Informed by a view that the world as it is today can, must and will change, Vikalp is an expression of that conviction and a modest contribution to the effort it involves. When we say change we do not mean the change that is simply a reflection of the constant reproduction of the world where every aspect of human life in every part of the globe is subject to the reign of capital and the ceaseless quest for profit it implies. Instead it is the collective liberation of the human race from this rule of capital and their taking command of their own destiny that we are concerned with. If we say this more fundamental change will happen we do not assume that it will be either automatic or easy, a spontaneous creation of the tendencies in this world. Nor are we being blind to the so-called ‘failures’ or ‘reverses’ that have been part of historical experience. Instead we reject any notion of its permanence precisely because the agents and the potential for change are created in this very world – out of the intolerable burdens of exploitation and oppression of many kinds and forms that is the rule of capital. To conclude that radical social change has become impossible in such circumstances is not learning from history but denying it altogether, an idea that simply put is one amongst many ‘competing’ ideas that share a common essence of serving the status quo. For us, understanding the world in which we live is therefore about understanding how it is to change and becoming part of the process of making it happen. In that endeavour we look at both the achievements and failures of journey so far as having lessons to offer.
We focus relatively more on India because the struggle for change in this specific location and arena is our immediate concern. We, however, are very clear that this is part of a larger struggle – the realm of capital is the whole world but this rule is maintained in a contradictory way through a structure of nation states and the conflict and dominance that characterize the relations between them.
So who then are we? We are a group of individuals who are willing to invest some of our time and energy to making Vikalp a platform for circulation of ideas and analysis which generate hope rather than despair, conviction and not self-doubt, and clarity instead of confusion, about the process of social transformation. We are those who will write for it, handle all that is needed to make these writings available through this website and persuade others to do the same and therefore become part of us. We are therefore not given in number and composition – these will change with time but we shall always remain wedded to the political perspective outlined above. ‘We’ are therefore simply those whose collective product and identity is Vikalp.