… scratch a “Communist” and one quite often finds a fascist underneath.
(Note: I was personally on the other side, the wrong side, during the conflict described in this article. I opposed the Red Eureka Movement. I now regret not being open-minded and rebellious and instead clinging to the safety of dogma, a close social circle and the Party Line. We all have our dark years, I suppose. The thing is to face them and keep learning…).
* * * *
A major theme in left wing propaganda is opposition to fascism. Quite often relatively moderate opponents of the left are described as “fascists”.
Yet scratch a “Communist” and one quite often finds a fascist underneath.
The regime that began with the October Revolution is now a fascist dictatorship. In China too, since the defeat of the Cultural Revolution many revolutionaries have been executed and the right to speak out freely, hold great debates, put up big character posters and so on has been officially and formally repudiated.
The degeneration of Communist Parties in power is a separate problem calling for a separate analysis. But what about the degeneration of parties holding no power?
THE CPA (ML)
Our experiences with the “Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)” were sufficiently frightening to require some deep analysis. Almost any split is accompanied by outraged cries of “unfair” or “undemocratic” from the losing side, so it seemed undesirable to distract attention from the fundamental issues at stake by going into details of who done what to who. But another reason why we never got around to it was probably embarrassment at ever having been involved with such a sick group.
The bankruptcy of Australian nationalism as an ideology for communists is now pretty apparent, while the question of whether China has gone revisionist has been settled by open proclamations from the Chinese leadership themselves. Although Vanguard keeps coming out each week, the people behind it seem pretty discredited and there is little need to discredit them further.
In Adelaide the “Worker Student Alliance for Australian Independence” has disintegrated, along with its newspaper People’s Voice. In Melbourne the entire editorial collective of Independence Voice quit some time ago, there was no “Independence platform” at Mayday, the “Australian Independence Movement” is virtually defunct and supporters of this line have been completely routed in “Community Radio” 3CR. The Australia China Society is unable to defend the new regime in China and little has been heard from the CPA(ML) in the trade union movement either.
As a complete expression of E.F.Hill’s bankruptcy we have the suggestion in “Australian Communist”, that they want unity with us (previously described as “Soviet agents”). Hill has even signed an article proposing reunification with the CPA in “one Communist Party” (presumably because the Chinese revisionists, having recently re-united with their Italian and Yugoslav colleagues, also wish to re-establish relations with the CPA, leaving Hill out in the cold).
The thuggish behaviour of the CPA(ML) supporters in attempting to intimidate their opponents is well known. Both intellectual and physical thuggery, in 3CR and elsewhere, has become so notorious that the only “broad united front” they have been able to create has been that directed against themselves. They have also become notorious for openly preferring to ally themselves with various Nazis and other fascists against the Soviet Union rather than trying to unite the people, and especially the left, against Soviet imperialism on the basis of progressive principles. Their main political theme these days is the united front they claim to have with Malcolm Fraser,who nevertheless remains quite unaware of their existence. As for China, they openly say they would rather not talk about it, even though China was, and is, central to their whole political outlook.
These facts are mentioned, not to kick a dead horse, but to emphasise that the horse really is dead and to confirm that the additional facts about it cited below are genuine observations and not just part of some ongoing sectarian faction fight.
The more or less open fascism of the CPA (ML) has resulted in that group being simply dismissed as “crazies”. But in fact they are only a more extreme expression of problems that exist, less overtly, throughout the left. Indeed it has been noticeable in 3CR for example, that the excuse of “keeping out the crazies”, has been used to justify appallingly manipulative and undemocratic behaviour (e.g. elected listener sponsor representatives voting against explicit directives from a large general meeting of listener sponsors). People who would be shocked and indignant about that in other contexts have made excuses for it when their own friends are doing it. Really how far is it from making excuses to acting in the same way? And how far from there to ending up just like the “crazies” themselves?
Also the fact that China and the Chinese parrots are anti-Soviet (and Reagan, Thatcher, Fraser etc) has become an excuse to actually apologise for Soviet actions that would be called “fascist” if American was doing it. Indeed many quite non-crazy “left liberals” have been prepared to go through the most amazing mental contortions to justify the Vietnamese occupation of Kampuchea or to minimise the significance of Soviet aggression elsewhere. Rather than agree with “right-wingers” (like Churchill), they prefer to apologise for fascists (like Hitler).
Where was the left wing outrage (as distinct from concern) when Polish workers were being denied the elementary right to form free trade unions? Why do “militants” in “left-wing” unions take delight in the same bureaucratic manoeuvres their opponents use to stay in power? Why are splits in left wing groups so common and so nasty?
In Australia many other groups supposedly on the left have exhibited a personal intolerance comparable to the Chinese parrots, and also a comparable willingness to apologise for reactionary regimes in other countries, provided those regimes pay lip service to “anti-imperialist” principles. (Vietnam, Cuba, Iran, Libya… name a country that is suppressing some other country or trying to impose some medieval religion on its people and you will find a “left” group wildly enthusiastic about it.) Scanning overseas “left” newspapers one gets the impression that narrow minded religious bigotry is pretty common, and even where it is not taken to extremes, it is still present. No wonder so many on the “left” thought a fellow zealot like Khomeiny would be progressive for Iran.
The undemocratic tendencies of “Leninists” is a common theme in anti-Communist propaganda – from open representatives of the bourgeoisie, from Social Democrats, from Anarchists, from “Left” or “Council” Communists and what have you. Nevertheless, attacks from our opponents should be taken seriously, and indeed have been taken seriously by the classic exponents of Marxism.
This question was especially taken seriously in China and some of the material from the Chinese Cultural Revolution is very valuable for understanding the emergence of fascist tendencies among alleged “Communists”.
For example Mao Tsetung’s unpublished works, and the material criticizing Lin Piao (the “successor” who turned out to be a fascist). The Cultural Revolution was after all a direct struggle between revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries who both purported to be part of the “left”. The concept of fighting bourgeois ideas disguised as “left” ideas was crucial to unleashing the 1960s upsurge and will be crucial again. It was necessary to challenge the “peace” ideas that were dominant in the left in the 1960s and it will be necessary to challenge the views that are dominant now – many of which are again crystallised in the eclectic mishmash of the “CPA”.
In the “gang of four’s” Peking University Journal of September 1, 1976 there is an important article on “The Bureaucrat Class and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat”:
…We must further recognise the high concentration of political and economic powers under the dictatorship of the proletariat. If the bureaucrat class succeeded in usurping power and in its restorationist conspiracies throughout the country, then it would continue to flaunt the banner of socialism, take advantage of this high concentration of political and economic powers and turn the democratic centralism of the proletariat into the fascist centralism of the bureaucrat class.
In controlling and manipulating the means of production and the product of Labor, these bureaucrats will be far more powerful than any previous exploiting classes and their political representatives, than the slave owners and feudal rulers who claimed that “all land under the sun is my territory and all people on earth are my subjects”, and than the bureaucrats and financiers in capitalist countries…In a similar vein, the present day new tsars behave much worse than the old tsars…
(Translation from Selections from People’s Republic of China Magazines No 895, American Consulate General, Hong Kong. Reprinted in Study Notes No 6, Red Eureka Movement, August 1978)
This article also goes into the question of the transformation of authority into capital and capital into authority, which is relevant to an understanding of imperialism in the West as well as in the Soviet Union and China.
Western bourgeois democratic society is heading towards an acute crisis and upheaval as another Great Depression and a Third World War develop. The outcome can be Communist Revolution or some form of fascism or social-fascism. We could face a new ruling class more powerful than the present one. It largely depends on how clear the left is on what we are fighting for and what we are fighting against and how sharply we can draw the line against perpetuating the old system of exploitation in our own practice. If the left continues to whinge about capitalism, and even oppose it from a reactionary perspective then it cannot hope to inspire people to fight for something fundamentally different.
Indeed, just as one would have to defend the national independence that Western and Third World countries have already achieved, from Soviet “socialist” imperialism, one would also have to defend the achievements already won by the bourgeois democratic revolution from attack by alleged “socialists” who want to go backwards to a more oppressive society.
If the democratic centralism of the proletarian dictatorship can be easily transformed into the fascist centralism of the bureaucrat class in a developing socialist country, then what about democratic centralism in Leninist parties out of power? Is this an argument against democratic centralism and proletarian dictatorship, as anarchists and others insist?
The answer to this argument is that there never can be a guarantee against proletarian dictatorship turning into its opposite, and Communists in power must always be prepared for transition to underground life as Communists in opposition to capitalist roaders in power. Likewise in Communist Parties generally – one must be prepared to rebel and to be expelled for rebelling.
But if there was no democratic centralism and proletarian dictatorship then it would be quite impossible for the revolutionary ideas held only by a minority in capitalist and socialist society to be centralised and dominant and in that case the bourgeoisie holds power anyway. So weakening democratic centralism is not the answer. On the contrary, it needs to be strengthened to keep fascists out, on the same argument that the left cannot afford to be pacifist and must learn the use of arms if it doesn’t want warmongers to hold power.
Proletarian dictatorship means just that. It does not mean dictatorship over the proletariat by some bureaucrats. It means a political system in which the working class can really wield political power – something that can be achieved by workers councils led by a revolutionary party and cannot be achieved by parliamentary institutions or by milling around in confusion.
Democratic centralism also means just that. It does not mean the leadership imposing decisions on a reluctant membership. It means that the abstract “parliamentary” right which almost all organisations give their members to ultimately take decisions, is made real by conscious leadership of the decision making process to make it “from the masses, to the masses” and so make it actually work without manipulation or obstruction.
This article is not a plea for everybody to be more tolerant of everybody else. It is a call for sharper defence of our basic principles and less tolerance of attempts to undermine them. One cannot be a Communist if one is not first a democrat. The democratic revolutionaries of England, France and so on in earlier centuries had no hesitation about chopping off the heads of their aristocratic opponents and neither should we.
Fear of strengthening democratic centralism is really fear of struggle. Such fear is fully understandable in the present situation, and a lot better than blinkered complacency. But it must be overcome.
The quote from Orwell’s “Road to Wigan Pier” in “the Personal is Political” (Discussion Bulletin No 9) rang a few bells and is worth repeating:
…..”Socialism” is pictured as a state of affairs in which our more vocal Socialists would feel thoroughly at home. This does great harm to the cause. The ordinary man may not flinch from a dictatorship of the proletariat, if you offer it tactfully; offer him a dictatorship of the prigs,and he gets ready to fight.
We should be ready to fight against the dictatorship of the prigs and to do this it is necessary to understand the transformation of Communists into prigs.
ARE WE DIFFERENT?
If we take Lin Piao for example, there is no doubt that he did make contributions to the Chinese revolution before emerging as an outright fascist. The superstitious Mao cult he built up in opposition to Mao had definite roots in China’s feudal past, but also struck a chord among Western “Maoists”.
Ted Hill now appears to be nothing more than a follower of Liu Shao-chi, then Lin Piao (as a major cult advocate) then Liu Shao-chi again, or whoever may hold power in China at any given moment. But some of his analyses of revisionism,parliamentarism and trade union politics in publications like “Looking Backward; Looking Forward” are still valuable and he once made a point of opposing sacred cows and stereotypes and supporting rebellion.
Things were drastically wrong with the CPA(ML) long before we parted company and people are entitled to ask how we got mixed up with them and why we should be regarded as any different. If we are to be any different then we must analyse the thin dividing line that appears to exist between being a Marxist-Leninist or “Maoist” on the one hand, and being a lunatic or a fascist on the other.
There is little need to “expose” the CPA(ML) leadership now in view of its obvious degeneration. But the roots of current fascist attitudes do need study, so the following facts are placed on the record for our own benefit rather than for the benefit of anyone still taken in by Hill.
- There never was anything remotely resembling democracy within the CPA(ML). This became obvious when concrete disagreements made it necessary to have a proper discussion and take a decision. But it should have been obvious even when people thought they were in agreement.
- As soon as a disagreement in principle was announced “through the proper channels” etcetera, the immediate response was to launch vituperative attacks on individuals – at first surreptitiously behind their backs and then openly in Vanguard.
- The very idea of discussing the differences was repudiated and “security” was abused to tell people that there had been a full democratic discussion, which they just didn’t happen to be part of.
- As a matter of fact it turned out that no Central Committee actually existed. One member of the Red Eureka Movement discovered that he was supposed to be a CC member after wanting to express his views to the CC. This must be some sort of record in the international communist movement!
- Other members of the Red Eureka Movement who were both on the Central Committee and knew it , were able to expose the lie that there had been some kind of Central Committee discussion about China and that documents expressing opposition had been circulated to the Central Committee etc.
- Individual party members had to go outside the “channels” to get any kind of discussion and then discovered that the “channels” didn’t really exist. Now others who accepted this are finding the same situation.
7.It was not a case of discussion being suppressed arbitrarily and decisions usurped, but of there being no provision whatever for seriously discussing and reversing a policy disagreed with.
- This situation which existed long before it came to a head was put up with by people who would rebel strongly against similar fascist practices in any other social institution.
- Many people on becoming aware of it, and seeing people branded as Soviet agents etcetera, took a cynical attitude that this was wrong but not a major question of principle requiring them to take a stand.
- Our initial reaction to all this shit was not to launch a public struggle as in the Cultural Revolution or in accord with our own experiences in the 1960s. Instead we had great hangups about “the party” and organised semi-conspiratorially.
- Despite being a very small group, since breaking with the CPA(ML) leadership we have not been able to resolve internal disagreements in a civilised, let alone comradely manner, but have had two further splits. While nowhere near as bad as Hill’s, these have also involved strange behaviour that would not be tolerated in most community organisations and should not be tolerated on the left. Moreover they have occurred in a situation where we are not leading any great revolutionary struggle and no pressing life or death decision was at stake.
LIFE WASN’T MEANT TO BE EASY!
We did not fully realise it at the time, but there was little alternative to the apparent extremism of Hill’s stand because there really wasn’t any possibility of a discussion. If he had agreed to a discussion, what could he possibly have said? And if the CPA(ML) did not follow China religiously, what else could it do? We cannot blame Hill for our own naivety.
We only realised how difficult most people find it to rebel and think for themselves once we had broken with Hill and company. “Stalinists without a country” was the contemptuous Trotskyist label, and there is something in it. It really is enormously easier to at least think you know what you’re doing when there is some “socialist motherland”backing you up. (Or a “Fourth International”, a “great leader” or some other crutch).
For non-revolutionaries its fairly easy to maintain a political position sustained by one or other of the reformist currents in mainstream bourgeois society. But in a non-revolutionary society and with no back up from a revolutionary society, it requires real effort to develop a revolutionary program. How much easer it would have been if we could have forgotten that we didn’t have such a program by simply pretending to ourselves that China, or Albania or somewhere was revolutionary and that supporting them would somehow produce a revolution here. Or by pretending that if we were all more dedicated, we would figure out where we were going while getting there.
Its interesting to note how even people with no attachment to Russia, China or Albania have managed to persuade themselves that Vietnam is still worth supporting and feel a deep and personal threat to their whole ideology when this is questioned. Or how people leaving REM because it hasn’t been getting anywhere who know perfectly well what’s wrong with the political line of the Revolutionary Communist Party (USA), are nevertheless attracted by the reassuring certainty of that group’s proclamations.
“Idealism and metaphysics are the easiest things in the world, because people can talk as much nonsense as they like without basing it on objective reality or having it tested against reality. Materialism and dialectics, on the other hand, need effort. They must be based on and tested by objective reality. Unless one makes the effort, one is liable to slip into idealism and metaphysics.”(Mao Tsetung)
PRIESTS AND HORSES
Judging from overseas literature, the temptation of closed minded religious fanaticism is very strong in this situation. It provides a certainty that would otherwise be lacking and puts an end to all confusion,doubt,cynicism, liberalism and so on.
But this way out is the way out of the movement.It means joining the innumerable sects that are much better organised and disciplined than we are, and are able to get more done precisely because they do not have the “burden” of really having to think out a revolutionary line.
We did not hesitate to reject the “security” of blindly following China, Albania or anybody else so we should not regret the consequences.
One consequence is that we are in some respects more vulnerable to confusion, doubt, liberalism, cynicism and so on than other left groups that feel more confident about their (manifestly wrong!) lines. The reason horses are given blinkers is that it keeps them working away steadily without getting distracted by things they might see.Groups that have attached themselves to a foreign state, or that merely reflect a reformist current in mainstream bourgeois ideology, have a secure basis for their activity and can work away at it for years after it has ceased to have any social relevance or has become purely reactionary.
The same can easily be true of “revolutionary” groups that feel secure, or pretend to feel secure in their “correct line”. They can whip up a great frenzy of activity, full of sound and fury, but signifying nothing. Take a look at the Communist Workers Party or the Revolutionary Communist Party (USA). On many points we would be in full agreement. They have a similar analysis of China and Albania to ours and they certainly do make a clear distinction between communist revolution and the bourgeois reformism advocated by most “revolutionaries”.
On international questions of very great significance they appear to have a fundamentally wrong analysis, But even more important, their whole approach to “correct line” politics seems alien. They are certainly not paralysed by liberalism like we are – but so what?
While confusion, doubt, liberalism, cynicism and so on persist we will remain unable to accomplish very much, including theoretical work:
“We must have faith in the masses and we must have faith in the Party. These are two cardinal principles. If we doubt these principles, we shall accomplish nothing.”(Mao Tsetung)
But the only basis for faith in the Party is confidence in the soundness of its analysis and line. Once we have grounds for such faith we will be able to accomplish something, but not before. (And of course once we do, we will again have the problem of blind faith and the potential for people to continue following a leadership that has proved itself worthy of confidence, long after it has ceased to play a progressive or revolutionary role. But then it would be at a higher stage of the spiral).
Demands that people pull themselves together, combat liberalism or what have you, will not solve the problem of lack of faith. This is an atheistic age and real communists are atheistic people. Our only God is the masses and the only basis for our faith is scientific analysis of reality.
The situation we are in calls urgently for working out where we are and where we are going. Without that , calls to press on more resolutely and with greater vigour will only result in people getting more lost.
CHIN UP, BACK STRAIGHT, EYES SHUT!
It is conservative, not revolutionary to promote “leadership”, “organisation”, “doing things”, “collective life” and so on without a clear perspective for liberating people from oppression. Defenders of the status quo habitually make such appeals and every organisation, revolutionary or not, naturally wants to be as effectively organised as possible (and most sewing circles and amateur theatrical societies are probably a lot better organised than REM). But it is quite wrong to see the organisational reflection of our confusion as the central problem instead of dealing with the confusion itself. (As for any who are not confused, they would have an even greater problem. Take off the blinkers!)
Communism is not the only ideology opposed to liberalism. Fascism opposes liberalism too. It is one thing to want to widen and deepen and ultimately transcend democracy by going beyond such mere forms as majority voting. It is quite another thing to declare that ones policies have proved their own correctness and deliberately exclude others from even a vote, let alone a real say, on the matter. Yet we have repeatedly experienced this kind of behaviour not just from enemies, but from comrades who probably really do want to be revolutionaries.
The fact that people like Lin Piao or Ted Hill could turn out to be fascists and that we could go along with a load of shit for a long time should alert us to the dangers. When people on the left start acting like people on the extreme right they must be pulled up sharply and told “You’re Ill” before the disease becomes incurable and before it spreads.
the cultural revolution was lost, however I am not sure then that it was the correct tactic to continue with the single party and centralised government that could be turned into such a fascist state. Would it have been better to instal bourgeois democracy as the revolution was lost and this would make it less likely that a fascist dictatorship would prevail. The gang of four fought the good fight but was never going to win.
I am aware that Russia installing democracy hasn’t proven to be a great example. This may have happened in China and imagine it would have, however this is still a better starting point than what exists.
Pingback: ROB DARBY (1953-2019): Interviewed in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1989 by John Herouvim for thesis on the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) | C21st Left
Barry how would any of us know if Lin Biao was a fascist? For many years we were told that Lin Biao was a brilliant general that he was Mao’s closest comrade that he was head of the PLA. Then we are told that he was a fascist but where is the evidence? How does a brilliant general with all the resources of the PLA bungle a coup? How does a brilliant general become incapable of organizing an escape from China to Russia? Why should we believe anything that the Chinese government says about Lin Biao. I studied Chinese politics under the then leading China scholar Bill Brugger and I asked him what he thought of the governments explanation of the Lin Biao affair and he said that it just wasnt credible. Heres the Wikipedia view of the governments explanation. “The exact circumstances surrounding Lin’s death remain unclear, due to a lack of surviving evidence. Many of the original government records relevant to Lin’s death were secretly and intentionally destroyed, with the approval of the Politburo, during the brief period of Hua Guofeng’s interregnum in the late 1970s. Among the records destroyed were telephone records, meeting minutes, personal notes, and desk diaries. The records, if they had survived, would have clarified the activities of Mao, Zhou Enlai, Jiang Qing, and Wang Dongxing relative to Lin, before and after Lin’s death. Because of the destruction of government documentation related to Lin’s death, the Chinese government has relied on alleged confessions of purged officials close to Lin to corroborate the official narrative, but non-Chinese scholars generally regard these confessions as unreliable.
Ever since 1971, scholars outside of China have been skeptical of the government’s official explanation of the circumstances surrounding Lin’s death. Skeptics assert that the official narrative does not sufficiently explain why Lin, one of Mao’s closest supporters and one of the most successful Communist generals, would suddenly attempt a poorly planned, abortive coup. The government narrative also does not sufficiently explain how and why Lin’s plane crashed. Skeptics have claimed that Lin’s decision to flee to the Soviet Union was illogical, on the grounds that the United States or Taiwan would have been safer destinations “
Steve, I would have thought an interview with a former CPA(ML) member, critically reflecting on his experiences in the party in the second half of the 1970s, plus an article arguing a case as to how and why leftists who do not have state power can become fascists, would arouse some comment and discussion. But no, you ignore those and seem to want to use the opportunity to discuss Lin Biao. I’d rather focus on the more important elements of the articles.
Barry I am struggling through the first interview it seems like Ive heard it before. The second article screams out to me because of the claim that Lin Biao was a fascist when I defy anyone to give me proof of this assertion. In the late seventies I used to hang with a couple of CPA(ml) friends he was an older person with a doctorate in philosophy and she was a work and union associate. I loved them as I learnt so much we were always talking politics but it was a brick wall when I wanted to talk contemporary China it was as if they were under orders not to discuss it. Clearly my BS meter was off the chart people who would discuss anything would not discuss the most important issue of the day. I was also in touch with the REM crowd. When they said that Mao dies gang arrested socialism over again the BS meter goes into overdrive although they were clearly correct that capitalism was being restored. After looking at this for some time this is what I think. China had 4 socially important currents these being the left leaning Red Guards the left leaning PLA and the right leaning party and the right leaning state bureaucracy.
The Reg Guards were disbanded and the PLA leadership came into conflict with Mao over opening the country to the West. Lin Biao was killed and the PLA was purged of leftists the arrest of the gang was just the last piece being put in place. The official stuff that came out about Lin was just garbage heres a man noted for his meticulous planning, planning a coup as if he is in a coma and the story about the plane crashing because it ran out of fuel well the eye witnesses said it burnt for a long time as if it still had a lot of fuel on board.
Steve, I can engage with you on this but only in so far as it relates to the original post – about the CPA(ML) – and the link I recommended within the post.
In the party, many of us became obedient to the line, which meant obedience to authority, the leaders. On looking back, I think this took a remarkably short period of time to happen. We went from genuine rebelliousness to obedient followers. I very much admire those who didn’t – especially the REM people. The problem was that we followed whatever the party leaders told us and few of us engaged in actual research/investigation. We shunned debate and argument and labelled the most effective rebels as ‘US agents’. As the interview with Rob Darby reveals, the party was reorganised by the leaders precisely to stop the membership discussing things among themselves.
I don’t think Lin Biao was important to me at the time, 1971, as I was preoccupied with involvement in struggles in Melbourne, but I’m sure I would have just accepted what I was told about Lin Biao uncritically.
After a while, when twists and turns happen regularly, and everything becomes formulaic and boringly predictable, you just end up cynical – unless you continue to question and rebel. I admire those who did rebel and wish I had had the independence of mind, social maturity and theoretical understanding to enable me to break with my tight social/political circle and join or support them. The term ‘zombies’ was used to describe us – and rightly so, I now think. So too ‘crazies’, which certainly applied to me at my worst, at a particular point.
Those among my old comrades who continued down the dogmatic, formulaic, path are today hard to distinguish from the openly far-Right groups in Europe, the UK and US. They support the social-fascist regime in China, because it is ‘anti-US imperialist’, and oppose US-led coalitions that help oppressed people overthrow tyrannies. They no longer see uprisings by the people against their oppressors as inspirational and worthy of solidarity. They see the uprising in Hong Kong as being a provocation by the US imperialists, who they believe are behind it and sustaining it. Oh yes, and of course, the ‘Arab Spring’ has the same source.
The test of time is a very good one and perhaps there are lessons to be learned from the CPA(ML) experience.
Barry thanks for the response. I agree with you about how easy it is to go from fearless critic to apologist. Im sure that we have all experienced this and I shudder at the thought. Rosa Luxembourg chided her friends in the International socialist movement that they because they didnt belong to a party that was contending for state power could split over any question because it didnt matter where as she being a member of the German party had to take party unity much more seriously. And we all know how that ended. I believe that Chinese politics is very important as opposed to Australian politics which only seems important because we are surrounded by it. Chinese politics was marked by a struggle between left and right. For world revolution it was important for the left to win as with a right win we see a demoralization in the forces that want change and there were in the 70’s many important struggles be it in India, Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam or the Philippines.
Unshackled from any false party allegiance we can now discuss anything without restriction and if you are going to reproduce uncritically stuff that says Lin Biao was a fascist then Im going to invite you to consider the following. Lin Biao was condemned as a traitor because he attempted to fly to the USSR but did he? According to his daughter he was drugged and kidnapped (by his wife and son). She reported this to Zhou Enlai’s office. She was advised to board the plane which she refused to do. The plane took off from Shanhaiguan airport about midnight and headed south. At this point Zhou Enlai issued an order that effectively stopped all airport activity. No plane was given permission to land in China. After a short period Lin’s plane returned to Shanhaiguan airport and started to circle but the ground staff refused to put the landing lights on. Lin Biao’s plane was not able to land in China so it headed north towards the USSR but before it got to the USSR it turned back towards China but before entering Chinese airspace it crashed in Mongolia at about 3 am. The pilot Pan Jingyin was awarded the title of “Revolutionary Martyr” Its a bit rich to label someone a traitor because he tries to land a plane in a foreign country after you have made it impossible for his plane to land in the home country.
My point is that the details only matter in that they expose the politics of this incident. China was about to lurch to the right and the only real impediment was the PLA headed by Lin Biao. The right needed to remove and discredit him which they did so successfully that today leftists in Australia can reproduce the big lie without a second thought. History IS important.