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”

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”

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”

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”

Dynamo engineering workers in Moscow listen to a radio broadcast telling the news of Stalin's death, 1953

Gatekeeper of Western Liberalism Given Nightmares by Archive Footage of Stalin’s Funeral

Tasked with the job of reviewing a film about the funeral of JV Stalin in 1953, Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw clearly emerged from the viewing in a somewhat nervous frame of mind. He describes the State Funeral, an assembly of contemporary footage now worked up into a film, as a “very disquieting documentary, like a two-hour bad dream” full of “eerily fascinating scenes”. Continue reading “Gatekeeper of Western Liberalism Given Nightmares by Archive Footage of Stalin’s Funeral”

The Conjuring of Anti-communist Dread

Stalin statue site reveals chilling remains of Prague labour camp…. More lies from the Guardian

The lurid tale that Robert Tait has to tell https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/mar/28/stalin-statue-site-reveals-chilling-remains-of-prague-labour-camp about a veritable gulag smack in the middle of Prague is scary indeed. If we are to believe him, archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a “forced-labour camp used to house workers press-ganged into building” a massive statue of Stalin (subsequently demolished under the shameful anti-Stalin “thaw”). Comparisons are drawn between the supposed camp and Nazi camps. But the evidence to back up such grave accusations is curiously lacking. Continue reading “The Conjuring of Anti-communist Dread”

Memorials of Bourgeois Fantasy

On the 23 February, one Andrew Roth, put pen to paper to write an article by the title of; “A lifetime sentence’: children of the gulag fight to return from exile.” The story he tells is of families with a “German heritage” being ‘rounded up’ during WW2 and sent to a closed village in the Kirov region, a gulag if you will. The name Gulag instantly throws up images of ragged prisoners being beaten, starved and worked to death because, over many years that is the picture that has been painted for us by people like Mr Roth. In reality, gulags were penal work camps, usually centred around a farm where prisoners could help to grow extra food for themselves and live out their sentences in homes rather than prison cells. The gulags were for criminals where the end goal was for them to be put back into society as useful members. This was a million miles from the chain gangs of the USA or the three men in a cell made for one in Britain. Continue reading “Memorials of Bourgeois Fantasy”

Beware of the “erratic Marxist” Greek bearing his toxic gifts

An antidote to the corrosive effects of Varoufakis’ snake oil on class sonsciousness

We keep coming across this performer of conjuring verbal tricks Yanis Varoufakis and his latest snake oil branded “cure against techno-feudalism”. After his Guardian-acclaimed numbers as an acrobat somersaulting in the Eurogroup’s stage and his melodramas as “erratic Marxist” shunned by the Brussels baddies (which brought millions of Greeks to real tears),Yanis embarks on the role of his career as juggler of Communist allure. Continue reading “Beware of the “erratic Marxist” Greek bearing his toxic gifts”

Tatar Club, Arabic and Latin script, Moscow, 1935

“Soviet Union-Style” Decolonisation Means True Historical Emancipation

The Universities minister and conservative MP for Chippenham, Michelle Donelan, compared recent widespread campaigns by universities to ‘decolonise’ their curricula to “Soviet Union style censorship.” (Universities minister compares ‘decolonisation’ of history to ‘Soviet Union-style’ censorship, The Independent, 28/02/2021)

Speaking to a Daily Telegraph podcast, Ms Donelan said: “It just doesn’t work when governments try to remove elements of history. Look at the Soviet Union, look at China. There are multiple examples where it’s been tried. It doesn’t work.”

The Minister’s words come in response to calls by some of the more vocal IDPOL students scattered across the country to remove certain study materials from the curriculum that are considered “triggering” to ethnic minorities for their glorification of the empire and white-washing of Britain’s blood-soaked history.

Continue reading ““Soviet Union-Style” Decolonisation Means True Historical Emancipation”

Vasiliy Yefanov, An Unforgettable Meeting, 1937

Stalin and the Will of the People

Never before has a man carried so high the aspiration for freedom, for the peace and self-determination of the oppressed peoples than Joseph Stalin. His unconditional devotion to the emancipation of the mankind, his ability to mobilise an entire nation to advance towards modernity and to stand up against the odious beast of fascism make him one of the greatest leaders in human history.

Anna Louise Strong perfectly describes this ability in her brilliant book The Stalin Era :

“He had a deep sense of what I can only call the will of the people, he had matchless technique in releasing that will in action. Finally, he had the conviction and was able to give it to others, that his action carried mankind forward to a better day.” Continue reading “Stalin and the Will of the People”