BBC’s flawed understanding of China’s history leads to confusion

In the first of a three-part look at ‘China’s changing role in the world’, the BBC’s China correspondent Stephen McDonnell looks at the CPC’s recent moves to tackle income disparity and intervene in social and cultural behaviour. But approaching these with the shallow misunderstandings of pre- and post-reform China typical of Western mainstream commentators, he is unable to answer the questions he sets himself.

The notion that the Cultural Revolution was a ‘disastrous quagmire’ out of which China needed to be dragged is one of these misunderstandings.

It is not hard to look at the data – none other than the Financial Times has laid out in no uncertain terms the progress that took place in Mao’s China: life expectancy nearly doubling, adult illiteracy falling from 80% to just 23%, and the achievement of gender equality in elementary education. Contrary to being a quagmire that China needed dragged from kicking and screaming, the FT states that “Without these, the rapid growth after the 1979 opening and reforms would not have been possible.” (Lessons from the first 70 years of the People’s Republic of China by David Daokui Li) Continue reading “BBC’s flawed understanding of China’s history leads to confusion”

Slander against Stalin Pointed at Putin – Nato’s Goebbelsian propaganda

A recent article in the Independent, by Ella Glover, titled “Remains of thousands of people believed to be victims of Stalin’s terror discovered in Ukraine“, reveals that a new mass grave has been discovered with “the bones of around 5,000 to 8,000 people” during exploratory works as part of an airport extension. Even though our dear author admits that the victims’ “crimes and identities remain unknown” she expresses no doubt whatsoever as to who was responsible.

Since the Nazis and their fascist counterparts are well known to have committed countless mass executions, especially in Eastern Europe, we should question who these victims were and what lead to their burial before reaching any conclusion about who did it, but this is not how Goebbelsian propaganda works; instead, given the discovery of some bones, the opportunity is jumped upon to make up a story slandering Stalin and Russia with the same brush. According to our author the bones are “thought by historians to belong to victims of Stalin’s Great Terror from 1937 to 1939” but alas, the identities of these historians as well as the depth of their thought remain as unknown to us as the identities and crimes of the victims. Continue reading “Slander against Stalin Pointed at Putin – Nato’s Goebbelsian propaganda”

Anti-communist stocking filler

Bookshops of the Bourgeoisie

A theme which often surfaces in contemporary depictions of socialism in literature and popular culture is the use of restrictive controls on the sort of books people in socialist countries had access to, encouraging a notion that bookshops only sold volumes of Marx and Lenin.

Accompanying this is the notion that western literature was totally forbidden to readers of the socialist world, with only state approved propaganda available to slake people’s appetite for entertainment. Continue reading “Bookshops of the Bourgeoisie”

Reclaiming history is a flawed fight without Marxism

Articles in the Sunday Telegraph and Daily Express on the 29th August introduce their readers to ‘History Reclaimed’, a group consisting of academic scholars who have set themselves the task of counteracting the current trend for removing references to, or revising drastically the way historical figures associated with slavery, colonialism and racism are presented in society.

The academics behind the organisation are attempting to push back at what they view as ideologically motivated, over zealous gestures that seek to blacken the names of important historical figures without regard to the context of the time they lived in. Continue reading “Reclaiming history is a flawed fight without Marxism”

BBC praises a grand rewilding to hide how capitalism sparked environmental degradation in Kazakhstan

The BBC’s science and technology journalist, Chris Baraniuk, wrote back in January a distinctly ecohippie article celebrating the decline of human presence in the Eurasian steppes of Kazakhstan.

With the title “How the Soviet Union’s end sparked a grand rewilding”, the author appears to echo extinction rebellion’s rhetoric rejoicing in the fact that nature has rejuvenated, as millions of people were kept indoors during the lockdowns. It is quite fashionable to be “scientifically” misanthropic nowadays, and willing to highlight the so called “positive” effects of the pandemic that devastated human lives globally. It is a hideously insensitive and irrational argument, in the context of over 4.5 millions of deaths, that fails to address the responsibility of specific economic interests and the profit motive of capitalist exploitation. Conveniently for the current system, this attitude instead opts for blaming vague “anthropogenic” causes for all ecological catastrophes and to praise the “anthropause” as a respite given to the natural world, which magically takes care of itself. Continue reading “BBC praises a grand rewilding to hide how capitalism sparked environmental degradation in Kazakhstan”

Photo: Danil Semenov / AFP / Scanpix

Winds of time sweep away the rubbish heaped on Stalin’s grave

As we’ve previously reported before, Stalin’s popularity keeps rising in the territories of the former USSR with 48 percent of Russians supporting the idea of a monument to Joseph Stalin to mark the next anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory in World War II. By comparison, 20 percent of respondents oppose the idea and 29 percent are indifferent.(Meduza, Levada Center: Number of Russians in support of Stalin monument has doubled since 2010, August 4, 2021).

Continual support for commemorating the legacy of Stalin’s leadership amongst the Russian people has various sections of the corporate media, (who strive to meticulously curate journalistic narratives for the benefit of the ruling class) in hysterics.

This gave rise to a recent article in the Moscow Times – lamenting Stalin’s popularity within the Russian Federation specifically. (The Moscow Times, Why Is Stalin’s Popularity On the Rise?, July 23 2021) Continue reading “Winds of time sweep away the rubbish heaped on Stalin’s grave”

Daniel Hannan and the Upside-Down World of Bourgeois Fantasy Fiction

On 14 August 2021, one imperialist hack by the name of Daniel Hannan (Lord Hannan of Kingsclere, former Conservative Party MEP and current advisor to the UK Board of Trade), wrote an article in the Telegraph proclaiming black was white, up was down and right was wrong! The title of his anti-Soviet diatribe of crude fiction was titled The collapse of the USSR thirty years ago was a victory for nationhood over tyranny.” The collapse of the Soviet Union was not an overnight event that happened because everyone was drunk, it had been a long time in the making with traitors and Western spies pushing and working for it ever since the death of comrade Josef Stalin. Continue reading “Daniel Hannan and the Upside-Down World of Bourgeois Fantasy Fiction”

Soviet statues and the Superstitions of a Class in Terminal Decline

In the psyche of the modern imperialist mindset, there is often displayed a unique, often morbid fascination with Soviet era statues and monuments, especially when they can be found languishing in derelict or partly dismembered conditions. Writing in the Mail Online, Isabel Baldwin’s August 4th article “Spooky Stalins and Lonesome Lenins” covers a photo documentary exhibition currently being exhibited in Portland, Oregon, by American photographer Matthew Moore which perfectly encapsulates the superstitious and titillating nature of the bourgeois fixation with this theme. Continue reading “Soviet statues and the Superstitions of a Class in Terminal Decline”

People take part in a demonstration to support the government of the Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel in Havana, on July 11, 2021. Yamil Lage/Getty Images

MSM deceptions: Pro government demonstrators pictured as ‘anti govt’ in news reports about Cuba

A Bloomberg article appeared on the 14th July 2021, with the title “Cuba Protests Fanned by Worst Economic Crisis Since Fall of USSR”.

The article started: “The deepest economic crisis since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a spike in Covid-19 infections, power blackouts and increased use of social media all helped fan discontent with the 62-year-old communist regime.

Lets look at what is actually happening in Cuba. Continue reading “MSM deceptions: Pro government demonstrators pictured as ‘anti govt’ in news reports about Cuba”

Corporate workplace burn-out culture is no match for Socialist emulation

On 29 June 2021 the Conversation website published an essay entitled “How a Soviet miner from the 1930s helped create today’s intense corporate workplace culture”, co-authored by Bogdan Costea and Peter Watt, two academics from Lancaster University. In the essay, the authors strive to draw supposed parallels between the  destructive “corporate workplace culture” of present-day capitalism and the Stakhanov movement of the 1930s. Whilst their depiction of the dehumanising character of social relations under capitalism is spot-on, the attempt to paint social relations in the USSR with the same brush is a grotesque calumny which vanishes in a puff of air when exposed to the historical record. Continue reading “Corporate workplace burn-out culture is no match for Socialist emulation”