by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog
Actually talk to rural people in China and you can certainly learn of martyrs FOR the Cultural Revolution; talk to disgraced party elites, abusive factory bosses, tyrannical schoolteachers, smug technocrats, pagan witch doctors or parasitic monks, and you get stories of those martyred BY the Cultural Revolution.
Welcome back to the first day of journalism school! “One person’s ‘terrorist’ is another person’s ‘freedom-fighter’”. I am not spouting nonsense such as “all truth is relative”, but simply pointing out that perspective shapes opinion (it does not control fact).
The fact is that you have likely never heard a story of a Chinese person who died in order to support their Cultural Revolution (CR).
Nor have you ever heard of the CR’s beneficiaries – indeed, you likely imagine there were none, except for a power-mad Mao Zedong.
If you have heard anything on the CR – and many have not – you only heard stories from the CR’s victims. The reason for that is: if you are reading this in the West, your media has an informal ban on any pro-socialist story. Anyone who believes that unwritten censorship exists has never worked in the media. (And a pro-socialist story would, after all, empower the leftists in the West and they certainly can’t have that.)
The informal ban is separate from, but compounded by, an informal promotion of anti-socialist notions: for example, the 2015 winner for best novel at the Hugo Awards (given to the best in science fiction), was The Three-Body Problem by Chinese author Liu Cixin. The book was even promoted by Barack Obama, and it should be obvious why: the first 25 pages are a rehashing of the same old “the CR was an unholy terror” perspective. Considering the book is about scientists, perhaps such a perspective is somewhat accurate… but China is not full of 1 billion scientists. Democracy means there are losers in policies – socialist democracy ensures those losers are the 1%.
(Overall, I found the book to be rather boring “video gamer” escapism, as well as effective (and totally unsubtle) anti-socialist propaganda. Unsurprisingly, Amazon is spending $1 billion on a TV adaptation. For me, the only truly interesting passage described Euler’s three body problem in physics and astronomical theory –now there was something to meditate upon, finally. My point is: if the book was 400 pages of gamer escapism and 25 pages of pro-CR historical analysis…Obama ain’t pluggin’ yer book.)
Similarly, no one is plugging Dongping Han’s truly revolutionary and eminently readable book, The Unknown Cultural Revolution: Life and Change in a Chinese Village. The key word there is “village” – not too many top scientists working there, perhaps, but there are a lot of people who greatly benefitted from the CR decade (1966-76). I gave a brief overview and a few knockout punch data sets in Part 1, and this 8-part series is dedicated to popularizing Han’s book and his undeniably confirmed thesis: the CR’s educational reform, which became approved following changes to political culture, produced an explosion in rural economic development and rural human capital, and thus China’s economic boom actually came before Deng’s reforms in 1978. This series is also a roundabout way to popularize my new book, I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China, to which Han graciously contributed the forward.
Yes, if one was a Chinese science nerd who insisted that they were infinitely smarter than a villager/peasant and thus deserving to rule oppressively in a technocracy… then one likely had a tough time during the CR. This is an old, already told, and often retold story – and I am sympathetic – but it’s time for a new story, for balance and accuracy.
Revolution is bloody, but not as bloody as what leads up to a revolution
Han relates a CR story and an analysis which you have most likely never heard. I will retell it briefly:
Yu Jiushu was a villager in Jimo County (the source of Han’s scholarly investigative work, as well as the place of his youth and formative years). During the Great Leap Forward Yu was recruited as a factory worker. The factory failed, causing him to lose his job and forcing his return home. The leaders of his village, during this era of shortage, refused to give him his grain ration on the grounds that he had forgotten his grain ration papers. Yu was forced to share his ration with his mother. Yu’s mother committed suicide to avoid the starvation of both her and her son.
The average Westerner would stop right there and say, “Isn’t this terrible?” Yes, of course it is.
A Western capitalist and Liberal Democrat would likely continue: “See how socialism only causes problems and deaths?”
Han disagrees: He gives a surprising, tough, 100% necessary analysis which shows why Widow Yu was a martyr FOR, and not a martyr OF, the Cultural Revolution.
“No doubt the village party leaders’ behavior was outrageous, and should be condemned. But should not Yu Jiushu be partly responsible for what happened? He and his mother did not have to put themselves through such suffering in the first place. They could have fought for their legal rights, but their ignorance of the law and their culture of submissiveness failed them.”
Han is showing us that a lack of rural education and a culturally-fostered fear towards officialdom is what doomed Widow Yu; it was not the inherent tyrannies of “socialism” or “big government”. Instead, Han shows, and in a clear rejection of political nihilism, that there WAS an obvious solution and vaccine to such ills: rural empowerment and education.
The Cultural Revolution cannot and will never be understood, much less appreciated and learned from, without grasping that rural empowerment was its absolute priority and goal – this really cannot be stressed enough.
How can anyone effectively fight for their rights when they have no schooling, precarious work and precarious social status? One can either provide the Western capitalist answer – have the brains and nerve of the elite 1% (or their connections) – or one can revamp the system in favor of the illiterate and poor, which is the socialist solution (and the CR’s solution).
How do you improve an unequal society? You drastically change it
In Jimo County Han shows that in 1956 only 66% of Jimo children were enrolled in school. That was up from 48% a year after China’s liberation in 1950. Good, but hardly a socialist miracle. The reason it wasn’t higher was because after 1949 economic resources were prioritized for urban educational needs, and not places like historically impoverished Jimo County.
But, by prioritising rural empowerment, during the CR decade that figure soared to 99%. By the end of the CR decade (1966-76) poor and rural Jimo County had more than 30 times more schools and more than 10 times more teachers (see part 1). Yes, urban colleges were temporarily shuttered during the CR, but it was largely in order to devote resources to rural areas, finally. It can’t be repeated enough, because it is contrary to modern Western nations: China’s rural population was 82% of the overall population in 1964, therefore this new rural focus was perfectly in keeping with democratic ideals.
But education is not enough – the political system must explicitly promote and defend the involvement of the 99%.
Chinese peasants were not historically apolitical – there are too many cases of uprisings to say that, even though this is exactly what many Western academics lazily claim about China – but the CR was undoubtedly the very first time they were ever empowered politically. “The fact that Mao and other Cultural Revolution leaders saw the need to involve common villagers, most of whom were illiterate and were considered ignorant by the educated elite, was in itself revolutionary and democratic.” It is precisely this refusal to involve common villagers which betrays one as a fake-leftist in the West.
Education and political support is still not enough – cultural changes must be forced through despite guaranteed resistance from those sectors which have refused to accept the People’s revolution.
“The major theme of the campaign was to criticize the elitist mentality in Chinese culture. It promoted Mao’s idea that the masses are the motive force of history and that the elite are sometimes stupid while working people are intelligent. These were not empty words. Villagers toiled all year round, supplying the elite with grain, meat and vegetables, but they were made to feel stupid in front of the elite. They did not know how to talk with the elite, and accepted the stigma of stupidity the elite gave to them.”
This elitist idea combated by Mao and his supporters – that rural Trash are stupid – is something which simply must be remedied in the West… or else Western society can never be whole, nor peaceful, nor empowered, nor efficient. Indeed, this series is an effort to show that Deplorables – or Gilets Jaunes, in French – must be empowered in Western nations along the same lines as Chinese Trash was during the CR.
Truly, at the heart of the CR is an idea of humility: our culture has become bad, and needs major changes. Western capitalist-imperialist nations simply do not permit such a trait: try telling such a thing to a typical jingoistic Frenchman, American, Britisher, Spaniard, etc. Yet everyone knows these countries (neo-imperialists) are arrogantly telling other countries what to do. Iranians use “arrogance” and “imperialism” synonymously for this obvious reason.
Because of the West’s (self-interested, leftist-repressing) laser-focus on the tragic, emotional, sensational aspects of these types of CR stories Han related – by failing to progress to Han’s more useful analysis of what can be done to prevent the reoccurrences of these types of negative and deadly social experiences – the Western analysis of the CR will always remain ultimately reactionary because it implicitly rejects the need for social changes; it thus preserves a status quo which is so very unequal for the 99% but especially rural dwellers.
Keeping capitalism-imperialism and condemning socialism is not the answer; reforming and improving socialism is. Socialism can be improved, despite its detractors – the CR stands as proof of this.
Han’s analysis likely seems cold to many Westerners, just as the West’s paralysis by over-emotional/nihilistic analysis may seem too hot to Han.
But Han’s view appears in keeping with the Chinese worldview, which emphasizes personal responsibility far more than in the Western or the Islamic worlds. The Chinese worldview is not Abrahamic, after all – there is no God pulling the strings: YOU are responsible, and shame is your portion when YOU fail. I note that their most sacred book, the I Ching, is essentially a book of social conduct in which only YOU are responsible for failing to cope with or failing to predict the inevitable vicissitudes of life. Embracing personal shame is all over the I Ching, LOL! Quite sorry to report that to the many Western lapsed Christians who dream of some sort of shame-free society/never-ending bacchanalia….
Socialism is thus very much in concordance with this ancient Chinese world view, as it stresses that YOU are responsible for changing our world for the better. (There is no logical reason why socialism and theism cannot be combined with the exact same goal of social and personal empowerment, like in, for example, Iranian Islamic Socialism, but that is another subject.)
How many more widows would have committed suicide to feed their children without the Cultural Revolution?
“In the final analysis, officials abused their power in part because the abused let them get away with it time and time again.”
Changing this reality of official over-empowerment in China truly necessitated a Cultural Revolution, and the CR worked expressly towards this socialist democratic goal.
Over-empowerment of government officials – from kings to French President/Jupiter Emmanuel Macron to Barry Dronebama – is exactly what socialism fights against, yet capitalist-imperialist propaganda accuses socialism of that which their system is far more guilty! Just 39 delegates signed the US Constitution; Nearly 75% of Cuba’s entire population helped draft their new constitution. Macron is going to write major new unemployment system reforms entirely on his own, ending 30+ years of union involvement, just as he’s done in other areas since taking office. The list goes on and on.
In the 1960s the Chinese left and center, as well as their youth, united behind implementing this idea of worker/citizen cultural empowerment expressly against the prevailing official empowerment. This same combination of forces, however, failed across the West despite having similar goals: No Western systems were drastically altered during the 1960s.
“Of course, the existence of such a legal system is important. But legal codes alone cannot solve any problem if the political culture and mentality of the ordinary people remains unchanged. Here, education to empower the ordinary rural residents is key.” Han is stressing that socialism is a way of life, a mentality, a worldview – capitalism is the same; one can change the law, but what good is it when the law is not enforced or the can be bought around in the courts, as in Liberal Democracies?
And this leads us to the next part of this series: Why was a Cultural Revolution needed in already-Red China? Short answer: in order to change China’s culture but NOT their socialist democratic legal code & system, which were established in 1949.
To finish with the story: All remember Shahida Widow Yu.
She was not Muslim but she certainly was a martyr against injustice. Han sensibly does not foolishly ignore the reasons of her death in order to leap to emotionalism and sensationalism, as a Western capitalist-imperialist journalists and academics would, but honors and elevates her to show exactly why the Cultural Revolution was necessary – to prevent such inhuman damage, more rural Chinese martyrs, and a cultural system which kept the entire Yu family disempowered, hungry and filled with tragedy.
The idea that China’s Cultural Revolution was some sort of bloody warmongering resulting from Mao’s political power struggles is what the West wants us to believe, and that’s because such a view inherently glorifies capitalism and denies any positive attributes or outcomes to socialist ideas in any nation, including their own.
The reality of the Cultural Revolution – as demonstrated by Han’s book and seconded in this series – was actually unprecedented development and success in the rural areas. It was the creation of this human capital (that most valuable capital) as well as economic capital which set the stage for the post 1980s economic boom in China.
The story of Widow Yu is a story of rural oppression and marginalization, and it is no different from the capitalist debt-provoked suicide of a French farmer which occurs every two days.
Their demises were caused by systems which were/are insufficiently socialist, and thus incredibly disempowering and unequal for rural citizens in both feudalism and Liberal Democratic/West European systems.
This is the 2nd 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.
Ah, Ramin Mazaheri, I am so glad you are in the world.
What a wonderful series you’re writing now. As I shared your first part with others last week I also came back to read it again, and was able to summarize the most crucial aspect of the Cultural Revolution: that it deliberately invested in the human capital of China, the most valuable resource of any nation. Happy to see you enlarge in this in the second part.
I cannot imagine what kind of revolutionary mind it took to break through China’s historical culture and risk everything in order to pour the national wealth of education and emancipation into the countryside, into the peasantry. What a great leader this Mao was.
Thank you for all the essays you’ve written, and to Saker for spotting your amazing talent for advancing the one antidote we have to capitalism – socialism – and your great skill as a journalist.
Grieved; Hello again. I completely endorse your judgement here. Ramin is an amazing resource and The Saker displays his own capacity for authentic leadership by giving him such pride of place for his inspired insights.
With regard to Mao. it is my understanding that he was 20th Century China’s greatest poet. He was once described by an English politician, it was Elec Douglas Hume if I remember correctly. After talking with Mao he said the man had the mannerisms of a priest. In effect Mao had a spiritual self relation. Have you seen the portrait that the Vatican displayed of a man they thought was a Christian priest? The Catholic hierarchy thought they recognized one of their own. When they actually discovered that it was a portrait of young Mao walking with passionate intensity into the countryside to serve the awakening of the peasant masses. The portrait was so evocative of Mao’s inner character. To the Catholic bigwigs here was a man displaying the inner fire of a Jesuit priest. Nevertheless when they actually discovered their “priest” was actually Mao they instantly removed the portrait from display. To me this suggests a moment of artist high drama that can tell us a great deal about Mao.
We find a lot of conflict and confusion in the West right now around the issue of what is meant by the phrase “politically correct”. How many people in the West realize the concept was originally coined by Mao himself?
Mao invented the concept for the purpose of spiritual guidance of his communist comrades. What Mao meant by being “politically correct” was that it was vital for the party to be spiritually correct. It’s meaning is clear and inarguable when understood as spiritual guidance in the language of socialist political thought. The concept simply meant for Mao – always take the side of oppressed groups who struggle for their legitimate freedom from various forms of oppression. Never stand in the way of oppressed groups in struggle and block out their access to the light of the spiritual sun. Mao’s original concept of being “politically correct” can only be truly understood as a spiritual struggle for mass liberation. This concept traveled from the Chinese Communist party to the Western Left in the 1960’s. From there it has awakened various oppressed groups in America who will never renounce it. Women and African Americans particularly. A lot of confusion about this concept is resolved when we understand that it is actually a spiritual component of the Chinese cultural revolution.
What we tend to forget is that Chinese culture articulates its spiritual integrity in language which, to the Western Christian eye, is not immediately recognized as overtly spiritual. Hence it is easy to overlook this aspect.
All power to Ramin for bringing it all forward now.
Snow Leopard, thank you for these observations. I have very little time, but I will try to return here. First, I need to unpack and digest what you’ve presented here.
This is something I have to reflect on for a bit.
And you’re also saying that, like many revolutions, the Cultural Revolution didn’t simply come and go, but left its imprint in the global mind, where it still resonates? And with what other movements does it resonate, that are still ongoing?
Sometimes I think that, just as we’re so accustomed to science that we forget to be in awe of the sacred, in the same way we’re so accustomed to the inferior stature of the vassals of imperial Europe that we forget that China is the great elder, before whom one could in all propriety feel deference.
Grieved; It is a pleasure to dialogue with you around these matters. To your question “what other progressive cultural movements does the Chinese cultural revolution fertilize?” A full answer would have to be both complex and comprehensive, as the world is progressively stitching its way into a new unity. But for the moment there is one clear example that is most locatable. The Chinese cultural revolution fertilizes the ongoing American revolution. Beneath the surface of capitalism the real America has its own very powerful spiritual origins. Understanding of this is deliberately kept very well hidden by the ongoing capitalist propaganda onslaught.
The point being, for all of its apparent lack of self organization what Americans call “the New Age Movement” is an as yet unmeasured continuation of the original American revolution. The goal being personal and collective self actualization and liberation. In this pursuit American New Age consciousness owes an unbreakable loyalty to the Chinese concept of being politically correct. When people in the USA who share the ideals of the New Age Movement (Incidentally a continuation of the earlier American transcendentalist Movement) socialize for mutual development it is very instructive to note their (often unspoken) allegiance to the conception of being politically correct in their shared work. The American political Left embraced the Chinese concept of being politically correct in the 1970’s and from there it became a defining tenant in what is now the New Age Movement. Modern America is richer for taking this from revolutionary China, via the political Left. My own personal experience makes me certain of this. Usually however this connection is far from obvious. Nevertheless it is clearly traceable.
Well said, Snow. Mao represents the emancipation and liberation of the world’s downtrodden, whereas the leaders of the West represent pure hatred of the Other. The USA has always attacked any state that dared attempt to govern for the many, not the parasitic few who identify with the USA and the West, the global patrons of the blood-suckers in every society. That situation has led to the vast inequality and poverty that is driving people out of Hell-holes like Honduras, because they can no longer survive there, thanks to centuries of gringo interference. And a perfect illustration of the war of the few against the many is the Zionazi assault on Corbyn and UK Labour, where one of the most prominent anti-racists in UK public life is being vilely attacked with complete lies by a section of the UK Jewish community, themselves often the vilest Palestinian hating racists and xenophobes, in league with Blairite Quislings inside Labour and the Tories and the Evil UK media. Among Corbyn’s ‘crimes’, as declared by one Jewish grandee, is his ‘leftwing policies’, an accidental moment of candid honesty, backed up by a low-rent Blairite twot, who declared, like a well-trained female canine, that ‘anti-capitalism is antisemitic’.
The proof of the congee is in the eating. China is sailing away from the morally defunct, intellectually decrepit and Zionazi controlled West. In economic, educational, infrastructural and social dimensions China is far surpassing the sort of morally degenerate States where a Trump defeats a Clinton to direct the world’s greatest Murder Incorporated, and where a campaign of concerted lying, misrepresentation, racism and virulent hatred is being waged to destroy UK Labour and Jeremy Corbyn under the pretext of his (non-existent) ‘antisemitism’. A campaign waged, naturally, by some of the vilest racists in the ‘septic isle’. And Mao created this state, The People’s Republic of China, which is the real reason that Western civilizational supremacists and outright Sinophobe racists hate him so very much.
Just got your book “I’ll ruin everything….”
Continue a nous situer sur les Gillets Jaunes
If you ever get the chance to come to Geelong, let me know and I’ll take you out for a meal at the Commun Na Feine. It’s not Marxist, or Irish, but in fact a pub that has its history in the ‘Highland Gatherings that were and still are held in Geelong going back to pre-1900.
One of your lines I liked was; “How can anyone effectively fight for their rights when they have no schooling, precarious work and precarious social status?” and I must endorse that sentiment, because that is what is being stolen from my children and grandchildren. By ‘Socialists’ and other such Intellectual Ignoramuses.
I had an extremely ignorant knowledge of the Peoples Republic of China in the 60′ and 70’s, but at least by the 70’s I had worked out that if the Chinese liked Communism then that was their choice and their right. As for Mao’s little red book, well I considered that to be typical propaganda from the US. Our Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, claimed that he was the first Australian Prime Minister to recognise China, but he usurped that claim from his predecessor, John Gorton.
Gough Whitlam was the first ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister I lived under and I still rue that administration The beer sculling champion, Bob Hawke was the second and from that Australia has never recovered, and I don’t care what Mulga thinks. Around the time of Gough there was a ‘Feminist’ Professor by the name of Germaine Greer whose most famous quote was; “Now that cloning is possible there will be no need for men!”
Another ‘Socialist/Feminist’ was Joan Kirner who had been one of the youngest to enter university. That didn’t do your intelligence any good as rumour has it every time she had a difficult problem she used to run over to John Halfpenny for the answer. To ‘hide’ the youth unemployment, Joan decided to endeavour to keep the youth at school, but when the females demonstrated a lack of ability in mathematics, Joan simply opted to make the maths ‘simpler’. And of course everybody had to attend university, even if it was to learn how to be a brickie, or how to paint one’s fingernails; all knowledge had to come from a university, and they issued the papers to prove it.
So from 1972 when Australia had a 94% full time employment rating, a vibrant manufacturing sector and government utilities in water gas electricity and highways, with an education system that prepared the students for work within the commercial and manufacturing industries, our ‘Socialist’ leaders have reduced employment to the food, tourist and building industries only and on a part-time casual basis, to an education system that puts every student in debt, and trains them what to think, not how to think and then to the increase of government debt that caused the sale of every government utility so as the governments, both State and Federal survive off the fines of motorists similar to what is happening in France today.
And all of this destruction has been initiated by ‘Socialist’ governments, though mind you the other side has never endeavoured to rectify the situation. Now are these the same ‘Socialists’ that have been putting the Chinese people back on the road to enjoy life again? I would think so!
No bloody wonder that former Singaporean Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew called Australians ‘The white trash of Asia’!
Sorry, Andrew, but Gough was our one and only truly great PM. His administration was ruined by the economic crisis arising from the oil shock, vicious and utterly unprincipled sabotage by the Right, and the Evil Murdoch cancer, in full hate and fear-mongering mode, a methodology that they still utilise and has been one of the prime drivers of our descent into The Pit. Oh, I forgot CIA interference, through their Ambassador Marshall Green, the architect of the 1965 genocide in Indonesia, and the US intelligence asset, since WW2, John Kerr.
I knew you would bite. Are you aware that Whitlam and Fraser were ‘friends’ until November 75? Also that Gough had had some meetings with Harold before he ‘went swimming off Portsea’? Of course I can also remember that Arthur Caldwell warned Menzies that Gough was not to be trusted, and then Arthur got shot in the face by a schizophrenic student during an ‘Anti-Vietnam War’ meeting and retired.
When you say that, “Gough was our one and only truly great PM.” I must oppose that. In reality, once you study our various Prime Ministers post WW2, I don’t think any of them reached the bar of being ‘great’.
Menzies may have been the longest serving, but his defence of his position in removing any party member who could challenge him in the end damaged his party and thus Australia’s future. Of course then there was the ‘deal’ with Shell Petroleum in regard to the payment of taxes, or lack of let the Americans work in Australia for a year without paying any income tax. It was for them a lovely rort. And of course Menzies supported the US in Korea, and the Poms in ‘The Malaysian Emergency’ which had its origins way back in Whitehall. Then of course there was Vietnam and conscription.
Whitlam’s good points are that he immediately stopped conscription and our participation in the Vietnam War.. He also set about ‘Diamond Jim’s scheme of buying back the farm, of which the London Bankers started passing bricks for …. Whitlam also gave the Palestinians equal recognition with the Israelis, which upset the Jews, especially Rupert the Red so much so that Rupert set up the scheme with ‘The Boys from Baghdad.
Whitlam also created ‘Medicare’ which usurped the States powers in regard to hospitals and medicine, and that destroyed all competition and reduced the level of ‘healthcare’ to the lowest denominator and of course created the opportunity for this utility to be ‘corporatised’ which simply means it has been sold off to the highest bidder. But the worst damage done to Australian and the working Aussie was his ‘Dole Scheme’, That gave the power of control over pensions to little bureaucrats in Canberra who have used and abused that power ever since. Combine that with Keating’s removal of the ‘Basic Wage’ (Labours greatest achievement) and introduction of the ‘Minimal Wage’ ensured a ‘totally controlled’ working class with no voice in Parliament, and a sliding standard of living into oblivion’.
The effect of Richard Nixon’s removal of the Gold Standard and creating the ‘Oil Standard’ was felt around the world, not just in Australia, and the price of fuel rising to 28 cents/litre created side affects as you are well aware of. Of course by the 1980’s Australia was producing 97% of its own petroleum and gas, but we were still forced to pay an overseas price that gave huge profits to the US Oil companies. (Is Australia still producing our own petroleum?)
But for me, one of the most amazing things that has been forgotten was the effects ‘Carlos The Jackal’ had on the Opec meetings again back in the early 1970’s.
In 2004, when I attended a forum in Mackie (QLD)I heard a local business man, Mick Hughes quote an Indonesian General who stated that there were only two Communist countries left in South East Asia; Vietnam and Australia. I would concur with that General.
Once biting, twice shy, Andrew. We’ll have to agree to disagree
Of course, that is what debate is all about.
The author of the article has good intentions but doesnt have a clue about the wider context.
All the so called revolutions were inspired by british imperial masterminds, with the intention to break rivals appart, be it France,the Us, Russia, China or Iran.
The british influence on Maos China was to encourage the backwardness that is entailed in the romantic view of the peasant culture. Antiscience, so called appropriate technology, so China wouldnt become a capitalist rival. You may now observe what the british malthusians feared: that China would become the competent and productive force we now see unfold. And the power which matches and increasingly surpasses the west. Thus the developing countries now have a chance to rise from western oppression and be able to share those advantages of modernity that the Us/Uk elites for so long has denied them.
I wish socialists would wake up to a logical view of the world instead of clinging to the myths the british and their creation, the angloamerican establishment, have been feeding you with.
Socialism wasnt made to help the poor it was just the control of the opposition the western oligarchy needed to play their rivals against each other. The whole conceptual framework of so called Hegelian dialectics is misleading since Hegel apparently didnt understand the french revolution for what it was: a foreign led and sponsored coup d’etat. Marx himself was a tool for the same manipulators.
Where his inspirer Hegel saw a people rising against oppressors the reality was that a fake spectacle had been arranged by a third entity.
Peter; Don’t be too confident of your understanding of the real historical origins of revolutions. You say they were all “inspired” by the British. The British don’t “inspire”. It is not in their make up. What they did do was interfere and manipulate, and perhaps distort, but inspire never. There are many people contributing to this blog who make the same mistake as you. The same with the French revolution. The hidden banking elite were not the origins of the mass struggle. They were not the source of the deep inspiration. But they did have the capacity to maliciously interfere and turn events at least somewhat to their inclinations. It is important to differentiate between radical causality and external interference. i agree the two are both in play and mix together in a confusing way. However in my judgement it is a serious misreading to confuse radical origins with secondary external interferences. I do grant however that it is an easy mistake to make. Particularly from the distance from which we view them.
By ‘British’ I take it that you mean the English ruling ‘elite’. They do inspire-in me they inspire horror and revulsion. As for other English, like Shakespeare, Keats, Wordsworth, Turner et bloody cetera, they inspire something akin to reverence.
Mulga; A fair distinct indeed. Of course authentically creative people everywhere can be inspiring. Even Englishmen. My point was that the English capitalist ruling oligarchy, being profoundly anti-creative in any spiritually authentic sense, do not “inspire” progressive revolutions. They can provoke, instigate, manipulate, and ferment of course. For the real inspirational driver of revolutionary liberation movements we must look elsewhere. The innate essence of human nature and its relation with the evolutionary impulse within us all is where I find the magic.
The rising of the masses is caused by deliberately sabotaging the targeted societies. In the french revolution this was achieved by holding back grain supplies and by spreading false rumours. Rousseau and Voltaire have been presented as enlightened but Rousseau wanted to deprive colonial folks of science. Praising the noble savage although in other words. This goes well together with the malthusians in the Us/Uk who like so called ‘apropriate technology’.
Malthus got his ideas from a Venetian intellectual.
Hitler unlike his british inspirers wasnt wrapping his ideas in hypocritical terms but was quite open about the wisdom in holding back the development of the colonials.
Voltaire was on pay by Venetian intel.
In both the french and russian revolutions(1905-1917), there was of course money inserted by the foreign plotters.
In the russian case Britain let pay people to riot by handing out money. One eyewitness said they accepted the 3-rouble bills and did as they were told but they didnt know why. This particular example was about the days before the breakout of wwI 1914, but I mention it to illustrate the deviousness by which Britain made the German ambassador believe the russians wouldnt go to war when Germany fulfilled the pact with Austria. As soon as the war began however those riots ceased. This example illustrates that riots may be entirely misleading.
The British inherited the traits of the Venetian oligarchy. And the british intellectuals and their stooges certainly inspired those who became socialists and all other kinds of radicals. The british universities have been an important gatheringplace for coming masterminds and instruments for pitting rivals against each other. You might even say that the universities are spook-nests. And Britain is definitely unique in this context because the masterminds are officially just respected authors and scholars, the real role of which is totally hidden in historical accounts.
The Fabians oversaw all variants of socialism with the intention of using them for imperial purposes.
But the Fabians themselves were also eugenicists, multiculturalists and fascists. Triple-faced if you will.
Likewise their agents were double or even triple agents. Faithful to the imperial agenda yet sometimes officially labeled communist spies and traitors.
It was all about the British empire no matter what cults or ideologies could be used.
Marx was one of their stooges and understood very well that he depended on the monopoly capitalists he professed to fight. The leftists are naive enough to believe in the idea that there were some good capitalists who shared their ideals and would work towards their own demise.
The British oligarchs involved in inspiring conflicts all over Europe, were able to gain respect and even worship by the various pairs of people they pit against each other and promised both sides overlapping territories before encouraging them to ‘fight for their rights’ One of them who oversaw the breakup of the Ottoman empire, Aubrey Herbert , wrote about the peculiar success these british agents of influence had in this respect. He meant that the British had a unique talent for inspiring targeted peoples.
Such brittons were even asked to be the rulers over them in some cases.
The chinese were most certainly impressed by Britains elite socialists, never realising that they were being duped into refraining from the advantages of a capitalist economy. Be it state driven or other.
The republican reformers who were outmanoeuvered by Britains elites both in France in Germany and in Russia and China were all influenced by the american example and some of their economists.
All communist revolutions have been supported by the Us sometimes with british masterminds.
But social democracy has never been supported in the same way. Only radicals who may be more easily demonised and are suitable enemies for the mic.
In the type of plot the british used against France Russia China and Iran the pattern of having people fighting the welleducated repeats itself. ‘The revolution needs no science’
The proposition that great social movements and ideological tides do not occur because of the social conditions in various states, or the advances in knowledge and technology, and the learning of lessons from history, local and foreign, or the appearance of great historical figures like Mao, Zhou, Gandhi, Mandela, Bolivar, Saladin etc, etc, or from other influences in group psychology and class conscience and the collective unconscious that are still somewhat mysterious, but from the actions of tiny cabals operating through money power alone, seems to me to be highly unlikely. In fact I would say that such theories have an infinitesimal chance of being a good description of reality and history.
I believe that Mao was in the audience when Bertie Russell gave a public lecture while visiting China. Russell was in China in 1920-1 and gave fifty odd public lectures while touring China, including four in Changsa in Hunan, Mao’s home province. Legend has it that Mao attended one lecture.
Dear I-I got so involved looking up Bertie in China that I forgot my witticism. No doubt it was at that lecture by Russell in Changsa that Mao approached the English master-mind and received his instructions for making revolution in China. A theory of truly inexplicable eccentricity and no little ignorance of Chinese history and Mao’s character.
Hello Ramin, It would be a good idea if you could share with us a list of books that tell the story, not by using other facts, but from another perspective. I was very happy to hear for the first time in one of your articles about Jeff Brown’s works on China. By the way, I was reading a very interesting book written by a Chinese, called Gao Mobo, who challenges the historical mainstream narrative on the Chinese Revolutions (some of his arguments are actually similar to the ones I found on your Chinese series). Of course, apart from China, it would be nice to get to know something about other events that happened around the world which have been too contaminated by cold war ideology (mainly). Here, in Brazil, there is an attempt to re-write the story of our 1964 military coup-d’état, so, yes, the dispute for the narratives of the past are a never ending fight.
Ramin wrote: There is no logical reason why socialism and theism cannot be combined with the exact same goal of social and personal empowerment.
A lot of needless conflict would have been avoided if those who believe in God and those who are communist/socialist realize that they are after the same goal.
I once had a conversation with a Communist Party official in China. He asked my opinion of Marx. I said that as an American, I had not read Marx because he has been so demonized. But as a Buddhist, I thought that the Buddhist goal of helping oneself and others, and the Communist goal of a social and personal development through the society are compatible.
Russell “Texas” Bentley and I once had a similar exchange, where he said he is both Russian Orthodox and Communist, and neither he nor I see any inherent contradiction. After all, it was Jesus who threw the bankers out of the Temple, and he healed people and fed them for free….Socialism!
So let’s all get together put ideological and theological disputes aside, and work together for the benefit of all.
That’s the nub of it. That communist regimes attempted to enforce atheism was a great strategic and intellectual error in my opinion. Of course they needed to extirpate any clergy who worked hand in glove with the parasite elites, but any believers who kept their faith to themselves and their fellow believers ought to have been welcome. As you say, capitalism with its innate psychopathic drives of insatiable greed, contempt for and hatred of others, and worship of Mammon, is the antithesis of every humane and morally decent religion or philosophy in history. The idea of Jesus as capitalist, that is embodied in the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ of the vilest US fundamentalist lunatics, is really quite breath-taking in its cynical inversion of reality.
Mulga; Again I totally agree with you about the atheism issue regarding Socialism. The problem for 20th century socialists was that they needed a paradigm outside the Western religious tradition that they could use as a basis for a radical critique of patriarchal religious oppression. The only understandable one in the 20th century was some combination of science and atheism. This of course left them with no way to systematically differentiate between patriarchal religious bullshit and the authentic application of spirituality which they needed as a real and stable foundation. So Socialism in the 20th century was trapped in a no win place seemingly devoid of spiritual clarity. This became an enormous problem for the USSR, which they really had no idea how to deal with. The consequences are now obvious. The ability to make this vital distinction in spiritually has only become socially possible over the lat 30 years or so and has yet to be assimilated into the socialist world view. When it does so it is going to make an absolutely decisive difference. What are your thoughts about this?
I agree. That there is what is best described as a ‘spiritual’ aspect to human existence is, in my opinion, unarguable. And even if one suspected that nothing existed beyond our current state of mechanistic, pseudo(because always incomplete)-scientific Groupthink (or the ‘intellectual phase lock’ as one colleague described it to Rupert (the ‘anti-Rupert’) Sheldrake), then I would think it best, for individual and collective sanity, to invent it.
Just what this spiritual dimension consists of is the great problem. For various ‘religious’ groups today it is merely the promise of the disappearance of Death, and eternal continued existence, to some purpose or other, in the ‘great transcendental hotel in the sky’. And, concomitantly, there is the promise of eternal suffering, or annihilation, for the hated others, the ‘heathens’, ‘barbarians’ and, worst of all, the agnostics and atheists. Moreover, during their imitation of Life, this type is often, particularly in the spiritual desert of the USA and its colonies, obsessed by the most grotesque and debased materialistic money-worship, which they perversely construe as ‘God’s blessing’ for their fervour.
The apotheosis of the spiritually bereft materialistic world-view is, of course, capitalism. In any form, but most markedly, so far, in the monstrosity of Free Market Absolutist neo-liberal capitalism, it reduces everything in the omniverse, particularly every human action, belief and impulse, to a sordid calculus of profit and loss. Everything on Earth is reduced to the status of a commodity, for sale to the highest bidder, in a ‘Free Market’ where ‘market power’ is everywhere and always nothing other than money power, where those with the lolly call all the shots, and those without can, and do, go to Hell.
The only reasonable basis for a spiritual life, in my opinion, must be rooted in reverence for Life. After all, if there is a great cosmic Daddy in the sky, or in some other place beyond our ken, his greatest gift to his creation must be Life. Particularly the beetles, of whom he is plainly ‘inordinately fond’. So, anything that protects and succours Life must be spiritual, for believer or non-believer in religion, or not. And anything that sets out, deliberately or recklessly indifferently, to destroy Life on Earth, is, by that very nature, Evil in every particular.
In my opinion the very epitome of that Life-destroying Evil is capitalism. It is the creation of the worst among us, the psychopaths, with their insatiable greed, boundless egomania, hatred of others and contempt for their existence (including all other species and future human generations)and amoral ruthlessness. In its very essence, in its normative behaviour, capitalism mimics cancer, in that it sets out to grow infinitely, turns what is living into dead, necrotic, lifeless waste that it calls ‘wealth’, and, in its neo-liberal form, imposed by Imperial diktat from Thanatopolis DC, is highly undifferentiated and, thus, more malignant. And it spreads through metastases, known, euphemistically, as ‘businessmen’, ‘entrepreneurs’, ‘wealth-creators’, ‘bankers’, etc, who infest and infect whole societies, turning them into spiritually bereft and soon to be lifeless, new lesions.
So, in my opinion, spiritual Life among human beings is impossible as long as capitalism, and its Potemkin camouflage such as ‘liberal democracy’ and ‘free markets’ or, worst of all because so ludicrous, ‘Western moral values’, persist. We have a decade or so to make the change, to excise the cancer and the metastases, before capitalism ends human existence through the concatenation of the Holocaust of ecological collapse, economic implosion under debt and inequality and geo-political aggression by the dying Thanatopian Reich leading to thermo-nuclear war, and we become toast. And, believe me, the spiritually dead cadavers who control the West are fully, even happily, prepared, to destroy the world if their rule over it is threatened.
Except for every action, there is an equal and opposite, reaction. Its what makes the universe go round.
well if those so called Americans who call themselves “Christians” actually ever bothered to carefully read what Jesus said, they will be surprised to learn a lot of the things Jesus said could be considered “Communists”.
After all Jesus was for feeding and helping the poor, he gave people free medical care and he said that wealth doesn’t guarantee a place in Heaven but burdens.
and Castro himself said that “Christ’s sermons will make for a good radical socialism whether or not you were a believer”
The wet eyed do-gooders from the left and their loose socialist hand.
Unfortunately we havent seen much from Western socialists but sucking on State funding from overtaxation of hard working independent entrepreneurs and farmers to fund all their hot air jobs on Clima Change, Refugees, World Heritage. LGBT communities, Black lives communities, Women and feminist quotations and promotion, other minorities rights, Save the Nature, Endangered Species, overregulation of everything, Children without fathers, ISIS and White Helmet, m.m.
What a litany of hatred. Hatred of ‘do-gooders’, always understandable from a Right that hates the good, and worships greed and egotism. Then various other hatreds of all those different from the great ‘entrepreneur’ (translating from the gibberish-parasite). Not really worth the trouble of a rejoinder. Could be a spoof, I suppose, ridiculing the hard Right.
The author obviously has never cared about having a look into any textbook about genocide. Fact of the matter is, that the left are by far the worst mass murderers in the history of mankind. With regards to killings Mao is very lonely at the top with some 36 mio of its people during the so called Great Leap Forward. Stalin is second and only then comes Hitler and his Nazis. Communists killed more than 100 mio during the 20th century. In comparison the Nazis killed a meager 21 mio (I can’t but be cynical here). And nevertheless no leftist will ever admit what his ideology leads to quite reliably. Its either a taboo or most of them are just ignorant but on the other hand they know exactly what’s the one most evil event ever was. And of course it’s seen as singular, unmatched by anyone or anything.What a ridiculous bunch of hypocrites.
Thanks for your discernment and sobriety, Kenan. It will not earn you plaudits among this website’s large collection of “spiritual” Mammon worshippers and clapping seals, however. “To be rich is glorious,” after all. In particular, the Chinese communists were responsible for the savage and unforgiveable destruction of Tibetan culture. The underlying savagery and brutal materialism are still very much part of these barbarians, Silk Road and all. The West and the Russians will fall enthusiastically for this phase of Antichrist like a ton of bricks–“Orthodoxy” and all. Everyone loves a “winner.”
Talk of ‘savages’ sounds just like any Western supremacist speaking, with racist contempt, of any of the non-White untermenschen, whether they be Palestinians, Africans or, the prime hate-object (because of terror at their rise) at present- the ‘Yellow Peril’.
Mulga, “savage” is perfectly intelligible word that is not necessarily freighted with “white supremacy” ideology.
One can speak of someone having received a savage beating; or that a group of savage thugs raped a woman; or that an invasion involved acts of savagery, such as the war crimes of Abu Ghraib, and countless other historical examples among all peoples and cultures.
PCR has a comment that is to the point:
“In addition to the growing censorship, I have noticed among younger generations the disappearance of the very concept of objective truth. They see truth as the mere expression of some identity interest. There are racial truths, gender truths, sexual preference truths, and apparently also age truths. The younger ages, or many of them, cannot tell the difference between an explanation and a justification. If you explain something to them, they think you are defending it, or endorsing it, and that it is your belief. In other words, communication on the basis of facts and logical explanation becomes impossible…denunciation has taken the place of rational discussion and fact-based argument. So how does truth emerge? I haven’t a lot of confidence that the concept of objective truth will survive the older generations.”
The Growing Opposition To Factual Knowledge
‘Savage’ as adjective may be a description of reality, open to challenge or not. ‘Savage’ as a noun, particularly in the context I criticised, is definitely racist and hateful.
“Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country, and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bonds… I consider the class of artificers as the panders of vice, and the instruments by which the liberties of a country are overturned… I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural.”
China I figure is going to go into collapse mode worse than any nation in the history of the world and those poor farmers will wish to have stayed on their farms rather than being pushed into cities for whatever reason!
milan, China has collapsed over and over again in its history, then risen again, as now, stronger and better for the experience than before. Its current rise has Western racists and civilizational supremacists in a real fear-crazed funk, because God is a White Man-is he not.