Saturday November 1st, 2014, 1:32 am (EDT)

Commentary

Commentary

It Could Happen Here

A deepening crisis pervades Pax Americana and with it a rising interest in fascism and the fear that it may be coming or is already here. While some observers are alarmed at the prospects of fascism, others dismiss the topic as conspiracy theory or just plain rubbish. In the most absurd recent use of the term, George W. Bush has declared America at war “with Islamic fascists seeking to destroy freedom loving societies.” It is hard here not to invoke Huey Long’s famous idea that fascism would come to America clothed as anti-fascism … | more |

Did Mao Really Kill Millions in the Great Leap Forward?

Over the last 25 years the reputation of Mao Zedong has been seriously undermined by ever more extreme estimates of the numbers of deaths he was supposedly responsible for. In his lifetime, Mao Zedong was hugely respected for the way that his socialist policies improved the welfare of the Chinese people, slashing the level of poverty and hunger in China and providing free health care and education. Mao’s theories also gave great inspiration to those fighting imperialism around the world. It is probably this factor that explains a great deal of the hostility towards him from the Right. This is a tendency that is likely to grow more acute with the apparent growth in strength of Maoist movements in India and Nepal in recent years, as well as the continuing influence of Maoist movements in other parts of the world … | more |

What Maoism Has Contributed

The Second International’s Marxism, proletarian-and-European-centered, shared with the dominant ideology of that period a linear view of history—a view according to which all societies had first to pass through a stage of capitalist development (a stage whose seeds were being planted by colonialism which, by that very fact, was “historically positive”) before being able to aspire to socialism. The idea that the “development” of some (the dominating centers) and the “underdevelopment” of others (the dominated peripheries) were as inseparable as the two faces of a single coin, both being immanent outcomes of capitalism’s worldwide expansion, was completely alien to it … | more |

Universal Rights and Wrongs

Roper v. Simmons, Torture and Judge Posner

The title of a talk should arouse curiosity and even skepticism. The title must give the speaker enough leeway to change the content at will. After all, I chose this title with only a vague idea of what I might actually say. Oh, I knew then and know now the subjects I will discuss. I have studied, written and practiced about them for more than forty years … | more |

Alice Thorner (1918–2005)

Alice Thorner’s life was lived in three continents, and her interests lay in studying processes of change in India’s colonial economy and the experience of planned development following decolonisation. She interacted for over six decades with academics and academic-bureaucrats, who were not inconsequential actors in what Gunnar Myrdal had termed the ‘Asian Drama’, and she too played a part in that unfolding drama. It was while visiting England on the eve of the WW11 in 1939 with husband Daniel who was researching his thesis at the India Office library in London, that she first met the group of enthusiastic Indian nationalists which included V. K. Krishna Menon, P.N. Haksar, K.T.Chandy and Feroze Gandhi. Many were to become lifelong friends … | more |

Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)

on the Successful Attack on the Fortified Army Base in Kalikot on August 7th-8th, 2005

The revolutionary forces in Nepal led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) have been engaged in a country-wide people’s war (“jana youdha”) against the royal government. Much of the country has been liberated. The palace and the Royal Nepal Army now retain control over the central valley of Nepal and areas adjacent to their fortified bases in the district towns in the countryside, and few other areas … | more |

“Note of Dissent” Presented by Comrade Laldhwaj

I am hereby presenting my note of dissent on the wrong charges and wrong actions, which are against the interest of the Party and the revolution, against Com.Laldhwaj, Com.Rahul (Alternate PBM) and Com.Ashok (PBM) by the recently concluded meeting of the politbureau of our glorious Party, I request you to register this formally in the records of the Party and circulate it throughout the Party rank and file in a proper manner … | more |

Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Central Committee Press Release

We have released this communiqué to clarify our views about the concerns raised from different quarters about our party’s internal life and some of the questions of its policies since some time … | more |

On Comrade Laldhoj (Baburam Bhattarai)’s Letter and other Activities

Party central Headquarters all of a sudden received a letter of serious nature from comrade Laldhoj, the standing committee member of politburo, in a very sensitive moment when the entire rank of our great and glorious party was going to implement the first historic plan of counter offensive against enemy according to the decisions taken up by the last Central Committee meeting. Party centre would like to clarify the entire party rank on the nature and the questions put forward in it as follows.… | more |

Basic Questions for Inner-Party Discussions

The basic questions on which the top leadership of our great and glorious Party, the CPN (Maoist), have had a debate and relative agreement but recurring dispute in one form or other for a long time, can be categorised as (i). ideological/philosophical questions (ii). politico-military questions (iii). organisational questions, and (iv) cultural questions. It is imperative to have a wide inner-Party debate on these questions and arrive at correct revolutionary conclusions … | more |

Internal Debate within the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)

This past winter we heard reports of a heated dispute within the leadership of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the guiding party of the revolutionary struggle in Nepal. The old regime in Nepal, a brutal military dictatorship under King Gyanendra Shah, on February 1st, 2005, carried out a coup against the remnants of legality within that part of the country it still controlled—the central valley of Nepal (containing the capital Kathmandu), and the area immediately surrounding the army’s fortified bases elsewhere, primarily in district towns. The rest of the country has been liberated, and is self-governing under revolutionary leadership, with the CPN(M) playing the leading role. But Nepal’s limited communication links with the rest of the world are concentrated in Kathmandu, and the royal military government was able to sever all links not under its control at the time of the February 1st coup. Under these circumstances it was not possible to determine the trustworthiness of the various reports of the dispute with the CPN(M) leadership … | more |

Nepal

Nepal—The Most Significant Popular Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in the World Today

The collapse of the Soviet Union and its ‘actually existing socialism’, the latter’s truly grave deformations notwithstanding, has had the consequence of a worldwide crisis of revolutionary politics, a crisis really of the social revolution of our times which, however, even in the failure of its first efforts, has left the world significantly changed for the better, and though in crisis, has enough resources left for revolutionary struggles of the future, a resumed struggle for socialism … | more |

Debate Over the Future of the AFL-CIO

More Heat than Light

A debate over the future of the AFL-CIO, the federation of most unions in the USA, has been underway for some months and, for the life of me, while the debate becomes more intense, the differences seem to blur. Yet, the feeling that one gets is that we are headed for a train wreck … | more |

André Gunder Frank (1929-2005)

Who is the most cited and discussed economist in the world? Don’t waste time looking among Nobel Prize winners and other stars of the mainstream media. André Gunder Frank is by far the most cited and most discussed, as shown by a number of studies on the subject and by the more than 30,000 entries he has on the Internet … | more |

A Note on the Death of André Gunder Frank (1929-2005)

I met André Gunder Frank and his wife Marta Fuentes in 1967. Our long conversation convinced us that we were intellectually on the same wavelength. “Modernization Theory,” then dominant, ascribed the “underdevelopment” of the Third World to the retarded and incomplete formation of its capitalist institutions. Marxist orthodoxy, as represented by the Communist Parties, presented its own version of this view and characterized Latin America as “semi-feudal.” Frank put forward a new and entirely different thesis: that from its very origins Latin America had been constructed within the framework of capitalist development as the periphery of the newly arising centers of Europe’s Atlantic seabord. For my part, I had undertaken to analyze the integration of Asia and Africa into the capitalist system in light of the requirements of “accumulation on a global scale,” a process that by its inner logic had to produce a polarization of wealth and power … | more |

Will Miller

The Life of an Activist-Educator

In many parts of our country—in communities large and small—there are activists engaged in a wide range of struggles for social and economic justice. In some communities and states there is one person who stands out as a consistent force for social change. This person inspires others and provides continuity over the years. In Vermont, University of Vermont professor of philosophy Will Miller was such a major force for left education and change—in local communities, at the university, and in the state. A committed socialist and Marxist, Will’s devotion to activism was inseparable from his role as teacher. His devotion to change and knowledge and understanding of history and economics—and his willingness to discuss almost any issue at the drop of a hat—meant that he was an educator both inside and outside the classroom. Unlike most academics (radical or not), Will choose to concentrate on teaching and social change through various means instead of on publishing articles in scholarly journals … | more |

Hands off Assata Campaign

On May 2nd the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Jersey Troopers publicly announced a $1 million bounty for the capture of Assata Shakur. May 2nd also marked the 32nd anniversary of the fatal shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that resulted in the deaths Trooper Werner Foerster andZayd Shakur, and left Assata Shakur and Sundiata Acoli wounded. Assata and Sundiata were both tried and convicted in separate trials for the deaths of Werner Foerster and Zayd Shakur … | more |

Dr. Baburam Bhattarai on the Royal Dictatorship and the Need For a Democratic Republic in Nepal

We have over the last four years periodically brought to your attention documents from the leadership of the revolutionary struggle in Nepal, together with our comments attempting to summarize the context. The first such document and commentary was posted in June 2001 http://www.monthlyreview.org/0601letter.htm, on the occasion of the massacre of King Birendra and his family in the Narayanhiti palace in Kathmandu. It was followed in January 2002 http://www.monthlyreview.org/0102bhattarai.htm with a discussion of the resumption of civil war that followed once the new King Gyanendra had established his personal control over the army. The growing success of the revolutionary forces, soon to bring the royal government to the negotiating table with a new truce early in 2003, was marked by a February 2003 http://www.monthlyreview.org/0203parvati.htm document on the role of women leadership in the struggle. The breakdown of the truce, caused by a massacre of unarmed political workers by the U.S. “advised” Royal Nepalese Army (“RNA”) on August 19, 2003, was analyzed in September 2003 http://www.monthlyreview.org/0903bhattarai.htm … | more |

The Future of Organized Labor in the U.S.

Reinventing Trade Unionism for the 21st Century

An important debate has commenced within the ranks of organized labor regarding the future of the movement. From our experience we know that the ‘top-to-bottom’ approach to revitalizing workers’ organizations will not foster meaningful membership participation and support. The debate must be joined by rank-and-file union members and leaders, other labor activists, scholars and the broad array of supporters of trade unionism. It must be open, frank and constructive, recognizing that we all have a stake in the outcome of these discussions … | more |

On December 24, 2004, Maoists in China Get Three Year Prison Sentences for Leafleting

When liberal writers Liu Xiaobo and Yu Jie were recently (and briefly) detained by Chinese police, there was a world wide chorus of denunciation. The liberal writers’ endorsement of the U.S. aggression in Iraq made them even more heroic in the eyes of the Murdoch-dominated press. Not surprisingly, there has been no coverage whatsoever of a more egregious case of crackdown on dissent—because it is dissent from the left. On December 21, 2004, four Maoists were tried in Zhengzhou for having handed out leaflets that denounced the restoration of capitalism in China and called for a return to the “socialist road.” The leaflets had been distributed in a public park in the City of Zhengzhou on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of the death of Chairman Mao Zedong. Two of the defendants, Zhang Zhengyao, 56, and Zhang Ruquan, 69, were both found guilty of libel, and each given a three-year prison sentence on December 24, 2004. The case has since generated a lot of expressions of solidarity in leftist circles within China. Postings to a leading leftist website in China in the last few days have set out an abridged translation of the incriminating leaflet, the commemorative piece titled “Mao Zedong forever our leader,” plus a commentary whose author went to Zhengzhou to show solidarity on the day of the trial on December 21. These pieces have been translated by our comrades at the China Study Group, who have asked that we post them here at the MR website. We are glad to do so, believing that a strong case can be made that the story of the left opposition inside China is the most important and least covered in the world … | more |

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