Recognising the achievements and looking forward to the further (Reply to American Maoist Communist Union)

In any case, from New York to Shanghai, from London to Paris, today we can feel that “things are changing”. Although we do not believe the myth of “fifty to one hundred years” that Gonzaloists talks about every day, the darkest nightmare that has lasted for decades may indeed be expected to an end in our generation. Admittedly, the real storm is still some distance away from us, but the dark clouds on the horizon are already dimly visible now. So for any revolutionary youth who wants to embrace the storm, if they cannot have a clear and scientific understanding of their social environment, it will be impossible for them to move forward. However, this issue in front of you has not carried out a detailed and rigorous analysis of Chinese contemporary social reality, and may not even be a very preliminary class analysis. Because when I planned to write this article last November, I was only planned to talk about the current situation of the leftists, especially the MLM, in China. However, the plan can’t keep up with the changes. The various mass movements that have sprung up one after another in recent days have made me derive many things when I really write. Finally, I try to summarize the past experience and lessons in this issue and make an appropriate outlook for the future of our movement.
As we all know, since the failure of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and the end of the socialist China, the revisionists who held the military and political power quickly formed a new Chinese bourgeois class and established a powerful fascist bourgeois dictatorship that made Hitler ashamed on the dead body of the revolution. With the forced compromise of the Shanghai militia (or “surrender”, to put it awkwardly), the revolutionary organisations throughout China also disintegrated rapidly; Under the subsequent fascist tyranny, numerous revolutionaries and classconscious workers were imprisoned, and many of them were directly sent to see Karl Marx.
In the more than 30 years since then, although there has been a strong peasant movement (but it is worth noting that “farmers” as an independent social class has no longer existing in China today, but some of our Gonzaloists “comrades” and reactionary “leftists” of the Red China Network can never get this point) and sporadic worker struggles, there is almost no free Maoist in the land of China; For this period, I can dare to say that even the United States cannot be as dark as China (at least you got RCP). The above mentioned situation did not been changed slightly until 2008. In the first ten years of 21 century, Maoists at least are “existing” in China, because of the release of some old revolutionaries (such as the great Chongqing revolutionary leader Huang Lian 黄廉), the intensification of various contradictions in China, the influence of ICM and the impact of the world financial crisis. However, at that time, when anyone spoke about the leftists in China, people’s first reaction was those hypocritical and ridiculous things like the “Communist” Party of Russia today. It can be seen how bad the situation was at that time. In this stage, an American MLM named Fred Engst (阳和平) gave us great help; His parents came to China to help the CPCh during the New Democratic Revolution. And he himself was the first batch of people to publicise MLM in China in the new century. Until today, he are also personally helping us develop through video conferencing and theoretical writing. And he has played a role of flagman in our recent struggle against Trade Unionists traitors & revisionists represented by 未明子. (That’s very interesting and important for the current line struggle in China, but I cannot talk it here or this issue will be to long) The leftist movement that arose in 2008 did not really end until the failure of the Jiashi movement in 2018. (As for why a series of leftist movements represented by Jiashi Movement failed, we shall discuss later.) In the next year, a series of leftist NGOs and leftist student organisations represented by the Marxist organisation of Peiking
University(they are the writers of the Journey of the Republic) were damaged one after another.
At that time, many of us felt that the rule of the characteristic party was indeed invincible. (Chinese leftists and liberals used to call the Chinese authority “characteristics” for short, and call the current CPCh “characteristics party”)
At the beginning of the COVID-19, the authority quickly exposed their incompetence (for example, the governor of Hubei Province mistook the most basic and important data such as “the number of infected people”, “the number of masks” and “the number of medical staff” for several times when making public reports); The first reaction of the ruling class in the face of this sudden public health crisis is not how to solve the problem, but how to solve the people who put forward the problem; In fact, at the beginning of the outbreak of the epidemic, several doctors in Wuhan has warned that a new virus was spreading, but the ruling class actually arrested them in the name of disturbing public order!!! Even when everyone knows that the virus has outbroken, they are still not released. This kind of thing has happened again and again and will keep repeating later. We all know that the authority t still adhered to the most extreme and increasingly strengthened fascist closure policy until last October, but at the beginning of December, due to the deterioration of local finance, the contraction of the real estate market and the most important, a series of heroic mass struggles, the fascist epidemic prevention policy was declared completely bankrupt, which forced the authority to abandon the previous policy; However, the responding of the authority to the voice of the masses is suddenly cancelling all epidemic prevention policies in a completely irresponsible way, and because the policies of canceling epidemic prevention in all parts of the country were very chaotic and unregulated (for example, until the end of December, the family residential area of a famous secondary school in Beijing remained closure policy even though it had been abolished all over the country, and it was not unsealed until the residents do it by themselves; similar things are countless in whole China), As a result, more than one billion people in China have been infected and countless poor people and old people have died. I myself have also experienced it. Of course, for the Chinese ruling class, labouring people are not human beings at all, and they are at best “multifunctional humanoid tools”, so they can naturally claim that Chinese epidemic prevention policy is the most successful in the world. (I think the ruling class of the United States should also be experts in this field.)
The intensification of social conflicts caused by the extreme epidemic closure policy has a development process. When the epidemic just broke out in 2019, almost everyone believed that we were faced with a very serious virus. Therefore, the epidemic prevention policies such as city closure, whereabouts reporting and endless nucleic acid detections in the early period were acceptable to most people; In a sense, the epidemic prevention policy at that time was basically a
technical issue, but this has been changed greatly by the end of 2021. When people found that only students in universities must strictly implement the so-called epidemic closure policy, and other personnel, including tourists, can enter and leave freely, people felt puzzled; When people found that the government could paralyse an international metropolis with a population of ten million at any time, people felt helpless ; When people found that anyone could violate other people’s basic human rights(even from the perspective of the liberals understanding of human rights) as long as they wore the white uniform of the epidemic prevention personnel, people felt angry; When people found that the government could ignore the life and death of the people because of the so-called “epidemic prevention policy”, the people chose to rise up against it.
Of course, although even the most backward people found that the so-called epidemic prevention policy was at least unreasonable at that time, some “great revolutionary teachers” (including many “principally Maoists”) did not think so. At that time, we often heard some hypocritical “leftists” say that “the closure policy of the Chinese authority is superior to the policies of Europe and the US and it is responsible for the people, and thus demonstrate that there are still some “socialist factors” in China at present. Their statement can only reflect their ignorance. And we don’t even need to respond to them now, because the people have responded to them with practical actions. Of course, the line struggle between we MLM and them goes beyond that. We often break out fierce conflicts with them on the following issues, such as:
“Is China an imperialist country?” (But now some people even dare to openly distort the nature of imperialism, and talk about that even some “second-level imperialist countries” can also have the so-called “progressive nationalism” requirements)
“Is the strategy of PPW applicable to CONTEMPORARY China?”
“Taiwan issue and ethnic minority issue” (limited by the objective environment, these two issues are rarely discussed even within us, but it can be predicted that when these two issues really become urgent practical issues, there will be many “leftists” who will still be “patriots”)
The issue of women’s rights (this issue has basically been distorted in China, but it is different from the way of the “political correctness” of America, but it needs another issue to analyse this topic)
Of course, there is also the issue of the current Russian-Ukrainian war, on which I think you have analysed very well.
In fact, the previous extreme closure policy of China and the losses policy of the US and Europe, though they seem different, are essentially different ways of ensuring the maximisation of the interests of the bourgeoisie. These ways can even be converted to each other when necessary, and this conversion has indeed occurred in China. The reason why the Chinese ruling class could take the extreme epidemic prevention policy(I shall use “EEPP” as abbr below) is mainly because of the following two points: Firstly, the Chinese ruling class get the state power by subverting the dictatorship of the proletariat. In order to restore capitalism in a revolutionary country, they had to adopt the most extreme and reactionary form of bourgeois dictatorship from the very beginning, that is, fascist dictatorship; Therefore, China’s bureaucrat monopoly bourgeoisie enjoys almost all power alone, controls the strong organisational capacity left by the socialist China, the national medical and health resources, and has the world’s first industrial capacity, so they can just do it. Secondly, China is different from countries with hollow industries such as the United States and the United Kingdom. (Reference website: 龚声:评官僚资产阶级防疫政策的破产——从“清零”到“躺平”的戏剧性变化)
China is a country highly dependent on manufacturing, so its ruling class is willing to control the epidemic in a short time through extreme epidemic prevention policies, so as to make everything “back to normal”. In addition, for many local bureaucrats and enterprises, implementing extreme epidemic prevention policies will also help them to absorb more profits. However, for the majority of workers, the comments are completely different. Many of them would rather be infected than stop working, because for workers, stopping working means losing the basic source of survival. Thus, the main contradiction in Chinese society during that period was “the contradiction between the ruling class’s forced implementation of the EEPP and the majority of the labouring people’s seeking to remove the relevant policies”. Within the leftists, many fake leftists who shout revolutionary slogans on normal days support the EEPP of the authority. (This includes many Gonzaloist “comrades”.) These people often chose to support Putin’s “heroic struggle against the US imperialism” in the current war, let alone their position on the Taiwan issue. When the masses are fighting bravely against the reactionary policy, they also slander that the movement is under the control of the US imperialism, saying that the movement is led by liberals, so the left should oppose the movement. Admittedly, the movements in many places, especially in Shanghai and Chengdu, have been greatly influenced by the liberals, but I do not think and do not believe that the liberals in China have the ability to organise such a huge nationwide mass struggle. They have no such ability! And even if we step back, if the movement is really led by liberals, we should never oppose the mass movement itself, but should oppose the misleading of the liberals. Under the EEPP, except for a small number of vested interests, there is no reason for others to support this reactionary policy; There are indeed some ignorant citizens who are frightened by the reactionary propaganda of the ruling class. They really think that COVID-19 is the most terrible existence in the world, so they must implement extreme epidemic prevention policies. But what is the number of those naive and “cute” people who are just like a little baby? How many such people are there among the workers who even cannot get basic survival means when they stop working? How many such fools are there after the reactionary authority attacked the people for more than three years? Liberal gentlemen and some “comrades” suddenly lost their senses of numbers when facing those problems. In fact, most people are more or less disgusted with the EEPP. We are just intimidated by the order and dare not speak up. When the EEPP impeded the basic order of production and even the life of the bourgeois society, and even hindered the interests of some blocs of the ruling class, they even produced some “vacillations”, but their “vacillations” could not play a decisive role in the face of the entire bureaucratic bourgeois order of China. (Shijiazhuang, for example, briefly cancelled the EEPP on 13th November, but resumed the previous policy only two days later.) What really played a decisive role was the nationwide mass movement. As early as the beginning of 2022, a large number of depositors went bankrupt because the bank in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, refused to withdraw funds from depositors. At that time, a large number of defenceless people went to Zhengzhou to defend their rights by holding up the portrait of Mao Tse-Tung, but were beaten and arrested by the reactionary policemen who are well equipped just under the portrait of Chairman Mao. Then the authority used the method of accurately sending “yellow code” to all depositors with deposits of more than 500,000 RMB to prevent them from going to Zhengzhou. (The health code has three colors, green represents normal people, yellow represents close contacts with COVID-19, and red represents infected people and highly dangerous people; people with yellow and red codes cannot travel normally, and even have to be isolated in given places) The actions of the authority have seriously undermined their credibility among the masses. Shortly afterwards, in November, also in Zhengzhou, Foxconn workers destroyed the nucleic acid pavilion, clashed with the policemen who are sent to suppress the workers and rushed to the government department in the center of the city… A simple economic struggle was able to reach such height here in China, which shows how strong the militancy of modern Chinese working class is and how strong the revolutionary potential they have. This is undoubtedly a great inspiration for all the leftists in China. However, we self-called MLM “disappeared” in such movements, leaving only Foxconn workers to fight alone. We are extremely ashamed of this. On 24th November, because of the reactionary epidemic prevention policy, the fire passage was blocked, resulting in many innocent Wulumuqi citizens being burned alive by the fire, which completely intensified the contradiction, and all parts of the country “Rose up to fight”! The blank paper movement against the EEPP has rapidly expanded from Nanjing to all parts of the country. Soon after, the powerful authority actually compromised, and the EEPP finally went bankrupt! At this time, some leftists thought that everything would be fine if the EEPP was ended, and they could accept the status quo. They did not realise that the victory against EEPP was only a solution to a phased social contradiction, and the real struggle was still ahead. Some comrades who have participated in the blank paper movement have summed up well. At this time, the attitude we should take on the left should be “Recognising the achievements and looking forward to the future”, and we should never be satisfied with status quo and stop fighting. Indeed, on 8th January 2023, many workers in Dadukou, Chongqing, were suddenly laid off without any prior notice because of the economic recession; The relevant enterprises refused to pay wages to the workers regardless of their live or death, so a new labour struggle began again. The workers in Dadukou gathered and faced many reactionary policemen without fear, and
beat the police to rout with stones. However, at this time, we self-called MLM are still “disappearing”. I hope our American comrades will never be like us.
Why we regard the recent series of movements in China as a great breakthrough? I reckon there are three main points. Firstly, the working class has widely participated in the movements and has shown a strong militancy. Secondly, the scale of the recent series of sports is the largest and widest since 1989. Thirdly, this is the second time since 1976 that the Chinese people have adopted a large-scale counterattack strategy in the face of the attack of the ruling class, and have achieved a staged victory. (The last time was the 1990s peasant movements, which also achieved a staged victory and abolished the agricultural tax, but the peasantry class has long ceased to exist in contemporary China, so it is far less important than the recent series of movements)
Some Chinese leftists attribute the reason why the Chinese socialist movement has not developed for a long time to the fact that the ruling class is too strong and the progressive force is too weak; So they think that we should do nothing now but wait for the “opportunities”. It is true that revolutionaries will also analyse how strong the enemy is and how weak we are, but the analysis of revolutionaries is fundamentally different from that of the compromisers: revolutionaries analyse the difficulties in order to overcome them, while the compromisers analyse the difficulties in order to escape from them. It is true that Chinese fascist dictatorship is very powerful, because it is, after all, a bourgeois dictatorship established on the basis of subverting the dictatorship of the proletariat. (In other countries, when the bourgeoisie considers it necessary to establish a “fascist regime”, it is often in the face of a huge ruling crisis. When the general bourgeois order is on the verge of collapse, it is often facing an “either Hitler or Thäilmann” question and in this case the bourgeois have no choice but establish the fascist regime; In China, the revisionists within the Party have been under great pressure from the very beginning. Therefore, if China’s bureaucratic monopoly bourgeoisie wants to maintain its own rule without becoming compradors, then the establishment of a fascist regime is its only choice. However, after the establishment of this powerful fascist order, contemporary Chinese bureaucrats increasingly believe that they can solve all problems as long as they hide behind this order. They have long adopted a unique arrogant attitude towards the demands of the masses and any voice of dissatisfaction. In their view, as long as they start the violence state apparatuses, they can suppress everything; In their view, as long as they start the ideological state apparatuses, everyone would believe in their nonsense; In their view, they can rely on the fascist order left to them by their predecessors until forever. In this case, whatever they do, they will naturally rely on the fascist order, and the more they rely on it, the more they isolate themselves from the reality, the more they become incompetent and ignorant, and their incompetence in turn forces them to rely more and more on the fascist order left by their predecessors to maintain their rule. In addition, due to the different levels of economic development and different industrial conditions, the contradictions between different interest blocs within the ruling class are also very acute. This kind of contradiction broke out once in 2012, and at the recent 20th National Congress of the CPCh, it has exposed the bloody struggle within the ruling class of China to the whole world. In any case, Chinese ruling class has indeed “degenerated”. Compared with the revisionists who restored capitalism in China, the contemporary Chinese ruling class is much more incompetent both in terms of personal ability and in terms of the whole class, which is the inevitable result of excessive reliance of bureaucrats on the dictatorship machine and their intentional or unintentional disregard of social contradictions; It is also a reflection of the unbalanced development of economy in various regions in the superstructure under the rule of bourgeoisie. Admittedly, the above analysis is still slightly rough, but I think the basic logic should has been clarified. Based on the same logic, I guess that the ruling class of the US also seems to be too dependent on the world hegemony established by their predecessors, which may be one of the important reasons for their “degeneration”.
Since Chinese working class is so militant, and China’s ruling class is not the all-powerful God, why has Chinese socialist movement not made breakthrough progress for a long time? I think the key problem still lies in our MLM. If we observe the new round of socialist revolutionary movement in China from the perspective of historical cycle, we will find that the whole movement is still at a very very early stage. As I mentioned just now, a new generation of leftists and at least self-called MLM have appeared in the society, and the number of leftists has increased significantly since 2020. But I’m sure that at present, if not all of Chinese leftists, at least the vast majority of the so-called leftists and our self-called MLM are actually pettybourgeoisie intellectuals, and very few workers have class-consciousness. Over the years, many of the so-called “propaganda work” we have done on various network platforms under the absolute control of the bourgeoisie is not aimed at the workers, but at the “left-leaning pettybourgeoisie”. In many cases, we are simply “entertaining ourselves”. It is worth noting that I am not saying here that because many of our theories originated from the era of Marx and Lenin, so our propaganda means must copy newspapers and telegrams; On the contrary, we believe that modern information technology, if properly used, will be the best revolutionary propaganda tool and organisational tool, which I shall talk about shortly. However, the best weapons on the battlefield can not replace the strategic idea guiding the whole war after all. Our problem is not that we are using modern technology, but that we are separated from the modern workers, and the production and life of them. Of course, we did participate in the workers’ movement. We participated in the Jiashi movement five years ago. But why did a series of attempts represented by this movement failed? Why do workers dislike student participation so much? Many people refuse to answer these questions, but I think we must overcome them. Both the Jiashi movement and some recent movements have exposed the disjunction between the socialist movement and the workers’ movement. In the Jiashi movement, at the beginning of April, the main force of the struggle was indeed a group of workers represented by seven activists, but soon the workers basically faded out of the struggle. By August, the movement has basically become an aimless leftist student movement with strong political performance. Left-wing student associations and various left-wing NGOs all over the country have risen up to express their support for the movement, which basically exposed our full strength to the ruling class. Some people even put forward political demands that are obviously beyond the current stage of the movement. This is a bit like when the steel strike in 1919 and the coal strike in 1920 in the United States outbroke, some Communists(If my memory is not wrong, it’s from the manifesto of one of the CPUSA), regardless of the level of the development of the struggle, so the level of the movement was forcibly raised by them and they even insisted that “workers must seize the state power…to reply to the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie with the dictatorship of the working class”. As Comrade Foster said, “In the long run, these statements are undoubtedly correct in theory, but the workers cannot listen to them.” It is obvious that the problem lies in the fact that we has not implemented the mass line well and has not “from the masses to the masses.” And so, with the later defection and surrender of some people (particularly a big traitor who are called “贺鹏超”) and the nationwide crackdown, the whole Jiashi movement has also completely failed, The organised power of the leftists across the country has also been severely damaged and has not yet recovered. However, this is not completely a bad thing. After all, many people, including me, think that the previous “organisations” should not be recovered.
As for what to do in the future, to be honest, we really don’t know the specific route(here I am not talking about the Bolshevik method & PPW), and there is no generally accepted view about this point at present. Therefore, the following contents are only some preliminary opinions of some comrades and I myself, and are really “For reference only”.
As we have just mentioned indirectly above, at present, we Chinese leftists, even the self-called MLM, cannot be counted as few in terms of absolute number. From the theoretical level, I believe that we Chinese MLM can compare with any other foreign comrades. Therefore, some of us including myself believe that if an editorial branch with a certain theoretical level can be responsible for preparing a popular magazine that can attract workers and progressive students, combine MLM with social reality, and a relatively safe MLM network platform or wordpress as one of the communication tool, it may have a certain effect. It is worth noting that I am not talking about mass work here, but about building a MLM route front. Although there were some leftist magazines in China like IRN, its main content was various foreign movements, and its theoretical level was relatively poor, which can compare with Gonzaloists only. Therefore, many people only knew its existence but hardly read it. Now we also have some platforms, but basically only a few people pay attention to them. While, the various platforms and so-called organisations of the Gonzaloists are too formalism and full of sectarianism, and I’m afraid they can only shout slogans and prepare for the PPW forever. They often turn others into rightists just because of some extremely minor issues, but ignore the fundamental strategic issues; Let alone the exposed fake leftist platforms(particularly the red china net 红中网). In a word, they can’t bear the role of the route front at all, and we really need a route of our own.
This issue is almost over here. And we are very happy to listen to your sharing of experience or any suggestions. Finally, let me revise a sentence from Lenin’s masterwork What is to be done? as the end of this issue:
“The Chinese proletariat will have to undergo trials immeasurably graver; it will have to fight a monster compared with which an antisocialist law in a constitutional country seems but a dwarf. History has now confronted us with an immediate task which is the most revolutionary of all the immediate tasks confronting the proletariat of any country. The fulfilment of this task, the destruction of the most powerful bulwark, not only of East Asia, but (it may now be said) of Eastern hemisphere, would make the Chinese proletariat the vanguard of the international revolutionary proletariat. And we have the right to count upon acquiring this honourable title, already earned by our predecessors, the revolutionaries of the last century, if we succeed in inspiring our movement, which is a thousand times broader and deeper, with the same devoted determination and vigour.”

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