Robert Tombs is a professor emeritus of history at the university of Cambridge and a contributor to mainstream newspapers such as The Telegraph, The Spectator and The Times. He is without doubt a high profile bourgeois historian andhastherefore built a careeron being an expert at repackaging bourgeois propaganda. Hismost recent articleis no exception, publishedby The Telegraph on the 31st of December 2021, titled “Like in 1914 or 1939, we may be sleepwalking towards a global war that nothing can stop”.
Before we beginit’s worth noting that the subtitle“there are lessons from previous conflicts that could prevent another from starting” contradicts the title’s thesis that there is nothing that can stop the global war we are sleepwalking towards.The truth is Prof. Tombs does not intend to provide such lessons that might help avert the global war because his career is based upon doing the exact opposite, that is, helping us“sleepwalk” towardsit.Continue reading “If you believe “we may be sleepwalking towards a global war” it’s time to wake up”→
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”→
Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist of the con type that is usually idolised by the capitalist market as a ‘dissident’ voice, has recently been interviewed in his luxury villa in Portugal about his latest work of art, a statue of Mikhail Gorbachev, which was commissioned in Berlin for the 30th anniversary of the “reunification” of Germany. Some would replace the reunification of Germany with “the end of the USSR” or more laughably still “the end of history”, which is more often what these types of people celebrate; and what Gorbachev is despised for – aside from the humiliating Pizza Hutt ad he starred in. (https://news.artnet.com/art-world/ai-weiwei-monument-mikhail-gorbachev-1949978).Continue reading “Ai Weiwei: freedom to bow to Capitalist Ideology”→
In celebration this week of the 99th birthday of the Communist Party of China, we send our warmest comradely greetings to the cadres working hard to drive China forward to a moderately prosperous socialist society, the task entrusted to them through the programme of the party.
Socialist and anti-imperialist states have always been subjected to slanders and accusations by the imperialist press and academia. The endless clamour about ‘human rights abuses’ is a tired old technique for deceiving people. As Malcolm X once said: “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” Continue reading “Happy 99th Birthday To The Communist Party Of China!”→
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!
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.
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!
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