeois dictatorship; it must rather be the "establishment of a new-democratic society under the joint dictatorship of all Chinese revolutionary classes headed by the Chinese proletariat."2 He describes these revolutionary classes as the "people", that is, the proletariat and its allies—the peasantry, the army, the labouring masses of urban petty bourgeoisie and petty bourgeois intellectuals.3

"Joint dictatorship" and "headed by the proletariat" are the key phrases. They help us to focus the problem that Marxian aesthetics confronts in the context of people's democratic movements. The following incident illustrates the point. During the



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