Comrades last week joined a packed audience at Marx Memorial Library to celebrate the life, work, and message of Paul Robeson 40 years after his death. A panel consisting of Glenroy Watson, Hakim Adi, George Galloway, Paul Reid, and Tayo Aluko paid tribute to Robeson’s lifelong struggle against racism, imperialism, and injustice.
Keith Bennett gives an interesting presentation on the impact of the world capitalist economic crisis of overproduction upon the economic and social life of socialist countries, at a CPGB-ML seminar held as economic meltdown hit in 2009.
The classic case of a socialist country immune to crisis is provided, he says, by the Soviet Union in the 1930s, whose economic output increased 5-fold while the capitalist world’s declined, mired as it was in the great depression that followed the Wall Street Crash, and dragged on until it fuelled events leading to a second World War.
The Soviet Union, after temporary concessions to capitalism following the destruction of world war one, the civil war, and the war of intervention, put aside Lenin’s ‘New Economic Policy’ and embarked upon full scale collectivisation in the countryside, enabling increased agricultural production and rural prosperity. This in turn allowed the towns to grow, to be fed, and increase their industrial output. It was the economic, cultural and technical development consequent upon its socialist economy that enabled the Soviet Union to defeat German Nazi Imperialism in the Great Patriotic War (WW2) between 1941-45.
Keith goes on to discuss modern China, the inroads of capitalist economics into her social life, the extent to which she always had a dual economy, and the fact that China’s economy, while continuing to expand, has been adversely affected by the declining capacity of the capitalist world to absorb her exports.
Referring to the history of the world economy, Keith points out that Capitalism cannot offer a sustainable source of economic growth, peaceful or stable development, and remains inherently prone to crisis, dislocation, instability and war.
Capitalism, if allowed to flourish in the economic sphere, will inevitably seek political power, and to change the nature of the state to suit its interests, he concludes.
Members and supporters of the Communist Party met in Liverpool to listen to a talk given by Comrade Keith Bennett of the CPGB-ML on the topic of China-From Mao to now. A lively discussion was followed with active participation from the audience.
Comrades talked about the outstanding achievements of Chairman Mao and his support for class struggle around the world, in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea during the Korean War and in Vietnam.
Mao, it turns out, brought into being 800 million, well fed, well clothed and well educated human beings: A fact that not only China, but all of us should celebrate. China’s rise has been a great source of enlightenment that exercises a positive influence on human civilisation.
Carlos Martinez, secretary of the “Hands off China” campaign, gives a speech on the legacy of Mao Zedong’s Life, and the impact that his outstanding leadership of the Chinese revolution had upon China and the wider world, at a meeting held jointly with the CPGB-ML to mark the 120th anniversary of his birth. It is a legacy that all progressive humanity should celebrate and applaud.
And yet the neoliberal imperialist narrative, ground out by official capitalist academia and popular media, tries to pass off Mao as some kind of social criminal and mass murderer – when in fact he helped to lift fully one quarter of humanity out of feudal and colonial oppression, and the stultifying and backward mode of existence, rife with starvation, disease, famine and war, crushing oppression of the masses, and of women in particular, that characterised pre-revolutionary china.
For detailed refutation of the standard bourgeois lies regarding the Great Leap forward, this article from LALKAR is instructive: http://www.lalkar.org/issues/contents/nov2012/china.html
The question we should ask, is not how many people died during the years of industrialisation in china, but rather, how many Chinese and other human beings owe their lives to the communist revolution that gave birth to the People’s Republic of China, and the development of modern china; a revolutionary process that Mao played such a major part in initiating, leading and trying to secure against capitalist restoration.
Carlos points out that the population of China was long stagnant at 500million, with a miserable life expectancy of just 35 years in 1949, on the founding of the PRC, when Mao famously declared “the Chinese people have stood up!”
At the time of Mao’s death, 27 years later, in 1976, the population had reached 900 million, and life expectancy 67. If today China is a modern, enlightened, broadly socialist country – not withstanding the encroachments of capitalist economy upon its economic and political life – then 1.3 billion Chinese have much to thank Mao for.
All those countries who rely on China to give them some economic and political breathing space from the crushing weight of Anglo-American imperialist oppression, likewise have much to celebrate on the 120th anniversary of Mao’s birth.
Long live Socialist China! Long live the memory, teaching and example of Mao Zedong!
Live like Mao – serve the people!
Red Youth Education Program: Each one teach one!
Join the struggle!
Harpal Brar makes some insightful remarks while closes a meeting to celebrate the 120th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s Birth. He notes that despite the towering achievements of Mao, and the CPC and the huge advances in literacy, life expectancy, economic and cultural standing, made since the revolution by the masses of the Chinese people, the overwhelming narrative in the western imperialist world is that Mao, like Stalin, we are told, was a monster.
This is not an accurate reflection of the facts, as shown by Utsa Patnaik’s excellent work, previously reproduced in Lalkar.
We note that the same (now Prime Minister) David Cameron, who Lauds Nelson Mandela to the skies after his death, as a young conservative actively campaigned for the (living, political prisoner) Mandela’s death by hanging – along with all other ANC terrorists – who, he declared, unlike their masters among the ‘civilised’ apartheid regime, ‘are Butchers’.
Mandela is being rehabilitated by the bourgeoisie, to console the toiling masses of Africa and the world, but his revolutionary essence, his anti-imperialist history, his advocacy of the armed struggle against apartheid and imperialism, his communist understanding, sympathies, membership and leadership – all this is being air-brushed out of history.
This is simply because the capitalist class currently hold the purse strings, and pay the most mercenary historians handsomely for painting their despotism in pretty colours, while defaming all liberation struggles of the oppressed.
“History has been turned into a commodity, and the best paid historiography is that best falsified to serve the interests of the bourgeoisie.” History is for sale; and if you are planning the ultimate theft, robbery of the masses of humanity of their collective productive wealth, you CAN pay to have it re-written.
Down with imperialism! Serve the people! Join us!
Date / time: THIS SATURDAY, 21 December 2013, at 6.00pm
Venue: WEST LONDON; Saklatava Hall, Dominion Road, Southall, UB2 5AA (Southall rail station)
The meeting, putting to bed 2013 and looking forward to the great leap we will make together in 2014, is planned to celebrate the outstanding revolutionary life and contribution of Comrade Mao Zedong, and has been planned to coincide with the 120th anniversary of his birth.
Please put the date in your diary, and mobilise friends and comrades for what we can expect to be an inspiring and informative meeting, and an enjoyable end-of-year social!
Join the facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/events/685229651509684/
Hosted by CPGB-ML, Red Youth and “Hands off China“
The establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, following a protracted revolutionary struggle led by the Communist Party of China, was the second greatest event of the world proletarian revolution following the 1917 Great October Socialist Revolution, significantly shifting the global balance of forces in favour of the then existing camp of socialism and people’s democracy led by the Soviet Union of JV Stalin.
The lessons of the Chinese revolution, led by Comrade Mao Zedong, an outstanding Marxist Leninist, also carry huge significance for the revolutionary struggles in all colonial, dependent, semi-colonial, semi-feudal and oppressed nations in a number of areas, including especially, but not limited to, the peasant and agrarian questions, the armed struggle and the people’s army, and the united front against imperialism. Their continued validity and applicability has been clearly demonstrated most recently with the triumphant advances of the Nepalese revolution.
In nearly 60 years since the founding of the People’s Republic, the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party, and guided by the science of Marxism Leninism, and its concrete application to their specific conditions, Mao Zedong Thought, have weathered and overcome all manner of challenges and difficulties and have scored enormous achievements in rebuilding their country along socialist lines, so that what was, in 1949, one of the poorest, most backward and most wretched societies on earth, is now advancing as a great world power, increasingly in the front ranks of global economy, culture, science and technology.
In the course of this process, the lives of the Chinese people have been improved immeasurably, with hundreds of millions of people lifted out of poverty. Only the progress registered by the Soviet Union in the era of Comrade Stalin can compare with this actual, material contribution to the liberation and betterment of humanity.
The growing strength and power of China is increasingly acting as a check on the unbridled aggression and hegemonism of US imperialism. China renders significant assistance to other socialist and progressive countries and, by establishing relations of equality and mutual benefit with China’s booming economy, countries throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America and elsewhere are increasingly able to resist imperialist blackmail, safeguard their independence, develop their economies and improve their peoples’ standard of living.
Faced with this situation, US imperialism, which has only ever attempted to disguise its hostility to the People’s Republic of China for opportunist and cynical reasons, is increasingly expressing renewed open hostility to China, openly labelling the country as the biggest potential threat to US global interests in the 21st century. The US bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade during the Yugoslav War, the spy plane incident in the South China Sea, the campaigns against China’s friendly relations with countries such as Burma and Sudan, the counterrevolutionary turmoil in Tibet and the related attempts to sabotage the Beijing Olympics to be held this August are all manifestations of the unrelenting hostility of US imperialism, along with other imperialist powers, including Britain, to the People’s Republic.
Congress completely condemns all manifestations of imperialist hostility towards the People’s Republic of China. We rejoice at all the achievements of the Chinese people in building a modern, strong and powerful country under the leadership of their Communist Party.
As Lenin pointed out, the struggle against imperialism would be a sham without the struggle against opportunism. In Britain, nearly all the opportunist forces in the working-class and progressive movements line up with their ‘own’ bourgeoisie, as well as with US imperialism, to a greater or lesser extent, in their hostility towards People’s China. Congress resolves that the CPGB-ML will continue and intensify our struggle against this opportunism as an integral and essential part of our revolutionary work.
Following the treachery of the Khrushchevite revisionists, the Communist Party of China took a leading role in the great international struggle against modern revisionism. Our party also traces its origins to this struggle. The treachery of modern revisionism, and, finally, the counterrevolutions in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe in 1989-1991 created complex and difficult conditions for the building of socialism in China.
In introducing elements of a market economy, the Chinese comrades have pointed out that their country is today only in the primary stage of socialism. Alongside China’s undeniable achievements, serious problems have arisen, including, but by no means limited to, wealth, income and regional disparity, corruption, grave shortcomings in public education and health care, and environmental degradation. The leadership of the Communist Party of China itself openly acknowledges these problems and their gravity.
Join us to celebrate and mark the life, work and struggle of Comrade Mao Zedong on the 120th Anniversary of his Birth
More on China and Mao:
Chinese Revolution, Mao and Stalin (Video):
Reasons to Support China (Speech):
Chinese Economy (video):
China & Africa (speech):
Opeum War to liberation (speech):
George Galloway at Hands off China Rally (speech):
Mao “On Contradiction”
Hands off Campaign http://www.lalkar.org/issues/contents/sep2008/china.php
Great Leap forward – 30 million deaths???
The battle for Ideas in Socialist China:
Can ‘reform’ be sustained?
The only possible alternative to private profiteering at the expense of the planet is communism – you have to be Red to be Green! But if we are to steer ourselves away from the cataclysmic climate change that looms, it is vital that we identify our most immediate enemy: the first genuine obstacle in the path of building socialism … and that obstacle is imperialism.
The past two months have seen an endless stream of print and audiovisual propaganda force fed to the British public concerning the arrest and detention of a collection of European Greenpeace activists, who have been dubbed the ‘Arctic 30’ by the imperialist press.
The stereotypical allegations of human-rights and environmental abuse against the Russian Federation, however, bring with them only imperialism’s trademark stench of hypocrisy and greed.
Hypocritical acclaim for ‘environmental campaigners’
Arctic oil exploration
The state of the Arctic is of grave concern, and acts as a barometer of global environmental damage. It is an issue dear to the hearts of the world’s people, which explains why imperialism has made it a key propaganda plank in its portrayal of a ‘backward’ Russia (along with its alleged persecution of female punk bands, etc).
Global warming has led to a significant reduction in the Arctic sea-ice volume, which in 2012 stood at just one-fifth of what it was in 1979. Oil spills (such as that from the Exxon Valdise in 1989), particularly from the heavily-polluted Alaskan region of the US, have contributed to the degradation of our planet’s environment.
Now, the decreased ice covering of the Arctic region, alongside technological advances, has led to some oil stores that were previously seen as being inaccessible are now open to drilling.
As part of the drive to take advantage of this new bonanza, Britain has declared its ambition to become a ‘hub’ for Arctic oil exploration. The Foreign Office stated recently that “The UK government will promote the UK as a centre of commercial expertise with direct relevance to many industries that are growing in the Arctic.”
Meanwhile, the US is aggressively pursuing Arctic oil exploration, and is busy bartering to acquire Canadian territory in its most immediate vicinity.
Quite clearly, neither US nor British imperialism have any moral capital or high ground from which to sermonise when it comes to the question of environmental degradation in general or the matter of Arctic energy exploration in particular.
Imperialism is the harbinger of environmental destruction, and has rarely shown any concern for the effect of its fanatical profiteering. Whether it be pollution from manufacturing and extraction processes, the safety of workers, or the survival of flora, fauna and human inhabitants that live near mines, plants and factories – particularly in the oppressed world or among poor, working-class communities – the piratical exploitation of the capitalist system is legendary.
As for humanity on a broader scale, or the threat that climate change could pose to the very existence of the human race – the finance capitalists stand utterly helpless before, and unwilling to alter, the cynical cash calculations of an exploitative system that should have been discarded long ago.
Right to protest
Much of the ‘outrage’ presented in the corporate media has been around the alleged denial by the Russian Federation of its citizens’ ‘right to protest’.
One does not have to think too hard to imagine how the US or Britain would react to a group of Russian and Chinese activists disrupting the polluting activities of Shell or BP in the Gulf of Mexico or the Arctic – or, indeed, the Nigerian people in the Niger delta. It would meet them with military engagement, and terminate them with extreme prejudice.
This bare-faced hypocrisy is made all the more obvious, coming at a time when British councils, for example, are being given the powers to make any peaceful protest or demonstration illegal under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill.
Of course, that’s not the limit for the imperialists when it comes to oppressing the masses and protecting what they consider to be rightfully theirs, using the good-old British bobbies domestically, and the army abroad. The countless genocidal wars of plunder waged from Korea to Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan are an ongoing and revealing testament to the depraved and inhuman ‘logic’ of imperialist greed.
Imperialism’s true position
Ultimately, the story pushed by western media is no more than one propaganda piece in a many-pronged attack, which is being aimed at the Russian Federation for its key part in frustrating US domination – and particularly its recent defence of the legitimate government of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria.
Imperialism holds no green credentials, but it is becoming increasingly adept at spinning its anti-popular crusades by manipulating the growing global concern for our environment. BP, Shell, Exxon, Texaco – all these companies are now ‘green’ we are told. But China and Russia? Increased consumption by the masses of the oppressed world? Well, these are clearly a ‘dire threat to the environment’, opine the tame media pundits of imperialism in a globally-orchestrated cacophony that many on the left seem powerless to resist.
Imperialism continues to seek domination, not democracy, in order to sustain its decrepit, decaying interests and rule. A little more critical and independent thought on the part of those who pose as ‘leaders’ of the anti-war and working-class movements in Britain would not go amiss.
In this regard, returning to the basics of Marxist and Leninist teachings should be the departure point for all who would not loose their bearings in the rapids of these revolutionary times.
Genuine global change
In order to bring about the changes so badly needed by our society and the environment, we must build socialist states, built on satisfying the needs of the broad masses of humanity in a planned, organised and sustainable way. We must make humanity the master of production – rather than the anarchy of capitalist production being the blind ruler that frustrates all reasonable control over human endeavour, as is currently the case.
Working people have an overriding need and deeply-held desire to preserve our miraculous, lone blue planet as the source of all nourishment and shelter. There is no question of a communist movement or society leaving ecological questions unaddressed.
The most critical task before the environmental movement and all who cherish our planet, however, is to identify the most immediate enemy that stands in the way of safeguarding it!
In the last analysis, the imperialists are the ones who put the needs of short-term profit, of preservation of the current class-based economic inequalities, and the unjust and barbaric madness that stems form them, above all other concerns.
They think that vast personally amassed riches will enable them to buy their individual way out of all the problems they have created for the masses of humanity. They are the callous kings of capital – the financial oligarchs, the imperialists and their servants. They are the ones who declare a system – socialism – that embodies the needs and interests, the political rule, of the vast masses, to be the most evil end that could befall humanity. They are our implacable enemies, and the greatest danger to human civilisation.
“Their wealth is built upon our poverty – their joy upon our misery!”
As it was essential for the Bolsheviks to overthrow the tsars before advancing on the path to the overthrow of capitalism, it is essential that we identify our most immediate target.
That target is imperialism, and only with the overthrow of this rotten, decadent, parasitic and corrupt system, can we set out on the path to save humanity from poverty, unemployment, mass starvation, famine, misery, war and environmental disaster – whether desertification, pollution, over-fishing or climate change.
We must refuse to be led by the nose into following the capitalists’ lead – either by coercion or by accepting spurious claims of ‘environmental concern’. Let us remember that our ruling class’s new-found concern for ‘humanitarianism’ and ‘the environment’ does not stop it from bombing entire countries into the stone age, dumping chemical and nuclear waste into the Red Sea off the coast of Somalia, or liberally spreading depleted uranium across swathes of the globe.
We must refute all of imperialism’s predatory propaganda so that we can germinate a mass movement that aims at achieving a genuinely peaceful, sustainable and progressive society.
We must repudiate our rulers’ warmongering lies and oppose their predatory, criminal wars. All workers must unite, regardless of race, sex, religion or nationality, and bring to an end the devastation of civilisation and the destruction of our planet!
Long live humanity! Save the planet!
Long live the workers and labouring masses!
Death to imperialism!
In this short video, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korean Ambassador and extraordinary plenipotentiary to the UK, Hyon Hak Bong, thanks British workers for their solidarity and support during this time of heightened tension on the Korean peninsula.
The cause of the tension, he explains, is not the North Korean people or government, but the provocative and aggressive stance of the USA, which has threatened the DPRK with nuclear attack since the 1950s, and has again stepped up its aggression in the vain hope of bullying the North Korean state to give up its newly acquired nuclear deterrent.
Ambassador Bong explains that his country’s stance is one of peace, and defense against the unbelievably aggressive stance of the USA, that since murdering 4 million Koreans in the genocidal war it waged between 1950 – 53, has staged relentless military hostilities to subvert the sovereignty and security of the tiny North Korean nation, culminating in its current exercises involving more than 200,000 military personnel and simulated nuclear attack on major cities in the DPRK using B2 stealth and B52 nuclear bombers as well as F22 stealth fighters.
The DPRK is unbowed and will never submit to this outrageous and provocative action of US imperialists and its puppets, the right wing south korean regime. It has the support of the peace loving peoples of the world, who understand that the only language the US understand is the logic of force.
Hands off Korea!
No to US Nuclear warmongering!
Korea is one!
Photos from the event:
The following statement is issued by the International Department of Red Youth in connection with the recent demonstrations in China; not the demo’s promoted in Western media concerning “censorship” [censorship of anti-socialist propaganda] – BUT the really massive, militant and anti-imperialist rallies against at Japanese and US imperialism!
This past year China has seen huge demonstrations against the increasingly aggressive and bellicose behaviour of Japanese imperialism. These protests have gripped every region and major city across the country, with protestors shouting “Down with Japanese imperialism!” and “1.3 billion Chinese can smash little Japan!” At a recent protest, Chinese students surrounded the US ambassador’s motorcade in Beijing, shouting at him to answer for his country’s support for Japan.
People from all sections of Chinese society, from middle-school students to the elderly, have participated in the protests holding placards denouncing imperialism, waving red banners and the flag of the People’s Republic of China – and many proudly raising portraits of Chairman Mao.
One of the largest days of protest coincided with the 80th anniversary of the Mukden incident, which marked the beginning of Japan’s invasion of China. Many Chinese are angry that Japan still refuses to acknowledge or apologise for its slaughter of many millions of Chinese. This unrepentant attitude towards its imperial past, as well as its ongoing colonial delusions, disgusts the people of China, who know the price they paid for their freedom from colonialism.
The background to these protests begins in 1895, when Japan forced China to relinquish control over many of its island territories – the Taiwan and the Diaoyu islands to name just two. This was only three years before Britain was able to occupy all of Hong Kong. In this era, China was characterised as ‘the weak man of Asia’, and seen as an easy target by both European and Japanese imperialists. Many European countries controlled swathes of China and their colonial puppets could operate outside of Chinese law.
Even when the Chinese communist party was founded in 1921, European empires dominated Shanghai and the French colonial police attempted to break up the first congress of the CPC. The era of colonial subjugation in China didn’t truly end until the victory of the communist forces in 1949, when Jiang Jieshi’s (Chiang Kai-shek’s) surrogate regime (which was entirely dependent on US capital and weapons) was finally defeated by the People’s Liberation Army.
At the Potsdam Conference of 1945, the USA promised freedom to Japan’s colonial subjects, but, as we know from the case of Korea, the people of Japan’s former colonies in fact just swapped one master for another.
These recent China protests have also highlighted the way the alliance between Japanese and US imperialism. The USA stands with Japan against China and other nations in Asia, including the DPRK. The USA’s backing of Japan is important in its so-called ‘Asia pivot’ of international relations, as it seeks to encircle, contain and weaken an ever-stronger and more confident China. This strategy is reminiscent of the US approach in the late 1940s, when President Harry Truman talked about “containment” of communism. It is clear that the US is as determined as ever to undermine socialism in Asia.
The USA’s ‘pivot towards Asia’ shows that imperialism is preparing military aggression in Asia. The governments of Japan and Taiwan are upgrading and expanding their militaries with huge US help, and large numbers of US troops and bases are being deployed to countries such as Australia in a definite trend towards increased militarisation of the region.
The new right-wing Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said there would be no negotiation or compromise by Japan over the disputed islands and that he is prepared to send more ‘permanent staff’ to the islands. At the same time, the Japanese right wing are calling for a scrapping of a clause in the Japanese constitution which says Japan’s military can only be used in self-defence.
On 6 January this year, Japan’s prime minister ordered the military to consider deploying fighter jets to the Diaoyu islands to prevent Chinese planes flying through the island’s airspace. Meanwhile, as this article is being written, and in another act of unprovoked and unjustified aggression, Japan has boarded Chinese ships near the islands.
Progressive people everywhere must oppose the designs of Japanese and US imperialism in China and throughout Asia.
Down with Japanese imperialism! Down with US imperialism! Hands off China!
For more information on this dispute and Chinese socialism, visit:
Comrade Harpal Brar, Chair of the Communist Party, has returned to Britain after his recent trip to China. Comrade Harpal was invited by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (which encompasses the former Institute of Marxism Leninism, Mao-Zedong Thought) to address this years Third World Socialism Forum. Comrade Harpal was able to address the delegates on the contemporary struggle for socialism, the crisis of imperialism and a great many other questions. A full report will appear in the new year edition of Lalkar.
In the meantime, watch the video below featuring the CPGB-ML Honorary President Isabel Crook. Comrade Crook is a lifetime revolutionary, Marxist Leninist and fierce anti-revisionist. Isabel’s late husband David fought in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War and both were loyal members of the CPGB during its revolutionary years. After the collapse of the old Party many comrades were left without a political home, but many like Jack Shapiro and Isabel were delighted to witness the reemergence and growth of a revolutionary Party in Britain. You can read a review of her famous book Ten Mile Inn written jointly with David in this months edition of Proletarian.