Archive for Communism

China and Socialism

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs with tags , , , , on December 11, 2009 by Umer

Speech by the represeantative of the Communist Party of China on the Eleventh International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties

Mr. Chairman, fellow delegates:

It’s an honor for me and my colleges to be delegated by the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to attend this gathering of the International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties.

First of all, allow me to convey to you the warm greetings and best wishes of our minister Wang Jiarui and his deputies in the department. This IMCWP is an important platform for communist parties across the world to share information, exchange ideas and hold discussion on certain issues. So far, 10 conferences have been held successfully and today, we are gathered here in New Delhi to witness the opening of the eleventh IMCWP conference.

Secondly, I would like to take this opportunity to brief you on new development in China and recent endeavors of the CPC. The financial crisis originated from the United States last year has seriously affected the economy and the livelihood of countries in the world. Due to the bad impact of the crisis, the year 2009 has been the most difficult year for China’s economic development since the beginning of this century. In order to deal with this crisis and maintain the steady and rapid economic growth, the CPC and the Chinese government timely adjusted the macroeconomic policies by adopting a proactive fiscal policy and a moderately relaxed monetary policy, and formulated a package plan to expand domestic—demand and promote growth. A two-year investment plan with a total amount of 4 trillion Yuan is implemented involving greatly increased government spending to boost domestic demand and improve people’s livelihood. Structural tax relief policies were put in place bringing about several interest rate cuts to allow liquidity of the banking system and to stabilize external demand. A wide-ranging industrial restructuring and rejuvenation program was initiated to encourage innovation and enhance energy conservation, emission reduction and environment protection. Great efforts have been made to expand domestic market, especially the rural market, stabilize agricultural development and increase farmers’ income. Effective measures have been taken to reform the social security system to ensure access to basic medical service, free compulsory education as well as affordable housing for urban and rural residents so that they can be free of worries.

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Another side of the Berlin Wall

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs with tags , , , , , on November 25, 2009 by Umer

by Greg Butterfield

Twenty years ago, a labor organization was on strike under very difficult conditions.

This workers’ organization and its leadership were castigated by the corporate media. The bosses threatened, cajoled and bribed people to cross the picket line. Scabs were brought in.

The heads of the international union colluded with the capitalists to undermine the strike.

Eventually, the strike was lost. But that wasn’t enough for the bosses.

Not satisfied with lowering the workers’ wages and benefits and breaking the union, they sent their state apparatus after the strike leaders with accusations of heinous crimes. The former president was driven into exile to escape prosecution.

The labor organization in question was Amalgamated Transit Workers Union Local 1202, which went on strike against behemoth Greyhound Bus Lines in February 1990.

But everything written above also applies to the German Democratic Republic –socialist East Germany–and the fall of the Berlin Wall a few months earlier, in November 1989. Both the capitalist class and some misinformed progressives have been crowing over the 20th anniversary of that event.

Picket line means ‘Do Not Cross!’

Ask anyone who’s been on strike if it is ever okay to cross a picket line, and you will likely hear a resounding “No!”

The Berlin Wall–so maligned and condemned by war-making imperialists and hand-wringing liberals alike–was nothing but a picket line on a much larger scale.

The wall was erected in 1961 in response to provocations from U.S. imperialism and its West German junior partner meant to destroy the attempt to build socialism in eastern Germany. These provocations included infiltrating East Berlin with anti-communist agents, military threats, and bribing specialists whose labor was need by the workers’ state—the so-called “brain drain.”

The disgusting myth that the Berlin Wall was erected to destroy the freedom of Berliners, immortalized in President John F. Kennedy’s famous speech, is just the opposite of the truth. The capitalist powers wanted to crush the working class’ freedom to build a society unchained from the profit motive.

The Berlin Wall was a world away from the apartheid wall built by Israel around Palestinian population centers, the U.S./South Korean military wall that separates family members from North Korea, or the expanded U.S. wall against immigrants on the border with Mexico.

What is the difference? Those walls are aimed at repressing the workers and oppressed.

The Berlin Wall, by contrast, was built in defense of the workers and oppressed.

Socialist Germany’s accomplishments

The GDR wasn’t the product of a classical revolutionary uprising. It was formed by an alliance of German communist, socialist, and workers’ movements that had resisted Nazism and survived World War II, and the Soviet Red Army that liberated the eastern part of the country, all under the military and economic pressure of the U.S.-initiated Cold War. It was only established after U.S. imperialism and their new allies in the vanquished German ruling class had begun to build up West Germany as a bulwark of aggression against the USSR and its allies.

In some ways, it was a halfway house of socialism.

But whatever its faults, the GDR was a workers’ state that provided jobs, housing and health care for all its residents. It provided aid and support, including military and medical aid, to national liberation movements throughout the world, including the struggle against apartheid in southern Africa.

The GDR provided a safe haven for refugees from fascist terror in countries like Chile and Argentina. Socialist Germany also provided jobs and education for guest workers and students from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East–many of whom were terrorized or driven out by fascist attackers in the early 1990s after reunification with imperialist West Germany.

East Germany was far ahead of any country in the world in lesbian/gay/bi/trans rights and freedoms. The gay liberation movement as we know it grew up within the German socialist and communist movements of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Regarding women’s rights to education, jobs and housing, and especially in establishing extensive child care, the GDR made enormous strides. Much of this progress was wiped away when the GDR fell.

The German Democratic Republic had a right to defend its sovereignty from imperialism, all the more so since the border between East and West Germany was also the border between the imperialist and the pro-socialist world camps.

Those who cannot or will not defend the right of a workers’ organization to defend itself—whether it is a union, a resistance movement or a workers’ state—will never be able to carry out a successful revolutionary struggle.

Sincere revolutionaries have to learn this lesson, and it is incumbent on those of us who lived through those terrible setbacks to help educate new generations.


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In Defense of the Leninist Party

Posted in Communist Movement, Marxism with tags , , , on September 25, 2009 by Umer

by Taimur Rahman

How does a weak, poor, destitute, illiterate oppressed force win over a better-educated, better-armed, better-equipped, and better-financed oppressor?

In all respects of social, political, or economic life, the individual proletariat is infinitely inferior to the individual bourgeois. The individual bourgeois swallows up hundreds of families. In their factories, mines, and fields the ‘fortunate’ proletarians works for starvation wages. The ‘unfortunate’ starve to death begging on the street or silently in their homes from easily curable diseases. They die of malnourishment, over-work, exhaustion, ill-treatment, and side effects from industrial pollutants. They die of their own ignorance, their misery, apathy and degradation. In all respects, the proletariat is the modern day slave of the bourgeoisie.

A small bunch of intellectuals essentially from non-proletarian backgrounds raise their voices and argue that these proletariats, who cannot make ends meet and cannot prevent themselves or their children from dying of starvation, will rise up and inherit the earth. This depraved proletariat will not only learn to read and write but will master that awfully difficult theory of dialectical materialism and overthrow the power of the ruling class that is superior in every respect. Moreover, they claim that they will build a society without exploitation that will be more just and will out-produce current society. In fact, they even claim that they will open up a new chapter in history; they call it the end of the realm of necessity and the beginning of the realm of freedom.

Judged from the sober eye of a “realist” it would appear that these communist intellectuals have had a little too much to eat, a little too much time to think and that their idealistic youthful fantasies have got the better of their rational selves.

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Farewell to history

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2009 by Umer

by Sitaram Yechury

The victor, inevitably, scripts history. Historians’ labour unearths the virtues and valour of the vanquished describing the plight of ‘people’ caught in the crossfire. The victor, however, does not stop at authoring ‘official’ history of any one event alone but seeks to re-write all history to consolidate its current hegemony. Following the collapse of the USSR and in the present conjecture of the global capitalist recession, the West seeks to reinterpret World War II’s history by equating fascism with communism.

In 2004, to deflect rising global protests against the US military occupation of Iraq, on the 50th anniversary of the landing of the Allied troops at Normandy, all North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders assembled to project themselves as the champions of the victory over fascism liberating Western Europe. They deliberately concealed the fact that for every allied soldier who laid down his life, fighting fascism, there were 40 Soviet soldiers who laid down their lives. Over 20 million Soviet soldiers and people lost their lives. In 1,418 days of war, the Soviet Union lost nine lives every minute, 857 every hour and 14,000 lives a day.

On the 70th anniversary of fascist Germany’s attack on Poland (September 1, 1939, 4.40 am), which started the World War II, a similar attempt is being made to once again distort history. This is necessary for the advanced capitalist powers to seek to prevent the growth of socialist ideas and Left politics, as currently seen in various countries of Latin America, in the wake of the worst capitalist economic recession since the Great Depression. Today, the US has an unprecedented seven million people unemployed. The European Union is faring no better. Under these circumstances, it is imperative for them to decry the glorious role of the Soviet Union and, by implication any socialist alternative, in the defeat of fascism.

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For the Cause of Comrade Nazeer Abbasi

Posted in Communist Movement, Pakistan with tags , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2009 by Umer

The following message was posted by the Hyderabad District Committee of the Communist Party of Pakistan:

During past two weeks (July 30 to August 09, 2009), various events including hunger strikes, demonstrations, rallies, and seminars, etc., were organized in many parts of the Sindh province to mark the death anniversary of Comrade Nazeer Abbasi, a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Pakistan (CPP), who was brutally tortured to death in clandestine arrest by bullies of the then Major Imtiaz Billa (now Brig. (Rtd) Imtiaz Billa), a handpicked dog of the US-patronized Pakistani military establishment.

The almost unanimous demand made during these events by different political and civil society formations was the resumption of legal proceedings of Nazeer Abbasi’s murder case and death sentence to be awarded to the perpetrators of this heinous crime. However, a few restricted themselves to just expounding Nazeer’s personal characteristics and the features of his political beliefs and acts without drawing any lessons for today’s and future political strategy in line with Nazeer’s political ideology and struggle based on it.

Some claiming themselves to be heir to Nazeer’s legacy termed him as wholly and solely a “Nationalist”. Some others regarded him as a “Democrat and believer in Human Rights”. Still some others criticized Nazeer’s party for being negligent in taking care of his family after his martyrdom. And his CPP comrades, like always, clearly brought to fore the fact that Nazeer was a true blue Communist follower of the principles of the ideology of Marxism-Leninism.

Was Nazeer a “Nationalist”?

In an event of Nazeer’s death anniversary held by a local Sindh nationalist faction on August 9, 2009, a jail mate of Nazeer claimed during his cell phone address on the occasion that Nazeer was a nationalist and this was precisely why he was an internationalist! The same baseless assertion also reverberated in some other events. Some individuals who had met Nazeer once or twice testified that Nazeer was a nationalist whereas some other acquaintances differed and said he was not at all a nationalist and kept nationalists as much away from him as they did him.

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Red Salute to Baba Bhagat Singh Bilga

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs, Pakistan with tags , , , , , , on July 25, 2009 by Umer

Last of the Ghadar revolutionaries 

The revolutionary movement, and all Indian progressives and patriots, lost the last living link with one of the most glorious pages of India’s anti-imperialist history when Comrade Baba Bhagat Singh Bilga, popularly known as Baba Bilga, passed away on 22 May in Birmingham at the age of 102.

Baba Bilga was the last surviving member of the Ghadar Party, a revolutionary party of Indians overseas, founded in California, USA, in 1913, pledged to the liberation of India from British colonial rule by means of armed struggle.

He was born on either 1 or 2 April 1907, the same year as the great revolutionary martyr, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, in the village of Bilga in Punjab’s Jalandhar district. His village was known as a baghi (rebel) one by the British rulers and several of its young men were to join the Ghadar Party.

Not untypically, his early life was hard. His father, Hira Singh Sanghera, died when he was one year old. As he recalled in later years: “My maternal aunt took me to her village, Ajitwal in Moga district. She soon died of plague. Her husband and my maternal grandmother brought me up.”

Seeking work, Baba Bilga went to Kolkata and from there to Burma, Singapore, Hong Kong, Chile and finally to Argentina in 1931 at the age of 24. It was there that he met Ajit Singh, the uncle of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, who won him to the cause of revolution. He worked as a clerk in a railway store and became the General Secretary of the Ghadar Party in Argentina.

Revolutionary history of the Ghadar Party

The Ghadar Party’s roots lay in the struggle against discrimination faced by Indian immigrants to Canada and the USA, but its focus was on freeing India from British colonial rule. The first issue of the party paper, published in November 1913, wrote:

“Today there begins in foreign lands, but in our country’s tongue, a war against the British Raj… What is our name? Revolution. What is our work? Revolution. Where will the revolution be? In India. The time will soon come when rifles and blood will take the place of pens and ink.”

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What does the USSR mean to our generation?

Posted in Communist Movement, Marxism with tags , , , , , , on July 21, 2009 by Umer

In her three-part presentation, Joti Brar looks at the barrage of anti-communist propaganda that recent generations have been subjected to. The purpose of this propaganda is clear: to undermine the confidence of workers to take action to change society by making us believe that revolution is pointless; that, no matter what our intentions, if we try to change society, it will go wrong; and to negate the real achievements in building socialism in the Soviet Union by slandering the leader of that building process. As we flip through the pages of history and discover the poverty and misery that the world at present is surrounded with, there is a question that is bound to arise: was this whole experience of the workers’ state, despite its defeat, a pointless project? Or, can we the people, while learning from past mistakes, rebuild socialism to bring heavens down to earth?