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!