by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog
Why was a Cultural Revolution needed in already-Red China? (3/8)
In every modern revolution the winners owed their victory to the poor, and China in 1949 was no exception. Iranians call 1979 the “Revolution of the Barefooted” for this same universal reason.
(The reason is universal because any major political change not led by the poor cannot possibly be a “revolution”, but is merely a “coup”, “takeover” or “regime change”.)
I call these revolutions “Trash Revolutions”, even though the adjective is derogatory, because in the English language “trash” gets right to heart of it: the taking of political power by and for the lowest class of society.
Trash Revolutions are the best… but not all Trash make great revolutionaries.
This was the case in China, where by the mid-1960s many in the Chinese Communist Party lost their willingness to identify with the poor and to share in their hardships – thus, they had lost the most important two traits which had propelled them to victory.
The adults in the room, unlike the hardcore capitalists eager to criticize socialist societies at the first pause for breath, understand that the mere proclamation of socialist victory does not translate into an immediate paradise of equality and opportunity. This article seeks to explain why a retrenchment of revolutionary asceticism, a second so-called “cultural” revolution, was needed in already-Red China.
(Iranians agreed that a no-holds barred Cultural Revolution was so necessary in the “postmodern” era that the world’s second (and only other) state-sponsored Cultural Revolution was launched just one year after booting out the Shah: political modernity requires a massive mental shift on the individual level, and thus a massive cultural shift on the societal level. But this article does not seek to preach to the Iranian choir….)
This series examines The Unknown Cultural Revolution: Life and Change in a Chinese Village by Dongping Han, who was raised and educated in rural Jimo County, China and is now a university professor in the US. Han interviewed hundreds of rebel leaders, farmers, officials and locals, and accessed official local data to provide an exhaustive analysis of unparalled objectivity and focus regarding the Cultural Revolution (CR) in China. Han was kind enough to write the forward to my brand-new book, I’ll Ruin Everything you Are: Ending Western Propaganda in Red China. I hope you can buy a copy for yourself and your 400 closest friends.
‘Meet the new boss, same as the old boss’ – The Who… and the pre-CR CCP
Of course, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was not remotely the same as the fascist Kuomintang nor the emperor – only a dimwitted political nihilist would make such a claim… but neither had they perfectly exemplified the Chinese concept of the “Heavenly Mandate”.
After 1949 the CCP apparently thought that rural residents would be easily bought off with land, farm implements, houses and furniture while they prioritized urban areas. But despite increases in quality of life, the rural-urban divide remained glaringly in evidence and stood as galling proof of inequality, creating major domestic discord. For example, urban residents got free medical care, paid holidays, paid sick days and pensions, whereas peasants had none of these things. Maybe it is true that China, only beginning to dig itself out of the muck they were wedged in thanks to their century of colonial humiliation, could not afford to give these things to the mass majority of their citizens (China was 82% rural as late as 1964), but pro-urban sectarianism is going to be resented and certainly needs a remedy soon.
Thus the CR (and the Yellow Vests).
But at the same time that Nikita Khrushchev (Soviet leader 1953-64) had thrown open the gates to Communist Party membership – drastically weakening the ideological purity of the “vanguard party”, a key component of socialism, and in order to drown out the non-revisionist Stalinists – China had closed their ranks. Those CCP members who were there in 1949 could certainly be trusted, but many were proving to be greatly without socialist merit.
“Without new blood, the old party members were able to monopolize village power. The Communist political structure in the rural areas gave the village party secretary supreme authority….Their control of the village seemed complete.”
Westerners and anti-socialists portray Mao (and Stalin) as something like the apex of all corruption on earth, which is flatly contradicted by actual Chinese historical fact. A 1951 anti-corruption campaign found (a Western Liberal Democracy-like) 64% of 625 cadres in eastern Jimo County guilty of corruption. Now we can rationalise that just two years of peace following decades of horrific war is not enough time to to terminate wartime insanities and to inculcate proper socialist habits and, but Mao is so revered in China precisely because he absolutely did not tolerate such poor governance of the People.
“After the Communists took power, Mao Zedong was a curse to corrupt officials in his government…. Before the Cultural Revolution there was an anti-corruption campaign almost every other year. Still, without a radical change of the political culture which would empower ordinary people, all of Mao’s efforts to curb official abuse fell short.”
It must be said that it was not “all of Mao’s efforts” – Mao was simply the figurehead of this broad anti-corruption party of the CCP, or in Western terms an anti-corruption “faction”.
But, again, sayin’ it (proclaiming socialist revolution) and doin’ it (implementing, practicing and protecting socialist revolution) is just a different thing, with just as much difference as “night” and “day”:
“In a sense, the Communists built a new house on the ruins of the old with the new Revolution, but the air of the old society still permeated this new house. With the old culture largely intact, the new communist leaders who replaced the old oppressors of the village, ‘slide into certain habits well-known to traditional upholders of ‘law and order’”.
The CCP had done a lot of redistribution of wealth, but the two pillars of Marxist thought simply cannot exist independently: redistribution of wealth is nothing without a concomitant redistribution of power and control over politics/workplaces. But the CCP did not really derive their power from politics and workplaces – they derived their power from the battlefield and human hearts.
“The CCP cadres who ruled rural areas after 1949 did not derive their power from villagers. They were not elected by the villagers…. Consequently, commune and village leaders were more inclined to please their patrons than respond to villagers’ needs and aspirations.”
The clear problem here was that villagers lacked control over their local village leader to make him or her implement their democratic will. This is exactly why a primary demand of Yellow Vests to Macron is to implement regular “RICs”, Citizens’ Initiative Referendums.
There is no doubt: everybody wants and needs local decision-making; but socialism is not anarchism – socialism contains the non-paradox of a central organizer and planner overseeing local independence.
It was precisely this lack of local control which led to some of the problems of the Great Leap Forward: the desire by village leaders to please the central organizer despite the advice and knowledge of the local population, as I described in my book in the most simple human terms possible. This failure to implement Marxism’s second pillar is truly the hardest part of socialism – anyone can write a check – and when socialism has collapsed it has been because of this failure.
Collectivization is good and more productive than capitalism, but only alongside Socialist Democracy, which did not fully exit pre-CR
In order to quickly prove that socialist collectivization is just as effective in promoting overall economic development as individualist capitalism, I quote myself from Part 1 – this summarizes the differences between rural China in 1966 and after the Cultural Revolution in 1976:
You just read about 2 times more food and 2 times more money for the average Chinese person, 14 times more horsepower (which equates to 140 times manpower), 50 times more industrial jobs, 30 times more schools and 10 times more teachers during the CR decade in rural areas.
Collective farming and control in rural areas – enormously impressive economic, industrial, agricultural and educational results during the CR: end of that discussion.
Han puts these numbers into context by honestly relating the successes and failures of collectivization from the previous era, 1949-1964:
“In essence, the collective farming was a form of mutual insurance designed to make up for the absence of other forms of social insurance.” Let’s remember that urban Chinese had many social insurance guarantees peasants did not.
In practical terms: the rural collective (which comprised all that which had been nationalized: plows, oxen, farm tools, land, etc.) was the social arbitration of limited resources, with the goal of egalitarianism amid increased efficiency.
Capitalists will say: “The exceptional Chinese farmer was shortchanged and denied his right to excel and live in a superior fashion!”
Yes. But there is no debate about how the collectives of the pre-CR era ended the very real poverty the average rural person was threatened with via every storm cloud:
“Substantial social security guarantees were embedded in the collective distribution system in Jimo. No matter whether a villager could work or not, the collective undertook to provide him and his family with ‘five guarantees’, (wu bao) – food, clothes, fuel, education for his children and a funeral upon death…. The collective, thus, provided a de facto institutional retirement plan for villagers. The government had put some thought into this unique social security system in the villages.”
So even though urban peasants had it better, let’s not pretend that the 1949-1964 era did not greatly stabilise and better the life for the average Chinese farmer. Certainly Trash around the West – especially Blacks and Native Americans in Western countries – were not guaranteed any of these things in the era of 1949-1964.
Good, Mr. Mao, but not great. Major failures were still easy to spot, and Han’s book relates them.
Like in education: In Jimo County in 1950 48% of area children were enrolled in primary schools, and by 1956 that figure was just 56%. Per Han, 65% of these schools did not even have chairs or tables. From 1949 to 1966 Jimo County produced 1,616 high school graduates out of 1,011 villages; half of them left the county in a huge “brain drain”. The rural-to-urban brain drain remains a major, major plague on rural Western areas today, and that may be the biggest problem – the massive flight of human capital from rural areas to urban ones.
Medical care was not provided either. Han relates how villagers often relied on dangerous and often deadly witch doctors, and he relates how these witch doctors would soon be among those shamefully paraded during the Cultural Revolution and even beaten by the families of their still-grieving victims. The idea of witch doctors may be very hard for developed countries to imagine, but this was a very real phenomenon which only the modern CR exposed as a sham and then replaced with true doctors. (I would imagine that a worried parent could often rather have a witch doctor than no doctor….)
Why was a Cultural Revolution needed in already-red China? Because the record of the pre-CR era was mixed, or rather, it was unfinished. The CR needs to be seen as “re-collectivization” of an already “collective society”.
Such a retrenchment requires not only 20th century socialist ideas, but also intense patriotism and not mere “nationalism”. Iran was able to have a CR of their own largely because they wanted a re-collectivisation of what Iran “was” – and it included Kurds, Arabs, Jews, etc – thus, “Neither East nor West but the Iranian Republic”. China’s CR was not asking Soviet technicians to come and fix things (nor ones from the IMF, nor Brussels, nor Esperanto-speaking Trotskyist theoreticians) – it was asking Chinese peasants; Iran was asking the average poor, hijab-wearing Iranian woman, humble-living mullahs and the many barefooted what good governance should be.
France in 2019 lacks both modern socialist ideas (its emphasis on RICs as some sort of Godsend is one proof) and all-embracing patriotism. However, so did China and Iran at one point.
The Great Leap Forward didn’t end the desire for collectivization and empowerment, thus the CR
As we all know, capitalism is not patient – they demand mercilessly quick results from socialism or else will start shoveling massive denigration. Socialism, however, cares not: Han relates that the collectives were all about taking the long-term view, the very opposite of capitalism’s “get rich quick” ethos. Yes, young people worked harder than older people in the collective, but when they were sick or got old they moved to the easier jobs; couples with six children took more rice than childless couples, yes, but when the kids grew up their work supported the old childless couple. This is the “collective” mentality, and it enrages the Arizona rancher.
The CR cannot be understood without just a bit of fair, objective knowledge of the Great Leap Forward (GLF). It is pathetic that celebrated faux-historians like Frank Dikotter top Wikipedia pages with claims like “coercion, terror, and systematic violence were the foundation of the Great Leap Forward“, when the GLF was undoubtedly motivated by altruistic desires to cooperate on ambitious projects which aimed to improve the nation. Briefly, from Han:
“When discussing the Great Leap Forward in China, many people see only the food shortages and other negative consequences. They do not understand that the goal of the Great Leap Forward partly was to improve infrastructure in the countryside. The reservoirs built during the Great Leap Forward benefited the rural areas for decades to come. These infrastructure improvements are why farmers who suffered most during the Great Leap Forward have always viewed it with ambiguity other than completely condemning it.”
That is based on his years of his interviews with farmers – it is not based on the judgment of some hack journalist writing an article 10,000 kilometres away who has no idea about anything Chinese other than egg foo young, and who knows even less about socialism.
Because capitalism can never present socialism as an ideology which can adapt and evolve (much as the 1%ers in capitalist societies were able to successfully evolve capitalism into its modern form: neoliberal globalism), but which is an ideology as frozen as as Soviet gulag, they can never even bring up this fact as a mere possibility: By the mid-1960s China had learned from the failures of the Great Leap Forward, and thus regained their appetite and ambition for big collective projects.
But not so big….
What the GLF taught China was that the 2nd pillar of socialism (local control) really is vital for success. Bigger is not always better: combining 50 villages was just too unwieldy to create individual worker empowerment. Collectives were thus reduced to roughly one-third of the village (30-40 households). This obviously made a world of difference, given the fantastic economic, industrial, agricultural and educational success of the CR for rural China (i.e., China).
The Great Leap Forward, while having other successes, helped prove that socialism is essentially locally-based, and thus is not intended to be the totalitarian steamroller non-socialists caricaturize it as.
So it’s that second, less-publicised pillar of socialism which was the Achilles’ heel of China’s first-generation collectives:
“The main weakness of rural collective organisation was political: ordinary members were not politically empowered and were dependent on village and commune officials. The Communists had not fundamentally changed the rural political culture of submission to authority and had not significantly remedied the lack of education in the countryside. Collectivisation had made ordinary villagers more dependent on officials by placing economic decisions in the hands of the collective while failing to really empower villagers to take part in the decision-making process. This was not only a political problem: without solving this problem, possibilities for real rural economic development would remain untapped.” (emphasis mine)
But it’s all development which remains untapped without socialist democracy and socialist education. Yes, socialism needs specifically-socialist education to succeed, just as capitalism needs a steady diet of gangster rap, mafia movies and sexual advertising to sway their minds – the collective mentality must be taught.
Capitalists may have local empowerment, but it is purely individual – it totally lacks the power of solidarity. This is the fundamental difference between the two: in capitalism, one seeks to dominate over all. Socialists, on an individual level, have had revolutions of the mind whereas fearful capitalists are simply working out of habit, tradition, instinct, resentment and fear.
Western liberal democracy mistakenly assumes that their often-federalist systems sufficiently grant local control, but they do not at all grant local control to the average, powerless person; they only grant control to the local factory owner, the local agricultural corporation, the local media baron, etc. This hypocrisy is never admitted; it is papered over by constant exhortations that YOU should make yourself the owner, baron, etc.
“Fukua feng (exaggeration of production) became a serious problem during the Great Leap Forward because the commune members were not politically empowered to check the wrongdoings of the commune and village leaders. In this sense, the Great Leap Forward failed not just because its overall design and rationale were flawed, but also because China’s political culture at the time was out of sync with the new production relationships introduced by the agricultural collectivization.” (emphasis mine)
You don’t have to make your analysis of the Great Leap Forward more sophisticated, but if you want to – voila.
The CR sought to re-sync these relationships in Chinese Collectivization 2.0.
What good is implementing the first pillar of Marxism without creating the second pillar? How can China introduce socialist rule of law and expect success, when workers have not been educated and trained in empowerment?
Once China got these relationships remedied, that is when China began to take off economically, and that is essentially the thesis of Han’s entire book. The proof of the correctness of his thesis is the CR’s era staggering human and economic development that he demonstrated.
By illustrating that the empowerment of the CR decade produced the rural industry, agricultural boom, and the educated workers who laid the foundation for the continued economic success of China into the 1980s and beyond, Han shows how the CR proves that socialism is not merely high taxes on the rich but an entirely new culture.
Already-Red China realized this, and thus their center and left united to support the CR.
Black-hearted Western capitalists realize this too – why do you think they will never permit any good (or even objective) talk about the CR? That would only empower the types of cultural changes Western leftists and Yellow Vests actually want and need.
When when we compare China’s meteoric success (starting from the start of the CR era!) with the Great Recession, the subsequent (but never admitted) Lost Decade in the Eurozone, and the wiping out of the 1980-2009 socio-economic gains of the Western middle class, there is no doubt: the Socialist Democratic has more efficiency, production, capability and morality than the Liberal Democratic model.
For many Western capitalist-imperialists it will take a furious Cultural Revolution right in their faces to accept this reality. But, clearly, Mao and the left wing of CCP understood this long ago.
This is the 3rd article in an 8-part series which examines Dongping Han’s book The Unknown Cultural Revolution: Life and Change in a Chinese Village in order to drastically redefine a decade which has proven to be not just the basis of China’s current success, but also a beacon of hope for developing countries worldwide. Here is the list of articles slated to be published, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!
Part 1 – A much-needed revolution in discussing China’s Cultural Revolution: an 8-part series
Part 2 – The story of a martyr FOR, and not BY, China’s Cultural Revolution
Part 3 – Why was a Cultural Revolution needed in already-Red China?
Part 4 – How the Little Red Book created a cult ‘of socialism’ and not ‘of Mao’
Part 5 – Red Guards ain’t all red: Who fought whom in China’s Cultural Revolution?
Part 6 – How the socioeconomic gains of China’s Cultural Revolution fuelled their 1980s boom
Part 7 – Ending a Cultural Revolution can only be counter-revolutionary
Part 8 – What the West can learn: Yellow Vests are demanding a Cultural Revolution
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.
高富帅,白富美 Gao Fu Shuai, Bai Fu Mei – that is the new religion of China.
The imbalance between the urban wealthy and the poor in China today is much like it was during pre-revolutionary China.
The new word “Qiou”, ugly and poor, is used to describe the angst of many Chinese who feel excluded from a society that obsesses over looks and wealth. Does China need yet another CR?
When the Conservative M.P., Sir Fitzroy McLean, went to China in 1963 he said that he found there the same kind of inequalities and privilege that he found when he visited Russia:
‘In China, as elsewhere, how you live and what you buy depends on how much money you have. And who, it will be asked, has the money? The answer, as in the Soviet Union is: the privileged classes, officials, high-ranking officers, scientists, technicians, skilled workers and so on. But there must be added a small and peculiarly Chinese category: the Chinese capitalists. These, surprisingly enough, are the former owners of, for example, factories, whose enterprises have been taken over by the State and who receive annually from the State as compensation a percentage of the capital value of the enterprise. As they are also very often employed as managers of the factories, some of them are extremely well off'(Sunday Times, 9 Oct. 1963).
Today China is leading the way in minting new billionaires: two per week! Further evidence is supplied by an article titled ‘Always Stay Professional’. Inside China’s Booming Butler Schools, Nothing But the Best Will Do’ (Time, 1 November, 2017). Here we learn that some of China’s 1,590,000 millionaires wish to live the life of Riley Downtown Abbey style! ‘Students pay 50,000 rmb ($7,500) for a six-week course on food presentation, how to iron shirts the proper way, and maintaining serene decorum at all times…. Students learn how to choose fine wine but also good Chinese liquor, teach tai chi, perform a tea ceremony and caddy on the golf course. For many, it’s another world.’ Indeed. ‘…15-hour days and endless drilling. How to clean a toilet, iron a tablecloth, use tape-measures and plastic blocks to get table placings perfectly aligned. It’s a regimen of burns, blisters and bottomless cups of coffee’. The Ju/’hoansi people work only 15 hours a week.
Would you prefer the past, Robbo, when hundreds of millions more lived in extreme poverty, even destitution? China has almost finished the task of raising all its people out of poverty, and in the decade from 2001 to 2010, 110% of global poverty reduction was achieved by China. 110% because other countries, like India, went backwards. In China, the Government controls the billionaires. In the West, the precise opposite prevails.
RR, good characterization of a mindset type. Apparently Chinese student pilots, or pilots themselves, are brilliant in acquisition of knowledge, meticulous in conforming to standard regulations, but hopeless at practical application, in comparison anyway to western pilots.
Their great strength and capabilities lie elsewhere …
Every single member of the people’s Congress is a billionaire. I don’t know if it is socialist country, I do know that it is a Chinese country that perhaps doesn’t fit into any clear ideology.
To assert that ‘every single member of the Chinese Congress’ is a billionaire, is simply wrong. Where did you get this disinformation?
Every single member of the people’s Congress is a billionaire.
That is a big fat lie. The National People’s Congress has almost 3000 members. Only 45 of them are billionaires.
This sort of ‘argument’, that all Chinese are x,y and z, and all ‘westerners’ are a,b and c, and, naturally, superior, is malicious tosh, to be generous.
Zero Hour…your ridiculous comments about Chinese pilots can only come from someone who has absolutely nothing to do with aviation…this from a professional pilot and aeronautical engineer with military background and thousands of hours in flight test…
I prefer the present to the past, but would rather live in a future where the 99% understood that capitalism was well past its sell by date and acted.
John Boyd Orr, former director of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, was candid in stating: ‘a world of peace and friendship, a world with the plenty which modern science had made possible was a great ideal. But those in power had no patience with such an ideal. They said it was not practical politics’ (Daily Herald, 29 July 1948).
Capitalism has indeed raised the general level of poverty. This is true in China and the USA as elsewhere. But in this world of war and want, life for the vast majority is far from secure. A recent report found that wealth and income inequality in China is getting steadily worse, with one-third of the country’s wealth being owned by the 1%. They do not need to work but the vast majority of the population do, many of them in factories.
“To this day, most toys are made in China. They are the source of children’s dreams all over the world. However the process through which these dreams are created remains a nightmare. Countless hours of overtime, contact with dangerous chemicals and poor wages barely enough to live on are some of the biggest problems” (China Labor Watch, December 6, 2018).
The USA is not, of course, without its problems. Racism is waxing not waning, 40 million live in poverty, the top 1 percent has more wealth than the bottom 90 percent, and ‘just 1 in 10 black Americans believe civil rights movement’s goals have been achieved in the 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr was killed’ (The Independent, 31 March, 2018).
When the Conservative M.P., Sir Fitzroy McLean, went to China in 1963 he said that he found there the same kind of inequalities and privilege that he found when he visited Russia
You do know, don’t you, that the Cultural Revolution started in 1966?
In fact, according to Ramin, the eradication of the “inequalities and privilege” was the point of the CR.
Thatcher: ‘there is only one economic system in the world, and that is capitalism. The difference lies in whether the capital is in the hands of the State or whether the greater part of it is in the hands of people outside of State control,’ ( House of Commons speech, 24 November, 1976).
The “yellow peril” mentality lives on in America. Nobody lives up to the exceptional American’s inflated image of themselves. We can learn nothing from other cultures – they all need to learn from us….or else!
‘The CCP had done a lot of redistribution of wealth, but the two pillars of Marxist thought simply cannot exist independently: redistribution of wealth is nothing without a concomitant redistribution of power and control over politics/workplaces. But the CCP did not really derive their power from politics and workplaces – they derived their power from the battlefield and human hearts…The clear problem here was that villagers lacked control over their local village leader to make him or her implement their democratic will. This is exactly why a primary demand of Yellow Vests to Macron is to implement regular “RICs”, Citizens’ Initiative Referendums.’
Those without power want it, understandably: those with power want to retain it. The pattern of history is clear. Power (manifested as interest) has been present in every conflict of the past – no exception. It is the underlying motivation for war. Other cultural factors might change, but not power. Interest cuts across all apparently unifying principles: family, kin, nation, religion, ideology, politics – everything. We unite with the enemies of our principles, because that is what serves our interest. Power is the cause of war.
The problem with power, especially concerning global conflict and inter-state war, is that it has always, eventually, led every civilization/nation into the war it is trying to avoid: utter defeat. This applies as much today – in the nuclear age – as any other period of history. Leaders and decision-makers delude themselves delude themselves to the fate that awaits them – nuclear Armageddon.
Ramin, keep ’em coming!
Thank you for unpacking the Cultural Revolution within your own context of socialist guidelines that we can use.
If there is a future, I’m sure that it’s a socialist one and not a capitalist one.
As somebody who grew up in former communist Bulgaria in the 1970s and 80s I can attest that the facts and empirical data support Mazahari. Collectivism works better than fake “capitalism”. Bulgaria produced so much food, it used to feed the Soviet union. While living with my grandmother I often witnessed fruits and vegetable picked, packed and shipped to the Soviet union. In turn we used to get gas, oil, naphta for literally nothing.
And today after 30 years of “free market” “capitalism” Bulgaria is the poorest country in Europe, with the majority of people struggling, ethnically dying and forced to buy fruits and vegetables from Turkey, Macedonia.
While under the “yoke” of Communism, we didn’t have a single homeless or beggar on the street, everyone was cared for. Free medical and education for all too!
And now, homeless and beggars are everywhere in Bulgaria, and recently it was announced the Bulgarian medical fond doesnt have enough money to care for its citizens, but somehow Bulgaria has money to buy American F-16 planes!
Turns out Capitalism is a nasty joke and everything that Communists told us bout Capitalism IS true.
I completely agree with you, and think we are similar in age.
I grew up in Yugoslavia ( ‘Yuga’ we used to call her). Life was comfortable for the majority of the citizens, we never had to worry about the bills, food was healthy and plentiful and produced locally in fertile Slavonia in the north ( now completely devastated and unpopulated, and it seems they are getting ready to sell it to Monsanto or whatever it is called at the moment).
Education was superb( I was able to compare myself as the typical product of it – to many a foreign friends and acquaintances when I was living abroad for 20 years, I was shocked how much better we were educationwise). There was know-how ( now destroyed) in industry and Yuga was simply making things and producing.
Now, in capitalist Croatia ( one of the 6 poor colonies after the destruction of Yuga), I watch people digging for the food and plastic bottles from the garbage containers, daily. I watch the despair, and a destroyed society which has fully and uncompromisingly embraced selfishness and the lack of knowledge, dignity, education. Industry completely wiped out, agriculture as well.
Is this not exactly the opposite of the empowering of China Ramin was writing about in his article?
The Chinese CR was working exactly on the power of the population, and our destroyed and compliant countries are working ( in compliance with their Atlantist masters) for the total reversal of the population power, benefit and power…
In today’s Fraudian, George Monbiot, their sole remaining non-barking mad and vicious apparatchik, severely criticises neo-liberal capitalism as it turns fully totalitarian and aggressive, in the UK, which has languished under this anti-human and parasitical religion of hatred of the Other for forty vile and destructive years. That it has taken Monbiot some decades to come to a more or less full realisation of just what Evil capitalism represents is, no doubt, testament to his need to keep a well-paying job, but at least he has made the intellectual and moral journey. Meanwhile, throughout the rest of that sewer, and the entire Western fakestream media, such apostasy is still near totally absent. Instead, particularly here in Austfailia, the presstitutes still compete to sing the praises of ‘businessmen’, ‘entrepreneurs’ and ‘wealth creators’ ie the blood-sucking parasites who own them and pay them their thirty shekels of silver. And, as any sane and non-imbecilic observer can not fail to see, the hour is already well too late. If the ‘Doomsday Clock’ is set at 23.58, ie two minutes to midnight, the ‘Reality Clock’ is at 06.30 and a blood-red dawn is upon us. ‘Red sky in the morning’.
Dear Mr. Mazaheri,
It is a sheer pleasure to read your well thought-out articles.
I think you are perfectly right when saying that the main reason for the terrible discord in our world is the class struggle of the 1% against the 99%. That is the only problem the earth has.
It is the perfidy of the dying capitalism to invert this obvious fact into the terrible perversion of this very simple fact.
Into delusions like LGBT rights, feminist extremes etc. ( my own opinion). The point is they just want to destroy the society and make it into many little unimportant and slaving fragments.
Disclaimer here: I believe in the equal rights for all humans and groups or whatever, but not in the pushing of the minority rights at the expense of the majority ( just read that the transgender ops are approved for even 8 years olds- that is just the indicator of the intended upheaval).
‘The CCP had done a lot of redistribution of wealth, but the two pillars of Marxist thought simply cannot exist independently: redistribution of wealth is nothing without a concomitant redistribution of power and control over politics/workplaces.’ end quote
I am a socialist, like yourself, and I was lucky to have lived in the socialist society for my first 28 years ( Yugoslavia).
Yugoslavia was transformed from the illiterate and un-industrialized society into a 90% literate and empowered one within a short time after 1945th.
Perfect it was not, but was on it’s way, always forward.
Because, after the nationalization of the wealth from the 1%, the workers were given not only the means to own the shares in the companies, also education and the right to control over politics/workplaces.
It is so strange to look at the dismembered little statelets left after Yugoslavia was attacked, completely and slavishly committed to the most poisonous crony capitalism, community and education massively destroyed, all social structures killed, like health system etc…Mafia thriving, hatred thriving, the very essence of a healthy society killed…
But, still blind to their terrible future fate as they are so happy with their little glass pearls ( the biggest thing is to have an expensive car with heated seats, villas and yachts…Bought on credit).
Well, this is just the complete reverse of the CR you are writing about in your fantastic articles about China CR: Yugoslavian statelets have gone, and willingly, from the empowerment backward to a swamp of selfishness and crazy individualism.
1% against the 99%.
It will end very badly.
This series is a welcome correction to the false history of the Cultural Revolution (CR) promoted in the West, and also by Chinese capitalist roaders. William Hinton’s books are an early contribution that revealed that the CR was aimed at empowering the disempowered rural majority, and was initially successful until overturned by the 1976 elitist coup. See Hinton’s
Fanshen: A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village
The Great Reversal
See also The Unknown Cultural Revolution: Life and Change in a Chinese Village by Dongping Han, a Chinese of rural extraction living in the US. The book was published by Monthly Review, a marxist publisher.
Here in Austfailia the hate campaign against China goes from depth to depth. The Government-owned but Murdochite staffed ABC is in the vanguard, and I heard a Chinese emigre’ compradore, now resident in Thanatopia, blathering the other day that China is just like Nazi Germany in the 30s, and must be treated the same way, a vicious and hysterical advocacy of hatred that I have heard more and more often lately. If you look about with open eyes, any knowledge of history and any experience of human perfidy, you surely must get the impression that the End is very near. Very, very, near, one way or the other. The mad, the bad and the simply dangerous to share a planet with are on the rampage.
So glad I stumbled upon this excellent historical essay on a topic that remains shrouded in propaganda and lies for the average westerner…the Cultural Revolution…
Having already gleaned a lot of real historical truth by way of the author Godfree Roberts’ tremendous three part series on Mao and the Great Leap Forward [published on UNZ]…I still regarded the Cultural Revolution through the prism of western disinformation…what a difference this article makes…I will be eagerly devouring the remaining seven…
It is quite obvious at this point in history that the Chinese Communist Party has done everything right in the last seven decades…the progress of the state of China’s humanity is surely unmatched in world history…from starvation, abject poverty and a pre-industrial economy…to today’s world-leading industrial locomotive by far… a massive development of urban and transportation infrastructure that is bigger and better than the rest of the world combined…incredible strides in science and education…I mean it is almost impossible to comprehend…
If we were to compare to Russia’s progress over the same time period it would be a very depressing result…with the prominent exception of the Stalin years…the momentum of which carried over for a couple more decades, but dissipated and ultimately completely evaporated by the 1980s…
But let’s look at what Soviet socialism achieved in those early decades…by the close of the1930s Stalin had built Russia into the world’s industrial powerhouse…the ability to produce is what won the existential battle of survival against the industrial, technical and scientific powerhouse that was Germany…
After the war, and despite the devastation of the people, cities, and countryside the Soviet Union quickly became the world’s scientific and technical superpower…for an aerospace engineer like myself, it is simply astounding how quickly and how far Russia advanced…the United States’ capabilities were simply laughable in comparison [despite the US having poached the cream of German scientific talent]…incidentally the Russian lead in major aerospace technologies persists to this day…as seen by miracles like the Avangard and others…
But it is clear looking back now that Russia needed the same kinds of periodic reform and upheaval that was seen in China…but that never happened…instead, the system stagnated and eventually crumbled…
But the Chinese have continued to advance methodically…by the1980s the country embraced yet another era of reforms that built upon what had been achieved to that point…today we may be witnessing yet another inflection point, as the communist leadership strives for a better life for ordinary folks, including a healthy ecology…and reining in the destructive tendencies of the pseudo capitalists that have served a useful purpose, but must now be reined in… and perhaps even crushed…
Once again the wise Chinese govern astutely…while Russia continues to flounder…with completely mindless scumbags like Siluanov in charge of the nation’s economy…when will Russia learn these basic life lessons…?