Our Day Is Coming (Video)

Our Day is Coming

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The world cries out in pain. Two futures, two roads are before us: communism or barbarism, the Leading Light or endless night. There is a choice to be made.

We must transform ourselves for revolution. Do away with pettiness, greed, ego, smallness of mind. We must think beyond ourselves. An offense against one is an offense against all. When one bleeds, we all bleed. We must think as humanity and beyond. Not only is this a battle for our future, it is a battle for the future of our planet.

We, warriors of the people, must also act as guardians of the animals, the plants, the lands, the seas, the skies that sustain us all. The war to liberate the poor of the Third World is also a war for the future of our planet. It is through this righteous struggle that we become lights in a world of darkness, it is through this righteous struggle that we become who we really are. it is through this struggle that we forge the future.

Unity is strength

Capitalist culture teaches every individual that they are the center of the universe, that they are a castle unto themselves. We must break down the walls that keep us apart. It is only through organization, discipline, loyalty, leadership that we can really win.

Duty. Patience. We must be humble. We must find our roles. Learning to lead is also learning to listen and to follow. Well all stumble at times. Everyone makes mistakes. To be human is to fall. Pick yourself up when you have fallen. To learn from mistakes is the nature of science. To go forward against all obstacles is to be great.

To create we must destroy. We must pursue our cause to the end. To be ruthless, decisive and bold, to do everything that it takes to win. To the old world, we are a firestorm, to burn away, to annihilate, to turn to dust all that stands against us. We must be the sword of history. At the same time, we must have bigness of heart, humility, kindness. One hand holds the sword, the other must be extended outward to help.

We must dare go beyond the horizons.

New possibilities. We will not win by repeating the past. The last waves of revolution were defeated. We do not go forward by cobbling together the fragments of the past. We must understand the past, learn from the past, but we must go beyond it. The next wave of revolution is made by boldly striking out, casting aside dogma, by putting the most advanced revolutionary science, Leading Light Communism, in command.

We declare total war on the old ways, the Old Power. We declare total war on the First World. We demand nothing less than a whole new world, a world without poverty, without suffering, without cruelty, without war, without hunger, without chauvinism, without rape.

We demand a world of equality, a world of peace, a world of justice. Happiness. Joy. Serve the people. Imagine true freedom where we can be our best selves. A better world is possible, an equal world is possible, but we must fight hard and to the end.

Global people’s war all the way to Leading Light Communism. To give oneself over, to live and die for justice, for revolution, for our world is to be great. To this we pledge everything, our resources, our talents, our lives. The future is there for the taking if we dare. Never surrender.

Follow the Leading Light. Be the Leading Light. Our sun is rising. Our day is coming.

Turning Money into Rebellion edited by Gabriel Kuhn part 3

Turning Money into Rebellion edited by Gabriel Kuhn part 3KUF_Plakat-212x300

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Turning Money into Rebellion: The Unlikely Story of Denmark’s Revolutionary Bank Robbers (Kreplebebad, 2014) edited by Gabriel Kuhn documents the story of one of the most interesting revolutionary trends to emerge from the First World. It is the story of Mao-friendly, modern-day Robin Hoods from Denmark, the so-called “Blekingegade Group.” This trend began in 1963 as the Kommunistisk Arbejdskreds (KAK). Later, in 1978, it split into two groups. One retaining the original name. The other became the Manifest-Kommunistisk Arbejdsgruppe (M-KA). What made this trend unique was that it saw revolution in the West, including Denmark, as hopeless at present because the workers were simply too comfortable to support revolution. So, this trend saw it as their proletarian duty to support Third World liberation movements by providing material aid. They ended up financing the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) to the tune of millions of dollars through bank robberies. Once the split happened in 1978, the KAK regressed toward typical, traditional solidarity, symbolic activism. The M-KA continued their illegal work providing material aid. It is the latter group that the book focuses on. In the previous parts of this review, the focus was on political economy and practice. In this final part, there are some final reflections on the M-KA and their own summations of their work.

Sino-Soviet split

The KAK had originally taken the Chinese side of the Sino-Soviet split. However, the KAK broke off the relationship with Beijing in 1968. They protested to the Chinese that their coverage of the First World was grossly inaccurate. The Chinese Communist Party continued to churn out First Worldist articles that overestimated the revolutionary potential in the First World despite the KAK’s objections. The KAK originally took its analysis very seriously. After the 1978 split between the KAK and the M-KA, the KAK patched up relations with Beijing. The KAK became a Danish mouthpiece of the Chinese state after 1978. Even though Mao was dead and the Gang of Four were arrested by 1978, even though China was now reversing its revolution and aligning with the Western imperialists more than ever, the KAK submitted to their leadership of the internationalist communist movement. The M-KA did not follow the KAK’s lead. Even though the M-KA was sympathetic to the Cultural Revolution and the Maoist domestic policy, the M-KA were always critical of the rightward turn in Chinese foreign policy in the 1970s:

“Jan: Ideologically, we found ourselves in a dilemma. We did see that the Cultural Revolution in China as a positive attempt to revise communism, but China was no ally in the support of liberation movements. In that respect, the progressive force was the Soviet Union, It had an objective interest in the liberation movements’ success and in the global expansion of socialism. Its leaders also chose their allies wisely. Their criteria were  very similar to ours: they were looking for socialist movements with popular support. The Chinese leadership, on the other hand, was so hostile toward the Soviet Union that it basically supported anyone who shared that sentiment. China developed ties to the most obscure political groups, and its foreign policy began to border on the absurd. In Angola, for example, they supported UNITA and worked alongside the CIA.

Torkil: In the late 1970s and early 1980s, China held the position that the Soviet Union was the most dangerous of all imperialist powers, and they encouraged the liberation movements to side with Western European nations and the U.S. As Jan said, it all became petty grotesque, and it also changed the perception of China among many liberation movements and their allies. KAK was far from the only organization that had a falling-out with the CPC around that time. If you go back to the early 1970, the PFLP was very pro-Chinese and hugely inspired by Mao’s guerrilla strategies. They were not very close to the Soviet Union. All this would change in the next decade.” (106-107)

Also:

“Torkil: …What I said before concerned exclusively the Soviet Union’s foreign policy — and even there, we would have wanted the Soviet government to be more radical and stronger in its support of Third World liberation movements. Regarding the country’s political and economic system, we had no sympathies at all. In the so-called ‘real socialism,’ a ‘democratic economy’ meant ‘nationalization,’ which, in turn, meant the state apparatus owned all the means of production. However, just because the state owns the means of production, the mode of production doesn’t necessarily change. The mode of production in the Soviet Union was very similar to capitalist ones, and sometimes worse. Look at Volkseigener Betriebe, the so-called ‘publicly owned companies,’ in the former East Germany: people never felt they were really in charge. It was the state that was in charge, and the people were not the state. The planned economy of the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies was not democratic but very hierarchical. That is why the Soviet Union was never a model for us. However, it was a tactical ally in the support of liberation movements. One must not forget that the simple existence of the Soviet Union as a global superpower was very important to them, It created a space for them to be active. Had it not be for the Soviet Union, the U.S. might have used nuclear weapons to wipe out the Vietnamese resistance. Without the international balance of power guaranteed by the Soviet Union — also with regard to armament — things would have looked very different.” (105-106)

The fall of the Soviet Union, even though it had long gone off the rails, even though it was revisionist and social-imperialist since around the end of World War 2, was a setback for many liberation forces. Heightened contradictions between the imperialists gave liberation movements and independent, progressive regimes room to maneuver, to play one imperialist against another, to play East against West. With the fall of the Soviet empire, the armies of Western empire got a boost. Western imperialism had a freer hand to exploit and control the Third World. The fall of the Soviet Union created more global, transnational imperial unity. The fall of the Soviet Union was a further step in the emergence of a transnational First World empire. The Maoists, even outside China, had seen the Soviet Union as the main imperialist threat in the 1970s. They celebrated its fall in 1990s. Yet that fall had terrible repercussions of liberation struggles around the world. Numerous popular struggles folded or sued for peace as a result. This is something many contemporary Maoists have not come to terms with honestly.

More on the United Front

The M-KA had correct intuitions about the limits of nationalism. For revolutionaries, national liberation is merely a means to a greater end, not an end in itself. It is a means toward achieving socialism and communism. Similarly, anti-imperialism is not an end in itself, but a means for revolution:

“Torkil: For us, there has never been any valid anti-imperialism without a socialist base. We have always been primarily socialists. Anti-imperialism is important as a means to strengthen socialism, and it  doesn’t serve that purpose, it is not relevant for us. The principle of ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ is way too simple — and dangerous.” (164)

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is usually associated with the tactic of the United Front. The idea is that one should strive to unite as many forces as possible against the main enemy at any given moment. Smaller enemies ought put aside their differences to unite against the main oppressor. Interestingly, the M-KA seem to bend to the United Front when it came to the Soviet Bloc. They considered the Soviet Bloc a partner in the United Front against imperialism. At the same time, they seem to simply dismiss the idea that the Islamic Republic of Iran or other Islamists could be partners in some contexts. “The religious regimes that claim anti-imperialist values have not liberated anyone.” (164) The PFLP that the M-KA supported, for example, has accepted Hamas as a legitimate part of their broader struggle. The Palestinian struggle has received aid not simply from the Soviet Union, but also Iran and the Gulf states. The PFLP has received aid from very reactionary regimes at times. It is odd that the M-KA don’t apply their argument consistently. They themselves acknowledged the Soviet Union could be worse than the liberal capitalist regimes, but it was still a tactical ally. No so with Iran.

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” can quickly become inadequate in practice. There are multiple layers of alliances, some are apparent, but others hidden. Alliances can shift rapidly, which makes applying such a principle difficult or impossible in practice at times. There are also considerations about who is the main enemy in the long term versus the main enemy immediately. Even if the United Front is not perfect, one should nonetheless strive to make it a reality. Revolutionaries of the past have had to make all kinds of unsavory tactical alliances to win. There is nothing special about religious forces that make them unworthy of tactical alliances. Remember, the United Front is for our benefit first and foremost, not theirs. Has the Islamic Republic of Iran murdered leftists? Yes, but so had the Soviet Union. At the same time, the Islamic Republic is in the crosshairs of the First World, of imperialism, of Israel, of the Gulf states. The situation here is somewhat similar to the revisionist-era Soviet Union, although Iran is not imperialist on anywhere near the scale the revisionist-era Soviet Union was. Iran is more of a regional hegemon than an imperialist. The revisionist-era Soviet Union had snuffed out revolution inside and outside its borders. It had snuffed out revolutionary energy in many of those forces and regimes it controlled. Yet, despite its terrible policies, the Soviet Union played a progressive geopolitical role sometimes. Similarly, Iran is extending support to Hezbollah, the Palestinians, and fighting the Gulf states, Israel, and sometimes the West. The bigger problem in the “left” in the First World is not one of making unwise tactical alliances, but rather the bigger problem with “left” forces is the rejection the United Front. Those who reject the United Front often  end up as useful idiots for neoliberal efforts at regime change, for imperialist attacks on the Third World. There are plenty of First World “left” forces who have allied with imperialism, who supported imperialist intervention to further regime change in places like Zimbabwe, Libya, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, etc. Neoliberalism has its origin in Trotskyism and social democracy in the service of empire. Even Maoists have ended up serving neoliberalism. Once the United Front is rejected, it is easily to slide into social imperialism.

Looking back and forward

The M-KA interviewees reflect on their practice:

“Torkil: Marxism in general has underestimated capitalism’s ability to adapt and transform. Since the days of Marx, capitalism’s ‘final crisis’ has been announced many times. It was no different than during the 1970s.

Second, I think the imperialist powers have learned a lot from the war of the era. The U.S. has changed its tactics since Vietnam and has confronted liberation movements much more effectively since…

Third, I think we overestimated the socialist element in the liberation movements, especially in its relation to the national element. Many of the movements were deeply nationalistic, but wore socialist colors. Not to be misunderstood: they weren’t consciously deceiving, and the socialist attire wasn’t fake, the socialist convictions just didn’t run very deep. Socialism promised a better life and it gave people hope. But it wasn’t at the core of the struggle, and national liberation rarely led to social liberation.

Fourth, I think we believed too strongly in the possibility of ‘delinking’, that is, of a nation being able to detach itself from the global economic system and introducing a socialist economy within the framework of a liberated nation state. This is a much more daunting task than we thought…

Fifth, whatever one’s opinion of the Soviet Union, its demise also meant the disappearance of the strategically most important counterpower to the U.S. No matter how you want to look at it, this was a strong blow to socialism.” (162-163)

On all these important points, the Leading Light is in agreement. Capitalism has proven very resilient. It should not be underestimated. Just as capitalism refines its science of oppression, so we advance our science of liberation, of Leading Light Communism. A transnational, global empire has emerged, the First World. Just as capitalism is globalizing, so too must resistance to it. Leading Light emerges to lead the transnational Global People’s War against Empire. The future is ours.

Zapatistas or Leading Light?

Further highlighting the contrast between the M-KA and Leading Light Communism are the M-KA interviewees’ comments on the future. When asked about movements today that are contributing positive, new visions, that might point the way forward, the M-KA interviewees identified the Zapatista movement of southern Mexico:

“Torkil: I think the Zapatistas provide an example. They are expressing socialist ideas in a new language. They are also anti-imperialists, although this might be anti-imperialism 2.0. In any case, the perspective of their struggle is global, not national.

We can see similar tendencies in many struggles, addressing everything from privatization to copyright issues to the ‘discursive struggles’ that Foucault has written about. Of course there are important struggles happening on the governmental and institutional level, but there are many small struggles in everyday life that concern very basic questions about what is good and bad, right and wrong, and so forth. All of them include the potential to strengthen socialist ideals. Here, too, the Zapatistas are a good example. They have a Foucauldian understanding of power: the micro level is very important; they don’t have power concentrated in institutions.” (174-175)

It may be true that the Zapatistas are not simply nationalists, especially Mexican nationalist. They are focused on their local communities with less emphasis on Mexico as a whole. It may be true they have raised awareness of their struggle to an international audience very successfully. They are very worldly in their outlook. However,  the M-KA interviewee has a mistaken view about their potential as revolutionary or anti-imperialist force.

As it happens, this reviewer worked, albeit briefly, with the Zapatista National Liberation Front (FZLN) and Indigenous National Congress (CNI) in Mexico in the mid-1990s. Although the Zapatistas were very worldly, they had lowered sites of what was possible. When I was there, the Zapatistas and allied institutions seemed unwilling to seriously ally themselves to other militant struggles in Mexico for fear of tainting their image. The Zapatistas were deeply rooted in a social base in Chiapas. However, outside Chiapas, they played to the Mexican social-democratic and liberal bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie. They also directed their message to Western liberals in North America and Europe. Marcos t-shirts were as popular as Che ones. Rage Against the Machine used an image of the Zapatistas on one of their albums. The Zapatistas were part of the people’s struggle, but they were always armed reformists. The Zapatistas themselves denied they sought state power on numerous occasions. They were very successful at appealing to the social-democrats and liberals in Mexico and abroad. They very consciously erected a personality cult around the romantic figure of subcomandante Marcos. Marcos was playing for the cameras when he shared a meal with Danielle Mitterrand in 1996. In typical Marcos style, he handed the former first lady of the French social-democratic, imperialist state a rose. “Madame, I am but a paper knight and all I can offer you is a paper rose.” They did not seek power by uniting popular classes across Mexico through a people’s war. Rather, a large part of their strategy seemed to be aimed at garnering sympathy with social-democrats and liberals in Mexico and abroad. They hoped these forces would pressure the Mexican regime into granting greater rights to Mayan and indigenous communities. To appeal to the conscience of imperialists and social-democrats is not a realistic nor sustainable anti-imperialist strategy. Whatever ideological rhetoric is used to justify this orientation, it is an orientation that is very much idealist. It fails to recognize that revolutionary social change is not made by appealing to the mercy of the exploiter. Revolutionary social change is made by broadly mobilizing the masses, by forming New Power, by people’s war, by putting revolutionary science in command. Maoists were fond of saying “the masses are the real heroes” and “the masses are the motive force in history.”

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano was an important candidate for the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), a social-democratic, liberal bourgeois party in Mexico. In the context of Cardenas’ election bid for mayor (head of government) of the Federal District (“Mexico City”) in 1997, the Zapatistas had distanced themselves even further from revolution. They had distanced themselves from groups like the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR) and even broad mass organizations that had suffered repression like the Broad Front for the Construction of a National Liberation Movement – Organization of the Peasants of the South Mountains (FAC-MLN-OCSS), victims of the Aguas Blancas massacre in 1995. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had ruled Mexico for 80 years at the time, but was feeling pressure to step down. It began looking like the PRI would turn over power to the social-democratic “left,” the PRD, at the country-wide, national level. Eventually, they handed power to the National Action Party (PAN), a neoliberal party to their right. In any case, La Jornada and liberal media were happy to juxtapose the “good guerrilla” of the Zapatistas to the “bad guerrilla” of the EPR and others. Sometimes the EPR were falsely called “the Mexican Shining Path” in an effort to malign them in the media. As it happens, the EPR had little to do with hard Maoism or the Communist Party of Peru. The EPR was a more traditional, nominally Marxist, guerrilla organization. The liberal media, through its speculations, seemed to be advocating a reconciliation and negotiated settlement between the Zapatistas and the Mexican state upon a PRD takeover at the country-wide level, which never happened. The Zapatistas presented themselves as cultured, literary, worldly, kind and gentle poets. They presented themselves as people the establishment could do business with, not as sectarian ideologues. However, their politics were localism combine with appeals to be saved by the liberal establishment. We should have no illusions that their path is a dead end.

I worked the entrance to the second CNI. The CNI was an organization allied with the Zapatistas, a coalition in which they played a leading role. I volunteered as a security guard at the CNI at the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH) in DF. When the FAC-MLN-OCSS approached the CNI, it seemed they were given the cold shoulder at the time. I know because I had been to the FAC-MLN-OCSS congress in defense of indigenous communities as a representative, part of a delegation, of the ENAH-CNI coordinadora. In addition, those of us wearing the purple security badges were instructed to not allow the Maoists or anarchists into the ENAH compound, not to allow them to agitate inside. Yet we were instructed to allow representatives from traditional parties like the PRI and PRD. At that time, the Zapatistas, although taking up arms and having deep connections to their own communities, seemed like liberal sectarians that was more interested in building alliances with the social-democratic establishment than with other militant peasant and worker organizations.

The Zapatistas were not offering a new vision of socialism. Rather, they were offering social-democratic reform, albeit in a ski-masked. pipe-smoking poetic form. At the time, one of the EPR commanders rebuked the poetry-writing subcomandante of the Zapatistas for what he perceived as their lack of seriousness. Alluding to Clausewitz, the EPR stated, “poetry is not war by other means.” Shortly following this, there were defections back and forth between the two organizations. I have not followed the twists and turns of the Zapatistas in the many years since then. Time flies. However, nothing I have seen in the media to make me reevaluate my assessment. The Zapatistas, for a time, became the darlings of the college and hipster activists in North America and Europe. All stripes of First World activists projected their politics onto the Zapatistas. To the anarchists, they were the living example proving anarchism can work. For  the Chicanos, they were a proud example of la Raza. For the less-rigid Maoists, the Zapatistas had so mastered the mass line, they were real Maoists even if they didn’t recognize it themselves. No doubt, there were even Trotskyists who saw the second coming of the man who organized the Red Army in the pipe-smoking masked man. Marcos himself joked about how people projected their aspirations onto their movement. I wonder if that is not what is happening with the M-KA interviewees. The Leading Light had not emerged in the 1990s. The “far left” was a bleak place indeed. It was a landscape of dogma and liberalism. In such a circumstance, the Zapatistas gave many people hope. Many people, who should have known better, did not examine the movement closely. Many people let their fantasies get the better of them. It is important to look beneath surfaces when examining movements. This is not to say the Zapatistas are not part of the United Front. They are part of the broad United Front. However, they are not offering a new “vision of socialism” nor “anti-imperialism 2.0.”

The level of the science

I discovered an archive of the KAK and the M-KA’s works online.* Although this trend hit upon many correct ideas about imperialism, the class structure, and practice for First World revolutionaries, the documents in the archive were relatively primitive when compared to the Leading Light. Although the M-KA was probably one of the most advanced groups to have emerged from the First World, they never advanced science in the all-round way that Leading Light has. Their lack of all-round scientific development was one the reasons they were not so much a communist vanguard. They seem more like a disciplined, independent support network for others who were leading struggles. The M-KA never merged with its Third World allies to become part of a global organization. Instead, they gave money at those who had a broad similarity with their vision. The PFLP fit the bill, even though the PFLP did not share their Third Worldist political economy necessarily. By contrast, Leading Light thinks the problem the world faces is much deeper. It is not just First World anti-imperialists who must ask “what is to be done?” So too must Third World forces. The worldwide revolutionary movement is at an impasse. The last great waves of revolution are defeated. What remains are dying fragments of the past. More money will not be the deciding factor reversing this trend. More than a vague leftist vision is needed to initiate the next great wave of revolution. What is needed is to adapt and update the science of revolution to today’s conditions. Just as Marx advanced the ideas he inherited, just as Lenin advanced Marx, just as Mao advanced Lenin, revolutionaries today must advance even further. The story of the KAK and the M-KA only highlight just how important our Leading Light work is. It shows how unprecedented and groundbreaking Leading Light Communism is. What we have is precious. We are writing a new chapter is the history of the world. We invite those individuals from the KAK and the M-KA and their circles to join us. We invite those inspired by their heroism to join us. Let your next chapter be our next chapter. You took a first step in the right direction. Now, take another. Pick up the sword again; pick up all-powerful Leading Light Communism. We have a world to win, together.

Kuhn, Gabriel. Turning Money Into Rebellion (Kersplebedeb, 2014)

* An archive of writings this trend can be found here: http://snylterstaten.dk/

Turning Money into Rebellion edited by Gabriel Kuhn reviewed part 2

Turning Money into Rebellion edited by Gabriel Kuhn reviewed part 29_turning_money_in_the_strangest_places_crop

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Turning Money into Rebellion: The Unlikely Story of Denmark’s Revolutionary Bank Robbers (Kreplebedab, 2014) is a great book every anti-imperialist and revolutionary in the First World should read. The book tells the story and thinking of the so-called Danish “Blekingegade Group,” the Mao-friendly Kommunistisk Arbejdskreds (KAK), founded in 1963, which later split with one part forming the Manifest-Kommunistisk Arbejdsgruppe (M-KA) in 1978. The book’s emphasis is the evolution of the latter group. The book documents the story and thinking of a trend that held that revolution in the First World was not currently possible, so they believed it was their duty to materially aid Third World liberation struggles. They raised the slogan “solidarity is something you can hold in your hands.”

Practice

Just as this trend’s political economy was far more advanced than most of their contemporaries, so too was their practice. Although the KAK’s and M-KA’s practices would eventually differ after their split in 1978, they held a similar view on political economy.  An earlier KAK document expresses a very important line of thought that is echoed in our own movement. A 1975 document from the KAK states:

“[It] cannot, in KAK’s view, be a task for revolutionaries today to inspire or to take the lead in the economic or trade union struggle of the [First World] working class. Such a struggle in the present situation has not, and cannot have the remotest connection with a struggle for socialism.

On this front it must be considered a far more correct task to inform the working-class (today one large labour aristocracy) that a new economic development which puts an end to the parasitism and plunder of the Western Hemisphere, ought be welcomed and, if possible, helped along. At the same time, one must understand quite clearly that it is only this very new economic development — whatever form it might take — that can convince the working-class of this fact. A parasitic, embourgeoisified labour aristocracy cannot be transformed into a revolutionary proletariat through speeches and articles. It still has to undergo a ‘hard castigation through crisis’, to use Engels’ expression, before it can contribute anything of value.” (192)

First World revolutionaries must avoid falling into the trap of economism because such struggles are won only at the expense of the Third World masses. Such struggles only deepen the stake of First World workers in the capitalist-imperialist system. They only push First World workers further toward social-democratic reformism. Such struggles only increase the bribe First World workers receive at the expense of the Third World masses. The economic struggle of First World workers is really just a form of social imperialism, imperialism with a red mask. In place of traditional activism, the KAK, and later the M-KA, created new kinds of revolutionary practice that are more compatible with the realities of global class. The KAK’s practices were both legal and illegal. The KAK organized and participated in traditional solidarity activism, which is mostly ineffectual and symbolic. For example, the KAK organized one of the earliest protests in Europe against US aggression in Vietnam. The KAK also organized study groups, published materials, and agitated against imperialism. However, this wasn’t enough: “Expressing solidarity is nice. But if it never translates into anything concrete, its powers are limited.” (131)

The KAK took their solidarity to the next level. They set up various charities to generate money and items such as clothing that could be useful for Third World peoples and movements. The KAK also participated in militant protests and small actions in the First World,  which, according to interviewees, was more about training for further clandestine activism than anything else. Around 1972 to 1975, security was tightened up as the KAK began more serious clandestine, illegal work. The KAK, later, the M-KA, moved up to bank robberies as their main form of fundraising. The money raised both legally and illegally went to numerous liberation struggles in the Third World: the MPLA in Angola, the FRELIMO in Mozambique, PFLOAG in Oman, ZANU in Zimbabwe, perhaps others. However, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) received the majority of their support. Anyone can claim to offer moral support. Anyone can talk the talk. What made the KAK and the M-KA unique amongst First World groups is that they walked the walk. They supported Third World liberation struggles materially. Sometimes the Third World movements were unaware of the illegal origins of the financial support:

“Jan: One could say that we had three different ways of supporting movements: some we supported legally through Toj til Afrika; some we supported illegally; some we supported both legally and — to a smaller degree — illegally, but without telling them. The PFLP knew what we were doing, but none of the other movements did. ZANU, for example, got resources that we acquired illegally, but they were unaware of it. Many liberation movements were infiltrated by intelligence services, we did not want to take any risks.” (108)

After the KAK and the M-KA split in 1978, the KAK seemed to backtrack. The KAK took up the line that they would prepare the way for a future revolution when conditions changed in Denmark. From the book, one gets the sense they shifted their efforts back toward traditional activism. This is not unlike the Maoists and anti-imperialists in North America who avoid economist activism while they cheerlead Third World struggles. Such Maoists claim to be “hastening [the development of] and awaiting” a future time when conditions change in favor of First World revolution. Whatever their Third Worldist rhetoric, the KAK’s later practice does not seem fundamentally different from any number of European and North American First Worldist groups. The M-KA, by contrast, emphasized the clandestine work, using mostly illegal means to provide logistical support for Third World forces, especially the PFLP. Although they considered other activities to raise money, including kidnapping and fraud, they focused on bank robbery. At one point, the M-KA opened a legal cafe, which did not make money. Their non-profit, legal clothing programs faltered also. Their ability to recycle old clothing to the Third World diminished as hipsters began buying vintage clothing. People chose to sell their old clothing, not donate it anymore. Their clothing collections ended in 1986. (138) Leading Light has advocated numerous ways to make money in the First World: “cults, businesses, mafias, non-profits, whatever works.” Some of these were not explored by the M-KA. Illegal activity is a good way to go, but one wonders if the M-KA explored legal options thoroughly enough.

Science, not adventurism

Despite sensationalist accounts about a suppose “terror network” in the bourgeois press, neither the KAK nor the M-KA had significant relationships with other First World urban-guerrilla movements. One reason they distanced themselves from groups like the RAF or the Red Brigades had to do with security. Logistical support for Third World liberation was simply too important to risk exposure by associating with infantile, emotionalist focoism or rioting. They went so far as to request the PFLP make sure other European militants had little knowledge or interaction with their work. They made sure to keep their practice invisible by avoiding the European urban-guerrilla groups.

Ideology also kept them apart from such movements. Such urban guerrilla groups still saw the First World workers as a part of revolution. Such groups did not have a realistic picture of European society:

“We never shared the RAF’s analysis that West Germany was a fascist state with a democratic facade. Furthermore, the RAF wanted to support the struggle in the Third World by building an anti-imperialist front in Western Europe. We considered this utterly impossible.” (44)

Similar groups to the RAF existed, albeit on a smaller scale, in the USA. The Weather Underground Organization (WUO) never was really Third Worldist. Sometimes they looked with skepticism on white workers, but they still looked for a First World “stand-in proletariat” in the youth and non-whites. Other times, the WUO took a more classical First Worldist workerist line, especially around the time of their Hard Times conference. Whatever the rhetoric of most First World “anti-imperialist” groups, their practice remains very much First World oriented, mostly resulting in completely inept politics. An irony is that despite the greater rhetorical emphasis on anti-imperialism, some of today’s so-called “anti-imperialist” groups often objectively aid Third World struggles less than more overtly First Worldist counterparts. The M-KA compares their criticism of focoism in Europe to similar criticisms of the WUO:

“Trokil: …In many ways, the LSM’s critique of the WU resembles our critique of the RAF. We also saw them as comrades and supported their actions against imperialism and its institutions. But we felt they had a wrong analysis of the political and economic conditions and therefore a wrong revolutionary program.” (126)

It is important to understand that the M-KA did not choose their path out of some emotional need. They did not choose their illegal course because it was romantic. They chose the illegal path because it made sense:

“Jan: Well, the facts are very clear. The maximum amount of money we were able to legally raise in a year was about half a million crowns — and this required the very dedicated and time-consuming work of dozens of people. This didn’t even compare to what we could make illegally. I really can’t see how we could have secured the funds we did with legal means.” (132)

In this respect, their activities can be distinguished from the numerous urban guerrilla groups that engaged in armed struggle with no hope of victory in the First World. The path of the early KAK and later M-KA was not chosen out of guilt or emotional need, but was the product of scientific calculus. Thus they should not be criticized as adventurous or focoist.

Science, not identity politics

The M-KA were selective about who received their support. They directed their support to those groups with a similar political vision. What drew them to the PFLP, for example, was the PFLP’s  vision of a socialist society, not their nationalism. Yet they maintained their independence, never becoming a PFLP cell. They were not under PFLP discipline and did not always share their emphasis:

“We did not primarily support the PFLP because it wanted to establish a Palestinian nation state, but because the PFLP envisioned a socialist society in the Arab world and because it had an explicitly internationalist outlook.” (47)

Having a mass base was also important to the M-KA, which is why they did not look favorably on Wadi Haddad’s sensational actions, even when he remained part of the PFLP. They were critical of his hijackings, which they saw as actions detached from the masses in Palestine. When offered, they chose not to participate in such adventurism. In addition, they directed their support to where it would matter most:

“Torkil: Another aspect that was important was the degree of support that a particular movement already had. One of the organizations that we supported, the PFLOAG/PFLO in Oman, was small and did not get much outside support, so for them a million Danish crowns really made a difference. This was not necessarily the case for organizations like the ANC in South Africa.” (108)

Thus they directed their material support to smaller movements whose armed struggle was just beginning. They correctly recognized that you get more “bang for your buck” by supporting movements in their nascent years. Established movements tend to have already secured significant, stable revenue streams. More established organizations have solved these logistical issues to the point that they do not need help.

Science, not romanticism

Some have falsely accused these movements of romanticizing Third World liberation struggles. The M-KA interviewees respond:

“Jan: When you are twenty years old, it is easy to see yourself as a heroic freedom fighter in the Third World. But those glorious images quickly fade once you really see the reality of the liberation struggle. Besides, the more we got to know liberation movements, the more we also got to understand that there was no lack of manpower. In the 1970s, millions of people were ready to die for socialism. There were many Europeans ready to join the PFLP. That’s why providing money seemed more useful to us. And I’m sure the liberation movements, too. They wanted ten million crowns more than a few extra fighters. The only exceptions were people with special skills…” (127)

Furthermore:

“Torkil: …Once you were in close contact with liberation movements, there was little space for romanticization. The cynicism of realpolitik was very tangible, and you were constantly forced to compromise. We certainly did not live under the illusion that we were working with saints.” (130)

There is a big difference between how people’s war is conceived in the abstract, especially amongst First World “far-left” activists, and the reality of people’s war. There is a big difference between talking about revolution and actually making it. There is a whole milieu of activists in the First World who romanticize people’s war, especially its Maoist variety. However, when confronted by the real deal, they do everything they can to sabotage it because they do not recognize it for what it is. This is part of a broader problem in the First World. There is a relatively high degree of ideological literacy of sorts amongst activists, yet First World activists are completely removed from a real social base. So, you have these people with highly developed dogmas running around with no conception or knowledge of what real revolution is or entails. They end up intervening in struggles they do not understand, usually in a wrecking capacity. Cowardly lions pimp off the very movements they unknowingly attack, but they are too stupid to even realize it. The M-KA’s reality based politics puts most of today’s “anti-imperialists” to shame.

Science, not First Worldist national liberation

Leading Light sometimes refers to Pantherism as one of the last bastions of First Worldism. What we mean by this is that once someone realizes that working people in the First World are not a proletariat, not a revolutionary agent, they often begin grasping at straws in desperation. They begin looking for a “stand-in proletariat.” Sometimes they look to the youth of the First World. Sometimes they look to the lumpen. Sometimes they look to migrants. Sometimes they look to non-white populations and the nationalist movements that seek to lead them. In the USA, the latter is associated with Pantherism.

“Jan: Of course we were aware that the conditions in North America were different from those in Denmark and the rest of Europe. Racism and the oppression and exploitation of the indigenous population played a different role. That’s why we saw revolutionary potential in the struggle of the Black Panthers. We hadn’t really researched the status and support they had in the black community, but they were certainly more interesting to us than white movements competing in revolutionary phraseology.” (124-125)

The reality is that, like the white population, the black population in the United States was not a social base for revolution at the time. It is easier to see how one could misjudge the situation in the 1970s. Whatever social base once existed amongst these populations, today, it should be obvious that there is no significant proletariat in the United States, white, black, or otherwise. Although the state played a role in smashing national liberation movements, changing social conditions were even a bigger factor in their demise. Just as white workers entered the ranks of the global bourgeoisie, so too have black and other populations for the most part. The M-KA also understood that in those communities where national consciousness was more a reality, indigenous nations, for example, those populations were simply too small to achieve revolution under present circumstances. At some level, the M-KA seemed to have realized that focusing on national liberation within the borders of the USA was misguided:

“Jan: …At the same time, we didn’t have the impression that the revolutionary potential of the North American movements were on par with the struggle in Angola or Mozambique. That was also true for the indigenous resistance. It seemed unlikely to us that the American Indian Movement would be able to start a revolution. It had very little support from the American working class. Of course we were in solidarity with their struggle, but mainly we saw it as a tragic one. It seemed similar to the situation in Greenland, which we also analyzed. We published articles about Greenland in Ungkommunisten, but we didn’t see much revolutionary potential there either. In the U.S., the brutal state repression of both the American Indian Movement and the Panthers seemed to confirm our analysis. Both movements were crushed by the authorities, also because they simply didn’t have the support that would have been needed to withstand the attacks.” (124-125)

For the most part, national liberation is a pipe dream in the United States. The overall tendency is toward integration of non-white populations. The United States has emerged into a multi-racial empire that is playing a key role in an emerging multi-racial, transnational First World, a kind of global empire. Some nationalists are fond of misquoting Mao as saying “national liberation is applied internationalism.” Mao did not advocated independent, single national struggles as the Patherist groups do. Mao advocated a pan-Chinese struggle that involved many nations against imperialism. And Mao was always an enemy of traditionalist national culture, unlike cultural nationalist groups. Patriotism of oppressed countries may have been applied internationalism during the decolonial struggle, but things have changed. The old formulation of oppressor versus oppressed nation no longer applies as it once did. Today, just as imperialism is globalizing, so too must resistance to it. Turning inward to nation or community will only undermine the struggle against imperialism. Leading Light Communism, its Global People’s War to liberate humanity and the Earth, is applied internationalism.

There is plenty of fake solidarity in the First World. Plenty of cowardly lions proclaim themselves ready to die for the revolution, but few will donate anything or put in any real work. These people are no more communist or anti-imperialist than a Civil War reenactor is General Lee. It is important to dispel confusion caused by these clowns amongst genuine people’s forces in the Third World. by contrast, the “Blekingegade Group” were true lions. Let’s hope that through story of the “Blekingegade Group” some First World activists will begin to awake. Let us hope that people in the First World will begin to understand that they too can play a progressive role instead of just spinning their wheels.  Let’s hope people stop yapping and start acting. The Leading Light shines the way forward. The future awaits.

Kuhn, Gabriel. Turning Money Into Rebellion (Kersplebedeb, 2014)

Turning Money Into Rebellion edited by Gabriel Kuhn reviewed part 1

Turning Money Into Rebellion edited by Gabriel Kuhn reviewed part 1detail_634_turning_money_into_rebellion

(llco.org)

Turning Money Into Rebellion: The Unlikely Story of Denmark’s Revolutionary Bank Robbers (Kersplebedeb, 2014) is a wake-up call for the legions of wannabe anti-imperialists and Marxists who populate the First World so-called “left” today. It is a collection of documents that chart the development of those revolutionaries who would later be known in the mainstream press as the “Blekingegade Group.” These Robin Hoods from the First World turned to illegal activities, especially bank robbing, in order to fund liberation struggles in the Third World to the tune of millions of dollars. Their presence was mostly unknown until their arrest in 1989 revealed the extent of their activities, which had been very successful and gone largely unnoticed. Law enforcement and the bourgeois media sensationalized and embellished the story for their own purposes. Wild tales of a dark, seedy world of international terrorism keep European audiences reading after their arrest. One of the goals of the book is to dispel many misconceptions about the group in the popular imagination. The interviewees tell their story in a matter-of-fact, non-sensationalized way. The articles and interviews come off as honest, even self-critical at times. There seems to be little myth making here. When we were asked to review this work, we agreed mostly to be nice. After all, a million tasks cry out to be done, and a million more. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the book. We thank the individual who gave us this additional burden. We had known about this group before, our German website contains several articles that mention them.  What we did not know was just how sophisticated this group was. There are obvious parallels between our work and theirs. When compared to the rest of the so-called “left” in the First World, our work may seem very similar to theirs. However, big differences exist also, and we should not lose sight of these. Importantly, unlike the trends that would lead to the Blekingegade Group, the Leading Light was formed through the convergence of several trends in many countries. Thus Leading Light’s history and approach are a little more complex. The Blekingegade Group was a First World group committed to aiding the Third World. The Leading Light, by contrast, is an international group that operates primarily in the Third World, but also in the First World. Even so, reading the words of the interviewees generated a sense of deja vu for some of our First World cadre. It was not only Blekingegade Group’s broad analysis and practical orientation that seem too familiar, but even very specific and technical points raised in the interviews. The Leading Light is in full agreement that talk is cheap, to quote the Blekingegade Group, real “solidarity is something you can hold in your hands.” Like echoes like. Like finds like, even if it is decades later. You are shining stars in the midnight of the First World so-called “left.” Respect, brothers and sisters.

Quick history and timeline

The “Blekingegade Group” is a media name for an organization that traces its origins back decades to the Kommunistisk Arbejdskreds (KAK). The KAK’s history goes back to 1963 when Gotfed Appel, a charismatic literary historian, was banned from the Communist Party of Denmark, a Moscow-loyal, revisionist party, for his sympathy with China. Gotfed Appel and others went on to form the KAK, which soon became recognized as fraternal by the Chinese Communist Party. The KAK worked closely with the Chinese embassy in Copenhagen. The KAK participated in traditional activism, including some of the first anti-Vietnam war protests. They founded a publishing house and newspaper. The KAK published and distributed copies Mao’s “little red book.” One thing that set them apart from the rest of the left was Gotfed Appel’s “parasite state theory,” the belief that the Western working class was not a revolutionary agent. As a result, the group focused on solidarity efforts, both legal and illegal activism, to aid Third World liberation movements. The KAK was serious enough about its analysis that it broke off relations with Beijing in 1968 when the Chinese communists continued to misjudge the situation in the First World. A decade later, in 1978, the KAK split when an anti-sexism campaign ran amok through the organization. According to the interviewees, the campaign was used opportunistically by Gotfed Appel’s leadership to silence others. (133) A new group critical of the old leadership was born: the Manifest-Kommunistisk Arbejdsgruppe (M-KA). After the split, the KAK continued to recognize the lack of revolutionary potential in the First World. The KAK moved away from active solidarity. They adopted the line that they would prepare the way for a future when conditions for proletarian revolution in Denmark would change in their favor. Whatever their Third Worldist pretense, the KAK returned to more traditional First Worldist activism, abandoning clandestine work for the most part. Also, the KAK patched things up with Beijing, even following the twists and turns of Chinese foreign policy even as China aligned with the Western imperialists. Predictably, the KAK’s influence waned. The M-KA moved in a more scientific, creative and less dogmatic direction. Although the M-KA continued some legal fundraising efforts, their illegal activities, especially bank robbing, became their focus. They mostly stayed off the radar of authorities and the First World “left.” The M-KA became a very capable, clandestine organization that raised lots of money for Third World liberation, especially the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). They were finally arrested in 1998 when they were discovered by accident. It is this latter group, the M-KA, that was mostly sensationalized as “Blekingegade Group.”

Parasite state theory and imperialism

Lenin taught that without theory, practice is blind. The practice of this trend was very much connected to their Third Worldism, which was very advanced at the time. Their theory was originally developed in the 1960s by Gotfed Appel. According to their “parasite state theory,” the First World working class was not an ally of the Third World proletariat and the fight for socialism at the present time. (4) This concept was very familiar, although usually poorly articulated, during the de-colonial struggles before and after World War 2. As early as 1933, Even Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, wrote:

“It is said that capitalism managed to prolong its life to our day because of a factor which perhaps Marx did not fully consider. This was the exploitation of colonial empires by the industrial countries of the West. This gave fresh life and prosperity to it, at the expense, of course, of the poor countries so exploited.” (30)

Julius K. Nyerere, the first president of Tanzania, similarly stated:

“The only difference between the two situations is that the beneficiaries in the international situation now are the national economies of the rich nations — which includes the working class of those nations. And disagreements of the spoils, which used to exist between members of the capitalist class in the nineteenth century, are now represented by disagreement about the division of the spoils between workers and capitalists in the rich economies.” (31)

Others voiced similar sentiments. Although somewhat ambiguous, there was Che Guevara’s famous call for “many Vietnams.” There was also Lin Biao’s 1960s conception of the global countryside encircling the global city. Even Engels discussed that the whole of England, including its working class, was becoming bourgeois on the backs of its colonies. These kinds of ideas were somewhat popular in the 1960s and 1970s as anti-colonial struggles raged and as China sought to revitalize socialism through its Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Even though many expressed similar views, especially outside the West, few advanced the idea as forcefully as the KAK. Later, even fewer would add the scientific depth of the M-KA as they incorporated Arghiri Emmanuel’s theories of unequal exchange to Gotfed Appel’s. Today, Leading Light has advanced political economy even further.

The KAK did see the First World working class as exploited, but the class was bribed at the same time. This bribe made it so the First World workers had more in common with the imperialists than they did with Third World workers. In 1975, the KAK explained:

“[T]he working class in the developed countries of Western Europe and North America occupies a two-fold position. It is at one and the same time exploited (in so far as it produces surplus value) and bribed (in so far as its standard of living and hence its economic — and cultural — needs and its ‘trade union’ demands are based on decades of sharing in the imperialist world’s former colonial, now ‘neo-colonial’ plunder). Furthermore, the bribery factor is today the dominant factor of the two.

This bribery should not be understood in such a way that one can actually calculate how large a part of of the wage-packet’s contents is payment for the value of labour, and how large a part is bribery. It should be understood as meaning that the whole of the imperialist world’s economic, industrial, technical, cultural and social development in the last analysis is based upon robbery and plunder in the former colonies and dependent countries, now the ‘Third World’.” (191)

Thus the KAK’s view was a bit different than our own. The KAK’s description of First World laborers as exploited, but bribed and non-revolutionary is needlessly confusing. Our view is that, generally speaking, First World populations should not be considered exploited. Contrary to the KAK, we believe there are approaches to the question that can quantify the degree of parasitism, the size of the bribe, so to speak. Although their terminology is different, the KAK’s view, as articulated here, is not unlike the concept of net-exploitation found in our own tradition. The KAK’s main points of reference were the classic works of Marx, Lenin, and Mao, especially Lenin’s Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism. Although the KAK was describing an important phenomenon, their approach seems limited and dogmatic. After their split, the M-KA would deepen the analysis by breaking from the KAK’s orthodoxy:

“Jan: KAK’s reference points were always the classical texts of Marxism-Leninism. As far as imperialism was concerned, everything circled around Lenin’s text. This didn’t even change when our empirical studies in the 1970s showed that this analysis was no longer applicable: Lenin’s theories on monopolization, finance capital, foreign direct investments, etc., could no longer explain the enormous gaps in wealth. But it needed KAK’s demise and the founding of M-KA for us to be able to improve our analysis.

Torkil: It’s actually amazing that such a short and somewhat muddled text, written hastily in a Swiss library with limited access to source material, could be regarded as the ne plus ultra in the Marxist analysis of imperialism for over half a century. It really shows the position that Lenin had within the left and the power of Soviet propaganda.” (102)

One-time M-KA members explain just how different production is now than in the past:

“Torkil: If we take the purchasing power of Copenhagen with its one million inhabitants, then it equals the purchasing power of Tanzania with forty-six million people. Neoliberalism allows you to move production to where wages are low and then ship the products to where purchasing power is high. That way you profit on both ends. You can send a design for a Nike sneaker as a PDF to Vietnam, where you get the sneakers produced for next to nothing before moving them in modern containers to the U.S., where you can sell them for a multiple of the production costs. Making profit has never been easier. Once you have functioning logistics, modern technology, and safe transport, you are set. In the metropole, production is no longer key — what counts is design and marketing. The technologies are very different to the 1970s, but they perpetuate and even strengthen, the same patterns of exploitation. At the time, we spoke of ‘parasite states.’ Today, we might want to speak of ‘producer states’ and ‘consumer states.’” (167-168)

This foreshadows our own analysis. Despite pretenses of being led by scientific ideology, the so-called “left” is mired in dogma. This is true of almost every movement claiming to be revolutionary in both the First and Third World. What exists are not movements genuinely led by revolutionary science, but movements led by vulgarized, dogmatized ideologies of past revolutions. These movements fail to understand that the world has changed greatly since 1949, even more so since 1917. Revisionism, the abandonment of real revolutionary science, has led the so-called “left” into insignificance and irrelevance. The M-KA embraced a more advanced political economy in its effort to understand global class. They embraced more advanced understanding of imperialism. And they embraced a more advanced practice than other First World movements at the time. Like ourselves, the M-KA rejected dogmatic orthodoxy of First Worldism without falling into liberalism and wishy-washy movementarianism. In their context, they avoided both the dogmatism and liberalism that are so prevalent in the First World so-called “left.” The M-KA continue to maintain their correct orientation toward the Third World even to this day. One interviewee states:

“Torkil: …Despite the anti-imperialist liberation struggles disappearing in the 1980s, the main contradiction in the world remains the one between the rich capitalist countries in the North and the exploited countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Future anti-imperialist struggle is inevitable.” (181)

Leading Light has pointed out that at least until the end of World War 2, Lenin’s understanding of imperialism was more correct than others. At the time, it was more correct than Kautsky’s theory of ultra-imperialism. The world did enter a cycle of world wars as imperialists vied with each other for the colonial world. However, world wars threatened the capitalist system as a whole. The first world war weakened capitalism so much that proletarian revolution rose to power in the old Russian empire. The second world war saw the rise of Maoist China. So weakened were the old empires that a massive de-colonial movement swept the world as European empires were no longer able to hold onto their colonies. The system as a whole was so threatened that measures were taken to avoid future world wars. Globalization moved forward. International institutions were created to resolve or minimize conflicts.  Imperial cultures mixed with each other. Transnational Non-Governmental Organizations emerged. Economies were integrated. Capital became more and more transnational. Corporations and other capitalist entities were no longer loyal to this or that single country. Rather, a transnational First World empire begins to emerge that exploits the masses across the Third World. To understand this ongoing process, it is necessary to go beyond the dogma of the past.

The science of oppression is constantly advancing. The oppressors recruit some of the best and the brightest to populate a network of intelligence  and military agencies, think tanks, academic departments, and legislatures. In order to beat the oppressor, to make revolution, it is necessary to advance revolutionary science to ever new heights. Old dogma won’t cut it. Although the M-KA’s political economy, in some respects,  anticipates the rise of Leading Light Communism, it is important to understand that the problem facing the revolutionary movement is not so simple. It is not as though Maoism or national liberation plus Third Worldist political economy is the solution. The current impasse of the revolutionary movement stems from a much deeper epistemological problem, from lack of advanced scientific leadership, from dogmatism. The problem, and solution, is much bigger than political economy. The question of “what is to be done?” must not simply be asked by First World comrades, but also Third World comrades. Although delivering real support to this or that people’s struggles is truly honorable, more money alone is not going to tip the fundamental balance. The key to victory is revolutionary genius, all-round, all-encompassing, all-powerful scientific advance: Leading Light Communism. One people. One Earth. One Global People’s War. One organization. One leadership. Leading Light.

Kuhn, Gabriel. Turning Money Into Rebellion (Kersplebedeb, 2014)

Questions about Maoism and Leading Light Communism

Questions about Maoism and Leading Light CommunismLL_x_1

(llco.org)

We recently received some questions about the relationship of Leading Light Communism to Maoism.

1. LLCO’s concept of the Third World is the same of chairman Mao?

No. The Leading Light’s “Global Class Analysis” is totally different from Mao’s “Theory of Three Worlds.” Let’s look at the differences.

Mao Zedong upheld a “Theory of Three Worlds” in the 1970s. Mao reportedly said the “First World” was made up of the United States and the Soviet Union. The “Second World” was made up of the smaller imperialists like European countries, Japan, Australia, etc. The “Third World” was made up of the poorer countries. Mao’s conception was one based on the nationalist, geopolitical needs of China, not on proletarian science. Mao’s theory was invented after the fact to justify China’s increasingly narrow-nationalist foreign policy in the 1970s. In any case, according to the Maoist approach, the main thing that determined one world from another was military power, geopolitical aggressiveness, etc. So, even though European imperialist countries had a higher standard of living than the Soviet Union, the smaller, militarily weaker, European imperialists were part of Mao’s “Second World.” By contrast, Leading Light looks at the world from the standpoint of what Mao called “the first question of revolution”: “Who are our enemies? Who are our friends?” We look at the world, not from the standpoint of nationalism and foreign policy, but from the standpoint of the question of class, from the standpoint of the proletariat. Our Global Class Analysis looks at the world from the standpoint of aligning social forces in order to make revolution to eliminate all exploitation and oppression, to reach true freedom, Leading Light Communism. Thus we divide human society into “worlds” based on standard of living. Those zones, countries, geographic areas whose populations have the poorest standard of living are the most Third World. Those zones, countries, geographic areas whose populations have the wealthiest standard of living are the most First World. We can see society as divided into a continuum, one pole represents the higher standard of living, the First World. The Third World, the lower standard of living, is another pole. The “Second World” pole between the two. Although we do not often talk about the “Second World,” it can be seen as those countries concentrated in the middle in terms of standard of living.

[First World] -S-U——————–P-R- [“Second World”] —————-M———–B- [Third World]

On this model, a country like Switzerland, “S,” with a higher standard of living, falls closer to the extreme end of the First World than the United States, “U.” A country like Portugal, “P,” falls on the First World side, but closer to the middle. Russia, “R,” also, falls somewhere closer to the middle. Similarly Bangladesh, “B,” has a poorer population than Mexico, “M.” On this model, wealthy Gulf countries fall on the First World side also. This model can also be applied within individual countries. For example, there are First World neighborhoods and areas in Third World countries that have a much higher standard of living. Similarly, there are some pockets of the First World within Third World countries.

We can also use this model to predict the rise of fascism. Traditionalist fascism is much more likely to take hold in First World countries with a lower standard of living, for example Greece or Russia. Wealthier First World countries tend to adopt a more liberal outlook. The closer a country is to the Third World pole, the greater the social base, the potential, for revolution. Similarly, the higher the standard of living that exists, the more First World a country is, the smaller the proletarian class, the bigger the bourgeoisie. Thus we say there is no significant proletariat in the First World. We must write off the First World populations because they have a bigger interest in preserving and advancing their position in the system than in destroying the system itself. First World peoples have far, far more to lose than their chains. They have their whole consumerist, comfortable, bourgeois standard of living to lose. The true proletariat has nothing to lose but its chains. Again and again, we see the bourgeois populations of the First World oppose revolution and anti-imperialist struggles. Revolution proceeds from the Third World pole to the “Second World” pole to the First World pole.

2. Why we must to defeat the First World?

Long ago, Maoists in China understood that class had changed since Karl Marx’s day. For example, Maoists in China spoke of the “new bourgeoisie” that arose within the Communist Party itself. Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping were part of this new bourgeoisie, yet did they personally own factories as the traditional bourgeoisie of the England of Marx’s day? Could Liu Shaoqi personally give away China’s productive power to his friends or children? No. The new bourgeoisie in the Soviet Union and China was not the traditionalist bourgeoisie of Marx. The new bourgeoisie was a bureaucratic, technocratic class that collectively owned China’s wealth. This new bourgeoisie was led by reactionary ideology. And the new bourgeoisie used their position to further take power from the masses and concentrate it in their own hands. The point here is that Maoists long ago recognized that new class formations had arisen that Marx had not fully anticipated. The working bourgeoisie of the First World may work, but that does not mean they are exploited. They have such a high standard of living, they benefit so much from Empire, that they have no interest in overthrowing it. Friedrich Engels wrote long ago of how the entire population of England was becoming bourgeois on the back of the exploitation of India.  Vladimir Lenin long ago wrote of the “labor aristocracy.” Lin Biao too spoke of a “global countryside” that opposed a “global city.” All of these writers were pointing to the fact that class was changing. Just as the Maoists had identified a new bourgeoisie in their midst, these authors were identifying another new bourgeoisie arising in the imperial and wealthy countries, in what would become the First World. Leading Light builds on these ideas and advances them to a whole new scientific level.

Maoists during the Cultural Revolution emphasized the importance of  Lenin’s observation that “Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat.” Long ago, Maoists in China understood that the defeat of the bourgeoisie is key to advancing to communism. They emphasized the necessity of the “all-round Dictatorship of the Proletariat over the bourgeoisie.” Maoists in China were not just talking about Marx’s traditional bourgeoisie, but also the new bourgeoisie that arises inside the Communist Party itself. Similarly, we too much extend our recognition of class struggle to all-round Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Real Marxism has always demanded defeat of the bourgeoisie. And today, this means defeat of this new bourgeoisie, the Bourgeois World, the First World itself. Just as this was a dividing line between real Marxism and revisionism in the past, it is a dividing line between real Marxism and revisionism today. We must defeat the bourgeoisie, not compromise with it. Thus we must reject the revisionism poison of Karl Kautsky, Nikita Khrushchev, Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping, and the First Worldists. Just as the Maoists in China raised the understanding of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat to a whole new level, so too does Leading Light Communism advance this aspect of revolutionary science.

3. You said that you have some comrades in the First World, what is the function of the comrades in the First World?

Leading Light Communism aims at total victory through Global People’s War that is truly global. All Leading Lights, no matter what their origin or location, are our brothers and sisters. There is a long tradition of exceptional individuals from the bourgeoisie who break from their class background. The most famous example is Freidrich Engels himself, who not only provided resources so that Marx could survive, but  Engels was a revolutionary scientist in his own right. Leading Light is a movement for all real revolutionaries.

Leading Light raises the slogan “Revolution in the Third World, Resistance in the First World.” First World comrades have a duty to do everything they can to support the Global People’s War of the Leading Light, especially in the Third World. They also have a duty to create resistance in the First World. They have a duty to gain resources. They have a duty to undermine the Empire. They have a duty to subvert and weaken the First World. First World comrades have the same duty to serve the people, to live and die for the people, as Third World comrades. We do not abandon revolution in the First World, we just recognize that it is not possible in the foreseeable future. To conquer the First World, we must first liberate the Third World. Thus, as Lin Biao said, the world revolution proceeds from the global countryside to the global city.

4. The indigenous, black, and other ethnic minorities in the First World are enemy of Third World?

It is important to realize that not all minorities/nationalities are the same. For example, Asians within the United States have higher incomes than whites. And, the Asian community is not homogeneous. There are Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Laotians, Hmong, Filipinos, Malaysians, Indonesians, Koreans, and many other Asian populations in the United States. There are great differences that exist. For example, Japanese will be richer than Laotians. Similarly, there is a great many differences between the many indigenous peoples. There are also differences between black communities. Some black communities are much better off than others. Similarly, this is true of Chicanos, Mexicans, and other Latinos. Cubans are better off than Salvadorans in the United States. There a great many differences between different populations. And there is variety within the populations. Even though there is great variation, on the whole, most of these populations are part of the First World. Even though their standard of living is often less than the white population in the United States, it is still First World. On the whole, these are still First World populations. Even so, there are some Third World pockets within First World countries. Some indigenous populations in the United States, and some aboriginal populations in Australia, can be considered Third World. There are small pockets of very poor white people also. However, all these populations tend to be too small, fragmented, isolated, and dynamic to serve as reliable social bases for revolution. There might be some exceptions, but this is the general rule. Leading Light’s line is not that there is no proletariat in the First World countries. Rather, we say, there is no significant proletariat in the First World countries.

This does not mean that there aren’t great injustices that occur within these and other populations inside First World countries. It does not mean that we should not be outraged at injustice. However, we are not liberals. We are revolutionaries. Our job is to make revolution. And, whether we like it or not, the pockets of genuinely exploited, poor, Third World communities, in the First World do not add up to a significant social base capable of making revolution.

5. Do you see Lin Biao as greater than Mao Zedong?

Rather than look at the individuals, we should look at the political lines. Politics in command, not individuality. In some cases, Lin Biao’s line was better than Mao Zedong’s. Lin Biao challenged Mao’s turn to the right, including his alignment with Western imperialism in the 1970s. In the 1960s, Mao criticized Nitka Khrushchev for his line of “peaceful coexistence” with the imperialists. By the 1970s, Mao himself had moved into alignment with the Western imperialists. Just as the Soviets, Mao was putting national interest above the interest of the international proletariat. This was part of the conservative turn in the 1970s in China. Mao favored a China-centered geopolitics in the 1970s. Lin Biao favored an emphasis on aiding people’s wars and anti-imperialist struggles. Lin Biao favored people’s war; Mao favored national interest. Furthermore, Lin Biao correctly emphasized that global revolution would proceed from the “global countryside” to the “global city.” Lin Biao also wanted to continue to radicalize the Cultural Revolution after 1969, Mao moved to bring back many of the rightists and revisionists that had fallen. Lin Biao pushed left after 1969; Mao pushed right. On these points, Lin Biao was better than Mao. However, overall, Mao was a more important figure than Lin Biao. It was Mao, not Lin Biao, who guided the Chinese revolution. It was Mao who is the most important ideological author of the Chinese revolution and the Maoist wave of revolutions. Lin Biao is a Leading Light, but Lenin and Mao are the two brightest Leading Lights of twentieth century revolution. Think about it: Mao was the leader of a proletarian revolution that encompassed a quarter of humanity. His star shines very, very bright.

Our first duty is to revolutionary science, Leading Light Communism, not the legacies of individual leaders. All of these Leading Lights of the past – Marx, Lenin, Mao Zedong, Lin Biao, etc. – were great heroes, leaders, servants of the people. They embodied some of the best in humanity. They embodied our best selves, our best aspirations. However, history did not stop when Mao died. Science continues to develop. Today, we have developed the science of revolution to a whole new stage in order to initiate the next great wave of revolution. Just as Lenin advanced Marx,  Mao advanced Lenin, we advance them all. Leading Light Communism is the future.

6. You claim Leading Light Communism is the highest stage of revolutionary science. What is the difference between Leading Light Communism and the classical Marxism-Leninism-Maoism?

Leading Light Communism is an all-round advance of revolutionary science. Leading Light Communism has advanced every area of revolutionary science. It is not possible to list all the advances of Leading Light Communism here. Instead, we will focus on some key advances:

Leading Light Communism integrates the most advanced discoveries of today to create a genuinely scientific epistemology, an epistemology that integrates the best aspects of Marxist materialism with contemporary advances in logic, linguistics, cognitive science and neurology, and statistical analysis. Great advances are happening in all these areas of knowledge, if Marxism does not adapt, then it might as well be frozen metaphysics. Science did not freeze when Mao died in 1976. The capitalists are constantly advancing the science of oppression, if we do not counter their advances, we will always lose. We must wage a tit-for-tat struggle against the capitalists by advancing the science of revolution, Leading Light Communism. This idea is at the heart of advancing science to a whole new stage.

Leading Light advances political economy to a whole new stage. Leading Light a new theory of Global Class Analysis that reveals how class works on the global level today. Global Class Analysis tells us that the social base for revolution exists almost exclusively in Third World. No significant proletariat exists in the First World. Leading Light shows how the the modern bourgeoisie and proletariat has changed. Not only are the new forms of the bourgeoisie that have arisen in the First Word, but Leading Light also emphasizes the growing importance of shifting demographics in the Third World.

Leading Light advances our understanding of gender. Leading Light shows how just as Empire has changed class dynamics, it also changes gender dynamics. First World people as a whole are granted more life options at the expense of Third World people. This is true for men and women. First World women have won more and more access to the traditional privileges of First World men. This is part of the growth of liberalism and social democracy in the First World. However, we have to ask, who pays for this? Third World women often experience the worst forms of patriarchal oppression. Patriarchy in the Third World is used as a way to enforce horrible forms of gender apartheid. Patriarchy, especially in semi-feudal forms, is used to exploit and control women in the Third World. So, we have a situation where First World women are gaining more and more First World privilege, more and more life options, on the backs of continued imperialist and semi-feudal, patriarchal oppression of Third World men and women. This creates a situation where First World women do not have a common gender interest with Third World women. First World women may want gender equality with First World men, but the lifestyles of both First World men and women requires the continued existence of patriarchal, semi-feudal barbarism imposed on Third World women. Thus Third World men and women have far more common interest, both class and gender, than either has with First World men and women.

Leading Light has further advanced revolutionary military science. Revolution in the contemporary world is a matter of developing the Global People’s War of the Leading Light, a people’s war on a global scale by the Proletarian World against the Bourgeois World. This is a total war, a war against the First World as a whole, against First World civilization itself. It demands new forms of people’s war, advanced theory and practice. The shifting demographics, the rise of the slum, has deep implications for waging people’s war. The rise of the slum dwelling classes in the Third World means that future revolutions cannot be thought of simply in terms of countryside and city, but must be thought of also in terms of the growing role of slums. Information technology, psychological warfare, the rise of airpower, satellites, robotics, etc. will play greater roles in future conflicts. New technologies and approaches must be integrated into contemporary strategies in order to win. The revolutionary law of people power is still fundamental, but people power, to win, must be focused in ever more concentrated, advanced ways to win. “Without theory, practice is blind.”

Leading Light further advances our understanding of the history of revolution, counter-revolution, and socialist construction. Leading Light advances the understanding of the rise of revisionism and capitalist restoration to a whole new level. Leading Light shows how the Theory of the Productive Forces, the police paradigm, and certain conceptions of human good are interlinked. Although both the Soviet Union and Maoist China, in the revolutionary phases, were shining examples, they were flawed in important ways. Leading Light offers the most advanced account of the shortcomings of previous waves of revolution. This gives us important knowledge about how to do better next time.

Leading Light also advances the Marxist understanding of ecology. Leading Light shows how past Marxism failed to understand the importance of nature. For example, nature plays an important role in political economy. One way to further underscore the parasitism of the First World as a whole is to look at consumption patterns. The First World is simply not sustainable. First World consumption levels, the First World lifestyle, is killing the planet, our common home. First World consumption is a threat to the global ecosystem itself and a threat to the continued existence of all life, including the proletariat. Thus it is an important part of any future revolution to put care and defense of nature at the forefront. The New Power of the Proletariat must take a fundamentally different approach to nature than the reactionaries who threaten us all with extinction. Past socialism failed in significant ways in this regard, Leading Light says that the most advanced ecological science is an important, key part of the most advanced proletarian science today, Leading Light Communism.

Leading Light offers a new, advanced scientific vision of revolutionary construction. We are trying to eliminate thousands years of oppressive social organization and social programming. For thousands of years, power, economy, and culture have been organized in terribly oppressive ways. Marx described his project as scientific socialism and communism, applying the best science to the task of ending all oppression. Thus past revolutions need to be viewed as scientific experiment. Just as the Bolsheviks advanced over Marx and earlier attempts to reach communism, the Maoists advanced on the Bolsheviks. Similarly, real revolutionary scientists recognize that we need to advance over Mao’s revolution. If Mao had gotten everything right, he would have won. Socialism would still exist in China today if the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist tradition alone was the answer. Since the restoration of capitalism in China, the world has changed in important ways. We must learn from the greats who came before, but we must go forward. We must always recognize we stand on the shoulders of giants, but we have a duty to the masses the arm them with the most advanced revolutionary science. Anything short of this is treason.

Leading Light Communism has made advances in numerous other areas: high and low science, aesthetics, Cultural Revolution, United Front, New Power, and on and on. Leading Light Communism is a real advance, it is not just empty rhetoric, sloganeering, cultism. The scientific advances are so numerous and deep that it is not possible to articulate them in such a short format. The Leading Light has elevated every aspect of revolutionary science to a new stage. Leading Lights are not Avakianists who offer nothing but eclecticism and empty rhetoric. Leading Lights are not Prachandists who use the cover of innovation to revise the revolutionary heart out of Marxism. Leading Light is not empty cultism, sloganistic bombast. This is a genuine scientific advance that preserves and elevates the best in Maoism – Cultural Revolution, People’s War, New Power – but takes it all to a qualitatively new level.

There is a way forward. True Marxists, true Leninists, true Maoists are not metaphysicians with frozen dogmas. True Marxists, Leninists, Maoists are revolutionary scientists. To be a real Maoist today requires going beyond Mao. This is what science demands. Being a Maoist always meant adherence to the most advanced revolutionary science, not the letter of Mao’s work. Real Maoism is science, not religion posing as science. Thus it is the duty of all real Maoists to go beyond Mao, to adopt the most advanced revolutionary science today. And this means upholding Leading Light Communism.

Most Americans support torture

Most Americans support tortureBlog_Torture

(llco.org)

In the United States, the Senate Intelligence Committee has released a scathing report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) use of torture. The 500 page report is a summary of a larger, still-classified 6,000 page study on the CIA’s interrogation methods and treatment of prisoners accused of terrorism. The use of black-site prisons has long been public knowledge. The use of waterboarding, which induces the body to think it is dying, is the most well-know method of torture. The report contained interesting new information not widely known. According to the report, 20 percent of the detainees were “wrongfully held.” One mentally challenged man was held just to get leverage over his family. In addition to that, the CIA forced prisoners into “a forward-facing position (Trendelenburg) with head lower than torso.” A “lunch tray” was prepared, “consisting of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts, and raisins was ‘pureed’ and rectally infused.” Children and families of the detainees were threatened with violence and sexual abuse. Ice baths were used. Prisoners were required to stand 66 hours on end. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was almost tortured immediately, without even bothering with much questioning. The CIA had planned to hold him indefinitely without charge or trial. Detainees were tortured simply for not referring to their interrogators as “sir” and for complaining about stomach aches. Bush’s Justice Department lied to Congress on occasion, including about the claim torture foiled the plans of Jose Padilla. In addition, the State Department and other agencies were not informed when the CIA made deals to open secret prisons abroad. (1) Numerous other outrages were documented in the report.

Although its effect has not filtered out to the US public fully yet, it is not a secret that the United States has long engaged in horrible behavior toward prisoners in the name of fighting terrorism. There have been numerous cases in the media where the CIA has been caught kidnapping people off the streets and shipping them off to secret prisons to be tortured. Sometimes, the people have been innocent or were detained based on mistaken identity. The practice of “rendition” has been in exposed numerous times in the media, yet has provoked little public outrage. Probably the most well-known torture scandal was that of Abu Ghraib, where numerous photographs emerged of US military personnel torturing Iraqi prisoners. There has also been numerous cases of police torture and violence inside the United States, and a general increase in the security state. Even with all this, most Americans, according to a 2009 poll, support the ongoing use of torture. A good majority, 71 percent, of Americans responded that torture can be justified in some cases. According to the poll, 49 percent said it can “often” or “sometimes” be justified and 22 percent responded that torture can be “rarely” justified. Only 25 percent of Americans said torture could “never” be justified. These numbers are telling in themselves. However, there is a certain stigma associated with answering that torture is justified. It is probable that the real support for torture is even higher among Americans. (2)

It is not surprising that more Americans do not oppose torture. When it comes down to it, many Americans perceive it in their interests to support the worst violence of the state. This is not uncommon in an imperial population. Human rights are not respected if there is a real perceived threat to the system. This just shows how an imperial population can easily compartmentalize its conception of itself. On the one hand, the population of the United States likes to claim that its armies protect democracy and human rights globally. On the other hand, they are very willing to toss that pretense when they need to, which is one reason that Americans are so drawn to rouge military, intelligence, and police officers in television and film.

The First World is an empire of hypocrisy. It must be obliterated. We reject their world, their future. Our future is one where all people will have true dignity and equality. They will wage their wars according to their rules. We will wage ours our way.

Notes

  1. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/cia-torture-report-abuses-rectal-feeding
  2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/12/09/lets-not-kid-ourselves-most-americans-are-fine-with-torture-even-when-you-call-it-torture/

MUST READ: Tasks, deviations, corrections, an interview with Leading Light Commander Prairie Fire

MUST READ: Tasks, deviations, corrections, an interview with Leading0013729e47710f5a58fb18-300x205 Light Commander Prairie Fire

(llco.org)

1. Presently, what stage of struggle is Leading Light at?

In terms of high science, we can declare absolute victory over all competitors. There are no more real two-line struggles with dogmatic relics. All ideological competitors are dead at the level of high science. There is no more real debate with the First Worldists, Trotskyists, Marxist-Leninists, Maoists. There is only education. We should extend a hand to those stuck in dogma. We should try to help them out, but we do not bend to them. To do so is what Mao himself would call the unprincipled peace of liberalism. Without Leading Light, without genuine science,  they have no future. The sooner they see this the better. They will fall into the dustbin of history or they will come to us on our terms. There may be a little intellectual mopping up to be done, but that is all. Our competition is not the dogmatic relics, but liberalism, neo-fascism, and Islamism, and there is significant overlap within our opposition. The global masses have their organization, leadership, vanguard, Leading Light.

In terms of low science, we need more work. We are pushing out in many bold directions. We have pulled diverse influences together from the Marxist tradition, but also from others. Much of low science is about touching the heart. This is an area where traditional Marxism is very much lacking. We have spoken of the importance of the spirit of the people’s warrior, of the people’s artist, the caregiver. We have discussed of the importance of reverence toward the Earth. We promoted the spirit of caring, sacrifice, serve the people. We have raised the importance of family and the future of our children. There are many dogmatic relics out there who can only copy the low science of the old Chinese Maoists, even though their own leadership is seriously lacking. There is a Chinese Maoist saying, “you can’t make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear.” The Mexicans say, “you can’t polish a turd.” There are lots of people putting a crown on dogma and giving a scepter to mediocrity. This is the kind of thing you get when the revolutionary movement is at such a low point. People grasp at straws. It’s natural. They think they can fake it into making it. Faking it only goes so far. Real revolution is led by the most advanced scientific core, Leading Light Communism. There are plenty of cheerleaders who turn themselves into useful idiots in the process. It is good to support the broad anti-imperialist united front against imperialism. However, we should not lie to the proletariat. We must put the most advanced revolutionary science, Leading Light Communism, in their hands. We must understand that both high science and low science are weapons. We must master both. Serve the people truth, not fiction.

In terms of organization, it is no secret we are in something akin to what Maoists sometimes call the period of strategic defensive. We are at the beginning. The scientific breakthrough has been made. It’s all about implementation in a real way. We have done exactly as we promised. We have elevated the science. We have created a global movement. Everything we have promised has come to pass. The seeds we planted years ago are beginning to bloom, but we are at a very dangerous, critical period. It is about establishing the logistical capacity capable of making real gains. There is a Leading Light saying:

“It does not matter how much chess strategy you know if you have no board and pieces.”

At this stage of development, there is an apt saying:

“Kids study tactics, amateurs study strategy, professionals study logistics.”

We have the best long game. We have the Great Strategic Plan. We have the leadership. We have warriors. What we need a serious attention to logistics. If we can solve the logistical issues, we will be at a qualitatively higher level within a year. We are so close, yet so far, which can be very frustrating.  Destiny calls louder and louder every day. We need to bring some of the dreamers back to Earth. And we need to get those around us who do not yet get it to realize that real heroism can be as simple as donating. We can make revolution a reality, but that means we have to all focus on logistics, which is not always the most romantic part of struggle. This isn’t a joke or some con. If you want elevated science, a real breakthrough in how revolution is understood, here it is on a silver platter. If you really want Global People’s War, here is is on a silver platter. This is the time that people really need to just “fanshen,” get your heads on straight. We have done all the hard work, we have sacrificed a lot. For our First World skeptics, you need to check your egos. Our door is open.

2. Can you say more tactics, strategy, logistics?

At any given point, a different aspect of the practice of Global People’s War will take precedence. A focus on tactics, perfecting the techniques of the battlefield, is appropriate once a certain scientific and organizational level has been achieved only. If you do not have Leading Light, strategic leadership, if you do not have logistical sophistication to sustain a real movement, then focusing on the tactical aspect, romanticizing the gun, is a mistake.

There are a lot of focoists and anarchists posing as communists today. A handful of people get together, usually students, run out and take some selfies with guns, do some street theater with berets or guns, or some armed propaganda. This is fine, but this kind of thing has no future. It has little to do with either orthodox Maoist people’s war nor does it have anything to do with the Global People’s War of the Leading Light. Mao himself criticized this kind of adventurist outlook in On Correcting Mistaken Ideas in the Party. Mao criticized the petty-bourgeois mentality that leads to adventurism. It is also very dangerous to real movements and the masses. Real armed struggle is not a game.

People need to be less concerned with their ego, their emotional needs. People should not be so concerned with establishing their credibility by brandishing arms prematurely. If you are impressed by a few students in masks holding weapons, then you are easily impressed. People should not run off into suicidal conflicts with the state because they feel some need to prove themselves. Pulling our guns too early is a sign of weakness, not strength. It is a sign of petty-bourgeois instability, lack of proletarian discipline, lack of mass line, lack of the long game, lack of revolutionary science. It says something very sad about the state of people’s movement. It says something about just how weak First World movement is that it can be so easily impressed. It stands to reason that this kind of armed theater pops up in the First World given the lack of a real proletariat to temper petty-bourgeois and bourgeois emotionalism. But it also pops up in the Third World, which is unfortunate. There is a petty-bourgeois mentality, among many Leninist and Maoist dogmatists, that we just need to memorize some slogans, remember some formulas, then go get some guns. It’s all amature hour. Small criminal organizations, cartels, for example, can field a stronger army than most so-called revolutionaries. They have a better mass line too. They often lift their people out of poverty more effectively. These small sects are too busy trying to establish their credibility vis-a-vis other student organizations to notice that the angry poor are flocking to criminal organizations, and the criminal organizations often project a populist, left character. They are the real competition, not the collections of tiny, bickering left sects. Similarly, the Islamists are the real competition on the street level, not tiny little left sects busy trying to impress each other with slogans and guns.

Romanticization is a part of low science. It is needed for a real revolutionary movement, but it is a big mistake to romanticize the gun prematurely, and it is always a mistake to romanticize dead dogma. To romanticize the gun prematurely or to romanticize it to such an extent that it interferes with actually winning is a big focoist, adventurist error. Often the focoist trend will eschew science as “mere intellectualism.” They do not understand the need for genuine scientific leadership. They do not understand Mao himself was a big critic of the low-political level of petty-bourgeois, militarist adventurists.

We need to cultivate scientific, Leading Light leadership. We need leaders who are less concerned with their reputations in the short term. We need leaders who understand the long game requires real science, not dogma. People’s war is not an adventure, it is a social process involving millions. Global People’s War involves billions. The low-level of development of revolution has a lot to do with lack of science and a lot to do with dogma and emotionalism.

Right now, the global revolution is at a point where logistics matters more than any other factor. The scientific breakthrough has been made. Tactical sophistication will come in time, but the movement will not grow without developing sophisticated logistical networks. A modern people’s war will not sustain itself merely by plucking apples off trees. We’re talking about real Global People’s War, not guerrilla porno of the focoist or anarchist variety. The most heroic thing that a comrade can do is generate resources, even if it means simple donations. The people who donate seriously are really some of our first heroes. Everything flows from them. Those who talk about fighting, but don’t donate, are loudmouths. The people who solve our logistics issues are the leaders of the future, it is that simple. They are the ones who walk the walk. They are the ones we all can learn from.

3. What are some of the anti-imperialist and revolutionary movement?

At the global level, there are several problems:

Firstly, people need to get beyond dogma. They need to put all-powerful Leading Light Communism in command. Put away bourgeois mentalities that romanticize dogma and orthodoxy. We have the most advanced revolutionary science. We need to be fearlessly and ruthlessly scientific. Truth is on our side. Truth is the most powerful weapon.

Secondly, people need to stop romanticizing the gun prematurely. We need to shut the door on the focoist, adventurist mentality. Selfies with guns does not make a revolution. A few armed propaganda actions does not impress the masses. People need to channel their energy into logistical support for the organization, the Great Strategic Plan of the Leading Light. This means everyone needs to generate resources for the organization and its Global People’s War. These are the heroes of our movement. Everything from here until our victory will be part of a chain of causality that is made possible by those who generate resources, those who solve the logistical issues. Those who are giving financially are the real heroes.

Thirdly, people need to be willing to organize in fronts with the same passion they put toward pure Leading Light work. We need really throw ourselves into  recruiting through fronts, not simply recruiting out of the pre-existing “far left.” Fronts are one of the main pillars of logistics.

Fourthly, discipline needs to be increased. All comrades need to be consistently working on projects and generating resources. All comrades need to be constantly educating themselves and others. We all need to be pulling the revolution forward. Ego has to be eliminated. We need to forge a mighty unity. We need to all play our part. We need to be our best selves. We need to do our duty without complaint. Everything for the people, the Global People’s War, the organization, the leadership, the Leading Light.

Fifthly, security needs to be increased. We have been attacked on several fronts. We need to tighten up our security. We need to increase our vigilance. Except for a few chosen representatives, we are a clandestine organization at the global level.

Sixthly, taking initiative is important. If you are not being utilized to the best of your ability then it is your responsibility to tell the leadership so that you can better serve the people. Do not sit quietly by. Speak up.

Seventh, don’t worry about the criticism from dogmatic relics. They do not matter. Do not try to impress the legions of cowardly lions who claim to support revolution, yet do not donate a dime. Do not worry about criticism from circles of First Worldists, students, hipsters, etc., people who have no mass base. Their politics is disconnected from reality. These are clowns who are willing to try to sabotage Third World anti-imperialist struggles in order to gain credibility in small internet cliques. These are First World clowns who claim run-of-the-mill student and hipster activism is waging people’s war in the First World. These are groups that think fighting for First Worldist economism and identity politics as important as liberating the Third World from the clutches of imperialism. Do not get baited into their fantasies. Let the yappers yap. Soar above them.

4. You place a great deal of emphasis on finances, why is this?

Look at the progress we have made recently. We are flooded with interest from the proletariat. We are training people abroad, setting up schools, bases. We are on the verge of emerging onto the global level. We have laid the groundwork. It really just requires financial, logistical support. If we can secure this, we will be able to advance the quality of our work by leaps. We are about to see something very inspiring and beautiful emerge. This is going to be like nothing we have seen before, but we need people to listen to what we are saying and act accordingly. I don’t know else to say it. This is the time. We need you. We can all do something very great together.

5. You’ve spoken of “the long game.” What do you mean?

Leading Light is playing the long game. We are making moves that will only make sense looking back from 5 years, ten years, decades, from now. We are on a whole other level. We are playing for the big victory. This is part of what vanguard consciousness is. It is seeing beyond others. It is playing on a whole other level. It is to be commanded as if by destiny. We do not need to worry about small bends in the road. We do not need to worry about the ups and downs of the dogmatic relics. Everything is converging in a way that will be very good for us. What is important is that we stay steady. We all have strategic confidence. We rally to the leadership and the Great Strategic Plan of the Leading Light. Keep your eye on the prize.

6. What do you say to those who accuse Leading Light of cultism and gangsterism?

Look at the culture of the system: Liberalism, fascism, feudalism. What we offer is a genuine alternative. We offer a way of thinking, a way of life that is genuinely liberating. We say that truth matters. We say science matters. We say it is important to live for, to die for, to serve the people. Sharing, caring, nurturing is important. Family and community matter. We stand for real freedom, creativity, justice, prosperity, equality, happiness, joy. We are warriors. I will give my life for all my brothers and sisters. Your suffering is my suffering. Nobody is free until we all are free. We truly want a peaceful world for our children. We cherish the Earth, our common home, as part of our family. We also believe in leadership, organization, loyalty, sacrifice. This may seem otherworldly or “culty,” but this is how we are. We do not think we are the problem, the problem is Empire. The problem is liberalism, fascism, medievalism.  We live in a world where millions of people, our brothers and sisters, our children, die every year from wars, hunger, unnecessary disease, unclean water, lack of healthcare, crushing poverty. We live in a world where poor peoples are treated like trash. We live in a world where many women are treated like slaves. We proudly admit that we do not think as the system does. We are the most down-to-earth, honest, critical, scientifically-minded, sacrificing, courageous, loyal people I have ever met. We are not the problem, the system is.

The same elites and their agents call us “gangsters” and “mafia.” This is a system that has created more economic inequality than ever. The rich get richer. The poor are thrown away. They own everything. We own nothing. They buy and sell the people like animals. They kill the poor in their endless wars. We are the poor, the exploited workers, farmers, small owners, slum dwellers. We want everyone to live a good life. We are fighting for the vast majority of humanity. We pick up the gun to put down the gun. They only fight for themselves, for the First World and their allies. They fight for the elites. They kill for profit. Who are the real “gangsters”? Who are the real “mafia”? The elites, the Empire, their agents are always going to slander the people’s movement. We must remember what Mao said: “To be attacked is a good thing.” They would not attack us if we were not making progress. They would not attack us if we were not threatening their world order.

To Empire we say: Call us what you want. Do your best. We are not afraid. You are fighting a spirit, a people, an organization, a leadership you have never faced before. This is a new kind of revolution. Global People’s War is coming. This is our time, our future, our destiny.

7. Any words for those who want to help?

Put aside all the lies. Put aside all the gossip. Ignore the slander of the state and its agents. You have a chance to be part of something very new. It doesn’t matter where you are from, what language you speak, what you look like, the color of your skin, your religion. What matters is your heart. The color of your spirit, red.

This is why we shout: Those who have eyes, see. Those who have ears, listen. Those who have minds, think. We need your help, now. Our hand is open, take it. It is your future too.

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Excerpt from Malcolm Caldwell on wealth and people’s war

Excerpt from Malcolm Caldwell on wealth and people’s warcambodia

(llco.org)

Malcolm Caldwell is most known for his mysterious death in 1978 while in the care of the Pol Pot regime. He was one of the few Westerners granted access to Democratic Kampuchea. Caldwell was even granted an interview with Pol Pot. However, the night following the interview, Caldwell was shot without explanation. Some have speculated the regime killed Caldwell. Others speculate that it was the Vietnamese or another anti-Pol Pot group. Other journalists touring with Caldwell were left untouched.  In 1969, roughly a decade before his strange death, Caldwell touched on some topics that are of interest to Leading Lights. Caldwell writes:

“Material abundance is not achievable on a world-wide scale, since there are important objective limitations in the way of real resources. [14] Early socialists – and even a surprising number of contemporary socialists – overlook these, and tend to imagine that, somehow, high living standards in material terms can gradually be extended from the rich classes in the rich countries to all peoples in all countries! Such is not the case. On the contrary, sooner or later living standards in the rich countries must fall.” (1)

In the above passage, Caldwell makes a key distinction between utopian and scientific socialism. Utopian First Worldists imagine that there is no contradiction between First World workers and Third World workers. Utopians believe that everyone can have a First World standard of living. Thus,  utopians claim that both First World workers and Third World workers can unite for global socialism. This view is utopian because it is not based on reality, rather it is an expression of what the utopian wishes reality to be. By contrast the scientific socialist examines the actual gaps between the rich and poor countries and looks at what material configurations are possible. (2) And, as anyone who looks at the sheer magnitude of the gaps between the exploiter and exploited countries knows, there is simply no way to do away with the inequalities between countries without significantly lowering the standard of living in the imperialist ones. Since the First World standard of living is based on imperialism, it is impossible to extend it to the vast majority. Also, the First World standard of living is materially, ecologically unsustainable. Thus, it makes no sense that socialism would maintain First World excess anywhere. For these reasons, it is obvious that the class interests of First World peoples is to continue to support imperialism and continue to oppose socialism. And, again and again, the history of the First World politics confirms this pattern. The only place where First World peoples rise up to overthrow capitalism is in the fantasies of First Worldist utopians.

Caldwell, by contrast, had a proto-Leading Light outlook:

“…one must say something of revolutionary prospects. Surveying the world today, it seems to me very clear that Lin Piao’s perspective conforms more closely to reality than that of traditional Trotskyism or mechanical Europocentric pseudo-Marxism. In his well known work Long Live the Victory of People’s War! Lin Piao envisages a global repetition of the drama of the Chinese revolution – that is, the isolation of the ‘urban’ (i.e. industrialised) areas of the world in a sea of rural revolution as a prelude to the collapse of the former. Now of course this must be interpreted more generously than literally. More and more, politics in the West will be the politics of reaction to events and initiatives elsewhere – in the tricontinents. This is already apparent, in marked contrast to the decades when Western initiatives shaped the entire world. [29] The crises of the imperialist powers may provoke reactive internal dissension and even civil disturbance, but the causes will ultimately have to be sought in the seething world of the peasant poor. Certainly this bears more relation to reality than the idea, noted above, of an apathetic peasant poor awaiting salvation from revolutionary (and, note, white) industrial workers! Much comfort was taken by mechanistic Marxists from the abortive French ‘revolution’ of 1968. In fact, this was the graveyard of their ideas, since the workers were readily bought off by application of blatant labourism.”(3)

Caldwell, unlike the relics with tunnel vision from the 1960s and 1970s, correctly saw Paris, 1968 for what it was: a dramatic example of how the First World working class can be blatantly bought-off. It showed how First World workers raise the red flag only to increase their bargaining position vis a vis the system, not to really make revolution.  Caldwell correctly saw that revolution is made by those who have a material interest in socialism. It is not made by those whose class interests align with imperialism. Thus, the heart of the revolution is found in the Third, not the First World. Thus the shape of revolution, the forms of resistance, will be principally drawn from the Third World, not First World experience. This is why the role of the peasantry is so important. This is why Lin Biao universalized Mao’s conception of people’s war. The proletarian revolution should be seen as a global people’s war that advances from the Third World to the First World, where the global countryside surrounds the global cities.

Sources:

1. http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/isj/1969/no041/caldwell.htm

2. http://monkeysmashesheaven.wordpress.com/2009/08/05/real-versus-fake-marxism-on-socialist-distribution/

3. http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/isj/1969/no041/caldwell.htm

Beijing Review: Robert Williams, August 12, 1966

Republishing Beijing Review: Robert Williams, August 12, 1966rfw-1

(llco.org)

Monkey Smashes Heaven is reproducing this document from Beijing Review, August of 1966 (transcribed by the defunct MIM). Of the documents within Beijing Review from 66 to 76, the work of Robert F. Williams, along with other Lin Biao-influenced documents, comes closest to embracing a Leading Light class analysis. However, the overwhelming majority of articles in Beijing Review from the decade upheld Mao’s First Worldist analysis. The early Cultural Revolution was highly influenced by Lin Biao’s 1965 document Long Live the Victory of People’s War! and its orientation to the Third World. However, even in the early years of the Cultural Revolution, there are contrary trends in Beijing Review. For example, a year later, August 18, 1967, Beijing Review clearly points out:

“It is class and politics, not colour and race, that have always been the demarcation line between revolution and counter-revolution.

The handful of reactionary rulers in the United States are the exploiters and oppressors of the white labouring people as well as of the Black Americans. The Afro-Americans share identical interests with the white working masses but stand in fundamental antagonism to the reactionary U.S. ruling groups. The reactionary U.S. rulers are the common enemy of people of all colours in the United States.” (1)

The 1967 article also points to Mao’s famous quote:

“Among the whites in the United States it is only the reactionary ruling circles who oppress the Black people. They can in no way represent the workers, farmers, revolutionary intellectuals and other enlightened persons who comprise the overwhelming majority of the white people.” (2)

MIM’s claim that the document by Robert F. Williams shows that Mao’s Central Committee in 1966 approved the idea that the majority of whites were oppressors in 1966 is not the correct interpretation. Instead what it shows is that there were various contradictory lines in play within the Chinese leadership from 1966 and 1967. The most likely explanation is, contrary to MIM’s claim, is that the appearance of the Robert F. Williams line and Third Worldist orientation in the pages of Beijing Review of 1966 can be attributed to the popularity of Long Live the Victory of People’s War! at the time. This is confirmed when, a year later, Robert F. Williams paraphrases Lin Biao:

“In keeping with the principles of people’s war, wherein the great masses of exploited peoples of the world represent the rural areas surrounding the cities (the exploiting industrial countries), the Afro-American revolutionaries represent a mighty urban underground within the city.”  (3)

To claim that Robert F. Williams is a spokesperson for Mao’s Central Committee, and, by implication, Mao, simply because he appears in the pages of Beijing Review is incredibly dishonest.  Rather, Mao and the Gang of Four made numerous statements directly contradicting the Third Worldist class analysis. The most likely reason for the Third Worldist orientation in the pages of Beijing Review in the very beginning of the Cultural Revolution has less to do with a change on Mao’s part and more to do with the rise of Lin Biao.

Notes.

1. Peking Review no. 34 August 18,1967 pp. 30

2. ibid.

3. Peking Review no. 34 August 18,1967 pp. 31 http://monkeysmashesheaven.wordpress.com/2007/09/06/robert-williams-in-beijing-review-august-1967/

*

MIM Transcription:

[MIM comments: the document below is important from the MIM perspective because it shows that Mao’s Central Committee of 1966 approved the idea that the majority of whites are oppressors in the United $tates. In 1963, before the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King and other important events, Mao had issued a statement saying the majority of whites were workers who would support the revolutionary struggle.

Note in the below text also the generic use of the word “racism,” where “national chauvinism” would have been more appropriate. In Lenin, Stalin and Mao, there was always ambiguity as to what extent “race” applied and what extent “nation” applied. Stalin leaned heavily toward “nation” and sparked the Black-belt nation concept within U.S. borders. Likewise, Robert Williams mixes together the concepts of “race” and “nation.”

One last note is that as the 1960s progressed there grew to be more support in Mao’s party for calling the U$A fascist and that became official policy in the late 1960s.]

Speech by Robert Williams

Published, August 12, 1966 in Peking Review

“Brothers, Sisters, Patriots, Revolutionaries:

Once again, I want to thank Chairman Mao Tse-tung and our brothers, the great Chinese people for their support of our struggle. Commemorating the third anniversary of Chairman Mao Tse-tung’s statement calling upon the people of the world to unite against racial discrimination by U.S. imperialism and support the American Negroes in their struggle against racial discrimination, the greatest tribute that can be paid to the correctness of his immortal words lie in a current analysis and assessment of the present development of struggle being waged by the Afro-American people.

Chairman Mao Tse-tung’s statement of August 8, 1963 gave inspiration to a people long and brutally oppressed and dehumanized, then laboring under the masochist-like philosophy of neo-Gandhism. His words gave impetus to a floundering and feeble movement of armed self-defence. And today all of the reactionary world is shocked and terrified by the turbulent winds of ever increasing armed resistance now sweeping the mighty fortress of savage imperialism and beastly racism. In racist America’s might northern cities, in the small towns, in the countryside, in the dark and deep jungle wilderness of the southland, from coast to coast, oppressed and dehumanized black people are meeting oppressive racist terrorist’s violence with revolutionary violence. The thunder of BLACK POWER echoes throughout the land. A mighty firestorm sweeps through the ghettoes rife with rebellion. In their paradise of stolen wealth, ringed by massive arsenals of horrible death weapons, the tyrannical kings of imperialism tremble from the terrifying shock of a confrontation with wretched and angry slaves, armed with a common household match and a bottle of gasoline.

What is the meaning of this cry BLACK POWER in a land dominated by the unmerciful power of white intruders who murdered and all but exterminated the rightful owners, the American Indians? Black Power means that black men want to have some control over their own lives, to have a respected voice in public affairs that affect them. We resent being a colonial people, treated as third class citizens in our native land. We resent being forbidden to speak for ourselves, even in black belts where we constitute as much as 85 percent of the population. We resent being deformed by a white man’s mold in a degenerate white supremacy society that derides and belittles our African heritage and make us ashamed of our ethnic characteristics. Black Power is the vehicle by which we hope to reach a stage wherein we can be proud black people without the necessity of an apology for our non-Anglo-Saxon features. The dominant society in racist America is reactionary, imperialist, racist, and decadent and we wish to disassociate ourselves from it. Black Power is a dissident force challenging the racist white power structure that is so heinously exterminating the people of Vietnam and threatening the world with nuclear destruction.

We have been victims of white racism for 400 years in the new world. We have been victims of racist barbarism for almost 200 years under the present form of government. Our people are slaughtered like swine on the main streets of racist America. Our churches and homes have been bombed. Our women raped with impunity. Our men have been emasculated. We are hated and murdered for no other reason than being born black and because we refuse to commend and love our savage oppressors, we are called racists.

We are oppressed people. Our objective is to destroy the hurtful stranglehold of our enemy oppressors. An opponent without the courage to designate his enemy by his true characteristics cannot expect to confront and defeat him. We propose to call our enemies what they are. We propose to rally our people and fight on this basis. We do not propose to mince our words for the sake of peaceful coexistence. It is a natural law that a humble lamb cannot peacefully coexist with a rabid wolf in close proximity.

Yes, we have some white Americans with us in our struggle. They are our true brothers. These revolutionaries understand and share our anger. They know it is justified. Their spirit is an extension of the glorious spirit of the great and noble antislavery fighter, John Brown. Yes, they too are a hated and persecuted minority people in Johnson’s majority mob rule Hitlerite jungle society. Yes, and like all other peoples we have enemies in our ranks. We have black traitors who practice treason for 30 pieces of silver. We have black Judases, insensate running dogs for the Johnson administration and its racist white power structure. Like their white puppet masters, these black puppets too have days that are numbered.

Our wrath is as intense against the black lackeys of our white oppressors as it is against the white supremacy oppressors themselves. These mercenary Uncle Toms are the most vocal nonviolent peace peddlers in the storm centers of racist America today. The ghettoes are ablaze but they advocate peaceful submission to continued tyranny and oppression.

Johnson, the great civil rights advocate, the former senator from the racist state of Texas, who as senator voted against every civil rights bill that came before the U.S. Senate, claimed to be a modern day Moses to black Americans so long as they passively allowed themselves to be mauled and maimed by white supremacy brutes and thugs. But now, with brutal white supremacy Federal Power, he threatens those who defend themselves, their homes, and their women and children. Mr. Johnson, the big daddy white supremacist, would remind our people that we are a minority and the brutal racist white savages are a majority. Like his fellow-traveling Ku Klux Klansmen, he endeavors to frighten and intimidate us by the mere numbers of our eternal oppressors. In the same fashion that Mr. Johnson would like to intimidate the Chinese people with a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons, he is endeavoring to intimidate the black American by alluding to great hordes of white supremacists who are ready and willing to exterminate our people. We say to Mr. Johnson that intimidation, violence, and brutality will not stop the raging fires in the people’s liberation struggle. The only force on earth powerful enough to halt the flames engulfing ghettoes and main streets of racist America consists of fair play, brotherhood, equality, and justice.

We serve notice on big daddy Texas Lyndon B. Johnson that he can no more intimidate the Afro-American people with his threat of unleashing his great hordes of mad-dog racists than he can intimidate the Chinese people with the threat of unleashing a nuclear attack. The day when brutal white racist oppressors and imperialists can frighten colored peoples into submission by threats of savage violence are gone forever!

We revolutionary Afro-Americans respond to Mr. Johnson and his Ku Klux Klan fraternity of white supremacy with the cry of BLACK POWER, FREEDOM NOW! JUSTICE! We proclaim our inalienable right to live as human beings and we shall implement our demand with blood and fire. Yes, Mr. Johnson, we are a minority but more than that we are an oppressed minority determined at all costs to be free, and we are resolved to pay any price, to perform any task, and to go to any length for our freedom.

Yes, we are a minority but we are a minority with the power of a righteous cause and justice on our side. We are a minority marching in the endless files of the great multiracial masses of the invincible anti-imperialist and antiracist forces of the world. For the benefit of Mr. Johnson, who puts so much stock in numbers, we remind him once again, in the words a great people’s leader a liberator who words, thought, and teachings stand as impeccable in the turbulent winds of time as the might Rock of Gibraltar, yes, we remind him once again that our great leader and teacher, Chairman Mao Tse-tung has said:

“We are in the majority and they are in the minority. At most, they make up less than ten percent of the three thousand million population of the world. I am firmly convinced that, with the support of more than ninety percent of the people of the world, the American Negroes will be victorious in their just struggle. The evil system of colonialism and imperialism arose and throve with the enslavement of Negroes and the trade in Negroes, and it will surely come to its end with the complete emancipation of the black people.”

Today, in the social jungle of racist America the rights of colored people are less respected than those of common street dogs. The law and the kangaroo courts of the so-called free world of “Christian” democracy protect the rights of common street dogs and other dumb animals but there is not a single court of law that dispenses even-handed justice and unbiased constitutional and human rights to colored Americans. The long, brutal, and miserable plight of our people throughout the history of barbaric America encompasses one of the most shameful and savage chapters in the history of slavery and man’s injustice to man.

The dominant class in racist America is one of the most hypocritical the world has ever seen. It captured the African in Africa, enslaved him, ripped his culture from him, raped him, reproduced from him, completely dehumanized him, and reduced him to the level of beast of burden and stamped him with the name Negro as a tribute to the white man’s creation and invention of a new implement of agriculture and an instrument of labour. And all the while, he promoted this brutal slavery, he proclaimed himself architect of democracy and a Christian society. All the while, he brutally and savagely exterminated the American Indian and piously proclaimed Thanksgiving to his white god for being so generous in blessing him with the bounty of the Indian’s rich land and paradise. He built a brutal imperialist prison wall around the peoples of Latin America and piously named it the protective Monroe Doctrine. He stretched his bloody hand to Asia and arrogantly called it an “Open Door Policy.”

The same bandit who exterminated and starved the American Indian on his own native soil now piously proclaims to practice charity to the nation of India in a hypocritical effort to use them in his campaign to subdue and enslave the peoples of Asia. What is the nature of his democracy? What does such a beastly, imperialist, racist savage know about democracy? Should not democracy, like charity, start first at home, and then spread abroad? What is the democracy of the Black American captives in the miserable ghettoes, in the cotton fields of Mississippi, battered by the savage policeman’s club in Washington, D.C.? What is the democracy of the Puerto Ricans, of the Mexicans, and of the American Indians in racist America? Only the most naive can believe the empty words and promise of such a morally bankrupt charlatan.

Deceptive American white supremacy is personified by hypocrites like Bobby Kennedy, a sophisticated huckster and charlatan of the first magnitude who struts and sways into the hotbed of African white supremacy and colonialism, hugging and kissing black babies and masquerading as a great white father and savior of the black Africans. Mr. Kennedy’s actions in racist America are quite a contrast to his deceitful conduct in Africa. When Mr. Kennedy served as the attorney general of the U.S.A. he was sworn to uphold the right of equal protection under law, yet he collaborated with the most barbaric racists in the nation. He entered into a “white gentleman’s agreement” with the notorious racist governor of Mississippi, Ross Barnett. Defenseless and helpless black women and children were bombed, gassed, clubbed, raped, and murdered on the main streets of racist America and Mr. Kennedy is yet to punish a single white supremacist heathen transgressor. As attorney general he did nothing about the fact that Africans were being beaten in the United States, even the diplomats assigned to the United Nations.

It is strange indeed how Mr. Kennedy can perform in the racist chorus of those who chant slogans of hatred, vilification, and dehumanization for black people in America while proclaiming his pretended great love for black humanity in Africa. Such is the nature of a deceptive and barbaric Yankee.

In America, Mr. Kennedy publicly proclaims himself to be opposed to black nationalism. In his white supremacy logic, he calls it racism in reverse. Black nationalism is a survival reaction to white nationalism. White nationalism transcends religious, class, social, and political lines. The reason that no massive black-white unity on a national scale exists today is that the white supremacy ruling class has poisoned the minds of white workers. Most white workers identify with their white imperialist rulers. White liberals insist on paternalism. Even bourgeois minded so-called socialists are more and more identifying and grouping on a racial basis rather than on a class basis. We Afro-American revolutionaries have discovered that some so-called socialists, we thought to be our comrades and class brothers have joined the international Ku Klux Klan fraternity for white supremacy and world domination. To our consternation, we have discovered that the bourgeois orientated power structure of some socialist states, even one with a black and white population, would prefer to preserve the white reactionary anticommunist power structure in racist America, their natural national enemy, than to see a just, democratic, fraternal socialist state brought about by the revolutionary action of oppressed blacks that would serve the best interests of all peoples and races. Like their Yankee counterparts that they love to ape so well, even to the point of emulating their racism, they are moving might and main to frustrate and defeat the revolutionary movements of the oppressed peoples throughout the world.

We of the Afro-American liberation movement resolutely condemn and oppose all counterrevolutionaries and purveyors of white supremacy whether they cloak their treachery in the garb of Marxist-Leninist phraseology or the hideous bed sheets of the Ku Klux Klan and its phoney Christian doctrine.

We who are engaged in the struggle for liberation and survival vehemently condemn the use of black dehumanized troops as cannon fodder in a white man’s war of imperialism in Vietnam. We oppose Johnson’s vicious crusade to dehumanize, emasculate, and enslave the great Vietnamese people.

Black boys — from the slum housing of black ghettoes, ill-educated in segregated schools, emasculated and dehumanized by police brutality and a savage white power structure — yes, black, boys who cannot find employment, black boys who are victims of white racists who hate them because of the color of their skin — black boys who mothers, sisters, and loved ones are being savagely clubbed, gassed, raped, maimed, lynched, and railroaded to prison in racist kangaroo courts simply for begging and praying for elementary justice are forced to share foxholes and and shed their blood alongside racist Negro haters in Vietnam, who like in racist America refuse to fraternize with them in places of amusement in Tokyo and Saigon. Even out of proportion to the self-styled master race, vast numbers of black soldiers are forced to suffer and die in that vain effort to prolong and extend the brutal racist white man’s imperialism. They are forced to suffer and die in the cause of a racist power structure that is as much the enemy of black people in America as it is the people of peace and freedom loving Vietnam.

And why od we call the massive Ku Klux Klan type action in Vietnam a racist white man’s war of imperialism while many black men are fighting there? It is because in racist America no black man is part of Johnson’s policy-making clique. The United State is governed by white power. The Pentagon is a white-dominated repressive arm of a ruthless elite white power structure. Wall Street is an exclusive club of the great white chiefs of business and industry. Black Americans are resisting the racist and imperialist lily-white power structure. How can a people who are fighting and dying simply to wrest the most basic of human rights from an intransigent and tyrannical power structure be said to be partners of that power structure and willing participants in its racist and imperialist ventures and crimes against humanity?

The United States today is a fascist society more brutal than any the world has ever known. It has all but exterminated a whole people. It has robbed and raped an entire continent with impunity. It has divided the peoples of the world into national factions and set them against themselves and their brothers. With no more authority than the wave of its bloody imperialist hand it has abrogated the right of self-determination of small nations. It has appointed and crowned itself both king and armoured knight of the whole universe. It threatens the globe with annihilation. It is a super colonial power that is colonializing the colonials.

The world famed and brilliant philosopher, Lord Bertrand Russell has justifiably stated that racist America has exterminated more black people than Hitler exterminated Jews in Nazi Germany. Lord Russell and many other fair-minded humanists throughout the world have justifiably stated that the U.S. military aggression in Vietnam is executed in a more cruel and barbarous manner than even the horrible campaigns of aggression, genocide, and conquest carried out by Hitler’s fascist Germany.

Yet, there is a mighty tendency, promoted by the sinister American devil himself, to engender more sympathy and fraternalism for the so-called “good reasonable Americans” than for the wretched victims of vicious and brutal U.S. imperialism. The U.S. constitutes one of the greatest fascist threats ever to cast its ugly shadow across the face of the earth. When the butchers of Nazi Germany were on the plunder, the world cry was “Crush Nazism!” “Crush the Fascist Power Structure!” “Crush Germany!” Total war was unleashed without deference to any who may been considered “good Germans” inside Nazi Germany. No sane person opposed to fascism pleaded for a soft policy toward Nazi Germany or pleaded for victims to wait for deliverance through the benevolence of “good German workers and liberals.” Racist America didn’t give a damn about sparing the good Japanese people when they dropped their horrible and devastating atom bombs.

What is the motive of those who plead for the exemption of liberal Americans, whose feigned liberalism merely serves as a cloak and shield around the naked power of savage and racist U.S. imperialism? The time is fast approaching when the so-called good reasonable American must make a decision either to overtly side with American chauvinism and jingoism or to take a resolute anti-imperialist and antiracist stand that will be a firm basis for a just and lasting world peace.

We who are brutally oppressed and victimized cannot forever afford to spare the fortress of social reaction and tyranny because there are allegedly silent dissenters within its gates. Those who are without righteous cause of the oppressed must be prepared to suffer the consequences of the gathering storm of the violent and turbulent winds of retribution. A good man who is silent and inactive in times of great injustice and oppression is no good man at all. He is no ally to freedom and justice but is a silent partner to tyranny and condemnation. He does not deserve exemption from the condemnation and the vengeance of those whom his silence allows to be victimized. The myth of the good reasonable American who is yet to be heard is a ruse perpetrated by the psychological arm of the imperialist forces of tyranny. It is one minute to zero in racist America. Four hundred bloody and gruesome years have passed. For 400 years, our good silent partners have remained silent and inactive. Time is running out and they stand at the dividing line still beseeching patience, still beseeching the slave to leave his fate to his silent friends ever infected with inertia. They plead for deference on behalf of the good people who yet stand at one camp. We call to them to separate themselves from the devil’s legions. We inform them that they have not 400 more years to make a decision but one minute before the hour of zero, before the Armageddon between the slavemaster and the slave.

Once again, in closing, let me thank our great leader and teacher, the architect of people’s warfare, Chairman Mao Tse-tung, for his great and inspiring statement in support of our struggle. And to our great Chinese brothers and true revolutionaries throughout the world, we revolutionary Afro-Americans vow that we shall take the torch of freedom and justice into the streets of racist America and we shall set the last great stronghold of Yankee imperialism ablaze with our battle cry of Black Power! FREEDOM! FREEDOM! FREEDOM! NOW OR DEATH! For our people, for our country, and for our compatriots throughout the world, we shall reclaim the nobility of the American Revolution. We shall raise our flag in honor, true peace, and brotherhood to all the world!

Long live the People’s Republic of China!
Long live Chairman Mao Tse-tung!
Long live the people’s resistance to imperialism, racism, and tyranny!
Long live the militant friendship between the Chinese and revolutionary American people!”

Early GPCR, the rise of New Power and new ideology Part 7

Seas are Rising, Clouds and Waters Raging

d25-26-300x218

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution Begins,  Maoist China from 1958 to May 16, 1966

Read Part 1 here: http://llco.org/early-gpcr-the-rise-of-new-power-and-new-ideology-part-1/

Part 2: http://llco.org/early-gpcr-the-rise-of-new-power-and-new-ideology-part-2/

Part 3: http://llco.org/early-gpcr-the-rise-of-new-power-and-new-ideology-part-3/

Part 4: http://llco.org/early-gpcr-the-rise-of-new-power-and-new-ideology-part-4/

Part 5: http://llco.org/early-gpcr-the-rise-of-new-power-and-new-ideology-part-5/

Part 6: http://llco.org/early-gpcr-the-rise-of-new-power-and-new-ideology-part-6/

Part 7: http://llco.org/early-gpcr-the-rise-of-new-power-and-new-ideology-part-7/

Part 8: http://llco.org/early-gpcr-the-rise-of-new-power-and-new-ideology-part-8/

(llco.org)

Coup Versus Coup

As the struggle intensified, as the Cultural Revolution took its course, conflict spread into the military and security forces. Although Defense Minister Lin Biao controlled the army center, his power was not absolute. There were still powerful high-ranking officers at the center who opposed him and powerful generals who had created their own  “independent kingdoms” in the provinces, out of the reach of Lin Biao. Mao remained in Hangzhou, away from the capital. The situation through April and May was very tense in Beijing, according to observers. Peng Zhen traveled with many armed bodyguards. And ten officers, sympathetic to the Beijing establishment, were posted to each of his offices for protection. (1) There was a threat of coup. Later, looking back, Mao told Albanian guests how nervous he was in this period of reorganization of the state and military establishment in Beijing:

“We transferred two divisions of garrison troops [to Beijing]..[that is why] you can now wander around Beijing and so can we.” (2)

One of Defense Minister Lin Biao’s main opponents at the center was the military’s Chief of Staff Luo Ruiqing. Luo Ruiqing, representing the professional officers, had a background more in policing than as a field commander. (3) He was part of the revisionist echo chamber within the military. Luo Ruiqing came under criticism for saying that military training and political training should receive equal status, whereas Lin Biao valued political education more. Even though Luo Ruiqing gained his position with the earlier fall of Peng Dehuai’s ally Huang Kecheng in 1959, he nonetheless echoed, albeit more quietly, some of Peng Dehuai’s concerns about the Maoist line. Luo Ruiqing leaned more toward professionalization, not ideological education. In addition, like Peng Dehuai, Luo Ruiqing sought global alignment with the Soviet imperialists. The conflict in global outlooks came to fruition in 1965 when two position papers were published. Luo Ruiqing in The People Defeated Japanese Fascism and They Can Certainly Defeat US Imperialism Too suggested possible reconciliation between China and the Soviet imperialists against the United States. Luo Ruiqing’s suggestion of a united front against the United States was contrary to Lin Biao’s position in Long Live the Victory Of People’s War! Lin Biao’s global people’s war outlook sought Third World unity led by communists against an imperialist bloc, West and East, that had become, more or less, united. Lin Biao saw little possibility of playing one imperialist against the other.  Although both papers advocated people’s war, the understandings of people’s war were very different. Lin Biao’s understanding of people’s war was offensive, not merely defensive as Luo Ruiqing’s. Luo Ruiqing saw people’s war as a tool to defend China from imperialist aggression. However, for Lin Biao, people’s war, on a worldwide scale, was the way to bring about socialist and communist revolution everywhere, it was not merely a tool to defend against imperialist attacks. For Lin Biao, global people’s war was a strategy for global victory. (4)

Over a period of time, Luo Ruiqing had been thwarting Lin Biao’s efforts at politicization of the military. He did so by amending directives, adding qualifications, etc. While nominally upholding the politicization, Luo Ruiqing worked to undermine it behind the scenes. A series of denunciations appeared of unnamed people who held “purely military views” and “one-sidedly stressed the suddenness and complexity  of modern warfare… [and] assert the system of Party committees will impede the better judgement and concentration of the command.” (5) Earlier, in 1965, at Lin Biao’s prompting, Mao wrote in Luo Ruiqing’s case “everyone should be on the alert against those who have no faith in, but feign compliance with, bringing politics to the fore, and who disseminate a set of eclecticism.” Luo Ruiqing was accused of eclecticism. And, as tensions rose in the capital, it became more and more important for the Maoists to control the army’s central command. As the struggle widened, Luo Ruiqing was accused of plotting to overthrow Lin Biao as Defense Minister. From March 4 to April 8, 1966,  Lin Biao’s wife Ye Qun, Wu Faxian, and other officers criticized Luo Ruiqing as a “bourgeois conspirator” and “careerist.” They also accused him of wanting Lin Biao to step down, a suggestion Luo Ruiqing had made on occasion. Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping, and Peng Zhen initially tried unsuccessfully to defend Luo Ruiqing during a series of “working group” sessions in March of 1966. They failed to save his career. In despair, Luo Ruiqing made a failed at suicide attempt on March 18, 1966. He ended up severely injured. The suicide attempt only added to the perception that he was guilty. On April 24, Mao approved his formal dismissal. In Luo Ruiqing’s place, general Yang Chengwu, a Maoist loyalist, became head of the General Staff of the military, although this would not be confirmed publicly until June 9, 1966. The fall of Luo Ruiqing severed yet another important link between the old Party bureaucracy and Lin Biao’s military. Thus the Maoists further consolidated their base in the military as the conflict came to ahead in the capital. (6) (7) (8) (9)

More important changes were made. A shadow fell on Yang Shangkun, head of the Central Committee General Office. Yang Shangkun was very close to Deng Xiaoping. He was one of Deng Xiaoping’s key deputies. (10) He was accused of having installed listening devices in Mao’s office in order to collect information for Peng Zhen. He was also accused of maintaining close ties to Luo Ruiqing. Yang Shangkun was removed as head of the General Office. Later, in 1968, Deng Xiaoping would admit “political responsibility for handling of the bugging devices installed by Yang Shangkun in an untimely and sloppy fashion.” Red Guards would repeat the charges in later phases of the Cultural Revolution. Although, in 1980, the revisionist regime denied any bugging had ever taken place. The case was deemed a “frame up” perpetuated by the Maoists. However, the accusations should not be so easily dismissed. In the context of an escalating power struggle involving troop movements, rival centers of institutional power, and widely differing ideologies, it is likely that the revisionists would seek to gather intelligence on their Maoist opponents. It is possible that he was removed because he was in the way. Perhaps the Maoists needed someone handing the paper trail that they could fully trust. Wang Dongxing, director of the Central Bureau of Guards, who arranged for Mao’s personal security took over as head of the General Office. Or it could be all of the above factored into his fall. In any case, Yang Shangkun became linked to the revisionists. He was replaced by Wang Dongxing, whose politics were not fully Maoist, but whose loyalties were to Mao. (11)

Yang Chengwu rise and Luo Ruiqing’s fall made it easier for Lin Biao to control the situation on the ground in the capital. Similarly, the Maoists gained from the fall of Yang Shangkun. Yang Chengwu, prior to his transfer to the Ministry of Defense in the Great Leap years, had been the Beijing garrison commander. (12) Lin Biao ordered troops commanded by those loyal to himself into Beijing prior to reorganization of the military there. Yang Chengwu played a role, increasing Lin Biao’s military presence in Beijing. This was done to prevent a possible mutiny or coup by those loyal to the revisionist Party bosses in Beijing or to the fallen Luo Ruiqing. One observer notes that “the support of a significant part of the army under Marshal Lin Biao, without which it is doubtful whether [the Maoists] could have taken Beijing.” (13) From January to March 5, 1966, Lin Biao secured temporary support from the leadership of the All-Chinese Federation of Trade Unions. From mid-January onward, they published letters from soldiers and articles in favor of the army leadership. (14) (15)

The security threat was one reason that Mao stayed away from Beijing and the center of Chinese politics. Mao remained at his retreat in Hangzhou. He continued to stay behind the scenes. (16) However, from March 17 to 20, Mao convened a session of the Standing Committee of the Politburo in Hangzhou. He made a sharp criticism of the “February Outline” and the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee. In Shanghai and Hangzhou, Mao and Lin Biao, supported by the PLA, the Federation of Trade Unions and the Tao Zhu’s Central-South China Regional Bureau, called for a “revolutionary storm.” Tao Zhu, a subordinate of Lin Biao and personal relation of Jiang Qing, would later fall under Maoist criticism. Later, he would try to shield the revisionist bureaucracy, but for now he threw his weight to the Maoists.  (17) (18)

On April 18, 1966, Lin Biao’s Liberation Army Daily ran a headline: “Hold Aloft the great red banner of Mao Zedong’s Thought! Take an active part in the Great Socialist Cultural Revolution!” The same issue of Liberation Army Daily contained an militant editorial:

“Chairman Mao Zedong has taught us that classes and class struggle continue to exist in socialist society. He has said that in China ‘the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the class struggle between different political forces, and the class struggle in the ideological field between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie will continue to be long and tortuous and at times will even become very acute.’ The struggle to foster what is proletarian and liquidate what is bourgeois on the cultural front is an important aspect of the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, between the socialist road and the capitalist road, between proletarian ideology and bourgeois ideology. The proletariat seeks to change the world according to its own world outlook, and so does the bourgeoisie. Socialist culture should serve the workers, peasants, and soldiers, should serve proletarian politics, and should serve the consolidation and development of the socialist system and its gradual transition to Communism. Bourgeois and revisionist culture serves the bourgeoisie, serves the landlords, rich peasants, counterrevolutionaries, bad elements and Rightists, and paves the way for the restoration of capitalism. If the proletariat does not seize hold of cultural positions, the bourgeoisie is bound to do so. This is a sharp class struggle.” (19)

Mao and Lin Biao had been working as close allies since the Jiangxi Soviet in the 1930s. Lin Biao had returned to politics as a Maoist appointment to the position of Defense Minister in 1959. Lin Biao had defended and pushed Maoist policies even in the face of the problems of the Great Leap. Once again, here at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, Mao and Lin Biao solidified their alliance publicly. Mao issued a famous letter on May 7, 1966 to Lin Biao approving of his work in the army. This came to be known as “the May 7th Directive.” Mao agreed that “So long as there is no world war, the armed forces should be a great school… In this great school, our army men should learn politics, military affairs and agriculture.” Mao encouraged participation of the army in Communes like Daqing oil field. Thus Mao shored up his alliance with Lin Biao, agreeing to send Lin Biao’s recommendations to all military regions. (20)

The Maoists had momentum. Liu Shaoqi was no longer able to protect his allies in Beijing. By May 4, the headlines became even more militant: “Never forget class struggle!” It stated:

“We must make great efforts to promote the proletarian ideology and eradicate the bourgeois ideology in academic work, education, journalism, art and literature, and other spheres of culture.” (21)

On May 8:

“Deng Tuo Is Keeper Of Anti-Party, Anti-Socialist Black Inn Of San Jia Chun.” (22)

Again:

“Deng Tuo is the keeper of the San Jia Chun Inn which he himself and Wu Han and Liao Mosha established. He is a leader of the small handful of anti-Party, anti-socialist elements.”

And:

“Open fire on the evil anti-socialist and anti-Party line!”

Chen Boda used his influence in the media world to increase the attack, as did Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan in Shanghai. (23) From April 9 to 12, 1966, at a meeting of the Central Committee Secretariat has chaired by Deng Xiaoping. Chen Boda and Kang Sheng returned to publicize Mao’s latest views of the struggle. Kang Sheng delivered a presentation on Peng Zhen’s recent errors in dealing with Wu Han, while Chen Boda examined Peng Zhen’s entire career. Chen Boda accused him of errors and crimes going back decades. After this meeting, Peng Zhen disappeared from public life. His “Group of Five in charge of the Cultural Revolution” was dissolved. Individual members of the group, such as head of the Xinhua News Agency and chief editor of People’s Daily Wu Lengxi, who had been a member of the Group of Five, fell. (24) That same month, Mao began the process of formally revoking Peng Zhen’s “February Outline.” Mao instructed an enlarged Politburo in Hangzhou on April 19 to adopt a new a new document to direct the Cultural Revolution. This new document would become known as the “May 16th Circular.” Others, besides Peng Zhen, would soon fall. Mao asked the meeting to “solve the problem of Peng, Luo, Lu, Yang [Shangkun].” At this point, they had not formally been purged, although they had all been relieved of their positions. (25) (26) Liu Shaoqi arrived at the meeting two days late after an extended four-week tour of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Burma. He was not able to intervene directly on behalf of his allies. (27) The timing of the meeting was probably not coincidental. On May 18, 1966, the Party leadership would meet again. Mao was absent. Lin Biao was the first to speak. He stated that the accusations against Peng Zhen, also applied to two other members of the Group of Five: Lu Dingyu and Yang Shangkun. He also linked them to Luo Ruiqing. He accused them not only of being class enemies with counter-revolutionary ideas, but he also alleged that there  there was a very real threat of a coup. Just as Mao had voiced concerns about the possibility of a coup earlier. Now Lin Biao  gave a speech on May 18, 1966 that discussed the history of coup d’etat in China. (28) Their fates were sealed, although it would take time to become official. The official dismissal would be announced later on June 9, 1966. At that time, Maoist Yang Chengwu would be named as “acting Chief of the General Staff,” officially replacing Luo Ruiqing. In his speech of May 18, 1966, Lin Biao stated, “the Great Cultural Revolution, which is now taking place, is a great and serious movement.” (29) The forms of struggle were quickly changing. President Liu Shaoqi and Vice-chairman Deng Xiaoping would disassociate themselves from their former allies to avoid tarnishing themselves. When Peng Zhen protested, both Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping were unmoved. They said that Peng Zhen’s errors amounted to carrying out a line opposed to Mao and the Party. They tried to wash their hands of the situation. (30) (31) The top revisionists chose to sacrifice knight to save a queen, but the game was far from over.

The Struggle Gets Personal

The ideological struggle became personal. Peng Zhen’s ally Lu Dingyi, head of the Propaganda Department, was also accused of opposition and personal persecution of Lin Biao and his family. This is one of the stranger episodes of the Cultural Revolution. Although political debates should take place on the high plane of ideological struggle, they usually do not. The fight for power is not simply a high-ideological struggle. In these conflicts, every weapon usually comes out of the armory. Yan Weibing, the Deputy Section Chief in her husband Lu Dingyi’s Propaganda Department, had begun to write anonymous letters to members of Lin Biao’s family since 1960. The letters described Ye Qun as a sexually loose woman who had affairs with other men and women. The letters also described Lin Biao as a cuckold. By accident, in 1966, Ye Qun discovered the author of the letters. On April 28, Yan Weibing was arrested as a “counter-revolutionary element.” On May 6, Lu Dingyi was put under house arrest for his counter-revolutionary efforts in connection to the struggles in culture, persecution and censorship of Maoists, and persecution of Lin Biao’s family. On the day of Lu Dingyi’s self-criticism, each attendant of the meeting reportedly found a handwritten note from Lin Biao testifying to Ye Qun’s virginity at the time of marriage and her faithful character. The note said that Yan Weibing’s counter-revolutionary letters contained nothing but slanderous rumors. Lu Dingyi denied knowledge of his wife’s harassment. Reportedly, Lin Biao confronted him asking him how it could be the case that he did not know? Lu Dingyi reportedly quipped, “Aren’t there quite a few husbands who don’t really know what their wives are up to?” Lin Biao reportedly threatened to kill him on the spot. This incident is often used as evidence that the Cultural Revolution should be merely seen as nothing more than personal vendettas, often bizarre ones at that. However, it is not uncommon that sex and personal issues get used by counter-revolutionaries. Mao reportedly acted against subordinates when they leaked information about his sex life to those who would become his enemies: Peng Zhen and Yang Shangkun. (32) There is a whole history of reactionaries using everything they can to sabotage their opponents. Sex and gossip has long been used against revolutionary movements. Intelligence agencies have whole departments dedicated to psychological profiling and waging psychological warfare. In the United States, the state’s Counter-Intelligence Program or Cointelpro attacked revolutionaries with such methods in the 1960s and 1970s. Since serious politics is the realm of science, the cowardly, weak, petty, and stupid often think that that the only way to take down a Leading Light is to resort to such tactics. Sometimes the personal is an easy target for wreckers and psyops. Lies and gossip can be sophisticated form of counter-revolutionary power struggle then just as they are now. (33)

The gloves were off. Two institutional powers confronted each other: Lin Baio’s military and the Maoist networks versus the revisionist Party establishment. Two poles of authority confronted each other: Mao, Lin Biao and the cult versus the Party establishment. Two ideologies confronted each other: Mao Zedong Thought versus revisionism. The struggles were growing bigger and bigger. The Cultural Revolution was far from over.

Notes

  1. Domes, Jurgan The Internal Politics of China 1949-1972  (Praeger Publishers, USA: 1973) pp. 15
  2. Jin Qui The Culture of Power (Stanford University Press, California, USA: 1999) p. 57
  3. Charles, David “The Dismissal of Marshal Peng Tu-Huai”  in China Under Mao: Politics Takes Command edited by MacFarquhar, Roderick (MIT Press, USA: 1966) p. 21
  4. Lansky, Mira Beth “‘People’s War’ and the Soviet Threat: the Rise and Fall of a Military Doctrine” in Journal of Contemporary History vol 18, no 4, Military History (October, 1983) pp.623-625
  5. Lansky, Mira Beth “‘People’s War’ and the Soviet Threat: the Rise and Fall of a Military Doctrine” in Journal of Contemporary History vol 18, no 4, Military History (October, 1983) p. 623
  6. Barnouin, Barbara and Yu Changgen Ten Years of Turbulence (Kegan Paul International, England: 1993) pp. 68-70
  7. Shambaugh, David “Deng Xiaoping: The Politician” in The China Quarterly no. 135 (Cambridge University Press, Spetember 1993) p. 469
  8. Dietrich, Craig, People’s China Third Edition (Oxford University Press, New York, New York USA: 1998) p.172
  9. Domes, Jurgan The Internal Politics of China 1949-1972  (Praeger Publishers, USA: 1973) p. 153
  10. Shambaugh, David “Deng Xiaoping: The Politician” in The China Quarterly no. 135 (Cambridge University Press, Spetember 1993) p. 471
  11. MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao’s Last Revolution (Bellnap Press of University of Harvard Press, USA: 2006) pp. 36-37
  12. Charles, David “The Dismissal of Marshal Peng Tu-Huai”  in China Under Mao: Politics Takes Command edited by MacFarquhar, Roderick (MIT Press, USA: 1966) p. 30
  13. Hunter, Neale Shanghai Journal (Beacon Press, Boston, USA: 1969) p. 26
  14. Van Ginneken, Jaap The Rise And Fall Of Lin Piao (Avon Books, New York, New York, USA: 1977) pp. 52-53
  15. Domes, Jurgan The Internal Politics of China 1949-1972  (Praeger Publishers, USA: 1973) pp. 155
  16. Domes, Jurgan The Internal Politics of China 1949-1972  (Praeger Publishers, USA: 1973) p.156
  17. Jin Qui The Culture of Power (Stanford University Press, California, USA: 1999) p. 80
  18. Chan, Anita, Rosen, Standley, Ungerm Jonathan “Students and Class Warfare: The Social Roots of the Red Guard Conflict in Guangzhou (Canton)” in The China Quarterly no 83 (September, 1980) p. 431
  19. “Infiltration of Bourgeois Elements” in The Chinese Cultural Revolution (Monthly Review Press, New York:1968) edited by Fan, H.K. pp. 35-36)
  20. “Mao Tse-Tung’s Letter To Comrade Lin Piao (‘May 7’Directive)” in Chinese Politics edited by Myers, James T., Domes, Jurgen, and von Groeling, Erik (University of South Carolina Press, USA: 1986) pp.188-189
  21. “Never Forget Class Struggle (Chieh Fang Chen Pao, Editorial, May 4, 1966)” in Chinese Politics edited by Myers, James T., Domes, Jurgen, and von Groeling, Erik (University of South Carolina Press, USA: 1986) p. 205
  22. “Teng T’o Is Keeper Of Anti-Party, Anti-Socialist Black Inn Of Sanchia Ts’un” in Chinese Politics edited by Myers, James T., Domes, Jurgen, and von Groeling, Erik (University of South Carolina Press, USA: 1986) p. 211
  23. Van Ginneken, Jaap The Rise And Fall Of Lin Piao (Avon Books, New York, New York, USA: 1977) p. 52
  24. MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao’s Last Revolution (Bellnap Press of University of Harvard Press, USA: 2006) p. 474
  25. Barnouin, Barbara and Yu Changgen Ten Years of Turbulence (Kegan Paul International, England: 1993) pp. 63-64
  26. Van Ginneken, Jaap The Rise And Fall Of Lin Piao (Avon Books, New York, New York, USA: 1977) p. 51
  27. MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao’s Last Revolution (Bellnap Press of University of Harvard Press, USA: 2006) p. 34
  28. Jin Qui The Culture of Power (Stanford University Press, California, USA: 1999) p.i 73
  29. Van Ginneken, Jaap The Rise And Fall Of Lin Piao (Avon Books, New York, New York, USA: 1977) p. 56-65
  30. MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao’s Last Revolution (Bellnap Press of University of Harvard Press, USA: 2006) p. 33
  31. Domes, Jurgan The Internal Politics of China 1949-1972  (Praeger Publishers, USA: 1973) pp. 157-159
  32. Li Zhisui The Private Life Of Chairman Mao (Random House, New York, USA: 1995) p. 335
  33. MacFarquhar, Roderick and Schoenhals, Michael. Mao’s Last Revolution (Bellnap Press of University of Harvard Press, USA: 2006) pp. 34-35