The Chairman’s politics?

False flag operations are familiar tools of counter-insurgency strategy, undertaken by the state and its NGO allies, to discredit, disrupt and destroy progressive and radicals’ campaigns and movement. Even the accusations raised can have a disproportionate effect as seen in the aftermath of the arrest of the Peruvian leader Chairman Gonzalez, Abimael Guzmán. The fragmentation of the movement and its support base – domestically and internationally – were around political lines that coalesced on whether the call for a “Peace Accord” was seen as a state-sponsored hoax or a strategic call that was a rupture with the previous orientation of waging Protracted People’s War in Peru.

A defiant Irena Iparraguirre stands in prison stripes facing reporters and military in 1992

Figure 1 A defiant Elena Albertina Iparraguirre Revoredo, also known as Comrade Míriam, stands in prison stripes facing reporters and military in 1992

No doubt it was in the interest of the beleaguered Peruvian state to encourage the confusion and divisions within its revolutionary opponents, however that call could still be a genuine response to changed circumstances. There are well-rehearsed arguments from “brain-washing” to CIA manipulation, employed by those unwilling to accept that Guzman was the source for this strategic direction , however there did emerge those professing loyalty to the leadership of Chairman Gonzalez that mobilised politically in support of that alleged position. Less was heard of these forces in the non-Spanish speaking world as the line that it was a hoax received more support in the active international solidarity network, and rarely reported in the Left-wing media, in the absence of a solidarity network the silence descend with the desertion of the Avarkian-led supporters and disintegration of RIM. Political opponents argue they were inspired by the Right Opportunist Line within the PCP but still the campaign in support of the imprisoned Guzman, incarcerated in the maximum security prison of the naval base of Callao, on the island of San Lorenzo, off the coast of Lima, found expression within Peru through the activity of his defense team, a civil, peaceful successor movement overshadowing the PCP as its “political wing”, the Movimiento por Amnistía y Derechos Fundamentales (MOVADEF – The Movement for Amnesty and Fundamental Rights), from its initials in Spanish.

Members of MOVADEF hold a poster of Shining Path leader Abimael Guzman during a protest in front of the Justice Palace in Lima on, July 25, 2012

Figure 2 Members of MOVADEF hold a poster of Shining Path leader Abimael Guzman during a protest in front of the Justice Palace in Lima on, July 25, 2012

Movadef denies being the political arm of the Shining Path.

Led by lawyers and Movadef’s co-founders, Manuel Fajardo and Alfredo Crespo, works for the release of the imprisoned senderistas, including the leader Abimael Guzmán. Introducing his new movement at a conference, Crespo said that it was made up of “leaders of social organizations, intellectuals, the families of jailed subversives, and artists, amongst others.” Elsewhere, Crespo described the movement as 30 percent ex-convicts, and 70 percent “young people.” He said that their political causes included the fight for labour rights, the protection of children, and freedom of expression.

Authorities have identified two organizations they suspect of being legal extensions of the Shining Path: principally (MOVADEF), a group of families of imprisoned guerrillas, and Conare, a union committee of radical teachers.

Familiares2

They chant slogans in support of Guzmán, saying he is a political prisoner who should be freed. They deny that terrorism existed in Peru, of around 650 still detained Movadef says they are political prisoners who fought to liberate the poor, and complain that history books side with the winners of the war.  Establish in 2008, local media claimed in 2011 MOVADEF received $179,000 from Shining Path’s Huallaga Valley cell to establish itself as a political movement by establishing 60 support committees across the country and, after organizing as a political party, obtaining registration to allow its participation in elections (El Comercio [Lima], April 11).  MOVADEF filed papers with Peru’s Jurado Nacional de Elecciones (JNE – National Jury of Elections) seeking registration as a legitimate political party and describing its ideology as “Marxism-Leninism-Gonzalo thought.”  MOVADEF claimed to have mustered more than 350,000 signatures to support its political registration effort (Diario La Primera [Lima], January 23, 2012). The electoral authority denied the registration.

“What’s appropriate for today is a political fight without arms. We don’t think this is the right moment for an armed fight,” Alfredo Crespo, Guzman’s lawyer and a Movadef leader, arrested in the 2014 state crackdown that saw 28 leaders and other activist arrested and some charged with terrorist and drug offenses.Alfredo Crespo, leader of Movadef Alfredo Crespo, also allegedly acted as Guzmán’s intermediary with Shining Path field commander Florindo Eleuterio Flores Hala (a.k.a. Camarada Artemio) before his arrest in 2012. Asked if he had sworn off violence, Crespo said: “This (unarmed) moment could last for quite a while. Besides, violence has always existed in Peru. Look at who applies violence now – the state!”


“A key question is whether the group is in fact being used as a “front” by the Shining Path. One argument that supports this theory is a string of recent armed actions carried out by the guerrillas. On January 31, hours before Movadef renounced its effort to register as a political party, Shining Path guerrillas made an incursion into the town of Campanilla, in the region of San Martin. In an action reminiscent of the days of the conflict, although without hurting anyone, some 50 armed guerrillas arrived in trucks, rounded up the population and forced them to attend a political rally. This lasted about an hour and a half, while the guerrillas made speeches arguing for a “political solution” to the conflict.

They painted some 200 houses with the hammer and sickle, and distributed flyers around the area, calling for a ceasefire with the government and a general amnesty. Hours later, at 3:30 a.m. on February 1, armed guerrillas entered the town of Pucayacu, also in San Martin, and distributed more flyers. The next day, three more villages in the district of Campanilla were targeted, with guerrillas putting up banners calling for a general amnesty.

These actions, coinciding with the withdrawal of Movadef’s appeal, have been interpreted by some as propaganda work on behalf of the political movement. The Shining Path faction responsible is based in the Huallaga region of northern Peru, not far from where the attacks took place, and is considered to be the more ideological branch, and to be closer followers of Guzman. Peruvian analyst Jaime Antezana has argued that the incursions and the political party are both part of a new tack being taken by the guerrillas. He told RPP Noticias that the Shining Path’s new strategy was to strengthen the position of Movadef in order to promote Guzman’s “Gonzalo Thought” ideology, and try to bring about an amnesty to get him out of prison. For Antezana, the relationship between Movadef and the Shining Path is “straightforward, direct, and umbilical.” He presented documents to the Peruvian media which he said were issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru – Shining Path (PCP-SL) in 2009, ordering the creation of a party to take part in elections, saying that “since 1993 the party has been living a new and fourth stage of the political struggle, without arms.”

https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/shining-path-political-party-opens-old-wounds-in-peru/


Tried for the third time since his arrest in1992, this time for the 1992  Tarata car bombing in Lima in which 25 people died, Guzman’s attorney, Alfredo Crespo, said before the sentencing that Guzman believes lower-level rebels carried it out without his knowledge. On 11 September 2018, Guzman was sentenced to a second life term in prison.

Condemnation issued in the name of the PCP, reflecting support for the strategic reorientation others labelled Right Opportunist Line, continues to find expression on internet sites. The authenticity and authorship remains uncertain but the coherence of the argumentation suggests a genuine commitment to what they regard as their Chairman’s politics.

 

BACKGROUND ARTICLE : The Chairman’s Trials

 

Text & Documents

1992 OVER 150 YEARS OF THE WORLD PROLETARIAN REVOLUTION

2000 FIGHT FOR THE POLITICAL SOLUTION

2000 KEEP ON FIGHTING FOR A PEACE AGREEMENT

2001 CONVENTION OF ORGANIZATIONS AND MASSES BY AN AUTHENTIC TRUTH COMMISSION

2001 Defend the Headquarters of Chairman Gonzalo

2002 DEFEND THE HISTORICAL TRANSCENDENCE OF THE PEOPLE’S WAR

2002 EVELOP THE SECOND WAVE OF THE PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT

2002 FIGHT FOR THE POLITICAL SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEMS ARISING FROM THE WAR

2002 LONG LIVE THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF PERU

2003 LONG LIVE THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF PERU (2)

2003 STATEMENT BY MRS ELENA IPARRAGUIRRE

2004 DEFEND THE HEAD OF PRESIDENT GONZALO!

2005 FOR THE FREEDOM OF THE POLITICAL PRISONERS

2006 I REJECT THE TERRORISM TRIALS IN PERU

2006 Interview with Dr Alfred Crespo

2007 Interview with Elena Iparraguirre

2007 Shining Path After Guzmán

2008 Letter from Mrs ELENA IPARRAGUIRE 

2016 LONG LIVE MAY FIRST

2016 ON THE 67TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHINESE REVOLUTION 

2016 ON THE 88TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF PERU 

2016 TO THE PEOPLE AND THE PROLETARIAT OF PERU AND THE WORLD

2017 HOMAGE TO THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HEROIC RESISTANCE!

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Previous posts of interest

To keep our red flag flying in Peru

To keep our red flag flying in Peru: 2 Chronology

To keep our red flag flying in Peru 3

To keep our red flag flying in Peru 4

The Gonzaloists are gathering  

 

 

125. Silage Choppers and Snake Spirits

It was by chance I finished reading the lives and struggles of Joan Hinton and Sid Engst on International Women’s Day. From her contribution at Los Alamos to the suburban farms of distant China in transformation, Joan’s talent and dedication shines through her life.

“Those who knew Hinton remained captivated by her. She was stubbornly orthodox, but with an exuberant laugh and unflagging vitality. At 88, she still played the violin and attended a weekly discussion group filled with food and politics. And on many mornings Hinton could be found on the farm that she and Engst tended for decades, wearing her Mao cap and checking on her dairy cows.” Maggie Jones, New York Times

In this a book based on an oral history project, the voice of Joan comes through strongly as Dao-Yuan Chou weaves the personal experiences of Joan and Sid into the fabric of developments in China before, and after liberation in 1949.

The Engst Family in Beijing, 1967 Fred Engst, Erwin Engst, Karen Engst, Joan Hinton, and Bill Engst (Photo courtesy of Bill Engst)The Engst Family in Beijing, 1967 Fred Engst, Erwin Engst, Karen Engst, Joan Hinton, and Bill Engst (Photo courtesy of Bill Engst)

The author’s comments on this, the third edition of his work comments on what aspects of their rich and complicated lives might be relevant and useful rather than simply interesting , answering those who questioning the space allocated to both Joan’s and Sid’s early lives. That inclusion is important.

What is striking is not only the contrasts between their up bring in America and their subsequent lives in a developing China but the continuity of the actual people, their approach to life and perspectives on what was the right thing to do. Their ethical drive remained as strong to the end of the lives, disappointed and in disagreement with the post-Mao abandonment of the collective spirit that had sustained China in its socialist goals.

Their lives together date from 1948, when Joan Hinton, former physicist on the Manhattan Project, travelled to Shanghai to join her future husband Sid Engst, a radical-minded New England dairy farmer who had joined the Chinese Communists in their Yan’an base two years earlier. They settled, raised a family and made revolution in witnessing the transformation of China. Here the witness was also a participation.

Here is a biography that encompasses the sweep of the mass movements that punctuate twentieth century China with a targeting of the successes and errors at the grassroots as the turbulence of struggle is recounted with detail forensic observation about such episodes as how farm managers were bullied by bureaucrats into trying to meet impossible production targets during the Great Leap Forward. Their assessment of the years that follow doesn’t stray from the down-playing characterisation of lean, hungry years rather than the famine scenario of much of contemporary scholarship. Having been relocated to Beijing their detailed recollection of the faction-ridden Cultural Revolution in the chapter ‘Snake Spirits’ brings out the complexities of line struggles among the communists and sympathisers within the foreign community resident in the capital.

John Sexton’s earlier review recounts:

“In 1966 the family, now with three children, was transferred to Beijing and drawn into the whirlwind of the Cultural Revolution. Used to living alongside peasants, Joan and Sid chafed in the luxurious foreign ghetto of the Friendship Hotel. With a handful of colleagues, they authored a big-character poster, later personally endorsed by Mao Zedong, demanding that foreigners be treated as Chinese and allowed to join the struggle. Their wish was soon fulfilled only too well, when their friends David and Isabel Crook were arrested by one of the many Red Guard factions and locked up for 5 years.” (China.org.cn July 24, 2009)

Active in the ‘Bethune-Yanan Rebel Regiment’ that involved the foreign ‘experts’ working in Bejing institutions, Joan and Sid were part of September Eighth Fighting Group – for the date of Mao’s approval of their daziba – and actively involved before transferring to the Red Star Commune just outside Beijing.

History as biography is a well-established genre and the details herewithin realistically conveys the effort, frustration and joys of a life lived in pursuit of not a dream but building a future.

silagechoppers-207x300Dao-Yuan Chou (2019) Silage Choppers and Snake Spirits – The Lives and Struggles of Two Americans in Modern China. 3rd edition Paris: Foreign Language Press

ISBN: 978-2-491182-02-1   Price: 8 EUR / 10 USD

 

 

Foreign Languages Press

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Joan’s brother, Bill Hinton1919-2004, another farmer and American activist, wrote some seminal rural studies still worth reading ~ Fanshen: A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village and later Shenfan: The Continuing Revolution in a Chinese Village, as well as Hundred Day War: The Cultural Revolution at Tsinghua University.

Her son, Yang Heping (Fred Engst) wrote a paper that she would have agreed with, “On the Relationship Between the Working Class and Its Party Under Socialism”, (2015) . It fred Engst Yang hepingargues that the economic basis for the development of capitalist-roaders can be largely eliminated by abolishing “bureaucratic privileges” for Party members, and that mass organizations of the sort which developed in the Cultural Revolution can be institutionalized to criticize Party members and units in which capitalist-roaders start to develop.   PDF Format

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  • Western Lives in China, the sympathetic foreigners under Mao, remains a developing subject of academic enquiry enliven by the personal contributions of the foreign community who lived through the transformation of China in the second half of the last century.  Link to East Is Read

China’s “Foreign Friends” enthusiastic international participants during the struggles of the 1930s and 40s and the ‘Red and Expert’ in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution have been the focus of studies such as:

Anne-Marie Brady, Making the Foreigner Serve China: Managing Foreigners in the People’s Republic, Rowman and Littlefield, 2003

Brady, Anne-Marie Friend of China. The Myth of Alley Rewi, RoutledgeCurzon, 2002.

Epstein, Israel My China Eye. Memoirs of a Jew and a Journalist. Long River Press, 2000

Hamilton, John Maxwell, Edgar Snow: A Biography. Indiana University Press, 1988.

Beverley Hooper, Foreigners under Mao: Western Lives in China, 1949–1976.  Hong Kong University Press 2016

MacKinnon, Janice and Stephen R. MacKinnon, Agnes Smedley: The Life and Times of an American Radical. 1988

Porter, Edgar The People’s Doctor: George Hatem and China’s Revolution, University of Hawai Press, 1997.

Rittemberg, Sidney and Amanda Bennett, The Man Who Stayed Behind, Duke University Press, 2001

Strong, Tracy and B. Keyssar, Helene. Right in Her Soul: the Life of Anna Louise Strong. 1983

O’ Brien Neil L.O., An American Editor in Early Revolutionary China. John William Powell and the China Weekly/Monthly Review, Routledge, 2003

Wong, Jan, Red China Blues. My Long March from Mao to Now, Anchor Book, 1999.

Barlow, Tani E. Lowe Donald M., Teaching China’s Lost Generation: Foreign Experts in the PRC, China Books and Periodicals, 1987

The Fifth Architect?

The published works of Enver Hoxha in the Albanian language amounts to 70 volumes. His “Selected Works” is contained within six volumes of various language editions. Separate version of speeches, conversations and articles are available and there is internet access to ENVER HOXHA International archive, now in 26 languages.

Books in Hindi, in Punjabi language, in Icelandic, Danish, and in Russian.

Figure 1 Books in Hindi, in Punjabi language, in Icelandic, Danish, and in Russian.

“Works of Comrade Enver are creative application of universal truth of Marxism-Leninism of the immortal teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin in particular conditions in Albania. They are the greatest treasure in the revolutionary experience of the communist movement in Albania. They serve at the same time an important contribution to the further creative development of Marxism-Leninism and to the strengthening of the international communist movement”[i]

“… No one like him defended with such revolutionary pathos at any time and under any circumstances the situation of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin from opportunistic perversions.
No one like him exposed the social-imperialist and social-chauvinistic policies and activities of the Titovites, Khrushchevites and other renegades … ” [ii]

Going down the rabbit hole again….. The question you may never have asked is when did Hoxahism emerge? In 2001 Wolfgang Eggers, self-identified Chairman of the C P Germany [ML], stated:

 “We, as Marxist-Leninists all over the world have finally and urgently to put the question: Is Comrade Enver Hoxha the 5th Architect of Marxism-Leninism, yes or no?” Wolgang Eggers has laid out the case in tens of thousands of words on why “finally 16 years after the death of Enver Hoxha we decided to call him the 5th Architect of Marxism-Leninism“.

the Architects

the Architects

Eggers authored the study What is Stalinism_Hoxhaism? and runs the Comintern (SH) website that promotes that very concept. He writes a lot on the subject so his position is not in doubt:

it`s the crucial key-question of our new century, in which general direction the international revolutionary class-struggle will continue to develop, a question of necessary decision, where the ideological demarcation-line has to be drawn

So What is Hoxhaism?

“ a variant of anti-revisionist Marxism–Leninism that developed in the late 1970s due to a split in the Maoist movement, appearing after the ideological dispute between the Communist Party of China and the Party of Labour of Albania in 1978. The ideology is named after Enver Hoxha, a notable Albanian communist leader.”

According to this entry in Wikipedia it was formed in 1978, announced in the publication of “Imperialism and Revolution!”

That date is disputed but we will return to that later.

In 1977, Albania began to publicly if indirectly distance itself from Chinese foreign policy, clearly exemplified by the lengthy Zëri i Popullit editorial, “Theory and Practice of the Revolution”. The editorial, written by Enver Hoxha in the third person but not signed, implied — without mentioning China by name — strong criticism of the thesis of the division of the world into three groups of countries — super-powers, developed countries and developing (or “third-world”) countries — and furthermore castigated the policy of seeking bourgeois allies in its struggle against the world influence of the Soviet Union as being a deviation from the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of the class struggle.

At the 7th Party Congress of the Party of Labour of Albania, Enver Hoxha stated during the analysis of the current international situation and the occurring revolutionary processes:

The world is in a phase where the cause of the revolution and the national liberation of the peoples is not only and ideal and a perspective but as well a problem which has to be solved.”

This thesis of principle importance is based on the analysis of imperialism, and the nature of the present historic epoch provided by Lenin, the 7th Party Congress of the PLA was a reaffirmation against the “three Worlds theory” of the Marxist-Leninist strategy of the revolution under the current circumstances. [iii]

By the following year, however, the break became an open one with the publication and translation into numerous foreign languages of Enver Hoxha’s book, Imperialism and the Revolution, which not only took issue with the “theory of three worlds” but criticized Mao Zedong Thought as an “anti-Marxist theory”.

Not all agree – if you consider that Mao Zedong was the leading Marxist of the age, then it is not surprising that the Albanian positions were regarded as championing a new revisionist, opportunist current directed at Mao and in fact challenging the communism, which Mao upheld.

For instance, the Revolutionary Communist League of Britain saw the Party of Labour of Albania as a New Centre of Revisionism”. The Norwegian marxist leninists, AKP(ml) once strong defenders of Albania and the PLA were critical of the attacks upon both China’s foreign policy and those that developed to target Mao. Three instalements on the open Letter of the CC of the PLA (July 1978) were published in the AKP (ML)‘s English language International Bulletin, Class Struggle: Letter from the AKP (M-L) to the Central Committee of the Party of Labour of Albania[iv].

In 1973 Hoxha himself said in a message to Mao on his 80th birthday, “you further developed and creatively enriched Marxist-Leninist science in the field of philosophy, the development of the proletarian party, the strategy and tactics of the revolutionary struggle and the struggle against imperialism, and the problems of the construction of the socialist society. Your precepts on continuing the revolution under the conditions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, so as to carry socialist construction to final victory and bar the way to the danger of the restoration of capitalism, whatever form it takes and wherever it comes from, constitute a valuable contribution, of great international value, to the theory and practice of scientific socialism. Your works are a real revolutionary education for all Marxist-Leninist and working people.” [v]

There was never really an explanation why the Albanians themselves were so hopelessly confused by Mao and such “anti-Marxist” theory that they adopted large portions of it or, worse still, they recognized it all along but were willing to help promote this “revisionist” line on revolutionaries around the world. Instead there is the belated assertion, with scant evidence provided, as in the foreword to the first Albanian edition of  Imperialism and the Revolution:

….At its 7th Congress, our Party exposed all the different revisionist currents, including the Chinese theory of “three worlds”. …. it resolutely rejected the bourgeois-opportunist theses and views on the present stage of the world historical process, which repudiate the revolution and defend capitalist exploitation, and emphasized strongly that no change in the evolution of capitalism and imperialism justifies the revisionist “inventions” and fabrications. Principled criticism and ceaseless exposure of the anti-revolutionary and anti-communist theories are absolutely necessary to defend Marxism Leninism, to carry forward the cause of the revolution and the peoples, to demonstrate that the theory of Marx Engels, Lenin and Stalin is always young, and remains the unerring guide to future victories.”     [April 1978]

The Albanian position presented a stark choice as it cleaved at an association that had developed over a decade and a half, challenging the young anti-revisionist organisations to choose between its analysis and that of the Chinese authorities. Personified in Enver Hoxha’s writings was a call essentially based on the promotion of the ideological orthodoxy of Marxism-Leninism. [vi]

enverA relatively modest appraisal comes from the internet blogger, Expresso Stalinist:

All these criticisms made by Enver Hoxha and his defence of Marxism-Leninism throughout his life are not a simple repetition of the sum of this scientific doctrine until then. On the contrary, this defence involves efforts of renovation/development of this science on the basis of actual facts and phenomena. This is what Enver Hoxha did in a simple and modest manner and this is what makes him more valuable. The international working class and every communist will not forget Enver Hoxha. They will defend him against all attacks in a determined way and hold on to this great son of the international working class.[vii]

The blogger, the Finnish Bolshevik regards Enver Hoxha straight-forwardly as

“a great Marxist-Leninist & anti-revisionist. His works are a valuable contribution to anti-revisionism and the practical application of Marxism-Leninism. This ought to be recognized by every communist.”[viii]

Indeed, Hoxha considered himself and his thoughts, and most Hoxhaists regarded themselves as pure marxist-leninists, not ”hoxhaists”. Hoxha never sought to create a new “ism”. As superfan Wolfgang Eggers elucidated in 2001, “There were no different »new principles« he found out, but he came to new conclusions and cognition under the changing conditions of the society in his time. One of the most important lessons of Marxism-Leninism is not to defend it in the sense of conservation but in defence of the achievements, the valuable experiences of socialism in the Soviet-Union and Albania to apply to it to ease the future way of world revolution, to finish October Revolution successfully.“ [ix]

Strangely, and this applied in most of the industrialised world, some of these groups, which had been among the most zealous proponents of Mao Zedong Thought, would compete with each other to prove who was the most critical of Maoism and the most vociferous opponent of Chinese “social imperialism”. See the publications posted on the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line, at U.S. Marxist-Leninists Take Sides: the China-Albania Split.

Hoxhaism, in whatever presentation, did not emerged in the last century but has become a self-identifying category in this century. However within the “Hoxha camp” there was a lack of unanimity with the construction of competing international allegiances after the collapse of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania in 1992 and a couple of supportive blog postings suggest alternative dates for the birth of Hoxhism.

Leaning towards the late 1970s, one blogger observes

“Although Enver Hoxha had been the leader of socialist Albania since 1941, the ideological branch of Marxism-Leninism known was “Hoxhaism” did not technically emerge until the late 1970s. It was during this time where Hoxha and Mao officially weakened relations, Hoxha believing Mao to be a revisionist. Relations to China were cut furthermore after Mao’s death in 1976, where the new leaders of China were even more openly revisionist than ever” [x]

Whereas, another self-identifying Hoxhist-Stalinist argues that it was formed in 1948, starting from the critique of Tito’s revisionism :

​“With the struggle against the social-chauvinist Yugoslav (first revisionism in power), Stalinism became the basis of the development of Hoxhaism. Beginning with the struggle against Yugoslav revisionism, Hoxhaism developed as the world-proletarian, ideological weapon for the fight against the global spreading of modern revisionism at power. Thus, Hoxhaism arose when modern revisionism was already in power for the purpose to liquidate the new Marxist-Leninist world movement and to destroy the last socialist country – Albania. Hoxhaism developed as a self-contained theory and tactics for the defense of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the anti -revisionist and anti-social imperialist struggle of the world”

Furthermore the anti-revisionist, international character of Hoxhaism appeared with Enver’s speech on 16 November 1960, at the Moscow Conference of 81 Communist and Workers’ Parties. Here, for the first time, Enver Hoxha represented the revolutionary interests of the entire world proletariat …

– to defend and strengthen the socialist world in the struggle against modern revisionism

– to fight against the restoration of capitalism under the terms of the rule of the capitalist-revisionist world”[xi]

Wolfgang Eggers Weighs In

A champion of Stalinism-Hoxhaism, Wolfgang Eggers (who has a website dedicated to this question on the date of the formation of Hoxhaism) questions the understanding of such contributors:

“Hoxhaism emanates from Stalinism….The answer of the question of the formation of the teachings of the 5 Classics can neither be limited in dates of their personal development nor dates of its formation on a national scale….  It is that you needed to study:  “The foundations and concerning questions of Hoxhaism” published by the Comintern (SH): Wolfgang Eggers, July 11, 2015.

Decisive for the date of the formation of Hoxhaism is the date when it became the most advanced guideline of the communist world movement.

He is clear that Hoxhaism developed after the death of Stalin. Stalinism-Hoxhaism developed after the death of Enver Hoxha.[xii]

Eggers argues: If we assume that Hoxhaism developed after the death of Stalin in 1953 then it is wrong to date the beginning of Hoxhaism in 1948. In 1948, Titoism, as the first revisionism in power, was unmasked and exposed by Stalinism and not by Hoxhaism.

“It was Stalinism which paved the way towards the development of Hoxhaism especially on the battlefield against Titoism. So the date of 1948 is not the correct date of the formation of Hoxhaism as an independent higher stage of the development of the proletarian ideology.

Hoxhaism was born as the only correct ideology against Soviet revisionism on November 16, 1960.

1978 was the date of the liberation of the Marxist-Leninist World Movement from the danger of its degeneration through Maoism, namely Maoism as the predominant international ideology of Chinese revisionism. The victory over Maoism would be possible not without Hoxhaism that – logically – was already developed during the formation of the anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist World Movement in the 60ies. More than that, In the 60ies, Hoxhaism was already the predominant ideology of the anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist World Movement with comrade Enver Hoxha at the head.

Hoxhaism is not an ideology which was formed in the struggle against Maoism but completed in the struggle against Maoism.”

 In an earlier work, Wolfgang Eggers argued that,

….. Under the leadership of Enver Hoxha the Marxist-Leninist World Movement received an enormous impetus. He succeeded to unite and strengthen the Marxist-Leninists and effected the rebirth of all the world`s revolutionary elements after the revisionist betrayal against Stalin.

….he stepped forward to develop Marxism-Leninism under the new conditions of revisionism in power, under conditions of imperialism AND social-imperialism, in the period of the restoration of capitalism and its social-fascist ruling system under the conditions of the fallen dictatorship of the proletariat in the Great Soviet-Union. [xiii]

12b5Including Enver in the Architects of Marxism-Leninism list emphasis the revolutionary contribution and legacy as …..They are formed as a common, monolithic whole, existing of one cast. For instance, the modern revisionists separate Marx, Engels, Lenin from Stalin, and they don`t approve Stalin as the 4th Architect of Marxism-Leninism up to this day. The appreciation of Stalin as the 4th Architect of Marxism-Leninism was, however, an unavoidable demarcation-line against Modern Revisionism and the supposition to gain the victory over it…..

….  Enver Hoxha again applied to the lessons of Stalin in a correct way. So he became the best and deserving pupil of Stalin….

…… Under the leadership of Enver Hoxha the Marxist-Leninist World Movement received an enormous impetus. He succeeded to unite and strengthen the Marxist-Leninists and effected the rebirth of all the world`s revolutionary elements after the revisionist betrayal against Stalin. ……. Nobody, except Enver Hoxha struggled against imperialism and social-imperialism on an international stage on the principles of proletarian internationalism in a way he did.

…….

Those who recognize the positive contribution of Hoxha don’t need to be “Hoxhaists” to do that. However when some insist on using the description “Hoxhaists” they then seem incapable of distinguishing between disagreement, deviation & revisionism, an anti-Marxist trend, a line that contradicts with the core of Marxism.

Those who complain that Hoxhaists are focusing all their time on isolating themselves from others, obsessed with attacking non-Hoxhaist Marxist-Leninists as “revisionists” and deadly enemies, fail to appreciate the demarcation line drawn by Hoxhaists.

It is not a minor question whether one appreciates the contribution of Enver Hoxha, and to split with those who don’t agree with Hoxha on everything is maybe regarded as obviously sectarian, however in the worldview of such believers Enver Hoxha is not only the last Architect of Marxism-Leninism of socialism of the 20th century but also the pioneer of socialism of the 21st century, the pioneer of world-socialism, neither is there a broad movement that encompasses a category of marxists (plural) but only the existence of their specific movement.

This sectarian mindset in neither new nor unsurprising, nor simply an ultra-left tendency of seeking “ideological purity” over all else. Criticism of others whose calls seek unity is partly because such unity is on their terms which usually violate a political redline enshrined in the quest to have specifically Hoxhaist organizations. Unity is not achieved by merely proclaiming it and even on the Hoxhaist spectrum, an outlier like Eggers has criticism of what others would regard as fellow thinkers. He, secure in the political platform of his fifth architect, contextualises the problem because the struggle initiated by the PLA (and Communist Party of China) against modern revisionism is not finished. It continues in conditions even more difficult today.

We could – unfortunately – recognize that the Marxist-Leninist World Movement in times of Enver Hoxha lost its quality and quantity as well. It cannot be compared with the present situation. … the foundation of the Comintern[ML] was a necessary and important step to cope with this worldwide line of revisionism.

There was easy criticism of the gathering of previously pro-Soviet elements, basically unreconstructed Stalinists groups with their self-advertised World-Congress in Toronto back in September 2001 as the revisionists all over the world unite in the name of the Soviet people, in the name of Marxism-Leninism, in the name of the Soviet Union, in the name of socialism, in the name of the October Revolution …with the only aim to re-conquest Russian revisionism in power.

Equally scathing of the very low ideological level of »unity-agreements« and collected all opportunists whoever and whatever it was. ….. The North Korean social-fascists promoted the Conference of Pyöngyang with a declaration signed by a lot of revisionist parties and organisations all over the world. The social-fascist Milosevich appealed to the »Left« to support Yugoslavian »socialism« against the imperialist aggressors of the NATO. Social-fascist Fidel Castro/ Che Guevara-World Movement continued to organize international solidarity to defend »socialist« Cuba against US-Imperialism.

And in Sofia representatives of the former social-fascist East- European countries falled with their attempt to build up »something internationally«.

Which all goes to rule out the vast majority of surviving revisionist groups.

The critical position on Maoism – as unmasked by Enver Hoxha – sees it categorised as Neo-Revisionism as a new branch of Modern Revisionism, with new quality and a world wide movement of it`s own that developed from the Marxist-Leninist Movement in their struggle against Modern Revisionism….. We kick the revisionists out of the front door, but we let them in through the back door.

In his works Enver Hoxha unmasked revisionist Maoism irrefutably as the ideological roots-effect of Chinese social-imperialism. So, Chinese capitalist development is not an appearance of turning away from Mao Tsetung Thought, but in the contrary the result of applying to it in different ways. …Enver Hoxha verified that Mao is – under no circumstances and to no time an Architect of Marxism-Leninism, not even a Marxist-Leninist.

While Eggers points out Chinese Neo-Revisionism was palliated by »left« opportunism and revolutionary phraseology and hard to find out, he authored the online publication War on Maoism that rules out reconciliation with Maoism.

The demolishing consequences are occasion enough to draw a clear demarcation-line between Enver Hoxha and the Neo-Revisionism of Mao Tsetung Thought as a matter of principle. Definitely we have to make a clean sweep with the legend, that »BOTH TOGETHER« – Enver Hoxha AND Mao – would be the greatest Marxist-Leninist leaders in the struggle against Modern Revisionism..

This goes beyond the responsibility to preserve the memory of the part played by the Party of Labour of Albania and its First Secretary Enver Hoxha and slides into historical revisionism of the crudest form, that of denial.

The Beligan communist leader Ludo Martens of the PTB gets a mention as the centralist attempt at a big tent enuemical gathering at May Day succeeded in attracting many international branches of revisionism…. The camp of the Maoists is non-uniform and heterogeneous. Some groups support openly, others hidden the social-imperialist and social-fascist China. Sectarian and Neo-Revisionist Groups support Mao and the »Culture-Revolution« more or less, and again some other groups try to reconcile Neo-Revisionism with Marxism-Leninism which means critics at Mao to some extend.

So no reconciliation with Maoism is another redline.

Whereas, one component of the pro-Hoxhaist movement in the late 1970s, were amongst those who condemned the allies of Ramiz Alia but also paralyzed the Marxist-Leninist World Movement – thank-you Hardial Bain with his neo-revisionist CPC [ML] in Canada.

In the aftermath of the collapse of the Albanian Party of Labour, the most prominent re-grouping emerged with the Quinto Declaration, (in Eggers unpromising description) as without principles pure revisionist and opportunist, associated with the neo-revisionist international grouping around the »Unity & Struggle« magazine.

Last not least the neo-sectarian ISML that propose to be »non-sectarian«: The truth is, that they are non-sectarian towards the united front of neo-revisionist opportunism, but cruel to the Marxist-Leninists that ISML accuses as »sectarians«, because we criticized their opportunism. So we call them Neo-Sectarians because they mask their sectarianism behind the lessons of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin AND Enver Hoxha! Their »non-sectarianism« includes not only collaboration – attempts with »Unity & Struggle«, but everybody who calls himself »Marxist-Leninist« included liberalist publications of open social-imperialist and social-fascist contents on their ISML-List which they call »tactic of the communist united front«.

Thus framing the composition of international communism, Stalinism-Hoxhaism identifies who it struggles against. When asked in 2017, how many people are in Comintern (SH) and how many people support it?

Eggers replied,

You will certainly understand that we will not present the concrete amount of our members on a silver platter to our enemies. We are an illegal party.

Though we are still not more than a few comrades all over the world, we are already the leading communist world organization on the battle field of the world proletarian ideology of today – Stalinism-Hoxhaism. We are still in the period of the ideological construction of our party – thus far away from leading the entire world proletariat towards world socialism.[xiv]

The advocacy of the Fifth Architect, even without state sponsorship, is integral, in Eggers world, to the ideological construction of the dreamed of world Hoxhaist party.

 

 

E N D N O T E S

 

[i] Zeri i Poppulit May 19, 1968 (quoted by the magazine New Albania № 4 1968)

[ii] Radio Tirana broadcast 04/11/1985

[iii] Link The Character of the Epoch

[iv] Part 1 to 4 of the comments of AKP (ml) were printed in Class Struggle no 1/78, parts 5 to 7 in C.S. no 1/79, the remaining comments in issue 14.

https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/periodicals/class-struggle-norway/no-12.pdf

https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/periodicals/class-struggle-norway/no-13.pdf

https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/periodicals/class-struggle-norway/no-14.pdf

[v] Link When Hoxha Praised Mao

 [vi] LINK  TIRANA BUILDS AN INTERNATIONAL

[vii] https://espressostalinist.com/marxism-leninism/enver-hoxha-page/

[viii] Thoughts on Hoxha & Hoxhaism   14 Jul 2017

[ix] Wolfgang Eggers ,Enver Hoxha -the 5th Architect of Marxism-Leninism……and the foundation of the Comintern [ML] 2001

[x] Red Vanguard A Brief Guide to Hoxhaism. Posted on June 11, 2011 https://theredstarvanguard.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/a-brief-guide-to-hoxhaism/

[xi] Ideas Of A Proletarian What is Hoxhaism? written by hoxhaiststalinist1924

https://hoxhaiststalinist1924.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/what-is-hoxhaism/

[xii] Naturally, “only the Comintern (SH) was able to give a complete answer to the question what Stalinism really is [see our book: “On the foundations and concerning questions of Stalinism”].”  Likewise, only the Comintern (SH) was able to give a complete answer to the question what Hoxhaism really is [see our book: Enver Hoxha – the 5th Architect of Marxism-Leninism and the re-foundation of the Comintern”]

[xiii] Following paragraphs draw upon the argumentation in Enver Hoxha -the 5th Architect of Marxism-Leninism……and the foundation of the Comintern [ML]

[xiv] http://ciml.250x.com/country/poland/poland1.html

Stalin, Bo and Mao

woodsmoke

Addressing the “Stalin Question” raised critical conclusion from the anti-revisionist movement that initially gave an uncritical defence of Stalin. These assessments were characteristically muted in tone, partly to avoid supporting bourgeois and revisionist condemnation. This remains evident in more contemporary observations such as ‘STAND FOR SOCIALISM AGAINSTMODERN REVISIONISM by Armando Liwanag. However drawing upon the policies and practices of China under Mao, a critical evaluation emerged that was incubated but co-existent with that which would manifestly identify itself as more ‘Stalinist’ than ‘Maoist’ in the disintegration of the anti-revisionist movement in the late 1970s. Activists come a new to the “Stalin Question” at various times in their political journeys, for the anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninists an early and initial exploration came from Sweden.

In June 1965 anti-revisionist study groups were formed under the leadership of the lecturer in economics Bo Gustafsson at the University of Uppsala (Sweden). A leading member of the old Swedish Communist Party (SKP) Bo Gustafsson, had distanced himself from the proposal that the party should change its name to the Left Party and convinced that a new communist advance was needed, free from revisionism and reformism.

According to Wikipedia entry,

Bo introduced Marxist theorists like Maurice Dobb and Paul Sweezy to Swedish readers, and his From Colonialism to Socialism from 1964 highlighted the issues that became crucial to the anti-imperialist movement of the sixties. He later became editor of the journal Clarté in the early sixties and started and led the great ideological settlements that brought together almost a whole generation of radical young people around to a China-friendly policy.

Contradictions came to ahead at the SKP’s 21st Party Congress in May 1967. Shortly after, in what was later subject to criticism the organization: Kommunistiska förbundet marxist-leninisterna (KFML) was constituted at a conference in Sweden that June, under the leadership of Bo Gustafsson and Frank Baude. The KFML’s formation in mid-summer 1967 took place in a bureaucratic manner “without a fight”; the decision made by a small group of older SKPs without opposition from the rather insecure younger militants in the movement.

Gustafsson became the KFML’s chairman, Nils Holmberg its study secretary; other leading members were Frank Baude , Bernt Westerberg , Kurt Lundgren and Åsa Hallström . The central organ was called Gnistan; which was to reach a print run of 14,000 and the theoretical organ: Marxist Forum .

Communist_Party_Sweden_1967Gustafsson (left) with Nils Holmberg and Frank Baude .

Figure 1 From left Bo Gustafsson, Nils Holmberg and Frank Baude

Gustafsson helped Clarté to start publishing Marx’s Capital in 1969 new translation in Swedish. In 1970 he presented his doctoral thesis Marxism and Revisionism, a study of the historical roots of ideas for Eduard Bernstein’s revisionism. One of Bo Gustafasson’s most distributed articles was ‘Bo Gustafsson AFTER THIRTY YEARS – Copy an accompanying commentary on Stalin’s On dialectical and historical materialism.

Bo Gustafsson’s criticism of Stalin’s works was one of the influential articles of the anti-revisionist movement,reprinted by various groups and distributed in various organizations.

KFML republished Stalin’s article in 1967 as a “training brochure”  ,and its then chairman Bo Gustafsson wrote an epilogue entitled, ‘After thirty years’.  The German group KPD / ML published in 1970/71 an edition in the series “From the Marxist-Leninist World Movement” as , “Stalin’s Theoretical Works (1936-1953).   A criticism by Bo Gustafsson of the Swedish KFML. KPDml

It explained: [Dietmar Kesten , Materials for the analysis of opposition February 2014 ]

“Stalin’s important work ‘On dialectical and historical materialism’ is part of the basic training program of the Swedish KFML. When KFML therefore republished Stalin’s script in 1967 as a training brochure, its then chairman Bo Gustafsson wrote an afterword under the title: ‘After thirty years’. In it, Stalin’s treatise is subjected to Marxist-Leninist consideration and criticism. Since the KPD / ML also included Stalin in its training, we consider it appropriate to publish Bo Gustafsson’s criticism in German as a supplement to our training program. .

Bo Gustafsson’s criticism of Stalin’s works was one of the much read articles of the Maoist movement.  It was reprinted by various groups and distributed in various organizations such as in a Danish edition, About dialectical and historical materialism by JV Stalin published in Copenhagen October, 1976.

CRITICISM


At the formation of the KFML internal and external critics on the Left said Mao’s thinking had been given a hidden role, not in the forefront of propaganda, or any emphasizes on “the role of ideological education” (ie Mao Tse-tung’s thinking) as maoist thought unmentioned in the formation of the KFML.

Mao is mentioned four times in “After 30 Years” – centred on Mao’s contribution stating

….The conflict between productive forces and production relations is, of course, under socialism a completely different character from capitalism. The main difference is that during capitalism there is a contradiction is essentially antagonistic, while it is non-antagonistic during socialism. But if during socialism there would be no contradictions between the forces of production and the relations of production, not the socialist the production method could evolve at all. That is why Mao Tsetung, who has dealt with this most thoroughly question, says quite rightly:

“The most fundamental contradictions in socialist society are the constant relations between production relations and the productive forces, and conflicts between the superstructure and the economic base.”

Bo Gustafsson and other authorities within KFML were said to show no particular enthusiasm for the Chinese Cultural Revolution which aroused the distrust of many younger activists, partly contributing to the environment that saw the emergence of the breakaway KFMLr group. This distrust was channelled in Uppsala by Francisco Sarrion, a Spanish Marxist (went by the name of Fredrik Svensson) who lived privately in China during the most intense period of the Cultural Revolution in 1967. Sarrion was “the latest eyewitness” from China and as such became very influential in Uppsala’s KFML- section. He lambasts Bo Gustafsson and Nils Holmberg as false authorities. Fight them! is the Rebellerna /”The Rebels” slogan. Reflecting the tone of the late 60s, the establishment of Mao Tse-tung’s thinking as absolute proletarian authority is a vital issue for the communist world movement and for all revolutionaries throughout the world. Using an ageist argument attacked the leading layer within KFML as not significantly affected by the cultural revolution as Bo Gustafsson and Nils Holmberg proletarian attitude had been shaped long before the Cultural Revolution, more spuriously during the time when President Liu Shao-chi was the “guardian” of the CCP.

They were characterised by the intemperate ultra-leftist sectarianism of the age against the broader Leftist and Maoists movement, which they considered corrupted. “They even went to the Chinese embassy in Stockholm where they demanded to become members of the Communist Party of China. When they were denied membership, because they were not Chinese citizens, Francisco Sarrión declared that the embassy was under the control of reactionary bureaucrats who had betrayed Mao Zedong.”

The internal KFML opposition, Left opportunists according to the leadership, the self-styled Rebels argued in a Leaflet signed Four Red Guardians from April 1968, that Bo Gustafsson’s foreword to the anthology “Mao Tse-tung: Political Writings” “reveals his bottomless revisionism and contempt for Mao Tse-tung’s thinking .

Victoria Höög’s article, Bo Gustafsson, science & politics [Tekla No. 7 Dec 1979] outline some of the outstanding features of Bo Gustafsson’s authorship and its connection to his position as a leading politician in the Maoist movement at that time. Much of his work continued in an orthodox Marxist manner, as evidenced in his posthumously published essay, “The Transition from Domestic Industries to Factories” on the emergence of mechanized cotton spinning in the 18th century.

Like many other former activists, Bo excelled in his professional career as professor at the Department of Economic History 1977−2000 at Uppsala University in Sweden, and politically moved to a social-democrat position in doing so revised his analysis evident in the extract (below) reproduced in the Online newspaper Trend

Supplement: After 45 years.


After another decade and a half, BoG had broken with KFML / SKP and considerably revised his view of Stalin and Stalin’s Soviet. In the book Marx & Marxism (published 1983) he writes, among other things following:

The communist labor movement that emerged in Western Europe did not see… any major difference between bourgeoisie and social democracy, because even though the mass of social democrats was workers, according to Lenin’s statements, they were headed by “bourgeois workers leaders”. During In the 1920s, social democracy was even labeled “social fascist”, which was even more so extreme and distorted designation than Lenin’s “social chauvinist”. This split, as under

The 1930s enabled the victory of fascism, not changed by that line in relation to social democracy was temporarily transformed into a unified front policy of 1934. It came too late. Only temporary unity was first established in the fascist concentration camps.

Another consequence of the establishment and politics of the Soviet Union and the Third International were that socialism as goals became more difficult in Western Europe and difficulties grew as Leninism moved into Stalinism with its forced collectivization and mass purges in the Soviet Union. About Marxism initially split by the Russian revolution, Marxism now seemed to disappear more and more as a living doctrine and as a guide for political action in the Soviet Union. It became Marxism-Leninism and Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism, a collection of dry formulas, state doctrine and even magic. In the latter property, it could still be used to mobilize the population in efforts to modernize the country. Everything was subordinate – and all means were allowed with reference to – the future goal: communism. But the consequence was that Marxism, this rationalistic, humanistic and liberating doctrine, came into sharper form contrary to the realities of Soviet society. A new class of administrators and bureaucrats – proven and lamented already by Lenin before he died – took over the dominion of the class and used Marxism only to legitimize its own class rule, just as bourgeois according to Marxism did. Marxism was transformed in the Soviet Union and after World War II as well the rest of Eastern Europe to a bourgeois ideology: to false consciousness.

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign language Press ~ New Roads ~

The Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Publishing House , Foreign Languages Press established in 2016 have extended their publishing programme beyond « Colourful Classics » (see previous posting   here) and have four titles in their New Roads collection that publishes original works and essays that analyze the challenges and answer the questions posed by Marxist-Leninist-Maoists today, and shed light on lesser known aspects of the history of the communist and workers movement.


From Victory to defeat : China’s socialist road and capitalist development (Pao-Yu Ching)

Preface by J. Moufawad-Paul

How can a country that developed the most advanced socialist society in the history of the world change directions so quickly and so completely? In From Victory to Defeat Pao-Yu Ching dissects this question, providing economic analysis of what it means to actually “build socialism” with all of the necessary contradictions and obstacles that must be overcome.

Addressing seven commonly asked questions, Pao-Yu Ching gives accessible explanations to the complicated issues China faced in its socialist transition and the material basis for its capitalist reversal.


Silage Choppers and Snake Spirits : the lives and struggles of two Americans in modern China (Dao-Yuan Chou)

Forward by Juliet de Lima-Sison

Silage Choppers and Snake Spirits follows the journey of two Americans who left the United States to experience first-hand the events of the Chinese revolution. Sid Engst came from a poor farming family in upstate New York and found himself on the run from Chiang Kai-shek’s generals in the barren hills of northern China. Joan Hinton went from working on the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos to wearing disguises and ducking the Nationalist government in the Chinese communist underground. The two married and stayed in China to raise a family and help build a new society.

This biography follows their experiences working alongside ordinary Chinese people, from the Inner Mongolian steppe to a state commune in Beijing. Their lives and struggles offer an unusual insight into the events that make up modern Chinese history from Liberation to the Cultural Revolution.


Which East Is Red? The maoist presence in the Soviet Union and Soviet bloc Europe 1956-1980 (Andrew Smith)

This short essay tell the little known story of antirevisionists and Maoists in post-Stalin Eastern Europe. Interrogating the myth of a monolithic Marxism in Eastern Europe, overwhelmingly supportive of Khrushchev, Andrew Smith answers the question he posits: To what extent was Eastern Europe red?


Mao Zedong’s “On Contradiction” – Study Companion (Redspark Collective) contradictions-207x300

On Contradiction is Mao Zedong’s seminal text on dialectical materialism. Perhaps his most well-known work, it’s been read and studied by millions all over the world and is required reading for all those who seek to objectively analyze the world and struggle to solve the contradictions in it. The Redspark Collective prepared this study companion to assist readers by providing historical and modern day context and examples.

Redspark maintains a news site that focus on organisations engaged in people’s war

Also distributed from their webstore are some titles from the French language publishers Soleil Rouge.

Foreign-Language-Press-LogoSMALL-300x300

Remembering Amol

Active in the Iranian student movement outside Iran, the Organization of Communist Revolutionaries (Marxist–Leninist) was founded in 1970 and adopted ‘Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought’. It was one of a number of Iranian Maoist organization formed in opposition to the Shah regime in Iran. Throughout its organisational changes, it has always self-identified as a Maoist party line and maintained that Iran is not a capitalist society but is a “semi-colonial-semi-feudal” one, and generally saw the US threat to Iran’s sovereignty as the immediate danger to the revolution.

In 1976, The Union of Iranian Communists (Sarbedaran) was formed after the merger of the Organisation of Communist Revolutionaries and the Pooya Group. The term “Sarbedaran” was used later in 1981 after the organization armed its members in the forests near Amol in Northern Iran.

Union of Iranian Communists (Sarbedaran)
اتحادیه کمونیست‌های ایران

Prior to the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, the Union of Iranian Communists were active amongst the student movement outside Iran. In the heightened struggle of the early years of the Islamic Republic, UIC, like other Iranian left parties, were based inside the country engaged in the fierce, and often bloody clashes against the regime. A number of smaller leftist groups operated in Iran during the years after the 1979 revolution. They included Maoist groups such as the Toufan Marxists-Leninist Organization, the Toilers Party (Ranjbaran), Komala, the Union of Iranian Communists (Sarbedaran), Rah-e Kargar (Kargar) and the Marxist Mojahedin, which after several permutations became known as the Combatant Organization on the Road for the Emancipation of the Working Class (Paykar).As it expanded its activities inside the Iran after 1979, other groups such as “Group of struggle in the path of working class liberation” and “Red Battle” rallied to the UIC.

“The UIC (S) did participate in some workers struggles at this time, such as “project syndicate of Abadan” and “Union of worker councils of Gilan” and also joined the war against the Islamic Republic in Kurdistan (and formed a guerrilla organization in Kurdistan named “Tashkilate Pishmargeye Zahmatkeshane Kordestan”). UIC (S) did also participate in peasant struggles in Turkaman, Sahra and Arab protests in Khuzistan. It also formed front organization such as “Militant Women Society” and “SETAD (Revolutionary Mass Organization of university and school Students).”  [Source: Wikipedia]

There were internal struggles in the organisation that the Islamic regime had lost all its progressive characteristics that despite the regime’s defiance of the United States, its attacks on non-Islamic forces inside Iran meant that opposition to the regime would be the principal characteristic. There were expression that sought retrenchment rather than adventurism, or the approaches to other militant groups. One ‘close fit’ identified as potential unity target was Peykar, in the West often referred to as the Marxist Mojahedin. It was a secular splinter group from the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMoI), the largest of Iran’s guerrilla groups. Its members broke away from the PMoI to support of secular Marxism Leninism, rather than the Leftist Islamist modernism of the People’s Mujahedin. Maziar Behrooz – sympathetic to the the Fadaiyan, one of the many Marxist organizations that fought to bring down the Shah of Iran, concludes that with the failure to reach agreement with the Peykar over a possible merger, UIC “had become a minor player in the movement”.

[Source: Behrooz, Rebels With A Cause: The failure of the Left in Iran. London: I. B. Tauris, 2001]

From exile in Paris, Mujahedin leader Masoud Rajavi was instrumental in the establishment of the National Council of Resistance (NCR) emphasizing a Programme of democracy to work for the overthrow of the Khomeini regime. Within Iran armed opposition with bombings and assassinations continued. In the aftermath of the Mujahedin uprising in September 1981 uprising the struggle within Iran took on a clearer picture with smaller left-wing opposition groups, including the Fedayeen (Fedayân in Persian language), and the Maoist Union of Iranian Communists engaged in small-scale insurgency against the forces of the Islamic Republic..

The Union of Iranian Communists (Sarbedaran) adopted people’s war as a line of struggle of the party. Around 200 of the group members went into hiding in the forests around the Caspian town of Amol in September, 1981 to set up a base area. They staged sporadic attacks for food and necessities until accelerating activity when they closed the Haraz Road 15 km to Amol in Mazandaran Province on November 9th.      amol map

Although Iran was in the middle of a war with Iraq, on November 13th, Iranian armed forces dispersed the group which had to retreat further into depths of the forest. Some casualties were reported on both sides. As a result of this serious encounter, the group lost nearly half of its members. Two days later, another communist group attacked a military post 30 km from Amol. On Dec, 21, 1981, the guerrillas attacked a newly established military post, but were forced to retreat. On Jan, 3, 1982, during clashes with the Pasdaran – the Informal name for the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution (the Iranian Revolutionary Guards) – one of the guerrilla leaders was killed.

1982 Amol uprising  

  1982 amol uprising

1982 the UIC (S) mobilized forces in forests around Amol and launched an armed uprising on 25 January 1982, led by Siamak Zaim. The first target was the Basij building that housed the paramilitary volunteer militia established in 1979 by order of Ayatollah Khomeini. Then they started building barricades and making announcements asking people to join them. Their expectation to stage a public uprising did not find much support. People backed the military and took arms against the communist guerrillas killing eleven in front of the Basij building. But the civilian death toll was reportedly also high at 40 people.

The uprising was eventually a failure and the group went through a difficult period with most of its leadership and cadres arrested or killed. Zaim was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard after they retook Amol by force, and eventually executed in 1984.

The analysis of the Amol Uprising from another leftist perspective was, not unsurprisingly, more critical than that of the UCI and its successor organisations.

“The ill-prepared operation was intended to ignite mass urisings throughout the country, but was instead disastrous. Calling themselves the Sarbedaran (literally ‘those who are ready to be hanged’), the attackers carried out the operation at a time when differences within the organisation had reached fever pitch, the vital disagreement between those proposing retreat and those calling for an offensive against the IRI (- the Islamic Republic of Iran). The 1982 operation showed the latter had the upper hand, but the fiasco engulfed both factions. After 48 hours the attackers retreated into the jungle, and by the summer were uprooted by IRI forces, over 250 members were arrested and later executed. Among those executed were such notables of anti-Shah activity abroad as Siyamk Za’im, Abdol Rahman Azmaiesh, Hosein Riahi (alias Puya), mastermind of the military operation, and Farid and Vahid sari’olqalam.”

[Source: Behrooz, Rebels With A Cause: The failure of the Left in Iran. London: I. B. Tauris, 2001.]

Aftermath

The UCI were not the only left-wing group to be militarily defeated by the forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran as the government responded to the armed challenge of the guerrilla groups by expanded use of the Pasdaran in counterintelligence activities and by widespread arrests, jailings, and executions. Further campaigns in 1983 reduced rebel control over the countryside, and the Kurdish Democratic Party had to move its headquarters to Iraq, from which it made forays into Iran. By the end of 1983, key leaders of the Fadayan, Paykar (a Marxist-oriented splinter group of the Mojahedin), the Union of Communists, and the Mojahedin in Iran had been killed, thousands of the rank and file had been executed or were in prison, and the organizational structure of these movements was gravely weakened. Only the Mojahedin managed to survive, and even it had to transfer its main base of operations to Kordestan, and later to Kurdistan in Iraq, and its headquarters to Paris.

The pro-Soviet Communist Party of Iran, the Tudeh party had secured itself a measure of freedom during the first three years of the regime by declaring loyalty to Khomeini and supporting the clerics against liberal and left-wing opposition groups. But the party’s position deteriorated in 1982, as relations between Iran and the Soviet Union grew more strained over such issues as the war with Iraq and the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. The government began closing down Tudeh publications as early as June 1981, and in 1982 members of the Tudeh as agents of a foreign power. In February 1983, the government arrested Tudeh leader Nureddin Kianuri, other members of the party Central Committee, and more than 1,000 party members. The party was proscribed, and Kianuri confessed on television to spying for the Soviet Union and to “espionage, deceit, and treason.”

In the early days of the Islamic Republic’s campaign against leftist organizations, the smaller groups bore the brunt of the clerics’ attacks. The regime arrested and executed party leaders, decimating their organizational structures well before the interrogations, torture, executions and forced disappearances of political prisoners during the summer of 1988 constituted a widespread and systematic effort by the Islamic Republic to eliminate all political opposition. The exact number of prisoners executed is not known. Estimates deaths range from the regime’s official declaration of “fewer than a thousand” to “estimates that 4,500 to 5,000 prisoners were executed that summer”.

[Source: Iran Human Rights Documentation Center.(2009) Deadly Fatwa: Iran’s 1988 Prison Massacre. New Haven, Connecticut]

In spring 1983 the 4th council of Union of Iranian Communists was held attempting to reorganise, however state repression resulted in most of the leadership and cadres being arrested and shot in that year’s wave of repression unleashed by the regime. The UIC, along with the other Iranian leftist forces were disrupted and neutralised within the country. In 1985 the UIC had again tried to organize militant struggle against the Islamic Republic but, again, this ended in failure. After this year they mainly operated in Kurdistan and abroad. Although “In the late ’80s they dropped some of their old slogans and strategies such as “Peoples’ war in rural areas and uprising in cities”, “Revolution Path” etc. Instead they launched a new strategy and their slogan became “Protracted People’s War: siege the cities via villages”. [Source Wikepedia]

In 1984 the remnants of the UIC in exile were active in the re-groupment of Maoist organizations from all over the world, in the founding of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement. It was central to the publication of Jahani Baraye Fath (جهانی برای فتح, a Persian translation of the RIM publication ‘A World to Win’). UIC militants in London were active in maintaining the organisational task as a central contact for RIM. Politically they followed the development within RIM – signatories to the 1993 Declaration, Long Live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism! formulated their political stance. UIC members held the ‘Founding Congress of Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist)’, duly established on May Day, 2001, publishing the magazine Haghighat (حقیقت, Persian for ‘Truth’). It has an internet presence with English language pages

In the new century the successor organisation CPI (MLM) , its membership mainly outside of Iran engaged in public polemics with  other parties (eg  Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan http://sholajawid.org/ ) and supported the new synthesis of “communist theory” by the RCP, USA leader Bob Avakian that resulted in the disintegration of RIM.

****

The Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) published on the 32nd anniversary of Amol Uprising (24th of January 1982) this memorial article:

The History Proved who the imperialist lackeys are

It is about 30 years since comrade Behrooz Fathi — a leader of the Union of Communists of Iran (Sarbedaran) and one of the Amol insurrectionists while under arrest and savage torture by the Islamic rulers, shot back at his torturers and interrogators who were accusing the Union of Communists of Iran and the armed insurrection of Sarbedaran in Amol of being an ‘American’ project, that: History will prove who the imperialist lackys are!

For those revolutionary communists who had organized and led the Sarbedaran insurrection it was clear that the ‘anti-imperialism’ of the Islamic reaction ruling in Iran was nothing but imposing a more horrendous version of the same system of oppression and exploitation which existed under the Shah, while adding to it religious obscurantism and religious tyranny. Thirty Four years of Islamic Republic of Iran had proven that the Islamist rulers in Iran never set their foot outside the capitalist imperialist system. The fact that the ideological roots and social program of the IRI goes back as deep as 1400 years in history but this was not in contradiction with the fact that this regime tightened the totality of economic life of Iran into the world network of capitalist imperialist system even deeper that the Shah and by carrying out super exploitation of the life of more 70 million people have delivered unimaginable wealth to the imperialist system. This regime while trumpeting ‘anti-imperialism’ has been tightening its life cord to the world system even tighter and today has prepared to enter into unity and solidarity with the imperialist powers more openly in order to keep its lifeline which is dependent on the world capitalist system continuing.

Indeed the history proved who the lackeys of imperialism are!

Islamic Republic’s ‘anti-imperialism’ was on the one hand a bargaining process with the imperialist powers in order to consolidate the position of the Islamist strata of the comprador-feudal class of Iran and on the other hand it was to impose the outmoded Islamic ideology, morality, culture and values in opposition to the equally outmoded ideology and values that the Shah’s regime had imposed on the society with the help of the imperialists. This opposition was an all and all reactionary opposition and the rule of the theocratic regime in Iran, a regime which has mixed State and religion has been among the main sources of unprecedented degeneration and backwardness in the social relations among the people including intensification of oppression of women, spread of old culture and values, ignorance and superstition by leaps and bounds.

The Islamic Republic inaugurated its system with a crack down on women’s rising against imposition of Islamic morality and traditions, with suppression of the just struggles of the oppressed nations in Khuzestan, Kurdistan and Turkmen-Sahara, by attacking freedom of thought and artistic creation and revolutionary movements of the workers and toiling masses of Iran and it consolidated its regime with massacre of the enlightened vanguards of the people whom it had captured – the political prisoners. It was against this regime that the Union of Communists of Iran called upon the people in 1981 to rise up and join the insurrection to overthrow the regime. The October 1981 statement of Sarbedaran called:

“Oh People of Iran! The Islamic Republic, Khomeini and his cohorts are nothing but an ensemble of clerical filth, tyranny and bullying. The fraudulent Khomeini has restored the despotic monarchy in its religious version and upon the tortured and mutilated bodies of our young revolutionaries. The regime of whiplash and gallows of Khomeini and company sheds the blood of hundreds of youth and teens, men and women and even the children of our people every day. The sounds of gunning down of the people in countless prisons and detention centers of the Islamic Republic are heard all over. Monstrosity and crimes of Khomeini and his band have made the whole nation mournful and have pushed the country towards complete decadence and collapse. The regime of ignorance, arrogance and backbiting of this swindler old fox have brought stagnation and destruction to industry, agriculture, science and national culture and destroyed individual and social security and well-being in our country. Oh workers comrades! Toiling brothers and sisters of every city and countryside! Let us stand up with one heart and united! Fear not the hollow browbeating and empty artillery and gunfire of this bunch of wicked hoodlums. We must burn down throne and courts of this rude bunch that have in their brainless heads a dream of monarchial rule.”

Defeat of Sarbedaran insurrection and other revolutionary struggles in other parts of the country, especially in Kurdistan meant consolidation of the Islamic regime. Despite of 32 years of passing of the defeat of Sarbedaran insurrection still the memory and lessons and its historical call resonates that the only road to liberation is through overthrow of the Islamic Republic system in its totality and establishment of a radically different and new political power and state—an state which not only does not belong to the capitalist class and its servants and is not based on any of the ideological-cultural institutions, values and traditions of this class but it aims to uproot all this and has a completely opposite class character to the ruling reaction. The name of this state is Dictatorship of Proletariat and it aims to rely on the conscious masses of people and annihilate all forms of and all roots of oppression, discrimination, exploitation, ignorance and suppression.

Thirty two years after the Sarbedaran insurrection, the necessity of a revolutionary movement for overthrow of the Islamic Republic and establishment of a proletarian state continues – a challenge before the society especially its communist vanguards. That without seizing political power all is illusion and that seizing political power is impossible without leadership of a revolutionary communist party with a correct political and ideological line continues to be true.

The lessons of defeated revolution of 1979 as well as the Sarbedaran insurrection clearly demonstrates that without intervention of the revolutionary communist forces, with a revolutionary vision and program there will never be a change in the situation towards emancipation of the people and the society will fall from bad to worse situations. If we, the revolutionary communists fail to play our role in the intense and increasing crisis in this society and in the world, again and again the reactionary forces of one kind or another will occupy the scene and become the main players. In order to realize this urgent historic task today we need more than ever a solid core of the revolutionary communists who are equipped with the highest achievements and levels of understanding of the International Communist Movement and become, in Iran as well as the region the principal players on the political stage.

In 1980s a just war was initiated by Sarbedaran for overthrow of the Islamic Republic which represented the interests of the majority of the people of Iran against the reaction of capital, imperialism and Islam. The realization of those goals and political tasks continues to be the only way for emancipation of the majority of the people of this society and depends on the forces which have a new understanding and awareness of the libratory character of the future society and are preparing the revolution – a revolution of the kind of the socialist revolutions of 20th century in Russia and China but at the same time very different from them and unprecedented in the human history.

CPIMLM

January 22, 2014

 

 

120. Is the East Still Red?

A redundant question one would think.

Academics like Joseph W. ESHERICK, Martin Hart-Landsberg work, the American magazine Monthly Review, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal in Australia along with the myriad of leftist schools of thought and old friends of China like the American William Hinton and China resident Fred Engst have all covered the restoration of capitalism in post-Mao China.

Support for the present Chinese regime is far from likely to come from sources formerly considered revisionists by the Communist Party of China, such as the Communist Party of India (Marxist), and the occasional apologetic from the pro-China trend such as the American Freedom Road Socialist Organisation. 

Even long-term supporters like JOSE MARIA SISON ,founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines, said in a 2016 interview with New Culture Magazine associated with Communist Reconstruction Union of Brazil

”Indeed, the Dengist counter-revolution resulted in the restoration of capitalism in China and its integration in the world capitalist system. By Lenin’s economic definition of modern imperialism, China has become imperialist. Bureaucrat and private monopoly capital has become dominant in Chinese society. It is exporting surplus capital to other countries. Its capitalist enterprises combine with other foreign capitalist enterprises to exploit third countries and the global market. China colludes and competes with other imperialist countries in expanding economic territory, such as sources of cheap labor and raw materials, fields of investments, markets, strategic vantage points and spheres of influence.

However, China has not yet engaged in a war of aggression to acquire a colony, a semi-colony, protectorate or dependent country. It is not yet very violent in the struggle for a redivision of the world among the big capitalist powers, like the US, Japan, Germany and Italy behaved in joining the ranks of imperialist powers. It is with respect to China’s contention with more aggressive and plunderous imperialist powers that may be somehow helpful to revolutionary movements in an objective and indirect way. China is playing an outstanding role in the economic bloc BRICS and in the security organization Shanghai Cooperation Organization beyond US control.”

China has also seen the rise of a vocal political movement of “neo-Maoists” — militant leftists who espouse many of the utopian egalitarian ideas that China’s current leaders have largely abandoned. In 2015 self-styled “Chinese Maoist communists” from 13 provinces and cities held a two-day secret meeting in Luoyang City in central China’s Henan province. The manifesto they published afterwards online was nothing less than a call for revolution to overthrow the current system, which they claimed had evolved into a “bourgeois fascist dictatorship led by bureaucrat monopolist capitalists”.

Explaining China


Pao-yu Ching’s ‘China: Socialist Development and Capitalist Restoration’

https://anakbayanph.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/pao-yu-chings-china-socialist-development-and-capitalist-restoration/

Listen on Soundcloud

https://soundcloud.com/user-13426083/red-state-read-along-china-socialist-development-and-capitalist-restoration-by-pao-yu-ching


Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)

2012 13th National Congress Resolution on China noted

“that the restorationists in China have the upper hand and that the most likely future for China is one of further embedding capitalist practices at the expense of the interests of the Chinese workers and peasants. “

2018 published,

EXPLAINING CHINA: How a socialist country took the capitalist road to social-imperialism

http://www.cpaml.org/web/uploads/Explaining+China+Final+v2.pdf


Communist Party of India (Maoist)

China: A Modern Social-Imperialist Power

: An Integral Part of the Capitalist-Imperialist System [2017]

Also 2019 text primarily written by Ragnar V. Røed, to a large degree based on the document from the Communist Party of India (Maoist)

China – A Social Imperialist Power


Marxistisch-Leninistische Partei Deutschlands (MLPD)

From the Restoration of Capitalism to Social Imperialism in China

German edition May 1981, Kommunistischer Arbeiterbund Deutschlands (KABD)
(Communist Workers’ League of Germany)

English edition October 1987, published by the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD)

Publishing house: Neuer Weg Verlag und Druck GmbH, Germany

https://www.mlpd.de/chinese/2019/from-the-restoration-of-capitalism-to-social-imperialism-in-china [Improved English edition 2019]

See previous post 111. MLPD not joining the party

Stefan Engel [2017]

On the Emergence of the New-Imperialist Countries

http://neuerweg.de:8094/mlpd/en/On%20the%20Emergence%20of%20the%20New-Imperialist%20Countries_EN.pdf


New Zealand

Is China an Imperialist Country? Considerations and Evidence

By N. B. Turner, et al. [2014]

http://www.bannedthought.net/International/Red-Path/01/RP-8.5×11-IsChinaAnImperialistCountry-140320.pdf

An earlier text from Ray Nunes of the Workers’ Party of New Zealand on

The Restoration of Capitalism in China

https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/new-zealand/nunes-marx-mao/nunes-restoration.htm [1995?]

 

Compass Points North

A brief blossom appeared in the Chinese media in May 1971 that proposed Programme for Anti-Imperialist Struggle. Was here the international lead and guidance that some in the international communist movement had desired from Mao’s China? Referencing the 1970 statement “People of the World, Unite and Defeat the US Aggressors and All Their Running Dogs!”[i] it asserted it had “become a programme for the anti-imperialist struggle waged by the Chinese people together with the revolutionary people throughout the world.”

It voiced the constant refrain that the “danger of a new world war still exists…but revolution is the main trend in the world today.” However it targeted the common enemy as only U.S. imperialism and argued that “revolution is the main trend in the world today”. It identified Indochina as the main battlefield in the world people’s struggle against U.S. imperialism wrongly asserting that “the battlefields in the whole of Indochina have merged into one”. Equally it conflated the struggles in America , describing them rhetorically as “violent revolutionary storms” :

“The people of the United States are dealing heavier and heavier blows from within at U.S. imperialism, the world’s ferocious enemy, – and they have become an important vigorous force in the world people’s struggle against U.S.imperialism.”

This heightened exhaltation and hyperobole full of “fresh victories” contained a solidary reference to “social-imperialism, too, finds the going tougher and tougher.”

This “Programme for Anti-Imperialist Struggle”[ii] clearly stated the strategic line that “the international united front against U.S. imperialism is an important magic weapon for the world people to defeat U.S. imperialism and all its running dogs.”

It was a rhetorical address behind the times, not synchronised to the political compass, a misleading media appearance at a time when China was recalibrating its strategic foreign policy concerns, partly following a report submitted by Four Marshals that assessed the strategic threat to China.

1969, in mid-May, Zhou Enlai at Mao’s behest asked four veteran marshals— Chen Yi, Ye Jianying, Xu Xiangqian, and Nie Rongzhen—to “pay attention to” international affairs. He urged them to meet “two to three times a month” to discuss “important issues” of international security and to provide the CCP Central Committee (CC) with their suggestions.[iii]

Only Mao, Zhou, the four marshals, and their two assistants—Xiong Xianghui, a high-ranking intelligence and foreign service officer and Yao Guang, the director-general of the Foreign Ministry’s Department of European and American Affairs—knew about the study group.

Mao reading the People’s Daily in his study room (Apr 20, 1961)

The tense international context in which they met was for China a war scare.

The four marshals first focused on relations with Moscow just as the Sino-Soviet border clashes were breaking out; although they saw the Soviets as dangerous, they doubted that Moscow intended to launch war against China. The incidents brought the two countries to the brink of a major military confrontation.

Soviet leaders even considered conducting a pre-emptive nuclear strike against China. Henry Kissinger claimed in his memoirs that in August 1969 a Soviet diplomat in Washington inquired “what the U.S. reaction would be to a Soviet attack on Chinese nuclear facilities.” [iv]

Later that year the Western press also reported rumours of Soviet plans to strike at Chinese nuclear bases. The Soviet leadership had a track record: the Brezhnev doctrine provided post-facto justification for Soviet tanks in Prague and regime change to defend “existing socialism”. Whether these overtures reflected actual planning or were merely part of a disinformation campaign to exert psychological pressure on Chinese leaders is uncertain.

When the border fighting intensified in August 1969, marshals Chen Yi and Ye Jianying worried about a confrontation with Moscow and proposed playing the “card of the United States.” [v] In a separate report, Chen proposed high-level talks with the U.S. in order to solve basic problems in the relationship. The ideological confrontation of the anti-revisionist struggle had taken on a new character when it took on the character of conflict between nation states: the Soviet Union by the late 1960s had become China’s number one threat, whereas the United States was perceived as becoming less threatening.

When a group of four marshals recommended that Chairman Mao “play the American card” against the Soviet threat and even undertake high-level talks with the U.S.- to improving relations with the United States—the number one imperialist country- they faced a receptive opponent. Nixon had sent a signal as far back as 1967 in a Foreign Affairs article discussing the need to normalize relations with China, he had written “There is no place on this planet for a billion of its potentially able people to live in angry isolation.”

On the orders of Mao Zedong, People’s Daily published a translation of the full text of Nixon’s inaugural address. In the address, Nixon said,

“Let all nations know that during this administration our lines of communication will be open. We seek an open world–open to ideas, open to the exchange of goods and people–a world in which no people, great or small, will live in angry isolation.”

The report by the Four Marshals’ Study Group provided Chinese leaders with a strategic assessment that emphasized the benefits of improving Sino-American relations. As subsequent developments revealed, the marshals’ reports to Mao and Zhou was the catalyst for important decisions regarding the United States, paving the way for the Sino-American rapprochement.

In an interview with Time magazine in October 1970, Nixon declared that he viewed China as a world power. He observed,

“Maybe that role won’t be possible for five years, maybe not even ten years. But in 20 years it had better be, or the world is in mortal danger. If there is anything I want to do before I die, it is to go to China. If I don’t, I want my children to go.”

Mao set the foreign policy agenda and guidelines on his own: a front page photograph in the People’s Daily intended by Mao as a signal to the Americans (which they missed), on 1 October 1970 (National Day), Mao had journalist Edgar Snow stand by him at the Gate of Heavenly Peace during the parade.

Mao, together with Lin Biao (right) chatting with American journalist Edgar Snow on the top of Tian’anmen Tower (Oct 1, 1970)

Several months later, Snow met with Mao for five hours of talks on 18 December 1970 during which the Chairman was reported as saying:

[T]he foreign ministry was studying the matter of admitting Americans from the left, middle, and right to visit China. Should rightists like Nixon, who represented the monopoly capitalists, be permitted to come? He should be welcomed because, Mao explained at present the problems between China and the US would have to be solved with Nixon. Mao would be happy to talk with him, either as a tourist or as President.

Snow made it public in Life magazine at the end of April 1971.

In sending China’s ping-pong team to Japan and inviting the U.S. team to China in the spring of 1971, Mao overruled the recommendations of the Foreign Ministry. The advent of ping-pong diplomacy – political use of a sport in which the Chinese were world champions, and thus were ‘number one

There were confidence building measures, expressions of friendship and dismantling of isolationist measures (such as recognition of passports) detailed in Yafeng Xia account of the developing renewed relationship between China and America.[vi]

By July 1971 Kissinger was in China in conversation with Zhou Enlai making assurances on Taiwan that the Chinese saw as a precondition for normalization. It opened the way for Nixon’s February 1972 trip.

Yafeng Xia[vii] argued that: Although the radical leftists may have been wary of an abrupt change of policy toward the erstwhile “number one enemy,” the United States, they deferred to Mao’s views and competed for Mao’s favour. Their dependence on Mao’s patronage greatly limited their room to oppose him. Thus, although they were strong supporters of the Cultural Revolution and of radical policies abroad, they were unwilling to confront Mao on policy toward the United States.

Nixon and Jiang Qing during his visit to China in 1972.                           Nixon and  Jiang Qing during his visit to China in 1972.

Throughout this period, Mao made all important decisions regarding China’s policy toward the United States. Chinese documents and memoirs confirm that neither Lin nor other radical leaders played any appreciable role in, or mounted any opposition to China’s policy toward the United States. Western academics argued that the evidence indicates that Lin himself was not opposed to the Sino-American rapprochement. Whatever the convenient charges made after his death, Lin’s flight north after the failed assassination planning is seen as an act of survival not allegiance.

Through Ambassador Huang Zhen in Paris, the Chinese leaders notified Washington that the Lin Biao incident in September 1971 would not change China’s attitude toward the United States and that China would proceed with the preparation for Nixon’s visit.

 China’s changing perception of its national interest’s largely determined Sino-American relations, with the Soviet threats to China, epitomised by the Sino-Soviet border clash in March 1969 and the Soviet-Vietnamese defence treaty in November 1978, facilitated Richard Nixon’s historic trip in 1972 to normalisation of relations in 1979. And the US played the China Card as Soviet third-world interventions, especially in Africa, were also factors in the U.S. opening to China.

The chairman considered Sino-American rapprochement an ultimate success of his long-term struggle against US imperialists, as it compelled Nixon to drop US anti-China policy. Upon hearing Nixon’s triumphant remark that his trip to China ‘changed the world’, Mao, therefore, satirically observed that ‘I think the world changed him’[viii]

Mao’s foreign policy goal as ‘mobilizing the Third World against both the capitalist-imperialist power, the US, and the social-revisionist power, the USSR’. That focus narrowed: In February 1973, he famously urged Kissinger to forge ‘a horizontal line’, consisting of the United States, Japan, China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, and Western Europe, to ‘commonly deal with a bastard’[ix]

Observers schooled in the rhetoric of the Cultural Revolution evoke the anti-Japanese war and alliance with the Kuomintang to couch policy in an ideologically coherent way; tactical united front with a less immediately dangerous adversary (the “secondary enemy”) against a more dangerous foe (the “principal enemy”). For political opponents a “tacit alliance,” as Henry Kissinger characterized it, quickly took shape between Beijing and Washington.[x]  

Some foreign policy concerns and positions that shaped China’s foreign relations were the very public hostility to the intentions of the Soviet Union that identified “competition between the two superpowers” (and promoted the strategic focus of U.S.-Soviet rivalry as in Europe) . China said U.S. economic and political influence in the world had declined. However Superpower rivalry for ‘world hegemony’ had become ‘more fierce’, with détente as ‘camouflage’. China increasingly throughout the 1970s identifying the Soviet Union as the aggressive power. The Chinese kept warning about the peril of potential war: China’s hostile attitude towards détente did not subside even as China’s domestic revolutionary ideology disappeared.

Mao’s well-known theory of the three worlds, first laid out in his talk with Zambian Mao and FriendsPresident Kenneth Kaunda February 1974, symbolised his abandonment of the ‘horizontal line’. In part, the Three Worlds Theory implied a retreat from Mao’s united front strategy against the United States in the 1960s aimed at assisting local insurgents and arousing proletarian revolution around the world. Nor was it simply a focus on the strategic state relations or reiteration of his previous international statements that reflected on “international class struggle.” Arguably the theory’s basis highlighted “development” as a question of fundamental importance for China. In early 1975, with Mao’s approval, “Four Modernizations” (first publicly raised in 1964) re-entered China’s domestic affairs. In a speech at the National People’s Congress the target was set that China should aim to modernize its industry, agriculture, national defence, and science and technology by the end of the century.

September 1977, again restored to leadership, Deng Xiaoping explained that ‘the international situation has undergone many changes; many old concepts and old formulas do not reflect reality, and past strategies are also not consistent with the current reality’. Deng redefined China’s domestic and foreign policies and re-embarked on ‘the great march toward the four modernizations’ with a strategy to modernize China by turning to the West. As Chen Jian’s study of the changing relations between the two countries notes:

“A historical review of the development of Chinese-American relations reveals that during four-fifths of the twentieth century, China and the United States were allies, tacit allies, or constructive partners. Only during one-fifth of the time were they adversaries.”[xi]

Chen suggests that from a Chinese perspective, the global Cold War ended in many key senses during the mid-to-late 1970s. That post-Mao transition in policy explored by Minami (and in line with most observers) concludes “After late 1978, however, Mao’s China was no more”


 

ENDNOTES

[i] Mao Tse-tung (Mao Zedong)

People Of The World, Unite And Defeat The U.S. Aggressors And All Their Running Dogs  Peking Review (23 May, 1970)

[ii] Renmin Ribao (1971) A Programme for Anti-Imperialist Struggle Peking Review No.21 May 21st 1971

[iii] Xiong Xianghui, (1992) “The Prelude to the Opening of Sino-American Relations,” Zhonggong dangshi ziliao [CCP History Materials] No. 42 (June 1992), formerly an aide to Zhou Enlai, had been the secretary to this special study group tasked by Chairman Mao in 1969 to review China’s strategic policy.

[iv] See Kissinger, White House Years Simon & Schuster .2011: 183

[v] “Report by Four Chinese Marshals, Chen Yi, Ye Jianying, Nie Rongzhen, and Xu Xiangqian, to the Central Committee, ‘Our Views about the Current Situation’ (Excerpt),” September 17, 1969, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Zhonggong dangshi ziliao, no. 42 (June 1992), pp. 84-86.

[vi] Yafeng Xia (2006) China’s Elite Politics and Sino-American Rapprochement, January 1969–February 1972 Journal of Cold War Studies Vol. 8, No. 4, Fall 2006, pp. 3–28

 [viii] Personal Experience and Eyewitness Account: Memoirs of Huang Hua. (Beijing: Shijie zhishi chubanshe, 2008).   Quoted in Kazushi Minami (2016): Re-examining the end of Mao’s revolution: China’s changing statecraft and Sino-American relations, 1973–1978,  Cold War History 16:4 (2016): 359-375

[ix] Memorandum of Conversation, February 17–18, 1973, FRUS, 1969–1976, vol. XVIII, Doc. 12. Quoted in Kazushi Minami (2016): Re-examining the end of Mao’s revolution: China’s changing statecraft and Sino-American relations, 1973–1978,  Cold War History 16:4 (2016): 359-375. 

 [ix] Chen Jian. From Mao to Deng: China’s Changing Relations with the United States .CWIHP Working Paper 92 November 2019 https://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/cwihp_wp_92_chen_jian_from_mao_to_deng_chinas_changing_relations_with_us_november_2019_0.pdf

[x] Kissinger to Nixon, “My Trip to Peking, June 19-23, 1972,” 6/27/72, Box 851, NSF, Nixon Presidential Material, p. 2, National Archive. Quoted in Chen Jian. From Mao to Deng: China’s Changing Relations with the United States . CWIHP Working Paper 92 November 2019

 

Mao and Zhou Enlai meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (Feb 17, 1973)93780

118. Political Art, MRPP-style

In Portugal , prior to April 1974, political graffiti rapidly scribbled subversive political sayings waged against the fascist regime had been employed to express opposition to the “New State”.

Developments after saw “elaborated mural paintings were already being made, inspired by other revolutionary muralist traditions such as the Mexican and the Chinese ones. The new atmosphere of political freedom and social experimentation paved the way for revolutionary political messages to be inscribed in visible and accessible public spaces.” [André Carmo]

Mural na Sede Nacional do PCTP-MRPP, Avenida Álvares Cabral..png

Mural na Sede Nacional do PCTP-MRPP, Avenida Álvares Cabral.

The explosion of popular street art and wall murals as a communication form was not restricted to the MRPP, by far the largest number of murals were carried out by the rival militants of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) throughout the country.   The mural paintings made by the PCTP/MRPP in aftermath of the 1974 Portuguese revolution were subject to academic study of the MRPP aesthetics in André Carmo’s article Revolutionary landscapes: the PCTP/MRPP mural paintings in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area [Finisterra, XLVI, 92, 2011, pp. 25‑2451]

These murals served as elaborate propaganda for the Maoist-inspired Proletariat Party Reorganization Movement (founded September 1970), legalized as a party on February 18, 1975, following the ending of the Salazar military dictatorship. On December 26, 1976, following the First National Congress, it was renamed the Communist Party of Portuguese Workers, with the acronym PCTP / MRPP.

The production of mural paintings were deliberate acts of political intervention 1975Guide for Agitation and propaganda

in a specific moment of the national life, current politics were discussed at the Central Committee level and then went all the way down until reaching the graphic committee (…) after defining the political guidelines to apply in the paintings they were discussed in the graphics committee and the propaganda department.

1975  Guide for Agitation and propaganda

The subject matter for this political wall art were calls for support in national legislative elections i.e. “In the Assembly the voice of labor against capital!” (1)and the MRPP mural in Portalegre representing Alentejo agricultural workers, and calling for vote in legislative elections in April 1976.(2)

(1)   In the Assembly the voice of labor against capital

 

(2) MRPP mural in Portalegre representing Alentejo agricultural workers, and calling for vote in legislative elections 1976.png

 

There was support for General Ramalho Eanes’ campaign for the presidential elections in June 1976 made on the walls of the Instituto Superior Técnico: Technical University of Lisbon, (3) and Eanes’ second candidacy for presidential elections in 1981. (4) The location reflective of PCTP/MRPP base of support in the politically active youth enrolled in universities and secondary education schools of Lisbon. Carmo notes this mural painting had to face great animosity from other radical leftist organizations, above all the UDP- People’s Democratic Union. Radical left party founded in 1974. Some of the people passing by requested to be depicted in the mural painting and, consequently, some of the human figures represented were real people who had to pose for the muralists; some of them stayed near the mural painting in order to help protecting it as well as the painters, from attacks.

(3)

(4)

Mural painting on Avenida Duarte Pacheco about General Ramalho Eanes’ second candidacy for presidential elections

(5)

May 1st commemorative mural in Alcântara Mar

(6)  PCTP-MRPP mural in Alcântara commemorating the 18th of September, the date of the founding of the party.Beside the expected commemorative calls: the May 1st commemorative mural in Alcântara Mar,  (5) and later (1995) PCTP-MRPP mural in Alcântara commemorating the 18th of September, the date of the founding of the party, (6) there were the general political positions and slogans associated with the party: most memorable (7) was Only Workers Can Beat the Crisis!’ the PCTP-MRPP mural on Gomes da Costa Avenue, Cabo Ruivo, a working class neighbourhood on the outskirts of Lisbon, in September 1977. It depicted a series of popular demands in line with the political ideology underlying the PCTP/MRPP, and its location reflected the audience it want to reach with its political message.

(7)

(8)  People’s Government, the MRPP mural at the Estação de Rossio, the primary station in Lisbon for the Lisboa-Sintra suburban railway.

Governo Popular

And PCTP-MRPP mural at Instituto Superior Técnico against censorship.(9)

Mural 1

Photographs by Rosário Félix housed by the Mário Soares Foundation

Archive Source ~ The Common House portal

http://casacomum.org/cc/arquivos?set=e_7920/p_2#!e_692

will of the people
The Will of the People in the Assembly of the Republic. Vote PCTP / MRPP. Pictured is founding leader Arnaldo Matos (1939-2019).

August 29th 1967~ An Aberrant Episode

In the annuals of Modern Chinese diplomacy it was a blip in the deportment and operation of the embassy Chinese staff in clash with police and pressmen outside the Chinese legation in London. Tension erupted into violence and bloodshed at the Chinese Legation in Portland Place, London, when according to British media, a chanting mob of Chinese diplomats attacked the police and press photographers. The Chinese, wielding iron bars, bottles, clubs and an axe, charged the police who were guarding the rear entrance. Several people were reported injured during the attack.

August 1967 saw a brief explosion of some of the passion and intensity that had been generated throughout the Cultural Revolution upon the back streets of London. It was in a wider context of the struggles within the Foreign Ministry in Beijing that events spiralled outside of the normal diplomatic niceties into violent confrontation.

Floored

29th August 1967: A Chinese who was one of a mob of Chinese diplomats who attacked police and press outside the Chinese Legation in Portland Place, London. His face is splattered with blood and he is being held down on the pavement by a policeman. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

As reported at the time in Peking Review (September 8th 1967)

“BRITISH imperialism, which is rabidly opposing China, in Hong Kong, has recently adopted a series of illegal measures and committed savage acts against the Office of the Chinese Charge d’Affaires and Chinese news and commercial agencies in Britain. Apart from unwarranted restrictions on the freedom of movement in and exit from Britain of Chinese diplomatic personnel and functionaries, and their attempt to cut off normal diplomatic telecommunications of the Chinese legation, the British authorities have called out large numbers of police and special agents for round the clock cordoning off the Chinese diplomatic mission and other agencies in Britain. They have carried out repeated outrageous provocations against the Chinese personnel.”

It had been a tense summer in Anglo-Chinese relations with conflict points in Beijing, Hong Kong and London.

June 1967 saw Red Guards break into the British Legation in Beijing and assault three diplomats and a secretary. British officials in Shanghai were attacked in a separate incident, as the PRC authorities attempted to close the office there.

Throughout June–August 1967 there were mass protests in Hong Kong, and during riots in July People’s Liberation Army troops fire on British Hong Kong Police, killing 5 of them.   The commander of the Guangzhou Military Region, Huang Yongsheng, secretly suggests invading Hong Kong, but his plan was vetoed by Zhou Enlai.

On 23rd August 1967, a Red Guards sacks the British Legation in Beijing, slightly injuring the chargé d’affaires and other staff, in response to British arrests of Communist agents in Hong Kong. A Reuters correspondent, Anthony Grey, was also imprisoned by the Chinese authorities regarded as retaliation for the earlier imprisonment of communist journalists by the British in Hong Kong.

The Times

In reporting the violent incident outside the Chinese Embassy in Portland Place on 29th August 1967, the British press reports wrote of members of the Chinese Legation threatening the police with assorted utensils, of Chinese diplomats armed with iron bars and bottles attacking the police and members of the press who were waiting at the rear entrance of the embassy, in a confrontation histrionically (and briefly) labelled “The Battle Of Devonshire Close”. Pictures captured staff members of the Chinese Legation standing in front of a large portrait of Chairman Mao Tse Tung shouting anti British slogans outside the Legation in Weymouth Street. Others showed members of the Chinese legation surround a police Special Branch car in Portland Place during a violent dispute over its presence outside the legation’s offices. Some of the officials are holding copies of ‘Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong’.

 

“In the face of the brutality by the British police and special agents, Chinese legation personnel fought back in self-defence, fully displaying the courage of our Red soldiers in the diplomatic service, who are armed with Mao Tse-tung’s thought.”

Peking Review (September 8th 1967)

portland place

trophies

The clash in Devonshire Close lasted five minutes, the static stand-off all-day. An earlier fifteen minute battle, broken up by the police, had been fought in the front of the Chinese Legation between “ruffians” and Chinese officials.

***

An Aberrant Episode:

Red Diplomats Armed With Mao Tse-tung’s Thought Are Dauntless

Visitors would come for badges and copies of Mao’s Quotations – the Little Red Book- and talks with Chinese officials. Gaining “recognition” was a time-consuming vanity project for some activists seduced by the euphoria of revolutionary opposition. Good relationships with the office of the Charge d’Affaires and the Hsinhua News provided access to material, prestige and a reflective political vindication. There was another side to the relationship as Muriel Seltman’s memoirs observed:

Like others in the so-called Anti-Revisionist Movement, we regularly visited the Chinese Legation for talks on the progress of the ‘struggle’ in England. There was an element of competitiveness in this, each small group vying for the honour of ‘recognition.’ Again, we did not realise that the personnel at the legation were using us for their own advancement and their political fortunes and jobs depended upon the degree to which they could convince their superiors they were recruiting support in England for the Chinese Party. They were probably assessing the likeliest “winners” in the stakes for a new Communist Party. Everybody behaved correctly, of course, but at this time we had no idea that claiming support from abroad was part of the power struggle in China.” What’s Left? What’s Right? by Muriel Seltman

Accusations and mistrust in pro-China anti-revisionism in Britain was very evident with the MLOB explaining events through a conspiracy prism as a result of intrigues against them and in favour of all the elements seeking to disrupt the developing Marxist-Leninist Organisation. As far as this minor English group were concerned, they saw themselves as the victims of “the Foreign Ministry and diplomatic service of the People’s Republic of China [that] were already dominated by counter-revolutionary agents of the Chinese capitalist class long before the “cultural revolution” began.” See: Report of the Central Committee of the M.L.O.B. On the Situation in the People’s Republic of China. London: Red Front Special edition, January 1968

After all, no mention was made in the ‘publication of recognition’, the daily bulletins of the Hsinhua News Agency, of the Action Centre for Marxist-Leninist Unity, nor of the Conference of Marxist-Leninist Unity held in September 1967, nor of the Marxist-Leninist Organisation of Britain set up by that Conference! Except on one occasion, no invitations to receptions and film-shows at the Office of the Chinese Charge d’Affaires were extended to leading members of the group, and people who had long been on the official invitation list of the Chinese Charge d’Affaires office were dropped from it as soon as their membership in the M.L.O.B. became known. “It is clearly no accident” claimed the MLOB that an expelled member was closely associated with “the representatives of the People’s Republic of China in London”. Furthermore, “Certain diplomatic representatives of the People’s Republic of China in London went so far as to disseminate verbally slanderous attacks against certain of the leading members of the A.C.M.L.U. and later of the M.L.O.B…. In general, the office of the Charge d’Affaires and the Hsinhua News Agency gave support and publicity respectively to “broad organisations” of friendship with China, such as the “Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding, Ltd.” and the “Friends of China”…. an organisation of friendship with China as one to foster support for the faction headed by Mao Tse-tung; it functions, therefore, as a propaganda arm of the Chinese capitalist class in Britain, and also, through its “leftist”, “revolutionary” pronouncements, as a net to catch anti-revisionists and divert them from the developing Marxist-Leninist Organisation of Britain.” – Red Front, January 1968

Drawn from, Sam Richards The Rise & Fall of Maoism: the English Experience (2013)

portland placeSource: Peking Review

…….Meanwhile, back in China

The convulsive moment in London had domestic roots in Mao’s ambiguous call to “revolutionise” foreign affairs. Like much of the Cultural Revolution experience, spontaneity rather than a planned programme lay at the heart of the confusion that ensued. It is easy to inject here a quotation from Mao that “revolution is not a dinner party”, that mass movements have their own dynamics and that, as Mao acknowledged, things develop unexpectedly and beyond any individual’s control. Behind this incident was the fervour of what had arisen from the mass struggle for supervision that characterised the Cultural Revolution. It is tempting to judge the clash in London as a by-product of the Cultural Revolution on the mainland given the timing and context of the event. However one should question the superficial attribution by cold war warrior, Arthur Cohen when he argued that central was Mao’s craving, an egotistical desire to disseminate to foreign countries “Mao’s cult” (in his 1968 CIA study, on Red Guard Diplomacy). There was a purpose to the propaganda activities of Chinese missions abroad seeking to demonstrate their loyalty to Mao Zedong Thought [see earlier posting, Reaching Out: Global Maoism].

Mao Zedong / Mao TseTung, on 9 September 1966, declared that in all foreign affairs offices abroad there should be a ” revolutionization” ~ The immediate consequence of Mao’s ambiguous instruction was an increase in study sessions , concealment of signs ‘ of “luxury” living , and according to Cohen, more anti – social behaviour during diplomatic functions for personal of all Chinese Oversea mission.

For a year, from the summer of 1966 until September 1967, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Peking headed by Chen Yi had come under verbal and physical challenges by local Red Guard organisations, identified later by Zhou Enlai /Chou En-lai as the Foreign Language Rebel regiment determined to carry the Cultural Revolution into the foreign affairs system

In December 1966, China had begun recalling ambassadors and senior embassy staff members back home; by late spring of 1967, only Ambassador Huang Hua in Cairo remained at his post; other embassies were left in the control of charges d’affaires. Consequently this raised questions about the morale and effectiveness of the foreign service.

In response to Mao’s call to “revolutionise” there was a ready-made target in China’s foreign minister, Chen Yi .In his self-criticism of January 24, 1967, Chen said:

“At the inception of the Great Cultural Revolution movement, I did not comprehend this Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. At that time the impact of the mass movement was overwhelming, and I did not have the proper ideological preparation for it. . . . I was apprehensive about the impact of the mass movement, fearing that it might jeopardize order and affect foreign affairs work.”

The self-criticism was first published in Huna-Wei-Pao (Red Guard Newspaper), February 8, 1967; translated in “Ch’en Yi’s Self-Criticism,” Chinese Law and Government, Vol. I, No. 1, Spring 1968, p. 54.

The ultra-left Red Guard contention in the dispute with Chen was his firm hostility to carrying the Cultural Revolution into foreign affairs circles. Chen’s intent was to maintain a relatively moderate course in foreign affairs, which in particular meant that embassies were not to become centres for ‘making [cultural] revolution” in foreign countries,  and continued adherence to the principle of non-interference in others affairs.

The guidelines for struggle distinguish between foreign relations and foreign policy. In interventions to stabilise the situation and deflect the attacks on Chen Yi, Chou En-lai was tireless in his efforts to minimise the disruption and damage to the foreign ministry, maintaining in meetings with Rebels the Central leadership’s position endorsed by Mao that that the Red Guards could oversee the Ministry’s work and criticize Chen Yi, but could neither take over operation of the ministry nor “overthrow” its head.

Red Guards’ response was a violent one. On May 29 about 300 of them representing one of two rebel groups raided the Ministry, forcibly removed classified material from safes. The Red Guard posters containing this information indicated that Chen Boda / Ch’en Po-ta had to intervene to demand the return of the classified state materials.

The radicals reached the peak of their power in August 1967 when they apparently gained control of the Foreign Ministry when Yao Teng-shan, the last Chinese charge d’affaires in Djakarta, who returned to Peking in April 1967 , apparently took over the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for two weeks in August. Yao Teng-shan, until late April 1967, had been the ranking CPR official in Indonesia as charge’ d’affaires ad interim. On April 28, he and Hsu Jen, the consul general in Djakarta, were declared personae non gratae by the Indonesian Government and ordered to leave the country. They were declared “red diplomat fighters” and given heroes’ welcomes. Virtually every leading member of the government (except Mao), including the entire hierarchy of the Foreign Ministry, was reportedly present to greet them at the airport.

xinhua news item

Before Yao Teng-shan brief reign ended, apparently coincident with the sacking of the British chancery in Peking, he had “wrested power from the Foreign Ministry’s Party Centre” and had “sent cables to the [Chinese] embassies in foreign countries without the permission of Chairman Mao and Premier Chou.”

The practical consideration reinforced the argument that Yao Teng-shan interim had violated China’s guiding foreign policy principles and that extremist influence in the Foreign Ministry and in the Foreign Service was doing irreparable harm to China’s image abroad as when the British embassy was occupied by Red Guards.. The mission, first been besieged on June 9, was on August 22, was set on by Red Guard and completely gutted it. The British charge d’affaires and several of his staff were reportedly beaten when they rushed out of the building.

Red Guards mass outside the British embassy gates in Beijing during the Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s.

Red Guards mass outside the British embassy gates in Beijing during the Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s.

Yao Teng-Shan was not heard from again after the August 22 Red Guard assault on the British chancery. Unofficial channels in Hong Kong subsequently related that these acts were conceived by Yao Teng-Shan, not the Peking leadership, and were responsible for his being labelled soon after as a man of mad personal ambitions. Subsequently, (June 21, 1971) The New York Times reported, on Yao Teng-Shan fate:

PEKING, June 20—A prominent Chinese diplomat accused of having been responsible for violence against foreign embassies committed during the Cultural Revolution has been imprisoned, according to reports circulating in Peking.

The diplomat, Yao Teng shan, was a member of a revolutionary group that was in control of the Foreign Ministry in August, 1967, when the office of the British charge d’affaires was burned and attacks were made on the Indonesian and Burmese embassies.

Mr. Yao, according to the reports, was taken June 11 to a mass trial in an indoor stadium in Peking, attended by 4,000 people, and denounced, He was said to have been accused of plotting in 1967 to do personal injury to Premier Chou En‐lai and of holding Chen Yi, then Foreign Minister, as a prisoner for several days.

The mass denunciation has not been mentioned in the press. However, foreign diplomats have become aware of the trial through a number of Africans and Asians who said they had been invited to attend.

The extraordinary proceedings were seen as an effort to relieve the Government of responsibility for excesses com mitted during the most convulsive stage of the Cultural Revolution, which have been a source of embarrassment. Premier Chou, who is pursuing a new pragmatic foreign policy, has been at pains to portray China as a responsible member of the world community.

Peking is seeking to strengthen its diplomatic ties in its efforts to isolate the Chiang Kai‐ shek government on Taiwan and also to gain admission into the United Nations as the sole delegation of China. Recently diplomats of non‐Communist governments have been shown new courtesies in Peking, such as being taken on more tours of the country. And in the last week army guards stationed at embassy gates have begun saluting chiefs of mission.

It was understood that Premier Chou had privately expressed his regrets to John D. Denson, the British chargé d’affaires, about the 1967 attack on the British office. Donald C. Hopson, who was then chargé d’affaires, was injured in scuffles with extremist Red Guards.

The way now seems open for an exchange of ambassadors between Britain and the People’s Republic if London closes its consulate at Tamsui, in northern Taiwan, and gives full backing to United Nations membership for Peking. At pre sent, the British and Chinese are represented in each other’s capitals at the charge d’affaires level.

In a further move to absolve the present Government of any responsibility for violations of diplomatic immunity during the Cultural Revolution, articles in the Chinese press in recent weeks have attacked leftist extremists as plotters against the Communist party and the, government.

In December, in a conversation With Edgar Snow, the American writer, Chairman Mao Tse‐tung said he was not in control of the Foreign Ministry in 1967 and 1968.

Liu Shao‐chi, the chief of state, was deposed in 1967 after Red Guards denounced him and his supporters in the government and the party.

Mr. Yao became a leading member of an extreme lefist faction that took over the Foreign Ministry after he re turned from Indonesia, where he had been charge d’affaires.

According to some reports, Chen Yi, former foreign Minister who disappeared for a number of years, attended the mass meeting, Mr. Chen, who is still a vice chairman of the influential military affairs commission of the party, showed up for the Mat time in many months at May Day celebrations this year. Chi Peng‐Fei, who is now identified as acting foreign minister, was also said to have been present at the denunciation

Zhou Enlai was quoted by a Red Guard newspaper as explaining the circumstance :

I supported the Foreign Ministry in the Central Committee [in August]. When the Foreign Ministry went to the brink, I held a meeting … I was directly responsible for running the Foreign Ministry and as a result they seized power from me. They sent telegrams directly to foreign embassies. As a result they were sent back. Yao Teng-shan went everywhere making reports and creating trouble. He went to the Ministry of Foreign Trade once. His report to the Ministry of Foreign Trade was incorrect,and was very provocative. I criticized him on the spot. The Central Committee- put forward the slogan of “Down with Liu, Teng, T’ao.” He put forward the slogan “Down with Liu, Teng, Ch’en.” How can you as a cadre at the head of department level [Yao may have become deputy head of the General Service Department of the Foreign Ministry upon his return from Indonesia] put forward such a slogan? Who gave you permission? As for sending telegrams to embassies, no one understood this. You [rebels] always want to do everything in such an absolute fashion.  ~ Huing-Wei-Pao, September 15, 1967

The general judgement is that before a semblance of order was restored to the Foreign Ministry in the autumn of 1967, its operations had been disrupted, the Foreign Minister had been subjected to unprecedented abuse and humiliation, and China’s diplomatic presence abroad had been tarnished. The aftermath reported in western intelligence briefing:

trxt

Chen Yi emerged from the prolonged encounter with his position intact defended, not only by Chou Enlai but also Comrade Chiang Ch’ing (Jiang Qing, often referred to in western publication as Madame Mao).

“Chen Yi has carried out the Chairman’s line. He has fought some good battle, and fought extremely well in the c a p t u r e of Shanghai. All the same, he has said some incorrect things. He is not, however, a plotter, and when he has made mistakes, he has corrected them a bit.” (Jiang Qing ‘s speech to Red Guards on 10 January 1967)

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This episode is  explored in “The Foreign Ministry and Foreign Affairs during the Cultural Revolution” by Melvin Gurtov (a re-working of his work for the Rand Corporation) published in The China Quarterly No. 40 (Oct. – Dec., 1969), pp. 65-10. Further investigated in the 1998 Routledge publication, Chinese Foreign Policy During the Cultural Revolution by Barbara Barnouin and Yu Changgen, which deals, in part, with the internal effects of the Cultural Revolution upon the Ministry of Foreign Affairs based largely upon interviews with former Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff and rebel leaders that were conducted in Beijing between 1991 and 1993. An interesting foreign policy overview can be found in Chinese Foreign Policy during the Maoist Era and its Lessons for Today by the MLM Revolutionary Study Group in the U.S. (January 2007)

https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/ncm-5/cpc-policy.pdf