KOE: The Influence of the Chinese Revolution on the Communist Movement of Greece (2006)

KOE: The Influence of the Chinese Revolution on the Communist Movement of Greece (2006)

[From the Communist Organization of Greece]

Our contribution can reach the point of formulating an opinion (open for debate) and sharing the experience of a small section of the world’s proletariat, that of the Greek communist movement.

The Greek communists and the Chinese Revolution

“Our countries have two things in common: our ancient civilization, and two fatal numbers: 6 and 7. You are on the 36th parallel and we are on the 37th. You have the 6th Fleet of the US Navy, we have the 7th”.

(From a speech of Chairman Mao on a meeting with the representatives of the Greek-Chinese League of Friendship in 1965.)

It is of interest to state the opinion given by a great Greek communist who pioneered in the antirevisionist struggle in Greece. It is that of Comrade Yiannis Hontzeas, who, in the note that follows, gives us a testimony of what the perception of Greek communists about the CPC was, and what their expectations were, before the open conflict with the Russian revisionists began:

When I. V. Stalin died, many communists in our country, the majority of the veteran EAM members [EAM – National Liberation Front] who remained faithful to the CPG’s [Communist Party of Greece, CPG or KKE] and the EAM’s traditions during difficult times, expected that Chairman Mao will be invited in Moscow in order to advise, to lead, to arrange the things. Regardless of what anyone may say today, Mao was then, after the death of Stalin, regarded as the leader of the world proletariat, the guide of the world communist movement. If that was a simplistic faith, this is an issue of different nature. Mao visited Moscow on two separate occasions: The first time in 1950 in order to sign the treaty with Stalin, and the second time in 1957 in order to attend the Conference of Communist Parties. After the events of that period, Mao’s name was transformed from legend to curse – to become a legend again in the ’60s and ’70s, wining the minds of both the youth and the working people, gaining even more glory after years of slander. But how did Mao and the Chinese Revolution become known in Greece? Continue reading “KOE: The Influence of the Chinese Revolution on the Communist Movement of Greece (2006)”

Mao: Problems of War and Strategy

Mao at Yenan.

[Final part of our series on revolutionary military strategy in imperialist countries.  While it mainly deals with revolutionary war in China, it contains many important insights into revolutionary strategy in general and how it’s application changes for different countries in particular.]

November 6, 1938

I. CHINA’S CHARACTERISTICS AND REVOLUTIONARY WAR

The seizure of power by armed force, the settlement of the issue by war, is the central task and the highest form of revolution. This Marxist-Leninist principle of revolution holds good universally, for China and for all other countries.

But while the principle remains the same, its application by the party of the proletariat finds expression in varying ways according to the varying conditions. Internally, capitalist countries practice bourgeois democracy (not feudalism) when they are not fascist or not at war; in their external relations, they are not oppressed by, but themselves oppress, other nations. Because of these characteristics, it is the task of the party of the proletariat in the capitalist countries to educate the workers and build up strength through a long period of legal struggle, and thus prepare for the final overthrow of capitalism. In these countries, the question is one of a long legal struggle, of utilizing parliament as a platform, of economic and political strikes, of organizing trade unions and educating the workers. There the form of organization is legal and the form of struggle bloodless (non-military). On the issue of war, the Communist Parties in the capitalist countries oppose the imperialist wars waged by their own countries; if such wars occur, the policy of these Parties is to bring about the defeat of the reactionary governments of their own countries. The one war they want to fight is the civil war for which they are preparing.[1] But this insurrection and war should not be launched until the bourgeoisie becomes really helpless, until the majority of the proletariat are determined to rise in arms and fight, and until the rural masses are giving willing help to the proletariat. And when the time comes to launch such an insurrection and war, the first step will be to seize the cities, and then advance into the countryside’ and not the other way about. All this has been done by Communist Parties in capitalist countries, and it has been proved correct by the October Revolution in Russia.

Continue reading “Mao: Problems of War and Strategy”

Dongping Han interviewed on “The Unknown Cultural Revolution – Life and Change in a Chinese village”

[From A World To Win News Service.  A video of a lecture given by Dongping Han can be found here.  His book can be purchased from Monthly Review Press. – RI Ed.]

Dongping Han grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution and now teaches in the U.S. He is the author of the book The Unknown Cultural Revolution—Life and Change in a Chinese Village. Following is an abridged version of the session at the end of a speech he gave in December 2008 at the New York symposium “Rediscovering the Chinese Cultural Revolution: Art and Politics, Lived Experience, Legacies of Liberation,” sponsored by Revolution Books, Set the Record Straight Project and Institute for Public Knowledge-New York University. The full version appeared in the 6 September 2009 issue of Revolution, voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. (revcom.us)

Question: You went back to China in 1986. When did you and others like you start to see that things were different, that China had become very different than what it had been during the Cultural Revolution?

Dongping Han: I think people realized right away. The land was privatized in China in 1983. Many people tend to think that farmers are stupid and ignorant. But I think the farmers are very intelligent people. Many of them realized the implications of private farming right away. That was why they resisted it very hard in the beginning. And in my village and in other villages I surveyed, the overwhelming majority of people, 90 percent, said the Communist Party no longer cares about poor people. Right away they felt this way. The Communist Party, the cadres, no longer cared about poor people in the countryside. The government investment in rural areas in the countryside dropped from 15 percent in the national budget in 1970s to only 3-4 percent in the ’80s. So the Chinese public realized that the Chinese government no longer cared about them by disbanding the communes. But I was in college at the time and I didn’t start to think about the issue very hard until 1986.

Q: Can you explain a little bit more how the Cultural Revolution came to your village?

Continue reading “Dongping Han interviewed on “The Unknown Cultural Revolution – Life and Change in a Chinese village””

Liu Bai: The Trial of Zhao Dong-min and China’s Political Reform

[This article was published by Revolutionary Frontlines and details the struggles of contemporary Maoist activists in China. – RI Ed.]

[Update: On October 20 Zhao was sentenced to three years in jail for “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order”]

The legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party has been challenged from both the Right and the Left. These challenges have become more open and vocal. The Right has been pushing for political reform that will change China’s Constitution to allow a multi-party Western style democracy. This is the movement behind the 08 Charter. Liu Xiao Bo, who was recently given the Nobel Peace Prize, is one of the leaders of this movement.

The Left has rallied to support Mao Zedong Thought. The growing number of memorials held in September in many parts of the country on the 34th anniversary of Mao’s death demonstrated their strength. In these memorials the masses and their leaders demanded that Yuan Teng-fei be stripped of his Party membership. Yuan has been openly denouncing the Chinese Communist Party, socialism, and viciously attaching Chairman Mao. The Communist Party is trying to find a way out through some kind of political reform. The arrest and recent trial of Zhao Dong-min has led to support from the Left and has further intensified the crisis faced by the Communist Party.

Mourners follow the coffin of Deng Yongxia, wife of detained labor activist Zhao Dongmin. Deng Yongxia died of the auto-immune disorder lupus on Aug. 31, never having been allowed to visit Zhao in the detention center.

Zhao Dong-min is a Communist Party member and has a law degree from a corresponding school (of the Party School) in Shaanxi. Before his arrest in August 2009 he worked for many years providing legal services to many workers to resolve issues such as unpaid pensions and loss of other benefits. He did this as a volunteer without any compensation. Zhao also served as the temporary coordinator of the Mao Zedong Thought Study Group in Xian, Shaanxi until his arrest.

Continue reading “Liu Bai: The Trial of Zhao Dong-min and China’s Political Reform”

Flood control and social transformation in revolutionary China – “Teaching water to climb mountains”

6  September 2010. A World to Win News Service.  Following are excerpts from an article that appeared in issue 13 (1989) of A World to Win  magazine. It was originally published in the Revolutionary Worker (now called Revolution), voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, 10 June 1985.

Great Struggle Against Crooked Valleys and Rivers, 1974

For hundreds of years, floods and droughts had been the “twin scourges” of China. A major flood or drought hit large parts of the land at a pace of almost once a year, destroying crops or making it impossible to plant and thus leading to terrible famines that took the lives of hundreds of thousands at a time.

With the defeat of the U.S.-backed Koumintang (KMT) reactionaries in October 1949, the revolutionary regime led by Mao and the Communist Party of China faced an immensely difficult situation. U.S. imperialism and its reactionary allies surrounded and blockaded New China in an attempt to smother it to death. The land and the people had been ravaged by the decades of Japanese imperialist invasion and occupation and the rampages of the KMT army, which compounded the devastation from flood, drought and famine.

As a 1974 Peking Review article titled “Harnessing China’s Rivers” recalled, “What did the Koumintang reactionaries leave behind 25 years ago when New China was born? With all the waterways, dykes and embankments long out of repair, the peasants were completely at the mercy of nature. Flood and drought were common occurrences, wreaking havoc alternately or concurrently and taking a heavy toll on millions of people, with tens of millions more rendered homeless. Such being the plight of old China, certain imperialist prophets gleefully awaited the collapse of New China in the grip of these twin disasters which all past governments had failed to cope with.”

For the infant revolutionary

regime, the task of taming the great rivers – the Yangtze, the Yellow, the Huai (flowing in the central coastal plains between the Yangtze and the Yellow), and others – was a crucial aspect of transforming China from a dependent neocolony into an independent socialist country. Without protection from floods and new irrigation systems to fight droughts and open up new farmland, the peasantry – making up the overwhelming majority of the population – would continue to suffer. The worker-peasant alliance would be adversely affected and the ability of China to withstand the attacks of the imperialists and contribute to world revolution would be weakened.

In 1951 and ’52, Mao declared that the Huai River and the Yellow River “must be harnessed”. These calls were made amidst, and were very much a part of, the fierce two-line struggles within the Communist Party itself over China’s direction after liberation. Continue reading “Flood control and social transformation in revolutionary China – “Teaching water to climb mountains””