60. Foreign Language Press, v 2.0


Revolutionary Writings” by Seamus Costello, the INLA Chief of Staff assassinated October 1977 by the Official IRA, is one of the latest volume in the “Colorful Classics” Collection published under the stewardship of Chris Kistler. He issued a call in August 2016 For a New International MLM Media that resulted in the website Redspark.

It was argued that while all Maoists could not agree on the question on universality of PPW – protracted people’s war – there was a demarcation line, an agreement on the necessity of armed struggle. “The news and articles we would post would be those from MLM, MLMZT and ML movement waging or having the strategy to wage an armed struggle to grasp the power.”

Besides carrying reports and news of international struggles, it has built a good library of 970 online articles, documents or books and collection of films and documentaries from throughout the world.

While co-ordinating the operation of the website ( and editor of Nouvelle Turquie website) and other social media outlets like facebook, Kistler is acting as the public face for a major publishing project referred to initially as Redspark and now apparently called Foreign Language Press.

A former militant of the PCmF, he now resides and works in the Nederlands, and seems suitable qualified to be at the centre of a developing International MLM Media. Kistler works for National Democratic Front (NDF) chief political consultant Jose Maria “Joma” Sison as a translator and active within the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS). It was in this capacity, at the April 2018 meeting organised by the Seamus Costello Memorial Committee’s 1916 Commemoration in Bray, Christophe Kistler read a solidarity statement from the International League of Peoples Struggle written by Jose Maira Sison founding Chairperson of the Communist Party of the Philippines. There is no conflict in interests when Specific Characteristics of our People’s War by Jose Maria Sison was reprinted in May 2017 as part of the publishing project.

Costello, an Irish Republican Marxist Leninist, joins a pantheon of maoist revolutionaries and advocates of armed revolutionary action. The most readily available material by Costello has been in the pages of Starry Plough archives and scattered around the internet.

Many of the issued titles have been available on the internet but the book remains a powerful icon and portable study material. The range of material published after a year of publishing (or rather republishing) MLM books has seen  14 different titles printed  with around 1400 books distributed (from more than 1600 book printed) in close to 20 different countries.

This printing project being non-profit, will always welcome donations. https://www.youcaring.com/worldrevolution-866714   


Distribution has been via an informal contact network that maps out a particular correlation of global maoism. The collection “Colorful Classics” is distributed in the USA by Fourth Sword Publications, an initiative of Red Guards Austin.

FSP  Fourth Sword Publications is a small press publishing effort based on an interest in creating and distributing Maoist related literature. We exist to propagate and spread Maoism by making hard to find books available in print as well as publishing new Maoist books. We wish to make these books affordable to the working class. US orders only. Email fourthswordbooks@gmail.com.


Reflecting the political impulse behind the series, book launches with Kistler have the character of political public meetings as in London in October 2016, co-hosted by Revolutionary Praxis, when a talk about the situation of the most advanced revolutionary movements in the world and of the history of the MLM movement in Britain, was followed by a book launch of the 1st volume of the first edition of “Collected Works of Communist Party of Peru” (1968~1987) and new editions of three important documents : “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism Basic Course” (CPI maoist), “Philosophical Trends in Feminist Movement” (Anuradha Ghandy) and “Minimanual of Urban Guerrilla” (Carlos Marighella).

The following week in Germany there was a book launch organized by Jugendwiderstand & Redspark in Berlin-Kreuzberg, talking about the needs of a revolutionary press publishing in the 21st century.

Latest news from April 2018 is the announcement of a Spring Thunder Tour supporting people’s war in India during which three publications will be made available: the 5th printing of the popular study text, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism Basic Course by the Communist Party of India (Maoist), Urban Perspective (an explanation of the work in the urban areas of CPI (maoist) and Post-Modernism Today by Comrade Siraj.  Facebook https://en-gb.facebook.com/redspark.nu/

If you cannot buy direct, the most readily available place to obtain copies may be at the forthcoming London Radical Bookfair on Saturday 2nd of June. Revolutionary Praxis will have a stall. The fair will be held for the third year running at Goldsmiths University, South East London. https://londonradicalbookfair.wordpress.com/

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59.One of the comrades: Rose Smith


JOHN GOLLAN, John Mahon and Bill Alexander arrived in Peking on their way to Hanoi on June 9. That evening nine British comrades who live and work in Peking (with the approval of the E.C.) went to their hotel to discuss the Party’s policy on Vietnam. (The nine comrades were: Rose Smith, Michael Shapiro, Elsie Cholmely, David Crook, Isabel Crook, Patricia Davies, Joshua Horn, Miriam Horn, Margaret Turner.)

The custom had grown up over the years that whenever British Party leaders came to Peking they arranged to meet the comrades working there. Not this time. In fact as they stepped out of the lift and saw us their faces were a study of surprise and discomfort and one of them gasped: “Good god!” Gollan did not even invite us into his room but headed off down the corridor away from us. We followed him and ourselves went for extra chairs. The meeting that followed lasted only 25 minutes, after which Gollan summarily ended it. Report from British Comrades in Peking, Vanguard Vol.2 No.5 Aug/Sept 1965

This account, recounts the communist militants then tackle the CPGB’s stress on the war’s horrors and the campaign for a negotiated settlement rather than militant support for the “the victorious fight of the Vietnamese people”.

“From the outset Gollan showed contempt for our questions-which were such as any Party member is entitled to ask. He told Rose Smith-a foundation member of the Party- that he was not going to discuss her questions seriously because they were “hostile” and she had criticised him… In fact it was Gollan who was hostile and arrogant. He neither sought our opinions as comrades, nor deigned to put his own case. He acted as a boss with underlings. We knew he was tired from travelling, but it was obviously not just tiredness that led him to announce that he would give us only 20 minutes. And when faced with a very awkward question he stood up and replied: “I’m not going to allow you to rob me of my sleep.” Then he began to undress. It was nine o’clock.”   https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/uk.secondwave/cpgb-peking.pdf

One of the comrades, Rose Smith deserves to be known as her life and struggles illustrates the interplay and importance of community, class and gender. In an article published during the Cultural Revolution, she observed,

“Born of the British working class, reared among miners and cotton textile workers, daily participating in the hardships and humiliations of their lives it was there that I had early learnt that the only way out for the working class is through proletarian revolution and the overthrow of capitalism.

In long-drawn out strikes, on picket lines, on hunger marches, and then fighting evictions I had seen the proletarian spirit of rebellion in action, daring to challenge capitalist authorities, openly defying the reactionary forces that stood in the way of progress. The struggle among the masses had been my life-blood.”

Peking Review No. 30 July 21, 1967

Israel Epstein recalls, in his memoirs “Rose Smith, an elderly but feisty journalist of pure working class origin and a founding member of the British Communist Party, worked in the official Xinhua (New China) News Agency, and for a time with us at China Reconstructs. In the arguments in the international movement she leaned towards China’s side. But rampant factionalism among Red Guards groups cut her to the heart. Whenever she could, she preached unity.

Enlisting Elsie (Israel’s wife), the two of them had once saved a man who was about to be kidnapped, “debated with”, and possibly beaten up by a rival group. Seeing him surrounded by assailants, the two tall women moved on either side of him, like protective walls, and marched to safety.”

My China Eye: Memoirs of a Jew and a Journalist .Long River Press 2005

 Graham Stevenson’s biographical account notes that “In 1960, Rose joined the staff of the official Chinese news agency in Beijing, where she remained until her death at the age of 94 years on 23rd July 1985.”

Read more on the life of the CPGB’s National Women’s Officer, union organizer, prominent member of the National Minority Movement, leader of the Women’s Hunger March, and elected to the CPGB’s Central Committee, a journalist with the Daily Worker and in the Chinese propaganda media.

Rose Smith, is naturally the subject of an academic thesis by Gisela Chan Man Fong, (1998) The times and life of Rose Smith in Britain and China, 1891-1985: an interplay between community, class and gender. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

She is also the subject of a chapter in John McIlroy, Kevin Morgan and Alan Campbell (eds), Party People, Communist Lives: Explorations in Biography. Lawrence & Wishart 2001

And has an entry on Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia.

Rosina Smith (10 May 1891 – 23 July 1985) was a British communist activist, educator and union organizer.

58. Global Maoism

Mao Zedong thought illuminates the whole world red with its boundless radiance With 19 separate national sections providing information on and primary documents from anti-revisionist movements, organisations and parties, the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line is the first web stop for any historical investigation of global maoism. EROL maintains this history that had faded into obscurity. In providing the source material from the movement it provide documents so that those studying them can draw their own conclusions on that period.

Other useful sites to explore include the MLM library provided by Redspark website that provides a developing collection of documents and author specific writings from the maoist perspective.

For many varied reasons (explored here) there was for self-identifying Maoists a distinct lack of an international experience similar to the structure and authority of the Comintern. Following the death of Mao Zedong however the identity of Maoism outside China splintered under ideological offensives launched from Albania and by organisations quickly critical of developments within China that principally grouped in RIM.

There were concerted efforts to unite global maoism into embryonic international associations like the (now defunct) Revolutionary Internationalist Movement and the broader International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR) both in its pro-Hoxha and maoist variants http://www.icor.info/about-icor .

There is an online posting of a collection of materials by and about the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement [RIM], including their official documents, statements by the Committee of RIM [CoRIM], and issues and articles from their unofficial and now defunct magazine A World to Win.

These sites are purposeful, in the words of a committed blogger:

“it is important to examine the strengths and limitations of revolutionary organizations that were once significant so as to avoid repeating past errors.  Often we tend to repeat the past’s mistakes, even when we think we are forging a new path, and there is sometimes little to know historical memory over an experience that can and should teach us something about how to organize as communists now.”

Learning From Documents of Past Struggle (continued) May 31, 2013

Contemporary Maoist organisations across the globe engage in the slow process of rebuilding an internationalist constellation on a shared understanding. In the aftermath of the demise of RIM, there were interventions on the need for a regrouping of international co-thinkers. Here is a selection of documents on the debate  in the international communist movement at that period that provides the broad outline of the arguments of the varying self-declared competing Maoist trends.

The interest in Maoism outside of China and beyond the Global South has also attracted an academic interest and growing body of literature. Some of the more accessible commentary on various aspects of global maoism include:

 Alexander Cook, ed. (2014) Mao’s Little Red Book: A Global History  Cambridge University Press

 Global Maoism and Cultural Revolution in the Global Context. Comparative Literature Studies Vol. 52, No. 1, Special Issue: (2015) Penn State University Press


Cagdas Ungor    REACHING THE DISTANT COMRADE: Chinese communist propaganda abroad (1949-1976). Binghamton University (State University of New York) 2009

 Zachary A. Scarlett   CHINA AFTER THE SINO-SOVIET SPLIT: Maoist Politics, narratives and the imagination of the world. Northeastern University (Boston, Massachusetts) March, 2013

Matt Galway   BOUNDLESS REVOLUTION: Global Maoism and communist movements in South East Asia, 1949-1979. University of British Columbia (Vancouver) July 2017

Journal Articles

Matt Galway

Global Maoism and the Politics of Localization in Peru and Tanzania. Left History Vol 17, No 2 (2013)


Dr. Matthew Galway  A SHINING BEACON: Global Maoism and Communist movements in PERU and CAMBODIA, 1965-1992


Julia Lovell  The Cultural Revolution and Its Legacies in International Perspective  . The China Quarterly, Volume 227 September 2016, pp. 632-652


Dr Julia Lovell     The Uses of Foreigners in Mao-Era China: ‘Techniques of Hospitality’ and International Image-Building in the People’s Republic, 1949-1976.” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 25 (2015): 135-158. Downloaded from: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/13758/

Dr Julia Lovell. Global Maoism  Podcasts / produced by Simon Brown, 29th March 2017

Dr Julia Lovell of Birkbeck, University of London, discusses the role and significance of Global Maoism in the development of the Cold War

Arif Dirlik (2014) Mao Zedong Thought and the Third World/Global South, Interventions, International Journal of Postcolonial Studies Vol 16 No. 2, 233-256. DOI: 10.1080/1369801X.2013.798124

Quinn Slobodian (2018) The meanings of Western Maoism in the global 1960s The Routledge Handbook of the Global Sixties Chapter 5

Dr Evan Smith (2018) Peking Review and global anti-imperialist networks in the 1960s.


Kevin Pinkoski  Maoism in South America: Comparing Peru’s Sendero Luminoso with Mexico’s PRP and PPUA


Matthew Rothwell   (2013)   Transpacific Revolutionaries: The Chinese Revolution in Latin America. Routledge

Matthew Rothwell   Secret Agent for International Maoism: José Venturelli, Chinese Informal Diplomacy and Latin American Maoism


Matthew Rothwell  
The Chinese Revolution and Latin America: The Impact of Global Communist Networks on Latin American Social Movements and Guerrilla Groups  http://worldhistoryconnected.press.uillinois.edu/7.3/rothwell.htmlDr Alpa Shah • Judith Pettigrew     Windows into a revolution: ethnographies of Maoism in South Asia. Dialect Anthropol (2009) 33:225–251. DOI 10.1007/s10624-009-9142-5

Nielsen, Ryan D., “Maoism in South Asia: A Comparative Perspective On Ideology, Practice, and Prospects for the 21st Century” (2012). Honors Projects. Paper 12. http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/intstu_honproj/12

Ahmed, Ishtiaq. (2010) “The Rise and Fall of the Left and the Maoist Movements in Pakistan.” India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs 66.3: 251-265.

Hirslund, D. V. (2017). Urbanising Maoism: Reconceptualising the transformation of revolutionary movements. Paper at SASNET Seminar, University of Lund, Sweden.

Miguel Cardina (2016) Territorializing Maoism: Dictatorship, War, and Anticolonialism in the Portuguese “Long Sixties”. Journal for the Study of Radicalism, 11.2, Fall 1, 2016.   DOI: 10.1177/0022009415580143

Sebastian Gehrig (2011) (Re-)Configuring Mao: Trajectories of a Culturo-Political Trend in West Germany . Transcultural Studies, No 2 (2011) http://heiup.uni-heidelberg.de/journals/index.php/transcultural/article/view/9072/3106

Jason E. Smith (2013) From Établissement to Lip: On the Turns Taken by French Maoism   https://www.viewpointmag.com/2013/09/25/from-etablissement-to-lip-on-the-turns-taken-by-french-maoism/

Dhruv Jain (2017) Theorists and Thieves. Monthly Review https://monthlyreview.org/archives/2017/volume-69-issue-04-september/

 Alexei Volynets (2013) Towards the History of Maoist Dissidence in the Soviet Union https://afoniya.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/towards-the-history-of-maoist-dissidence-in-the-soviet-union-an-article-by-alexei-volynets-part-1/

maoists unite