Wednesday, September 6, 2017

October 1917,100 years from the first dash to the sky (2/2)

The second part of the two presentations of an open event for the 100 years of the October Revolution that took place in Athens in May of 2017.

By T. Fotopoulos member of the Central Committee of CPG(m-l).  

We are going through a historical period where the realism of the practicing policy is centered on the fact that "revolutionary politics do not work, and they have a marginal appeal".
We live in a period where a revolutionary policy with a look towards tomorrow is constantly postponed, and revolutionary voluntarism has been banished from thinking and practice.
It is a phase of the movement where “left pessimism”, with eyes fixed on parliamentary percentages, brings disappointment.
It is a time when the workers' communist strategy, as a living policy in the battles of today, is seeked, and must be rebuilt. For now it is ideologically “underground”, treated as "sectarianism" or "leftism" ...
In this endeavor to restore the revolutionary view to the present, we want to contribute with this event, but mainly with our political intervention, since this will give us again the food for the theory of the new period of the Communist movement that we are already walking on.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Revolution in Education: Our Experience (2)

by Chen Shui-lian, teacher in the department of automation at Tsinghua University

Published in Peking Review, 14(36), 3 September 1971

I am a teacher of mathematics. When the first group of worker-peasant-soldier students was enrolled in June last year, I was quite enthusiastic when I began teaching. However, I began to have misgivings when six of my ten lectures fell short of the requirements. I felt that I could do nothing about it and waited for the leadership to solve the problem.

It was then that the Party committee and the workers’ and P.L.A. men’s Mao Tsetung Thought propaganda team called a meeting of all the teachers in the university and pointed out that although there were many contradictions in teaching and learning, the first thing to be stressed was remoulding the teachers’ world outlook. Otherwise, nothing could be achieved. The meeting helped me see the way out. With my own ideological problem in mind, I studied Chairman Mao’s a teaching “In the problem of transforming education it is the teachers who are the main problem” and his other teachings on serving the workers, peasants and soldiers.

Monday, August 28, 2017

October 1917,100 years from the first dash to the sky (1/2)

This was the first of the two presentations in an open event for the 100 years of the October Revolution that took place in Athens in May of 2017. By P. Chountis member of the Central Committee of CPG(m-l).  
It took a few decades to realize the picturesque finding in the Communist Manifesto in 1848, that "A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communism".
We could say that the massive presence of the working class in historical development starts in the 1830s and 1840s. The labour struggles of Lyon and the movement of Chartists are accompanied by the first socialist-communist approaches. The revolution in Paris in 1848 is the first dynamic presence of the proletariat and leads to the proletarian uprising in late June. The uprising is repressed and thousands are executed and displaced in labour camps in Algeria, but it affects a wave of uprisings across Europe. Marx describes the 1848 uprising in Paris as the "first major battle between the two classes in which the modern society is divided".
The next wave comes with the shocking events in Paris in 1870-71 that lead to the first proletarian-revolutionary power, the Commune that lasts from late March to late May. During these two months, the Commune replaces the regular army by the militia, gives away all rents since October 1870, allows the election of foreign nationals in the Commune, imposes a ceiling on Communist officials, votes for the division of Church and State, the abolition of state subsidies for religious purposes, the removal of religious symbols from schools, the destruction of the guillotine, the demolition of the chauvinistic and warmonger Column of Victory, the creation of collaborative cooperatives for the operation of factories, the abolition of night shift for baker workers, the closing of the pawnshops and more.
In late May the Commune is crushed by the army, in an agreement between the French bourgeoisie and the German invaders. A mass massacre follows. Engels says that "such a massacre has not happened since the civil wars that prepared the fall of the Roman Empire". And adds that in the uprising of 1848 "the bourgeoisie showed the terrible toughness that its vengeance can reach, if the proletariat dares to stand as a separate class with its own claims and interests". To conclude with the observation that "yet, 1848 was like a game compared to the rage of the bourgeoisie in 1871".
Τhe labour struggles are handed over to the US working class. Nine years after the rail strikes in 1877, on May 1st 1886, US unions go on strike demanding eight-hour working day. While thousands of workers do achieve the eight-hour working day, mass strikes are facing brutal police repression that leads to violent deaths, arrests and death sentences for four workers in a parody-trial.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Revolution in Education: Our Experience (1)

by Kuei Yu-peng, student of the department of mechanical engineering, Tsinghua University
Published in Peking Review, 14(34), 20 August 1971

All students in our class are workers who have worked at least ten years in different plants. Since we have come to the university, what should be our attitude towards the tasks of “studying in the university, managing the university and using Mao Tsetung Thought to transform the university”? It took us some time to know the correct answer. When we first entered the university, as I recall, we were really quite enthusiastic! But as soon as we take up our study, many contradictions arose and our earlier enthusiasm began to cool down.
The main shaft’s gear box is a key part of machine tools. This is the part where bourgeois technical “authorities” used to create obstacles for us. This time we made up our minds to master this key part in our class of machine tool designing. But no sooner had our teacher touched on it than problems cropped up. When she mentioned common multiplier φ in explaining the speed diagram of gear box in a machine tool, we didn’t know what she was talking about. We passed on to her our opinion several times, but there wasn’t much improvement. Then, we became impatient. Some said: “We can’t even ‘study’ well, what’s the use of talking about ’managing’ and ’transforming’ the university!” They also found some “grounds” to support their argument: Since there was the leadership, we didn’t have to bother about “management”. Since we all came from the factories and were unfamiliar with things in the university, it was difficult for us to “manage“ the university. Besides, heavy load of study left us no time for dealing with matters of “management”.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The three sources and three component parts of Marxism

Written in 1913 by V.I. Lenin. It was dedicated  to the Thirtieth Anniversary of Marx's death.

Throughout the civilized world the teachings of Marx evoke the utmost hostility and hatred of all bourgeois science (both official and liberal), which regards Marxism as a kind of “pernicious sect”. And no other attitude is to be expected, for there can be no “impartial” social science in a society based on class struggle. In one way or another, all official and liberal science defends wage-slavery, whereas Marxism has declared relentless war on that slavery. To expect science to be impartial in a wage-slave society is as foolishly naive as to expect impartiality from manufacturers on the question of whether workers’ wages ought not to be increased by decreasing the profits of capital.

But this is not all. The history of philosophy and the history of social science show with perfect clarity that there is nothing resembling “sectarianism” in Marxism, in the sense of its being a hidebound, petrified doctrine, a doctrine which arose away from the high road of the development of world civilization. On the contrary, the genius of Marx consists precisely in his having furnished answers to questions already raised by the foremost minds of mankind. His doctrine emerged as the direct and immediate continuation of the teachings of the greatest representatives of philosophy, political economy and socialism.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Capitalism: A Ghost Story

A 2012 essay by Arundhati Roy. An extensive work on how capitalism in India exploits public wealth, resources from the land, indigenous people and the status of India in the world.
Source: Outlookindia
Roy's speech at Xaviers College, Mumbai here

Is it a house or a home? A temple to the new India, or a warehouse for its ghosts? Ever since Antilla arrived on Altamont Road in Mumbai, exuding mystery and quiet menace, things have not been the same. “Here we are,” the friend who took me there said, “Pay your respects to our new Ruler.”

Antilla belongs to India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani. I had read about this most expensive dwelling ever built, the twenty-seven floors, three helipads, nine lifts, hanging gardens, ballrooms, weather rooms, gymnasiums, six floors of parking, and the six hundred servants. Nothing had prepared me for the vertical lawn—a soaring, 27-storey-high wall of grass attached to a vast metal grid. The grass was dry in patches; bits had fallen off in neat rectangles. Clearly, Trickledown hadn’t worked.

But Gush-Up certainly has. That’s why in a nation of 1.2 billion, India’s 100 richest people own assets equivalent to one-fourth of the GDP.

The word on the street (and in the New York Times) is, or at least was, that after all that effort and gardening, the Ambanis don’t live in Antilla. No one knows for sure. People still whisper about ghosts and bad luck, Vaastu and Feng Shui. Maybe it’s all Karl Marx’s fault. (All that cussing.) Capitalism, he said, “has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, that it is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells”.

In India, the 300 million of us who belong to the new, post-IMF “reforms” middle class—the market—live side by side with spirits of the nether world, the poltergeists of dead rivers, dry wells, bald mountains and denuded forests; the ghosts of 2,50,000 debt-ridden farmers who have killed themselves, and of the 800 million who have been impoverished and dispossessed to make way for us. And who survive on less than twenty rupees a day.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The contradictory rise of China: an interview with Chuang by InfoAut

Source: Chuang

Publicizing this article does not mean we necessarily agree with all its aspects

Photo:Eric Jenkins-Sahlin
Comrades from the Italian website contacted us with some questions about recent developments in China. Below are our responses.1 
Here is how InfoAut introduce themselves:
InfoAut is a portal of the Italian antagonistic movement that, for ten years, has produced and documented counter-information, analysis, theory and stories of struggle. The website is an expression of a network of experiences of conflict that connects social centres, student collectives, and struggles for habitation, in the workplace and over the environment. The tendency of Autonomia in Italy finds expression in InfoAut, using it as an instrument of expression and subjectivisation [i.e. constituting the proletariat as a political subject], and also as a space for debate.
  1. This November the CPC will carry out the renewal of the Politburo, during a critical phase for the country. President Xi Jinping has effectively elevated himself to the fundamental “core” of the CPC and the state, and has, over the past five years, vested within himself control of a majority of the country’s most prominent political and military positions. In this way, Xi has obtained a role with a level of power comparable to Mao and Deng. Nevertheless, these Congresses are moments in which one can see, through the election of this or that official, possible tendencies in the development of the politics of the People’s Republic of China. What kinds of indications, with respect to domestic and foreign policy, can we derive from the nominations? Which groups within the Chinese governing class will gain more power and which will be suppressed?
In responding to this question, first we’d like to address some common assumptions often associated with this type of discussion. (Not that you necessarily share these assumptions, but many readers may.)