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Archive for the ‘Stalinism’ Category

China’s New Morning Star Friends and other Fellow Travellers.

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May be an image of 6 people and text that says "in MorningStar scribe SuUs Shop ContaUs Newsletters ignor the war aqainst China- fear of speaking against atrocity n propaganda upsetting and controversial nature only lead the manuracturing consent ror military aggression Xinjiang: staying afloat in a wave of disinformation Despite the deliberately intimidating nature of atrocity propaganda, we have to make sure we critically assess all politically motivated claims against rivals to US power. ΚΑΤΕ WOOLFORD looks at what is really going on in north-west China"

Morning Star platforms ‘Marxist-Leninist’ defence of Chinese Regime.

“Perhaps China’s current ability to tolerate paradoxes is the most notable legacy of Mao – that dedicated admirer of contradictions.” (P 465) “An adaptive ‘guerrilla-style’ mode of policymaking”, “”Maybe that is why China, for the time being, can be ruled by a party that continues to emphasise its Marxist-Leninist-Maoist heritage, whole proclaiming the necessity of market forces; that proclaims its possession of a ‘comprehensive plan’ at a time when China is more complicatedly diverse than at any point in is history. Maybe this explains also why I has a leader who has revived Maoist strategies fifty years after his family were torn apart by Mao’s policies.”(P 465)

Maoism: A Global History. Julia Lovell. 2019.

The one-time pro-Soviet Communist Party of Britain has taken to admiring the Chinese Communist Party.

Quotes from Mao festoon party members’ tweets, the CPB has taken to calling itself ‘Marxist-Leninist'(an old orthodox Official Communist tag, but one these days largely confined to the remaining fragments of Maoism) and they have produced this:

It seems as if the CPB, lacking the Beacon of the USSR, has, in desperation, found a new Socialist Fifth of the World.

Enter the latest sally.

Xinjiang: staying afloat in a wave of disinformation

Kate Woolford, a member of the Southampton Young Communist League and social media editor of Challenge (The YCL journal) writes.

“The latest red scare propaganda targets China and its autonomous region of Xinjiang. Many people will have seen statistics that refer to “one million Muslims” being held in concentration camps and various other human rights abuses — even “genocide.” It is crucial that the public are aware of where the main allegations come from and gain a picture of what is really going on in Xinjiang.”

Scales no doubt fall from our eyes when, after a farrago of ad hominem attacks on small number of reports abut the persecution of this minority we come to,

According to CGTN, “From 1990 to 2016, thousands of terrorist attacks have been launched in Xinjiang, killing large numbers of innocent people and hundreds of police officers.”

In response, China has launched campaigns to crack down on violent extremism, separatism and terrorism with a focus on re-education. The camps were built to de-radicalise Muslims who had been victims of Etim’s ideas — this is the point of the mass mobilisation in the region that has led to false allegations of “genocide,” “forced sterilisation” and “torture.”

In the spirit of fairness, after having rubbished any report of bad treatment of China’s Uighur minority China expert Kate Wolford cites the Chinese state’s own line:

“the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China puts the state’s case forward plainly.”

“Faced with this severe and complex problem [religious extremism], Xinjiang has upheld the principle of addressing both the symptoms and the root causes in the fight against terrorism and extremism, by striking hard at serious terrorist crimes, which are limited in number and by educating and rehabilitating people influenced by religious extremism and involved in minor violations of the law.

“In accordance with the law, it has established a group of vocational education centres to offer systemic education and training in response to a set of urgent needs: to curb frequent terrorist incidents, to eradicate the breeding ground for religious extremism, to help trainees acquire a better education and vocational skills, find employment and increase their incomes and most of all, to safeguard social stability and long-term peace in Xinjiang.”

At the camps residents are taught Mandarin — the lingua franca spoken by 73 percent of the Chinese population — taught technical skills in order to help them find work when they leave and offered mental guidance to overcome radicalised ways of thinking.

Of course, as is the case everywhere in the world, the severity of a sentence depends on the scale of the crime and the willingness of a person of acknowledge their guilt.

The people in the re-education centres are assessed on how much harm they have been caused, their willingness to receive training and whether they have already completed a prison sentence but might still require further rehabilitation.

The people in the centres are provided with free education and once the trainees reach their expected criteria, they are offered certificates of completion and can leave. Depending on the reason they are there, many are allowed to go home to visit their families once or twice a week.

It is absolutely not a campaign to stop them practising Islam — religious activities are protected by Article 36 of the constitution: “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. No state organ, public organisation or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion.

The lengthy piece ends with this:

“We cannot ignore the drive to war against China. Fear of speaking out against atrocity propaganda because of its upsetting and controversial nature will only lead to the manufacturing of consent for war. Western intervention led to two million people dying in Korea, 2.4 million people dying in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, three million people dying in Vietnam among millions more elsewhere.

Given the history, given the body count, socialists have a duty to vehemently oppose the idea that our countries should be able to interfere in others; denouncing the false narrative on Xinjiang is now part of that duty.”

This is how the Chinese state has reacted to reporting on the issue;

BBC journalist leaves China after Beijing criticises Uighurs coverage

John Sudworth’s relocation to Taiwan comes after ‘months of personal attacks’ over reporting of alleged abuses of minorities

Here is some more History.

. “From October 1050 to October 1951, the regime eliminated somewhere between 1,5 and 2 million people. (P 24) this time, death sentences were fewer, formal executions many suspects killed themselves. “The objective was to produce a docile population by transforming almost every act and every utterance into a potential crime.”(P 241)

The Cultural Revolution A People’s History, 1962—1976 Frank Dikötter 2016.

 Here are some more Fellow Travellers: John Ross, former leader of the International Marxist Group (IMG),

John Ross Retweeted

The main theme of the fellow Travellers of Chinese Communist Party is that its development of the productive forces in the country is a miracle. The lack of democracy, human rights, is less important that “this extraordinary successful political project”. The regime has “extraordinarily” increased the ‘real’ freedoms of the population. Happiness is the CCP.. (Martin Jacques).

Martin Jacques, editor of Marxism Today, was famously the betist of bêtes noires of the Communist Party of Britain. Speculation is growing that he will be invited back to their pages.

Left Internationalists do not agree:

Update: there is also this,


The Communist Party of Britain is urging labour movement bodies not to rush to judgment on the Uyghur question in China. 

Mr Griffiths said the reports of ‘genocide’ from a network of right-wing institutes and pressure groups funded by the US, British and Australian governments are recycled uncritically in the Western media. 

As one of many international delegations to visit Xinjiang, he had seen for himself that mosques are open, the Uyghur language can be seen and heard everywhere, and the majority of top state and political officials are Uyghurs, not Han Chinese. 

Written by Andrew Coates

April 14, 2021 at 11:27 am

Review: I Want to Believe. Posadism, UFOs and Apocalypse Communism. A.M. Gittlitz.

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I Want to Believe

“Eminently readable, it is a valuable study of an aspect of the left that deserves a wide audience.”

From the latest Chartist Magazine.

I Want to Believe. Posadism, UFOs and Apocalypse Communism. A.M. Gittlitz. Pluto Press.


“As the rightful inheritors of Lenin and Trotsky’s Internationals, the Posadists believed themselves best equipped to tackle the mysteries of the universe left underdiscussed during the tumult of the first half of the century”. Homero Cristalli, “Poasadas”, born in Buenos Aires in 1912, is remembered for his “mystical, futurist and visionary” speculations on intelligent dolphins and UFOs. We must “appeal to the beings on other planets, when they come here, to intervene and collaborate with the Earth’s inhabitants in suppressing poverty”.

I Want to Believe is not a Trotskyist X-Files. It tells the story not only of Posadas himself but also of his tendency, which played a part in the history of the labour movement. They “fought in the Sierras of Cuba with Castro and Yon Sosa” they built up groups in factories across two continents and organised peasants in Brazil. They spent decades in prison, some disappeared in the torture chambers or were thrown from helicopters of the Condor dictatorships.”

Gittlitz offers an eye-opening account of the post-war Latin American left. . Cristalli, born in the Cordoban slums, a tango dancer, and football player, was re-born as a shoemaker union organiser and an activist in the Socialist Youth. He began working for the main current of the Trotskyist Fourth International. For many on the left Perón’s rise to power in 1940s has resulted in a dictatorial regime, by many on the left. Posadas took the stand to “critically support”. Peronism. Foreshadowing theories of ‘left populism’ as President Perón was against the imperialists; his supporters offered a base to build a “revolutionary movement”.

If that was not enough to case divisions, international Trotskyist debates in the 1950s, under the shadow of a battle between the USSR and the West, about global war/revolution, led to deep rifts. Posadas took the view that nuclear war was inevitable. He ended, after bewildering splits, with his own Posadist International. Their task was to create nuclei that would take a leadership role in the aftermath of a nuclear apocalypse and build a Socialist future. The less than genial side of Posadism is underlined. Their role, Armageddon or not, was to guide the workers to towards revolution and “rule over them afterwards as dictators”.

The movement ended as a neo-Saint-Simonian cult, with the remaining faithful holed up in an Italian Villa. The birth of a daughter, Homerita, was the “rebirth of the entire International around the common cause of preparing the heir apparent.” An authoritarian leader, who gave “kindergarten level lectures” to his followers, right up his death in 1981, ruled the sect. “Even if I die” he said, “I’ll rise again!”

Another heir, Dante Minazzoli, expelled from the movement after 25 years of activism, back to the foundation of the Grupo cautro international in 1947, was Gitlitz says, their pre-eminent enthusiast for “science fiction, cosmic philosophy, and the Bolshevik futurists.” Minazzoli was one of the forerunners of “neo-Posadism”, an interest in futurism in space, and Futurology, seen in the “Fully Automated Luxury Space Communism” web memes. Yet, Gittlitz concludes, Posadism will not be revived, as a “prophet of catastrophe, socialist futurism and epochal unity” This “bizarre signpost” Gittlitz concludes, directs towards an “uncertain future”.

I Want to Believe is thoroughly researched, helped by consultation with a wide range of people including eccentrics like Sebastian Budgen and Dave Broder. Eminently readable, it is a valuable study of an aspect of the left that deserves a wide audience.


You can learn more about Posadism from this site:




Written by Andrew Coates

March 6, 2021 at 2:36 pm

Communist Party of Britain, “Charges of ‘genocide’ are “part of the ‘new Cold War’ being waged against China”.

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Xi Jinping Applauds Morning Star Stand Against Third Campism.

The Morning Star, independent of the Communist Party of Britain,  the Chinese Communist Party and owned by the co-op, published this exclusive a couple of days ago,


Xi Jinping issues awards to anti-poverty champions as Beijing celebrates eradication of absolute poverty nationwide

CHINESE President Xi Jinping presided over an awards ceremony for champions of its poverty eradication effort today as he declared “complete victory” over destitution in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

China announced that it had eliminated absolute poverty in December, enabling it to meet its “first centenary goal,” which is to establish “a moderately prosperous society in all respects” by the centenary of the foundation of the Chinese Communist Party this summer.

It then embarks on its “second centenary goal,” to have built “a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious” by the centenary of the establishment of the People’s Republic in 2049.

The Morning Star did not publish any independent investigation into the claims of this (unpaid for?) advertorial.

Bb contrast the Communist Party of Britain has called for ” labour movement organisations in Britain to undertake fact-finding missions” to find out for themselves the ‘truth’ behind claims that Uighurs in China are mistreated.


The Communist Party of Britain is urging labour movement bodies not to rush to judgment on the Uyghur question in China.

The Beijing government has been accused of ‘genocide’ against the mostly Muslim population of 13 million people in the Xinjiang autonomous region, in north-west China.

But CPB general secretary Robert Griffiths told his party’s political committee on Wednesday evening that the charges of ‘genocide’ are ideologically motivated, lacked independent evidence, and are part of the ‘new Cold War’ being waged against China.

‘It is a strange sort of genocide which has exempted the Uyghur people from China’s one-child policy, so that their numbers have grown by 25 per cent since 2010, six times the rate for China as a whole and twelve times that for the smaller Han Chinese minority in Xinjiang itself’, Mr Griffiths declared.

He pointed out that a major programme of investment and training in the region have produced high levels of economic growth and lifted millions of Uyghurs out of poverty and unemployment.

Drastic security measures have put an end to a spate of terrorist attacks on Han and other ethnic minority people by fundamentalist and separatist elements in Xinjiang, he added.

Mr Griffiths said the reports of ‘genocide’ from a network of right-wing institutes and pressure groups funded by the US, British and Australian governments are recycled uncritically in the Western media.

As one of many international delegations to visit Xinjiang, he had seen for himself that mosques are open, the Uyghur language can be seen and heard everywhere, and the majority of top state and political officials are Uyghurs, not Han Chinese.

The CPB political committee urged labour movement organisations in Britain to undertake fact-finding missions to Xinjiang and other parts of China, rather than repeat the ‘fictitious propaganda’ of the labour movement’s longstanding enemies.

Perhaps they might register this alternative view:

An independent investigator has just had this published the Morning Star.

‘Neither Washington nor Beijing’ means objective support for Washington

This is a delightful exercise in old style Tanky politics,

The author is a certain Carlos Martinez, Convenor  @NoColdWar


And this is his reading:


Martinez writes,

A NEWCOMER to politics would likely assume that members of the global left support the People’s Republic of China.

It is after all led by a communist party, with Marxism as its guiding ideology.

During the period since the Communist Party of China (CPC) came to power in 1949, the Chinese people have experienced an unprecedented improvement in their living standards and human development.

Life expectancy has increased from 36 to 77 years. Literacy has increased from an estimated 20 per cent to 97 per cent.

The social and economic position of women has improved beyond recognition (one example being that, before the revolution, the vast majority of women received no formal education whatsoever, whereas now a majority of students in higher education institutions are female). Extreme poverty has been eliminated. China is becoming the pre-eminent world leader in tackling climate change.

Such progress is evidently consistent with traditional left-wing values; what typically attracts people to Marxism is precisely that it seeks to provide a framework for solving those problems of human development that capitalism has shown itself incapable of satisfactorily addressing.

Those inclined to weary will have to bear a lot more in this vein.

Seventy years of Chinese socialism, meanwhile, have broken the inverse correlation between wealth and poverty.

Even though China suffers from high levels of inequality, even though China has some extremely rich people, life for ordinary workers and peasants has continuously improved, at a remarkable rate and over an extended period.

These claims, that in some fashion the People’s Republic of China has avoided, ” division, deception and coercion” will sound like the Morning Star’s “a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious” advertorial.

Alas, not everybody agrees.

…support for China within the left in countries such as Britain and the US is in fact a fairly marginal position.

The bulk of Marxist groups in those countries consider that China is not a socialist country; indeed many believe it to be “a rising imperialist power in the world system that oversees the exploitation of its own population … and increasingly exploits Third World countries in pursuit of raw materials and outlets for its exports” (Socialist Worker, 2019).

Some consider the China-led Belt and Road Initiative to be an example of “feverish global expansionism” (Counterfire, 2020).

The Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, with characteristic crudeness, describe China as being “functionally little different from, and in any case not better than, a fascist regime,” every bit as imperialist as the US and politically much worse.

Third Camp.

The growing confrontation between the US and China is not, on these terms, an attack by an imperialist power on a socialist or independent developing country, but rather an example of inter-imperialist rivalry.

On this basis, sections of the left are advocating the construction of a “third camp” around the slogan “Neither Washington nor Beijing, but international socialism.”

It’s an attractive idea. We don’t align with oppressors anywhere; our only alignment is with the global working class.

Furthermore it’s an idea with historical roots: a significant proportion of the socialist movement — particularly in Britain — rallied behind the slogan “Neither Washington nor Moscow,” withholding their support from a Soviet Union they considered to be state capitalist and/or imperialist.

There follows a historical sketch on Lenin’s opposition to the Great War, when he refused to take a ‘defensist’  position in favour of one of other of the two warring imperialist blocs. This stand, he fails to mention, was shared for different reasons by other sections of the radical left. It was, Martinez claims, a strategy pioneered by the “communist movement in the early 1910s” – a time when the name was completely out of fashion.

One can safely skip this and jump to…

The third camp has apparently survived the storm generated by the collapse of the Soviet Union and simply pitched its tent a few thousand kilometres south-east — “Neither Washington nor Moscow” has reappeared as “Neither Washington nor Beijing.”

Once again invoking the spirit of the Bolsheviks, several prominent left organisations call on the working class in the West to oppose both the US and China; to fight imperialism in all its forms; to support workers’ struggle everywhere to bring down capitalism.

Rather than demonstrate that this is a wrong principle the Morning Star author leapfrogs into this,

If their assumptions are correct — if the new cold war is indeed analogous to the situation prevailing in Europe before WWI, if China is an imperialist country, if the Chinese working class is ready to be mobilised in an international revolutionary socialist alliance — then perhaps their conclusions are also correct.

It is clear where he is going,

Conversely, if China can be shown not to be an imperialist power, and if the new cold war can be shown not to be an inter-imperialist struggle, then the slogan “Neither Washington nor Beijing” can be safely rejected.

In this series of articles, we explore the assorted claims that China has become an imperialist country.

We do not need to hold our breath to get the conclusion.

We conclude that these claims are specious; that China is not an imperialist country; that China is in fact a threat to the imperialist world system; that the basic character of global politics in the current era is not that of inter-imperialist rivalry between the US and China, but rather a struggle between the US-led push for its continued hegemony and the China-led push for a multipolar world order.

This series does not address the question of whether China is a socialist country.

It will be interesting to see what is socialist or progressive about a mobilisation to defend a “multipolar world order”.

We must, he argues choose our camp, that of the China multipolarists against the US imperialists.

We believe that broad forces can and must unite against the US-led new cold war, regardless of their assessment of China’s political and economic system.

The prominent Belgian Trotskyist Ernest Mandel was by no means a supporter of Soviet socialism, but he insisted that the Soviet Union must be defended against imperialism.

Arguing against Tony Cliff’s slogan of “Neither Washington nor Moscow,” he wrote: “Why, if it is conceivable to defend the SPD [German Social Democratic Party] against fascism, despite its being led by the Noskes, the assassins of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, is it ‘inconceivable’ to defend the USSR against imperialism?”

Mandel  believed that the USSR was “a transitional society between capitalism and socialism, ‘frozen’ at its present stage by the bureaucratic dictatorship,” in 1990 he considered that where it was going , “has not yet been settled historically. A social counter-revolution can pull the USSR back towards capitalism. A victorious anti-bureaucratic political revolution can push it in the direction of socialism (no more than that: socialism in one country is impossible no matter how pure, democratic, revolutionary or internationalist a government based on workers’ power may be). (A theory which has not withstood the test of facts.)

It was on this the basis that Mandel, a leading figure in the Fourth International (FI), defended  against “imperialism”. The FI ” takes on the unconditional and uncompromising defence of the interests of the workers and the oppressed in the three sectors of the world revolution – the imperialist countries, the countries under bureaucratic dictatorship and the so called Third World countries .”

One thing you can be certain about, Mandel did not defend the interests of bureaucratic capitalist regimes like the  People’s Republic of China (PRC).

This is what his successors in the Fourth International say,

Neither Washington nor Beijing, but International Socialism

The China-U.S. rivalry will become a pivotal and unavoidable issue for the left. In both states, the ruling classes—and especially their right-wing hardliners—will turn to nationalism to deflect blame for the deep crisis in the system on to their rivals and will rally their working classes behind their respective imperial projects. The left must chart an alternative path of working-class solidarity against both the United States and China.

In the United States, the left’s first and foremost obligation is, to paraphrase the German revolutionary Karl Liebknecht, to oppose the main enemy, our own imperialist state. It remains the biggest enemy of peace, equality, and democracy throughout the world. If anyone doubts this statement, look at the catastrophes the United States wrought in Vietnam in the 1960s and Iraq in the 2000s.

But in opposing the U.S. state, we should not support the Chinese state. This is an understandable temptation given the Trump administration’s transparently cynical exploitation of the pandemic to attack China. Yet we must resist adopting the disastrous logic of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend.”

The Chinese ruling class and its state, while a lesser power compared to the United States, is no less capitalist and imperialist. It exploits its working class and peasantry, oppresses nations and national minorities like the Tibetans and Uighurs, and projects its power against the United States and throughout the developing world. Instead of supporting this oppressive state, we should align ourselves with workers and oppressed people in China who have organized, protested, and gone on strike for their rights and improvements in their wages and working conditions.

Written by Andrew Coates

February 27, 2021 at 12:47 pm