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The other main aspect that led to the failure of the left in the subcontinent, was their understanding of the socio-economic development and the growth patterns and trends of the modes of production in the colonial countries. This was linked to the question of the ‘maturity’ of the socialist revolution. In other words the left leaders and intellectuals refused to understand the essence of the ‘theory of the permanent revolution’. Baffled by the rapid but temporary escalation of development in Stalinist Russia and Maoist China they lost the instinct to look beyond these miraculous developments. Under the Stalinist doctrine, they used Trotskyism as an insult to hurl at anyone who disagreed and did not follow the official line, without really understanding Trotskyism. The Law of Civilised Development In his epic work “The History Of The Russian Revolution”, Trotsky further explains: …The European colonists in America did not begin history all over again from the beginning. The fact that Germany and the U.S. have now economically outstripped England was made possible by the very
118backwardness of their capitalist development. The development of the historically backward nations leads necessarily to a peculiar combination of the different stages in the historic process. Their development as a whole acquires a plan less, complex, combined character. The possibility of skipping over intermediate steps is of course no means absolute. Its degree is determined in the long run by the economic and cultural capacities of the country. The backward nation, moreover, not infrequently debases the achievements borrowed from outside in the process of adapting them to its own more primitive culture. In this the very process of assimilation acquires a self-contradictory character… …The laws of history have nothing in common with pedantic schematicism. Unevenness, the general law of historic process, reveals itself most sharply and complexly in the destiny of the backward countries. Under the whip of the external necessity their backward culture is compelled to make leaps. From the universal law of unevenness is thus derived another law which, for a lack of better name we may call the law of combined development by which we mean a drawing together of a different stages of the journey, a combination of separate steps, an amalgam of archaic with more contemporary forms. Without this law, to be taken of course in its whole material content, it is impossible to understand the history…There is a motorway between Lahore and Islamabad in Pakistan, which is more modern and advanced than most highways in Europe and America. Just ten meters from the motorway are villages and hamlets, which are at a historical distance of three to five thousand years from the technology with which the motorway has been built. Under capitalism that distance cannot be overcome. Without bridging that gap there can be no social or political harmony in society.