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Post 17 Nov 2014, 20:52
The Paris Commune in Shanghai: The Masses, the State, and Dynamics of `Continuous Revolution'
Jiang, Hongsheng

In 1871, during the Franco-Prussian War, the Parisian workers revolted against the bourgeois government and established the Paris Commune. Extolling it as the first workers' government, classical Marxist writers took it as an exemplary--though embryonic-- model of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The principles of the Paris Commune, according to Marx, lay in that "the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes." General elections and the abolishment of a standing army were regarded by classical Marxist writers as defining features of the organ of power established in the Paris Commune. After the defeat of the Paris Commune, the Marxist interpretation of the Commune was widely propagated throughout the world, including in China.

20th century China has been rich with experiences of Commune-type theories and practices. At the end of 1966 and the beginning of 1967, inspired by the Maoist theory of continuous revolution and the vision of a Commune-type state structure, the rebel workers in Shanghai, together with rebellious students and revolutionary party cadres and leaders, took the bold initiative to overthrow the old power structure from below. On Feb.5, 1967, the Shanghai workers established the Shanghai Commune modeled upon the Paris Commune. This became known as the January Storm. After Mao's death in 1976, the communist party and government in China has rewritten history, attacking the Cultural Revolution. And the Shanghai Commune has barely been mentioned in China, let alone careful evaluation and in-depth study. This dissertation attempts to recover this lost yet crucial history by exploring in historical detail the origin, development and supersession of the Shanghai Commune. Examining the role of different mass organizations during the January Storm in Shanghai, I attempt to offer a full picture of the Maoist mass movement based on the theory of continuous revolution. Disagreeing with some critics' arguments that the Shanghai Commune was a negation of the party-state, I argue that it neither negated the party nor the state. Instead, the Shanghai Commune embodied the seeds of a novel state structure that empowers the masses by relegating some of the state power to mass representatives and mass organs. Differing from the common narrative and most scholarship in the post-Mao era, I argue that the commune movement in the beginning of 1967 facilitated revolutionary changes in Chinese society and state structure. The Shanghai Commune and the Shanghai Revolutionary Committee developed as ruling bodies that did not hold general elections or abolish the standing army and in this way did not replicate the Paris Commune. But in contrast to the old Shanghai organs of power, they were largely in conformity with the principles of the Paris Commune by smashing the Old and establishing the New. Some of their creative measures, "socialist new things", anticipated the features of a communal state -a state that does not eradicate class struggle yet begins to initiate the long process of the withering away of the state itself. ... sequence=1
Post 13 Dec 2014, 21:31
Chang Chun-chiao (Zhang Chunqiao)

On Exercising All-Round Dictatorship Over the Bourgeoisie ... 01/x01.htm

Written in 1975, it can be seen as the last word on the Maoist theory of the State, and the final summation of the GPCR. One of the only times, where a ruling CP has openly addressed the problem of inequality under socialism. As Maurice Meisner pointed out, Mao's theory of state capitalism and a new class, would be standard fare of Trotskyists and dissidents. But it was unprecedented for a sitting Communist leader to speak in such terms.

A quote from Mao, perhaps relevant to the future course of CPC history is

Our country at present practices a commodity system, the wage system is unequal, too, as in the eight-grade wage scale, and so forth. Under the dictatorship of the proletariat such things can only be restricted. Therefore, if people like Lin Piao come to power, it will be quite easy for them to rig up the capitalist system.

It is telling, that Mao believed that the inequality existing within the socialist system, would make it quite easy for capitalist roaders to establish a capitalist dictatorship. Because of the necessary inequalities of the socialist stage, the capitalist apparatus is in a sense already pre-existing, waiting for a new capitalist clique to exploit it. And by referencing "people like Lin Biao", Mao is clearly taking about factions within the CPC. Lin Biao himself, had been Mao's chosen successor, enshrined in the Constitution.
Post 27 Dec 2014, 02:36
I've been noticing a strong rightward tilt in the Chinese state-owned press. To an extent this has been the case since the 1990s, and in foreign policy you can even go back to the Mao era.

But I was really surprised that every single one of the guests on CCTV in reaction to Obama lifting the Cuba embargo was a Cuban rightwing exile. They had 2 Miami neocons, and a former official from the Bush administration.

Now look sometimes westerners exaggerate the extent to which state-owned media is the mouthpiece of the Communist Party. The BBC is not the moutpiece of the Conservative Party nor AFP of the French Socialist Party nor PBS of Bushism or Obamaism. But still these are the official english-language publications of the CPC and they always choose those with a neoliberal conservative slant.

Ok they don't want to be Russia Today, but it seems like they don't even have many center-left viewpoints.

I was just reading the Global Times editorial, and they are the official CPC english paper overseas. And they had an article slamming Mayor Bill de Blasio as an extreme leftist and liberal.

Now granted, the author of this piece is not the editorial board, but a journalist from a Hong Kong overseas paper. Nonetheless, clearly these are the editorial decisions being made. Taken in total these editorial stances, paint the picture of the CPC as a center-right party in its positions on both the global scene and US domestic politics.
Post 04 Jan 2015, 02:32
This article from Jacobinmag claims that Foucault embraced Milton Friedman and Neoliberalism in the 1970s
Foucault was highly attracted to economic liberalism: he saw in it the possibility of a form of governmentality that was much less normative and authoritarian than the socialist and communist left, which he saw as totally obsolete. He especially saw in neoliberalism a “much less bureaucratic” and “much less disciplinarian” form of politics than that offered by the postwar welfare state. He seemed to imagine a neoliberalism that wouldn’t project its anthropological models on the individual, that would offer individuals greater autonomy vis-à-vis the state.

Foucault seems, then, in the late seventies, to be moving towards the “second left,” that minoritarian but intellectually influential tendency of French socialism, along with figures like Pierre Rosanvallon, whose writings Foucault appreciated. He found seductive this anti-statism and this desire to “de-statify French society.”

Even Colin Gordon, one of Foucault’s principal translators and commentators in the Anglo-Saxon world, has no trouble saying that he sees in Foucault a sort of precursor to the Blairite Third Way, incorporating neoliberal strategy within the social-democratic corpus.

It was while reading closely through the texts of the “late” Foucault (from the late seventies and early eighties) that it became clear to me that he himself fully took part in this operation. So, he not only challenged social security, he was also seduced by the alternative of the negative income tax proposed by Milton Friedman in that period. To his mind, the mechanisms of social assistance and social insurance, which he put on the same plane as the prison, the barracks, or the school, were indispensable institutions “for the exercise of power in modern societies.”

Sequestered in the usual sectarianism of the academic world, no stimulating reading had existed that took into consideration the arguments of Friedrich Hayek, Gary Becker, or Milton Friedman. On this point, one can only agree with Lagasnerie: Foucault allowed us to read and understand these authors, to discover in them a complex and stimulating body of thought. On that point I totally agree with him. It’s undeniable that Foucault always took pains to inquire into theoretical corpuses of widely differing horizons and to constantly question his own ideas.

For reference here is Foucault on Gary Becker ... -foucault/
Post 07 Jan 2015, 01:53
Hun Sen took power with the Vietnam-backed Socialist forces that overthrew the Khmer Rouge. In the 1980s under Chinese pressure, Vietnam withdrew its forces, and a Constitutional Monarch was re-established with Hun Sen's reformed social democratic party holding power.

In an interesting speech, Hun Sen has compared himself to Assad fighting ISIS. He is saying that if you are against him you are for Pol Pot, in the same way that anyone against Assad is for ISIS. He further claims that Obama has called Assad an ally in the war on ISIS. ... y-7-75383/

“I talked to the U.N. secretary-general and told His Excellency the U.S. and their allies are fighting ISIS, while Assad’s regime in Damascus is also fighting ISIS, so this is an alliance,” Mr. Hun Sen said.

“So anyone who wants to weaken Assad’s regime, it means the benefit will be equivalent to helping ISIS; ISIS is an Islamic State that beheads people,” he said.

Mr. Hun Sen then claimed that in a separate meeting, U.S. President Barack Obama told the prime minister the same thing about working with Mr. Assad. “In a meeting with the U.S., [Obama] said ‘His Excellency, when the U.S. and its allies fight ISIS while Assad is fighting ISIS, it is naturally an alliance,’” he said.

“Any action to weaken the Assad regime will empower ISIS. I speak frankly like this. It’s the same here,” Mr. Hun Sen said. “You hate Pol Pot, but you oppose the ones who toppled him. What does this mean?

“It means you are an ally of the Pol Pot regime.”
Post 28 Jan 2015, 05:52
Love this quote from Hegel, especially poignant in the light of modern science, with the human brain as the most complex organization of matter in the known universe.

"He sacrificed his whole body to his brain; thinking was his greatest enjoyment. I often heard him repeat the words of Hegel, the philosophy master of his youth: “Even the criminal thought of a malefactor has more grandeur and nobility than the wonders of the heavens.”" ... x/marx.htm

Paul Lafargue

Reminiscences of Marx

(September 1890)
Post 02 Feb 2015, 03:51
Capital V3 is often considered the most difficult volume, and expands Marx's analysis to the entire capitalist mode of production. Wikiquote has an excellent article, with some of the most important quotes from the work.

I found this quote enlightening, where Marx suggests that the gold standard is Catholic, while credit is Protestant as it is based on faith in the system. He quotes the old saying "The Scotch hate gold.",_Volume_III

The monetary system is essentially a Catholic institution, the credit system essentially Protestant. "The Scotch hate gold." In the form of paper the monetary existence of commodities is only a social one. It is Faith that brings salvation. Faith in money-value as the immanent spirit of commodities, faith in the mode of production and its predestined order, faith in the individual agents of production as mere personifications of self expanding capital. But the credit system does not emancipate itself from the basis of the monetary system any more than Protestantism has emancipated itself from the foundations of Catholicism.
Chapter XXXV, Precious Metal and Rate of Exchange, p. 592

Another good quote

In fact of course, this 'productive' worker cares as much about the crappy shit he has to make as does the capitalist himself who employs him, and who also couldn't give a damn for the junk.
Notebook II, The Chapter on Capital, p. 193.
Post 01 May 2015, 01:07

A Maoist attack on the early development of what would become Eurocommunism, and a veiled attack on Khrushchev before the official Sino-Soviet split. A important work in developing the Maoist theory of State and Revolution and the pathway to power.

Includes this powerful summary of the Leninist theory of power

The fundamental problem in every revolution is that of state power. In the Communist Manifesto Marx and Engels declared: "The first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class." This idea runs through the entire works of Lenin. In The State and Revolution, Lenin laid stress on the need to break up and smash the bourgeois state machine and to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. He said, "The working class must break up, smash the 'ready-made state machinery', and not confine itself merely to laying hold of it"; and that "only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat". He further said, "All is illusion, except power." ... iatti.html ... /index.htm
Post 07 May 2015, 02:05
While researching the Soviet concept of the "state of the whole people", I came across an obscure current within anti-revisionism, mainly the Liuist strand, which sided with Liu and Deng over Mao during the GPCR, while still holding up the genuine ML elements within the CPC as superior to the revisionists of the CPSU. They also criticize Mao's New Democracy as being equivalent to the "state of the whole people".

The 1968 Cultural Revolution report in particular gained considerable notoriety by siding with Liu Shaoqi against Mao as the true Marxist-Leninist. In this, the MLOB was similar to a number of other European anti-revisionists who could not accept the Maoist critique of Liu, including Jacques Grippa in Belgium and the Centre marxiste-léniniste de France. ... tion30.htm

In November 1966 posters appeared in Peking denouncing the leading Marxist-Leninists Liu Shao-chi, President, of the People’s Republic of China, and Teng-Hsiao-ping, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party, as “leaders of an anti-Party group”.

Interesting that a group claiming to be more anti-revisionist than Mao, considered Deng Xiaoping to be the leading Marxist-Leninist in China.
Post 07 May 2015, 07:47
I think part of the reason "Liuists" existed for a brief period is because Jacques Grippa and many other leaders of the early Marxist-Leninist splits from revisionist parties weren't really enamored with Mao Zedong Thought as such. They viewed it as simply the application of Marxism-Leninism to Chinese (or at most Asian) conditions and nothing more, which is basically what the Chinese themselves were claiming in the 1940s and 50s. They upheld China mainly because of its critiques of Soviet revisionism. When the Chinese started claiming that Maoism had universal significance and constituted a "higher stage" of Marxism-Leninism, and when the "Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution" was heralded as the greatest advance towards communism yet achieved, those who grew up in the Western communist movements of the 1920s-40s were generally less enthusiastic than the student radicals who became the public face of Maoism from the late 60s onwards.

Those in China who took their cue from the Soviets on matters of economics, philosophy, etc. were attacked as having a "mechanistic" understanding of dialectics, of attaching too much importance on the development of the productive forces, of underrating agriculture, of neglecting the masses, etc. The narrative was that Stalin's "errors" on these subjects led to the rise of revisionism, and that by repeating said "errors" one was objectively taking the capitalist road. Since Liu and Deng were seen as taking their cue from the Soviets (hence Liu being called "China's Khrushchev" by the Maoists), and since many saw the "Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution" as anti-Marxist, this led to some people considering Liu and Deng better Marxists than Mao. I'm sure those upholding Liu and Deng in the 60s had different opinions of them once Deng actually came to power and more information came out about Liu's positions on economics.
Post 07 May 2015, 15:53
To some extent it is true that Deng and Liu represented the "Soviet economic" faction within the CPC in the 1960s. Liu gave the speech on the First Five Year Plan at the 8th Party congress, which is considered the most Soviet-style and arguably most successful economic period of Chinese socialism. Even in the 1970s during the early reform period the model economy was Hungary and the other people's democracies. Deng lead the Chinese delegation in the anti-Soviet charge in the 1960s, and remained anti-Khrushchev even after taking power, although this was based more on geopolitics and "big power chauvinism" than anti-revisionist ideology.

I suppose Chen Yun would be considered the most "sovietist" economist within the CPC leadership. He opposed the radical experiments of Mao, and supported reform along the Hungarian model. But he turned against Deng's outright neoliberal marketization in the 1980s. I think he would represent the CPC faction that looked to the 1st 5 year plan as the glory days. Some sources claim that the PRC economy during the GPCR period was largely run on an orthodox Soviet model, as unlike during the GLF, Maoism reigned only in the realm of culture and ideology but largely left the economic model in place.

As for anti-revisionists in the West; its true that reading through EROL you see that the early NCM was lead by "Stalinists" who opposed the 1956 changes in the USSR, and they were more fellow travelers with the CPC than outright Maoists. The PLP for example was very adamant about this , although they wont on their own weird direction in the 1970s. Its notable that in the USA at least some of these anti-revist groups started emerging as early as the 1940s, claiming that the CPUSA had not been thoroughly de-Browderized. They were expelled from the CPUSA during Stalin's lifetime, but still remained loyal to the international ML movement.

Theres always someone trying to out anti-revisionist the other guy. I remember the Direct Democracy 4u page had an article criticizing Hoxha as a revisionist because he did not immediately condemn the post-Stalin CPSU during their early years.
Post 08 May 2015, 16:52
heiss93 wrote:
Deng lead the Chinese delegation in the anti-Soviet charge in the 1960s, and remained anti-Khrushchev even after taking power, although this was based more on geopolitics and "big power chauvinism" than anti-revisionist ideology.
Well from 1982 onwards there was a gradual rapprochement with the USSR. The Chinese ceased claiming that capitalism had been restored there, and during the Gorby period Chinese media portrayed him as learning from China's market reforms. Even though the CPC still nominally upholds Stalin their criticism of Khrushchev and Brezhnev was basically confined to accusing them of practicing hegemonism against other countries, rather than acting as if the USSR was akin to a modern-day Nazi Germany.

An article you'd find of interest:
Post 08 May 2015, 18:45
The paradoxical thing about the Deng line, was that while he recognized the USSR as a socialist state he continued to refer to the USSR as an imperialist power, and militantly opposed Soviet allies in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Angola and even as far as Latin America.

A great book on the topic is The Chinese Debate about Soviet Socialism, 1978-1985 ... &q&f=false

Actually within the EROL some groups such as the CWP had debates about this, and eventually concluded that the USSR was a socialist state with an imperialist foreign policy.

A group that went in the opposite direction is Line of March, which started out as part of the pro-China NCM, but later fully embraced the USSR as the prime defender of 3rd world liberation movements.
Last edited by heiss93 on 09 May 2015, 02:44, edited 1 time in total.
Post 09 May 2015, 02:09
heiss93 wrote:
A group that went in the opposite direction is Line of March, which started out as part of the pro-China NCM, but later fully embraced the USSR as the prime defender of 3rd world liberation movements.
The irony is that LoM became so pro-Soviet that it was actually more pro-Gorby than the CPUSA.

As far as Chinese foreign policy went, it did actually improve relations with the Angolan government under the MPLA from the mid-80s onwards. In fact it even started denouncing UNITA (while ignoring the role China played in its existence and helping subsidize its continued opposition to the MPLA.)
Post 09 May 2015, 02:38
Since we're on the topic, and you're something of an expert on Sino-Albanian relations, I was wondering about Sino-Yugoslav relations under Mao. Chairman Mao died on Sept 9 1976, while Marshal Tito's visit to China was in Aug-Sept 1976. This was followed by the Chair of the Italian CP visiting around the same time. Titoism and Eurocommunism was both supported by Hua Guofeng under the principles of anti-Soviet hegemony, and non-interference in the internal affairs of other CPs. Ironically this reconciliation with the established CPs was taking place at time when pro-China ML parties still existed, criticizing the mainline CPs as revisionists.

What I wanted to know is if any of these moves towards reconciliation with Yugoslavia, happened during Mao's lifetime. Tito's 1st visit came within a year of Mao's death. I think Hoxha mentions in his memoirs, that Mao's foreign ministry was pressuring Albania to reconcile with Yugoslavia in an anti-Soviet bloc.

The 3 World's Theory, while condemning the USSR as a new Nazi Germany, also opened the door for the PRC to ally with many of the Warsaw Pact states as they were considered part of the 2nd world. AFAIK, the CPC never condemned the entire Eastern bloc in the same terms as the CPSU, and largely maintained fraternal relations with the East European powers, especially Romania. The main judge of CPC relations was not Left or Right, but distance from USSR foreign policy.

Anyway to get back to the point, do you know of any attempt by the CPC to reconcile with Tito during Mao's lifetime? That would be very intriguing to me, about Maoism coming full circle, in that the earliest CPC polemics were precisely about Yugoslavia not being a socialist country.

In a way the CPC did come full circle in foreign policy, in that the inital critique of Khruschev in the 50s and 60s was that he was "soft" on US Imperialism with his peaceful coexistence, while by the Brezhnev era of the 1970s; the PRC was saying the the USSR was an aggressively social imperialist power out for world domination; against a declining USA. This is precisely what won over groups like LoM to the USSR cause, since in their eyes the errors of Khrushchev had been corrected, and Soviet "aggression" was precisely the aid to revolutionary movements around the world, that Mao had found lacking in the 50s.

On Angola, I knew that the current PRC has good economic relations with the MPLA, but I had no idea that they reconciled while the Cold War was going on. Although by the mid-1980s Gorby was in power, and the immediate threat of Soviet 'imperialism' had receded.
Post 10 May 2015, 11:51
heiss93 wrote:
Anyway to get back to the point, do you know of any attempt by the CPC to reconcile with Tito during Mao's lifetime? That would be very intriguing to me, about Maoism coming full circle, in that the earliest CPC polemics were precisely about Yugoslavia not being a socialist country.
Hua did claim that Mao felt back in 1948-49 that Soviet criticisms of Tito were unjust, and Hoxha in his memoirs recalled visiting China in 1956 and being told by Mao that Khrushchev's efforts to rehabilitate Tito (because Stalin had supposedly been "mistaken" in denouncing him) were correct.

But as for "officially" reconciling Titoism and Maoism, that didn't happen until after Mao's death. The Chinese in the early 70s tried to get Albania to be the junior partner in a Yugoslav-Romanian-Albanian "defense pact" of sorts, but this didn't actually entail a rehabilitation of Tito, just the view that Soviet social-imperialism was the greater danger than US imperialism (which Yugoslavia was hitherto accused of being linked with.)
Post 21 May 2015, 03:41
To the I.W.W.
A Special Message from the Communist International.

An open letter from the Comintern to the IWW. A very useful introduction to the direct democratic, workers' council aspects of the earliest period of Soviet state power. Especially given the IWW audience, Zinoviev was keen to emphasis the commonalities between democratic centralism and Wobblie democracy. For instance he mentions that once the Proletarian Dictatorship disapears it will give way for an industrial administrative body, which will be something like the General Executive Board of the I.W.W. ... letter.htm
Post 23 May 2015, 04:33
The Constitutions of the CPs of the USA and PRC are relatively easy to come by. With the CPC Constitution you can even see how it evolved through the Party Congresses. With the CPSU however while the 1936 and 1977 USSR State constitution is widely available its hard to come across a Party constitution describing its internal workings.

Googling "constitution of the communist party of the soviet union" I only got 7 results, all referring to constitutions of the early 1920s. One article from the official CPC wiki referred to Mao Dun as the translator of the CPSU const. in 1920.

I was able to find this Fourteenth Party Congress

Constitution of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

December 1925 ... gress.html
Post 25 May 2015, 02:33
Constitution of the Communist Political Association. The definitive statement of Browderism in 1944 when the Party was broken up for wartime unity and populism.

what I find interesting is the heroes of American democracies listed as the parties predecessors, some like Andrew Jackson would definitely not be admired by most Far Leftists today, although some mainstream Democratic populists would still uphold him, but even they can't ignore historical issues like slavery and genocide in the modern liberal coalition of 2015. ... tution.pdf

is a non-party organization of Americans
which, basing itself upon the working class,
carries forward the traditions of Washington, Jefferson,
Paine, Jackson, and Lincoln, under the
changed conditions of modern industrial society.
Post 31 May 2015, 14:03
It is easier to uphold Jefferson, Paine and Lincoln than it is to uphold Washington or Jackson, though Washington was still a bourgeois revolutionary (albeit more conservative, like Adams and Hamilton) and Jackson was seen in his time as a representative of democratic forces. That aspect of the CPA was not different from the CPUSA, what was different was Browder using American history and "exceptionalism" to justify the liquidation of the party.
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