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10 June, 2018 11:41:36 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 10 June, 2018 12:05:26 PM

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How Bangladesh is still fighting the far right

The rise of Donald Trump is almost like Hitler's rise in Germany with the only difference that Trump could not capture absolute power like Hitler
Abdul Gaffar Choudhury

PART-I
After the rise and fall of Fascism in the middle of last century in Europe there was a long and prolific discussion in the western world especially in America on what was the root cause of this kind of situation where democracy was quite advanced. There were some obvious explanations like- after a great depression when democracy becomes weak and vulnerable among people war becomes inevitable and somehow temporarily relieve the people from poverty by offering them job in the war and war industries.

Before, the First World War Britain became almost a lone imperialist power and its absolute dominance spread over almost all the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The proverb was that the sun never set in the British Empire.
It harmed the other fast rising Imperialist powers in Europe like Germany. Its emperor was then Kaiser Wilhelm-II. Though he was a close relative of the British Royal family, he wanted to expand German dominance over the world threatening the British Empire. The overgrowth of the industrial products of Germany needed a vast market which was already occupied by Britain. So with the killing of Austria's Prince a war was started between Britain and Germany. In this war Germany was defeated. Britain and its allied forces won the war and destroyed Germany's military and industrial power. A treaty named Versailles treaty was imposed on Germany with heavy compensation for the war, which was financially unfeasible for Germany. There was a famine which killed many people and devastated the war torn country.

It was unbearable for the German people and it helped Hitler to rise in German politics with his ultra nationalist slogan and with the help of the far right in Germany he captured power and established Fascism. He was joined by Italy and another militant country in Asia, Japan and they formed an axis of power. The imperial Japan, which was also industrially powerful, wanted to expand their market in Asia ousting Britain from the continent. Another Fascist leader in Italy also embarked on the plan to restore the Roman Empire by invading African countries.

These three countries with the indirect support of Franco of Spain, formed the axis power block based on Fascism. The Second World War started after 20 years of the First World War. Joseph Stalin, the-then leader of the Soviet Union in the beginning described this war as a war between two imperialist powers for their greed. With this World War the east and the west both faced economic disaster. In Asia 50 lakhs people died of famine and Europe was so devastated that America had to pump billions of dollar in Europe under their martial plan. Hungry people all over the world were angry with their colonial masters and western imperialism under Britain collapsed.

The cloud of a new war could be looming over the horizon but it was prevented by two factors in the world. The leadership of western capitalism was transferred from decadent British Empire to America who replaced the former as the leader of western capitalism and imperialism. At the same time Soviet Union rose as a communist super power. Both the camps were armed with nuclear bombs eventually and it halted the hot war between the two camps but instead started a more vicious cold war.

This is the easy explanation of the present world situation by some western pundits. After the collapse of the Soviet Union many people thought now the unfettered democracy will flourish and with some small wars here and there the cold war would come to an end. It was true for some time. But the question which still remains unanswered is, why that situation did not develop and peace was not ensured? It is found that the collapse of communist block did not help democracy to have stability but the new powerful America, though a democratic leader of the world, is now facing the same situation like 30s Germany of last century.

The rise of Donald Trump is almost like Hitler's rise in Germany with the only difference that Trump could not capture absolute power like Hitler, because of America's strong democratic constitution and the Congress. Still his warmongering has created fear of another war which may culminate in total destruction of the civilization. His rise has encouraged the rise of far right powers in some countries in Asia, Europe and Africa also. The puzzle of the present world situation is that how could it turn from Left to far right?

Some pundits explain that in a great recession like the 30s a war is inevitable. The recent continued recession in western countries has created a fertile ground for the rise of Fascism and put the world to a dangerous path of war. Another explanation is the proliferation of the nuclear arms in the world which has prevented the third World War. Now America does not have the monopoly on deadly arms. Otherwise, they would have used that arm against North Korea long ago. But situation has changed them. Even Mr. Trump is hiding their real intention to negotiate with them.

The Middle-east is still devastated. Palestine and Kashmir problems are still unsolved and people are dying. In this case worldwide ordinary people have lost their faith in capitalism and their far right policies. Then how come the far right forces could capture power in big democracies like India and America? Even in British India where Communist party was the second largest they are now divided, defeated and very helpless in the face of the far rightist forces who are not only powerful but very popular. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, socialism which was once the most powerful attraction for developing countries has now become negligible. Secularism in countries like Turkey, Egypt, India and Bangladesh is on the retreat.

The only miracle is when even in our subcontinent democracy and secularism are a very weak camp in the face of most strong far right tides, Bangladesh, a small and developing country under Sheikh Hasina's government is still surviving like a flame of a candle against a powerful wind.

When its neighbour Pakistan is now under half-Taliban rule and Hinduttava has created a dangerous challenge to democratic and secular India of Gandhi and Nehru, only Bangladesh still remains a flicker of hope in the whole South-Asia. Whether it will survive the onslaught from all around will be known after the general election which will be held next December this year. My discussion is incomplete here. The conflict between far right and mid left forces in Bangladesh needs to be discussed further to get a clear picture of what lies ahead. If time and opportunity permits I will discuss it in my next article.

London, Friday 07 June, 2018

 

 

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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