The modified (further distorted) Consumer Price Index, which (as of early 2013) the U.S. government is about to begin using. This method of calculating the CPI allows the overt substitution of cheaper goods for more expensive ones in order to falsely claim that consumer prices are not rising nearly as fast as they actually are. The official excuse for doing this is that the substituted goods are supposedly “equivalent” in their use or function.
The CPI is calculated by comparing the price of a basket (or specific set) of commodities at one time to the price of that same basket of commodities at a previous time. However, the “chained CPI” destroys the entire validity of this technique by allowing different, cheaper, goods to be substituted for some of the goods in that basket during the second measurement. If, for example, a pound of steak was included in the first basket, a pound of hamburger might be deemed “equivalent” to it in the second basket, thus hiding the fact that the price of meat has rapidly increased.
This is just one of many ways in which official government economic statistics are purposefully and systematically distorted in order to make them look much better than they really are.
See also: ECONOMIC STATISTICS—Distortion Of
CHANGE — Dialectics Of
“New things come from old things which change and develop. But how
do things in general change? People familiar with Marxist dialectics of course know that
change takes place through qualitative leaps. In other
words the dialectical view is not that something develops gradually and evenly from one
thing into another, but that at some point there is a sudden transition, a leap, a
revolution. This is true not only in human thought and society, but in nature as well,
such as in the change of water to steam as it is heated. But the point I want to emphasize
here is that this is not the whole story about change.
“(Generally it is necessary to give special emphasis to the importance of dialectical leaps when talking to people about change and development. That is because most people in present society are not used to looking at things this way. But with my present intended audience I assume this first essential characteristic of change is already well understood and completely obvious. That is why I am putting the emphasis here on the other important characteristic of change.)
“While qualitative leaps are the essence of change, there is also the aspect of gradual development leading up to those qualitative leaps. Water, for example, does not make the sudden transition to steam unless it has first been gradually heated up from room temperature to the boiling point. Now it is true that if you look at the preliminary gradual process in a detailed enough way, you will find that it also is composed of many small leaps. In the case of the gradually heated water what is going on at a very fine level is the sudden qualitative leap in the acquisition of energy by individual water molecules as they come in contact with the energetic (heated) surface of the tea kettle (or with other, hotter, water molecules). Thus ultimately all change does seem to take the form of dialectical leaps. But nevertheless, from the point of view of the overall process, a large series of very small subsidiary qualitative leaps takes on the appearance of gradual development. It is almost as bad to fail to recognize this as it is to fail to see that this gradual development must lead to a qualitative change if there is to be any fundamental change in the overall situation.
“Change is a matter of gradual development leading up to, and preparing the ground for, sudden transition. Thus any intelligent effort to bring about change must not only recognize that a sudden transition or revolution is necessary at some point (though that is the first element of wisdom), but that also the ground must be prepared for that revolution through a period of gradual development. To rationally work to bring about a change is therefore primarily to concern yourself with fostering the gradual development that must inevitably occur before the necessary sudden leap is possible.
“Politically, there is the phenomenon of individuals who long for social revolution with all their heart and soul, but who are too impatient to do the actual work necessary to prepare the ground for revolution. Because they are so impatient, they abandon the dialectical outlook on change, focus entirely on the need for a sudden transition, and down-play the effort needed to lay the necessary ground work.
“Such extreme impatience even leads people to revise their revolutionary theory to fit their subjective desires. ‘Winning the masses takes time, therefore maybe it is not necessary to win the masses, or maybe it is only necessary to win a small number of the masses...’ In such a way are the impatient pushed away from the masses, away from mass revolution, away from Marxism and toward ‘left’ adventurism or even putschism.
“‘Organizing the masses takes time, therefore maybe it is not necessary to organize the masses, maybe we can just suppose that when push comes to shove the masses will spontaneously organize themselves for revolution...’ In such a way are the impatient pushed toward a form of anarchism and aloofness from the masses (even if they still recognize the importance of a vanguard party).
“‘Participating with the masses in their day-to-day struggle in order to raise their revolutionary consciousness is too big a job, therefore maybe it is not necessary, maybe it is really only a kind of reformism dressed up as revolutionary preparations; maybe the masses do not really need to learn through their own experiences, and maybe we do not need to be there with them to help them with this summation...’ In such a way does Marxism get turned into a sort of ‘leftist’ preaching, or a form of evangelism.
“‘Preparing for revolution takes time and effort, therefore maybe it is not necessary to make extensive preparations, maybe the masses are almost ready to go right now, maybe the revolution could break out any day...’ In such a way do the impatient lose the ability to appraise the objective situation, and start to lose contact with reality. This leads to constant predictions of revolution ‘within this decade’, or ‘within a couple years’, or even ‘within a few months’—which in turn leads to demoralization when the subjective predictions do not materialize.
“Extreme impatience can thus lead to ultra-‘leftism’ in various guises, and to a distortion of Marxism.
“Impatience can be a good thing or a bad thing. If impatience with the present despicable bourgeois world turns us into revolutionaries, and gets us working toward bringing about revolution, it is of course a very good thing. But if that impatience gets out of hand and leads us into the renunciation of Marxism and the only real path to revolution, it is a very bad thing. We should be impatient, but we should not let it make us crazy.” —Scott Harrison, The Mass Line and the American Revolutionary Movement, Chapter 31 (excerpt), online at: http://www.massline.info/mlms/mlch31.htm
CHANGE — Sudden
Virtually all major natural and social processes and developments occur through periods of relatively long and gradual changes leading up to comparatively sudden and major qualitative changes. Often these periods of gradual and sudden change alternate. Why this unevenness? It is because change, when viewed as a single overall process, is actually composed of many different smaller changes and subprocesses, each of which is governed by laws appropriate to its own particular contradictions. Or, in other words, some of the subprocesses proceed at one speed, others at a different speed. And those which proceed quite fast are for relatively longer periods held up by those among the prerequisite changes and subprocesses which proceed more slowly.
Some changes must necessarily occur very rapidly. This is perhaps most obvious in natural science. Chemical changes often happen extremely fast—and not just in the case of explosions! Sub-atomic particle interactions generally happen even faster, in tiny fractions of a nanosecond! (On the other hand, even there all physical changes take some amount of time; strictly speaking, there is actually no such thing as “instantaneous change”.)
But even in human society some changes must be brought about quite rapidly if they are to be successful at all. There is an apocryphal story that illustrates this: Some country or other once decided (for whatever reason) to switch over its roads so that instead of driving on the left side of the road, people would drive their vehicles on the right side of the road. Supposedly some government official told the public not to worry about the switchover, because “the change will take place gradually”. In reality, of course, that would be the very worst way to try to do it! It would be much more sensible to say, for example, that as of 2 a.m. on some very quiet Sunday morning all traffic will be required to simultaneously change from driving on the left to driving on the right. Many of the major steps in social revolution must likewise be carried out very rapidly if they are to be successful. Certainly this is true of revolutionary insurrection, for example.
The claim that you “cannot change people’s minds” is actually most commonly an excuse for not even trying to do so; or, in other words, an excuse for liberalism in the Maoist sense.
True, it is in fact difficult to change people’s minds and there are very good reasons for that. People have an overall worldview and most of their important ideas are deeply integrated into that general worldview. Attempting to change a person’s mind even about one specific issue often at least indirectly or implicitly challenges their whole worldview which they cannot give up without a prolonged struggle, both with others and within their own head. But through extensive struggle, through experience, and through time, people can and do change their minds, not only about specific issues, but indeed with regard to their overall worldview itself. So don’t be discouraged by initial failure! Keep plugging away, including with a variety of new arguments and new evidence, and from a variety of new angles!
See also: COGNITIVE DISSONANCE
“When people say you can’t change minds, they’re usually talking about
one conversation that didn’t go well. But change doesn’t happen all at once—it’s often
glacial.” —W. Kamau Bell, a liberal African-American comedian who focuses on
sociopolitical issues, “Talk About Racism? Yes, Now... And Often: It’s Time to Get
Comfortable Having Uncomfortable Conversations”, Stand magazine, published by
the American Civil Liberties Union, Winter 2018, p. 36.
[Although Kamau Bell is only an ACLU-type liberal, this is quite a profound comment which all of us who are concerned to change the opinions of others should keep firmly in mind. And, if you think back, I’ll bet you’ll recall some political arguments you’ve had with people where it appeared you were totally unable to convince the person—but where later, somewhat to your surprise, you heard that very same person promote the better point of view that you were defending! (And others may have had the same experience with you!) Sometimes good arguments take a while to sink in and become part of a person’s own thinking. —S.H.]
See also: PHILANTHROPY
“There are, in every country, some magnificent charities established by individuals. It is, however, but little that any individual can do, when the whole extent of the misery to be relieved is considered. He may satisfy his conscience, but not his heart. He may give all that he has, and that all will relieve but little. It is only by organizing civilization upon such principles as to act like a system of pulleys, that the whole weight of misery can be removed.... It ought not to be left to the choice of detached individuals whether they will do justice or not.” —Tom Paine, “Agrarian Justice” (1795), in Michael Foot & Isaac Kramnick, eds., The Thomas Paine Reader (1987), p. 403.
CHARTER OF THE ANSHAN IRON AND STEEL COMPANY — Mao’s Note On
An important note written by Mao Zedong in March 1960 on a report by the Anshan City Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. This note became in effect the fundamental law for running China’s socialist enterprises during the Mao era. It took into account the lessons from the economic construction in the Soviet Union, as well as the experience in China, and formulated these fundamental principles: Keep politics firmly in command; strengthen Party leadership; launch vigorous mass movements; institute the system of cadre participation in productive labor and worker participation in management, of reform of irrational and outdated rules and regulations, and of close co-operation among cadres, workers and technicians; and going full steam ahead with technical innovations and the technical revolution.
This commentary by Mao is available online at: http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-8/mswv8_49.htm
An early mass semi-revolutionary movement of British workers which arose because of the bad economic conditions they suffered and their political disenfranchisement. Chartism was one of the earliest working class movements in the world. The Chartist movement began with (and takes its name from) the People’s Charter of 1838 which focused on voting rights. Only about 700,000 of Britain’s 25 million population at that time had the right to vote. The movement reached its peak in 1839, a year in which Britain came closer to social revolution than any time since the English Civil War, or any time since. There was mass rioting, a failed general strike, and actual insurrections in south Wales and northern England.
After this peak the movement continued at a lower level and lasted up to around 1850, and during that period it held numerous mass meetings and demonstrations. The movement fell apart, however, principally because it did not develop a steady and solid revolutionary leadership and because it lacked a clear-cut programme.
CHASI MULIA ADIVASI SANGHA (CMAS)
A militant but peaceful organization of adivasis, or tribal people, in the southwestern part of Orissa state in India. In particular the CMAS has struggled for the redistribution of land to the adivasis, and against illegal mining on their land by giant mining corporations. The CMAS has been accused by the police and media of being a front organization of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), and this was the “excuse” given by the police for murdering 3 adivasis (including a CMAS leader) at a demonstration led by CMAS in Narayanpatna, in southern Orissa, on November 20, 2009. However, the leadership of the CMAS is actually made up of some of the middle range of revolutionary forces in India, who have been trying to wage a peaceful struggle for the people. In an interview, one of these top CMAS leaders, Gananath Patra, explained their political ideology and strategy this way:
Satyabrata: The state has militarized itself. What will its effect
be on the movement?
Gananath Patra: We know very well that behind the military intervention of the State is its intention to militarize our movement in order to find a plea to brutally subjugate it. We know their intentions and we are careful about any move we shall be taking. The movement must continue.
Satyabrata: The CMAS is being projected as the frontal organization of the Maoists. Is that true?
Gananath Patra: You mean the CPI(Maoist). No. we have considerable differences with the CPI(Maoist) line, though they are our sympathizers and critics. I believe in Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought, which has considerable differences with the Maoism of the CPI(Maoist). Our method of occupying and cultivating land is mass line task and has nothing in common with the CPI(Maoist).
Satyabrata: Why are you being projected as Maoists then?
Gananath Patra: We pose a danger to the status quo the ruling class wants to maintain and hence it wants us to be branded as Maoists. Then the matter becomes simple; pick up anyone who is against this status quo, brand him a Maoist and rob him of his movemental potentiality by either putting him behind bars or by gunning him down. History has been spectator to this strategy of several States at several conjunctures in the past. The state has banned the CPI(Maoist) to facilitate this purpose. [From: “Narayanpatna: An Interview with Gananath Patra”, online at: http://sanhati.com/articles/1917/]
However, it seems that Gananath Patra has inadvertently put his finger on the fatal problem
with the CMAS political strategy: The state will simply not allow them to proceed with
their programme no matter how peaceful they are. They will simply be attacked and destroyed
by the armed forces of the Central and state governments of India. Peaceful strategies will
not work against governments willing to shoot you dead anyway.
In early December 2009 hundreds of adivasi people associated with CMAS surrendered to the police in what was falsely billed by the media as a large surrender of “Maoists”. Those are the alternatives facing the people there: abject surrender to the government and their perpetual victimization, or else a very different form of struggle involving the force of arms.
However, as of January 2010, it appears that either the CMAS organization, or part of it, or at least a large number of those who have been members of it, are moving rapidly towards the Maoists and the Maoist approach to revolution. See the news article “India Drives Tribals into Maoist Arms” for more information.
A “chattel” is an item of property other than real estate (i.e., other than land and buildings). So chattel slavery means the same thing as what we ordinarily just call slavery. However, the full term is useful since all forms of exploitive class society actually amount to slavery in a broad sense. In chattel slavery, the slaves are owned outright by the exploiting class (the slaveowners); in feudalism, the “slaves” (serfs) cannot be sold since they are tied to specific estates and land, but otherwise are almost the same as owned by the aristocracy (feudal landlords); in capitalism, the wage-slaves are not owned by individual capitalists, but rather they are in effect owned by the capitalist class as a whole. Each individual worker is usually free to quit working for one capitalist, but must then go to work for another in order to survive.
See also: SLAVE SOCIETY
1. Patriotism, expecially “excessive”, “blind” or absurdly exaggerated patriotism. Also called national chauvinism. (Named after Nicolas Chauvin, a character noted for his wild patriotism and fanatical devotion to Napoleon in the play La Cocarde tricolore (1831) by Théodore and Hippolyte Cogniard.)
2. Male chauvinism: Partiality towards, or promotion of the rights and privileges of men as compared with those of women.
3. Similar sorts of partiality and favoritism with regard to some other sub-set of humanity.
All forms of chauvinism favor the rights and privileges of one section of humanity above all the other sections. In bourgeois usage, ‘chauvinism’ means only excessive patriotism, or excessive concern for the rights and privileges of men relative to women, etc. But from the revolutionary Marxist point of view it is not just the “excessive” tendencies like this which are chauvinistic, but any such tendencies at all!
See: ERNESTO “CHE” GUEVARRA
“Chemical analysis and synthesis go no farther than to the separation of particles one from another, and to their reunion. No new creation or destruction of matter is within reach of chemical agency. We might as well attempt to introduce a new planet into the Solar System, or to annihilate one already in existence, as to create or destroy a particle of hydrogen. All the changes we can produce consist in separating particles that are in a state of cohesion or combination, and joining those that were previously at a distance.” —John Dalton, A New System of Chemical Philosophy (1808). [Of course we now know that it is possible by non-chemical means to destroy hydrogen by fusing its atoms together into helium or heavier elements in hydrogen bombs or in the Sun. But Dalton’s comments remain true for chemistry itself. —Ed.]
CHEN BODA (1904-1989)
[To be added...]
CHEN YONGGUI [Old style: CHEN YUNG-KUEI] (1915-1986)
A famous peasant leader from Dazhai village, Xiyang County in Shanxi Province, China. Chen was an enthusiastic participant in the land reform movement against the landlords and joined the Communist Party of China in 1948. He was a hardworking farmer and became the party secretary for the village, and later for the Dazhai production brigade. He was very successful in mobilizing the peasants in this village and regions beyond it to transform their initially extremely poor circumstances into a highly productive and successful farming community. Grain output per acre tripled from 1952 to 1962. In 1963 there were a series of locally severe natural disasters which destroyed 180 acres of hard-won arable land, and also some buildings. But under Chen’s leadership the brigade declined any help from the state and managed to completely reconstruct and recover within one year’s time.
This example of hard work, collective organization, rapid progress and self-reliance came to the attention of the top leadership of the CCP, and in December 1964 Mao issued the directive “In agriculture, learn from Dazhai.” This made Dazhai famous not only throughout China, but also among friends of the Chinese revolution around the world.
“When the Cultural Revolution began, Dazhai’s model was emphasized even more. During a meeting with Zhou Enlai, Chen Yonggui was encouraged to create Dazhai’s own Red Guard organization, which was later established under the name ‘Jinzhong Field Army’. He was appointed vice-chairman of the Shanxi Revolutionary Committee in 1967; in the same year, the Cultural Revolution Group approved his ‘five recommendations’ for conducting the Cultural Revolution in rural areas, published in the CPC Central Committee Document No. 339. In 1969 he was elected member of the CPC Central Committee, and a secretary of the CPC Shanxi Committee in 1971. He once again gained Mao Zedong’s approval in 1972 by firmly opposing CPC Shanxi First Secretary Xie Zhenhua’s request to downgrade the Dazhai production brigade to production team.” [From the Wikipedia entry on CHEN YONGGUI (accessed 6/19/15).]
In 1973 Chen Yonggui was elected as a member of the CCP Politburo and transferred to Beijing.
In January 1975 he was also appointed a Vice-Premier of the State Council, and a couple months
later he led a Chinese delegation to Mexico. In September 1975 he gave the keynote speech at the
First National Conference for Learning From Dazhai in Agriculture, which was chaired by
Hua Guofeng. With Mao’s approval Chen spent 1/3 of his time on
work in Beijing where he was more or less in charge of agricultural policy, 1/3 on inspection
tours, and 1/3 as an ordinary farm laborer in Dazhai. He never let high office go to his
However, Chen Yonggui, for all his great strengths, was not an educated man. And as he himself readily admitted (see quotation below) his knowledge of Marxism was very limited. After Mao’s death he was easily fooled at first by the initial steps by the capitalist-roaders to suppress the revolutionary followers of Mao (the so-called “Gang of Four” and many others), and joined in their condemnation. Only when Deng Xiaoping came back to power in 1978-1979 did Chen soon come to understand that China was now firmly on the path back to capitalism. Chen’s refusal to approve private agricultural plots and his resistance to Deng’s “Seeking Truth from Facts” campaign (which “reversed the verdicts” and condemned the Cultural Revolution), brought him into direct conflict with Deng and the other capitalist-roaders. Chen was removed from his party leadership posts in Jinzhong and Xiyang in 1979; was dismissed from his Vice-Premier position in the State Council in 1980 (at the same time Hua Guofeng was pushed out of the premiership by Deng); and was not re-elected to the party Central Committee in 1982.
Chen Yonggui spent the remainder of his life working as a farm advisor near Beijing and died of lung cancer at the age of 71. The ultimately tragic outcome of his life is brought out in his own words:
“I can read very few [ideographic] characters, and I’ve never studied
Marxism-Leninism.... I don’t really know what Capital and The State and
Revolution are all about.... Some comrades quoted from the classics—history, Marx,
the works of Mao Zedong—but I didn’t catch many things.... If you ask me about the proper
time to plant seeds, apply fertilizers, and weed, I can be at least 80 percent right, from
my obsrvations of the weather and my experience.... Seven or eight years ago, Chairman
Mao wanted me to work in the Central Committee. I told him that I wouldn’t feel at home
in such a big office.... After the Lin Biao affair, the Gang of Four tried to enlist me on
their side. The Chairman said to me, ‘Old Devil, don’t turn the Gang of Four into the Gang
of Five.’ After I heard this, I dared not even answer the phone calls from Jiang Qing, and
I went back to Dazhai several times, feigning sickness.... I don’t care to be a
vice-premier or a Politburo member.... It means nothing to me.... Rolling up the bottom of
my trousers to till the soil has always been my lot.... I already pointed out that since
the 3rd Plenum of the CCP Central Committee [July, 1977], the Party Central has been facing
the danger of a capitalist restoration, has sent away Chairman Mao’s holy tablet, and
driven away workers, peasants, and soldiers. The phenomenon of campuses managed by
bourgeois intellectuals has reemerged. At the same time, I also said more than once that
the 3rd Plenum cut the Dazhai banner, abandoned self-reliance, forsook the Party’s
tradition, regressed into the past, stopped talking about the line and class struggle,
wanted no more of the proletarian dictatorship, depended no longer on poor and lower-middle
peasants, and practiced revisionism instead of Socialism. As I spoke these words, some
people wanted me to disclose the identity of the behind-the-scenes instigator.... ‘Comrade
Chen Yonggui, these words are probably not from your heart. You were taken in and made a
scapegoat by others. For the solidarity of the Party and the acceleration of the four
modernizations, you must take a firm stand and divulge the identity of whoever wanted you
to say these things. Then there will be no problem.’ When I heard this, I felt strange.
This is my viewpoint. Why should I implicate anyone either on the stage or behind the
scenes? ... I can either go back to Dazhai or go somewhere else. I am unfit to be a leader
of the Party, but I can be an ordinary Party member; I am unfit to be a cadre, but I can
be a peasant....” —Chen Yonggui, English translation in Issues and Studies, May,
1980. [Quoted in: Edoarda Masi, China Winter (1982), pp. 23-24.]
[Clearly these are the words of a broken and defeated man, who after Mao’s death was not at all up to facing the adverse rightist political challenges he encountered. Mao and the revolutionary forces following him were unable to politically educate and prepare people like Chen Yonggui to fully recognize and stop the capitalist-roaders in time. —S.H.]
CHERNOV, V. M. (1876-1952)
A leader and theoretician of the peasant-based Socialist-Revolutionary Party in Russia, and a bitter opponent of Marxism. He was a religious agnostic, and was highly eclectic in his views.
CHERNYSHEVSKY, Nikolai Gavrilovich (1828-1889)
A very important Russian revolutionary democrat who was the leader of the revolutionary movement in Russia during the 1860s. He was a utopian socialist, a materialist philosopher, a writer and a literary critic.
In philosophy, Chernyshevsky further developed Feuerbach’s materialist views and sought to revise Hegel’s dialectics in a materialist manner. His philosophy marked the high point of pre-Marxist materialist philosophy in Russia. However, as Lenin noted, “Chernyshevsky did not succeed in rising, or, rather, owing to the backwardness of Russian life, was unable to rise to the level of the dialectical materialism of Marx and Engels”.
CHIANG KAI-SHEK (New style: JIANG JIESHI) (1887-1975)
A reactionary Chinese military leader and political dictator who was eventually overthrown on the Chinese mainland by the Chinese Revolution in 1949. He then fled with the remnant of his army to Taiwan where he ruled as dictator until his death.
Chiang was an associate of Sun Yat-sen, the founder of the Guomindang [Kuomintang] or Nationalist Party, and assumed control of the GMD after Sun’s death in 1925. Chiang had been the commandant of the GMD’s Whampoa Military Academy, and had become the top GMD military leader. In 1928 he led the Northern Expedition (with considerable support from the Soviet Union and members of the Communist Party of China) which succeeded in displacing a number of warlords and in more or less unifying the country.
But Chiang then turned on the CCP which had been supporting him within the GMD, and massacred thousands of its members and sympathizers. Chiang led a pitifully inadequate nationalist resistence to Japan’s invasion of China during the 1930s. This gave an opening for the CCP, under Mao’s leadership, to wage a more determined fight against Japanese imperialism. Even during World War II Chiang spent considerable effort fighting the Communists (rather than Japan); but after the Japanese surrender he turned his full attention toward trying to wipe out the Communists in a major civil war. However, despite enormous material help from the U.S. (and only very limited help to the Communists from the Soviets) Chiang was defeated and fled to Taiwan.
On Taiwan he established martial law and ruled in his usual dictatorial manner. The GMD, at first with Chiang’s son in charge, continued to rule Taiwan for many years after his death, until bourgeois democracy was finally introduced there. Most of the hundreds of statues of Chiang on Taiwan that the GMD erected have been taken down and even there a majority looks back at him with complete disdain.
See also: BLUE SHIRTS
CHIANG KAI-SHEK — As a Military Leader
Chiang Kai-shek’s primary policy during most of the period of the Japanese imperialist invasion of China (1937-1946) was to avoid military resistance to the Japanese, and instead either attack the Communists or else to at least keep most of his troops in reserve until the day came for a show-down with the Communists once Japan was defeated by the U.S. and other countries. However, at times Chiang was forced to more seriously resist the Japanese; and when he did so his total incompetence as a general and military leader became all too apparent. It also became clear that he had no concern whatsoever for the welfare of even his own troops, let alone that of the masses.
“To resist the Japanese attack on Shanghai [in 1937], Chiang ordered whole
divisions to stand and fight, even though it meant that they would be wiped out, rather than
withdraw them so they could survive to fight again. The resulting losses were ruinous and
unrecoverable. The estimates of Chinese military casualties ranged from a low of 187,000 to a
high of 300,000, with the main losses suffered by Chiang’s best German-trained and equipped
divisions—a catastrophe that would directly affect China’s military effectiveness for the rest
of the war. To western eyes, this sacrifice was senseless from the military point of view...”
—Richard Bernstein, China 1945 (2014), p. 72. Bernstein is a bourgeois historian who actually bends over backward to be sympathetic to Chiang Kai-shek, but even he has to condemn Chiang at times. He also quotes an American journalist who suggests that this particular horrible military disaster may have worked in Chiang’s international political favor to some degree. Not only was it a ghastly demonstration of the degree of suffering by the Nationalist Chinese forces when they did resist the Japanese, it may have also somewhat eased the later strong American pressure on Chiang to further commit his forces to fight Japan. —Ed.]
“In 1938, in a desperate effort to stop the Japanese advance in North China, Chiang ordered that the dikes of the Yellow River, not for nothing known as China’s Sorrow, be broken. This only delayed the Japanese advance while it created an inundation of the vast North China plain, with two or three feet of water sweeping over whole counties in several provinces. The flooding caused widespread crop failure such that at the worst of it ten thousand starving people each day were gathering in major cities seeking relief. In the end, 800,000 people died either directly of flooding or of starvation. In 1945, five million refugees were still in the places they had fled to.” —Richard Bernstein, China 1945 (2014), p. 69.
“For Americans [in China during World War II], the singular goal was the
defeat of Japan, and since that was also the Chinese goal, Americans couldn’t understand why
Chiang seemed so hesitant about measures that would help to achieve it, such as a reform of
the Chinese armed forces, the firing of incompetent commanders, the consolidation of
ramshackle, underequipped, and badly led divisions into a smaller number of disciplined and
effective troops. For Americans like [General Joseph] Stilwell this military reform was simple
good sense. It would help defeat Japan and, along the way, equip Chiang with the kind of army
he’d need in the future confrontation with the Communists.
“... But what was simple for the Americans was infinitely complex for Chiang. Chiang’s power rested on a network of personal relations among China’s military chieftains that went back to his days as commander of the Whampoa Military Academy and, in some key instances, to his days in Japan when he was a young military academy cadet. The armed forces were not simply an army; they were a network of power bases, some loyal to Chiang and others (often the more effective of them) independent of him, potentially even rivals to him. Chiang needed to keep commanders loyal to him in charge of their armies, even if it meant tolerating the way they padded their rolls with nonexistent soldiers so as to receive their salaries from the central government, even if they lined their pockets by trading strategic materials with the Japanese, even if they were ineffectual commanders. Chiang refused to fire the commanders who owed allegiance to him. Moreover, during the war, he refused to supply able commanders in combat who did not owe allegiance to him, because in China’s quiltwork of personal military relations, they were not part of his personal network.” —Richard Bernstein, China 1945 (2014), pp. 157-8.
[To be added... ]
CHICANO / CHICANA
Terms referring to male (Chicano) or female (Chicana) people living in the United States, but orginally from Mexico or of Mexican heritage. Also sometimes spelled ‘Xicano’ or ‘Xicana’. For more information on the origin of these terms and their occasionally controversial usage, see the Wikipedia entry.
A massive demonstration and march by Chicanos and other Latinos against the Vietnam War which took place in East Los Angeles on August 29, 1970. Between 20,000 and 30,000 people marched and rallied that day. This was the largest single anti-war demonstration within the Chicano/Mexicano community during the Vietnam War, and was a powerful protest against the high number of Chicano deaths in the war. It was also a protest against the inequality and discrimination directed at Chicanos in the United States. The march and demonstration were peaceful, but the police used the excuse that there was a store robbery nearby (unrelated to the demonstration) to attack and break up the demonstration. Four people were killed by the police that day, including journalist Rubén Salazar, and more than 150 people were arrested.
This demonstration and other demonstrations and activities during that period were organized by the National Chicano Moratorium Committee, which was led by activists from local colleges and members of the Brown Berets organization.
CHILE — Military Coup of 1973
[Intro material to be added...]
Since Pinochet’s military dictatorship was overthrown, the government of Chile has gradually announced that more and more people were killed, tortured, or became political prisoners during that period. As of August 2011, the official victim list totals 40,018, though this probably still considerably understates the scope of these crimes. [S.F. Chronicle, 8/19/11, p. A2.]
“The classic example [of what happens when a democratic country elects a
government explicitly committed to replacing capitalism with socialism] is the elected
socialist government in Chile under Salvador Allende in the early 1970s. For committed
democrats, this was the ideal outcome: a free democratic society had determined to change
its economy over time following its constitution and the rule of law. It was at all times a
a democracy and would ever remain so. If the people disapproved of the socialist direction,
they had the power to elect a government that would change course. For those who hated
communist dictatorship but desired a more equalitarian democracy, this was a development to
“To those who regard capitalism as sacrosanct, however, Allende’s elected government had crossed the line. The United States government surreptitiously organized and bankrolled all sorts of protests meant to disrupt the economy and make life difficult, hence discrediting the government. When those efforts failed, it helped organize a bloody military coup in 1973—with the strong support of the wealthy and upper-middle class in Chile—that installed one of the most barbaric dictatorships of the twentieth century under General Augusto Pinochet. [Milton] Friedman and some of his fellow economists at the University of Chicago accitvely supported and advised the Pinochet regime, because it was installing ‘free market’ economics. It was therefore a ‘free’ country. Democracy did not have a right to alter captialism, and Chile was only allowed to return to democracy when the property system was safe.
“In contrast, Friedman and conservatives worldwide applauded the new democracies of Eastern Europe in the 1990s when they rejected Soviet-style communism [so-called! —Ed.] and embraced markets and a profit-driven economy. That was democracy at its best, and they were its loudest champions. But once those democracies made that decision, they forever lost their right to revisit the matter again. Capitalism was inviolate. You can opt in, but you can never opt out.” —Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols, People Get Ready (2016), pp. 296-7, note 46.
[These are the words of two social democrats who—despite this acknowledgement that the rulers of society will simply not allow a transition to socialism via the ballot box—nevertheless themselves put forward that very path in the United States! (Of course they are also wrong in some of particulars even here; what they call “democracy” is only “bourgeois democracy”, and “Soviet-style communism” in Eastern Europe was in the period under discussion neither communism nor socialism, but simply state capitalism.) —Ed.]
CHINA — Agrarian Reform In
See: AGRARIAN REFORM—China
CHINA — Air Pollution In
Contemporary capitalist China has by far the worst air pollution problem of any country in the world. It has become an extremely serious health hazard, with large numbers of people actually dying because of it, and many others developing serious sicknesses. Beijing itself is one of the worst-hit cities. As the New York Times reported (March 21, 2013), “A haze akin to volcanic fumes cloaked the capital, causing convulsive coughing and obscuring the portrait of Mao Zedong on the gate to the Forbidden City.”
This horrible smog in China comes primarily from the usual sources, air pollution by industry (especially coal-fired electrical plants) and from motor vehicles. Why doesn’t the Chinese ruling class deal with this problem more seriously? The answer, even more so than in other capitalist countries, is that this would harm the profits of the capitalist corporations (including the large state-owned enterprises—SOEs), and slow down China’s economic expansion. China is the most wide-open and wild capitalist country in the world today, and government regulations are weak (where they exist at all), and are often ignored with impunity even by the SOEs. However, this air pollution has become so bad that the bourgeois government itself is now being forced to make at least some efforts to ease this notorious problem. While capitalism can never completely resolve such “externalities”, as improvements with regard to air pollution in Western countries show, even under capitalism this problem does not have to be as terrible as it presently is in China. And, after all, it harms not only the masses but also the ruling class itself.
“China’s capital and other northern cities have banned half of all vehicles from city streets and ordered factories, schools and construction sites closed in reponse to a five-day smog red alert. The emergency steps enacted Friday night significantly reduced traffic in Beijing on Saturday, although it wasn’t clear what effect it was having on air pollution. By midday, the capital was enveloped in a smothering layer of smog, with concentrations of microscopic PM2.5—small, inhailable particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs and are considered a reliable gauge of air quality—rising to more than 10 times the level considered safe by the World Health Organization. Researchers at Germany’s Max Planck institute have estimated that smog has led to 1.4 million premature deaths per year in China, while the nonprofit group Berkeley Earth in California has had a higher figure, 1.6 million.” —“World News of the Day”, San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 18, 2016, p. A4.
CHINA — Capitalist Era [After Overthrow of Socialism]
[To be added...]
See also: “MASS INCIDENTS”, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION—China’s Admission Into
CHINA — Class Analysis Before 1949
“Those who possess a great deal of land, who do not themselves labor but depend entirely on exploiting the peasants through rent and usury, sustaining themselves without toiling—these are the landords. Those who own large amounts of land, plow animals and farm implements, who themselves take part in labor although at the same time they exploit the hired labor of peasants—these are the rich peasants. Those who have land, plow animals and farm implements, who labor themselves and do not exploit others, or do so only slightly—these are the middle peasants. Those who have only a small amount of land, farm implements and plow animals, who labor on their own land but at the same time have to sell a part of their labor power—these are the poor peasants. Those who have no land, plow animals, or farm implements and who must sell their labor powerthese are the hired laborers.” —Jen Pi-shih, Several Problems Regarding Land Reform (1948, in Chinese). Translated and included as an explanatory footnote in William Hinton, Fanshen: A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village (1966), p. 27.
CHINA — Democratic Parties In
During the New Democratic revolutionary struggle for the liberation of China up until late 1949, and during the Maoist period after Liberation in 1949, there were a number of small bourgeois democratic parties which sided with the revolution and accepted the overall leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. These were often referred to in China as the “Democratic Parties”.
“Democratic Parties — This is a general term for the bourgeois
political parties in the revolutionary united front led by the working class and based on
the worker-peasant alliance. They include the Revolutionary Committee of the Kuomintang, the
China Democratic League, the China Democratic National Construction Association, the China
Association for Promoting Democracy, the Chinese Peasants and Workers Democratic Party, the
China Chih Kung Tang, the Chiu San Society, the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League,
the Chineses People’s Association for National Salvation, the Federation of Comrades
Working for the Three People’s Principles and the Association for Promoting Democracy of
the Kuomintang. The last three were dissolved after the founding of the People’s Republic
of China because they had fulfilled their historical tasks.
“The social basis of these democratic parties is the national bourgeoisie, the upper stratum of the urban petty bourgeoisie and their intellectuals. During the new-democratic revolution led by the Chinese Communist Party, these parties co-operated with the Communist Party in varying degrees and in different periods. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, they have participated in various political movements and rendered services to socialist construction.” —Note in Peking Review #1, Jan. 6, 1978, pp. 20-21.
CHINA — Economic Statistics — Unreliability of in the Capitalist Era
See also: “DEATH CEILING” PROGRAM (In Capitalist China)
CHINA — Foreign Investment In
When the capitalist-roaders led by Deng Xiaoping took over in China following Mao’s death, there were two main thrusts to their program: 1) What they called “reform” (i.e., the implementation of capitalist relations of production within the Chinese economy), and 2) the “opening up” of the country to investment by foreign imperialist corporations. This foreign investment soon became massive in the last two decades of the 20th century, and has continued to further expand in the new century.
Some observers thought that this meant that a comprador bourgeoisie had come to power in China and that they were turning over control of the country, or at least control of its economy, to foreign imperialists. This was, however, mistaken; actually a new national bureaucratic bourgeoisie was running China and was opening up its economy to foreign investment as part of its program of national capitalist development under its own continuing overall control. (For more about this see N. B. Turner, et al., Is China an Imperialist Country? (2014), especially chapters 4 through 8, online at: http://www.bannedthought.net/International/Red-Path/01/RP-8.5x11-IsChinaAnImperialistCountry-140320.pdf .)
And, indeed, China’s locally owned capitalist economy is now expanding even faster than new foreign investment in China, although that foreign investment is still expanding rapidly as well. The massive size of this foreign investment can be seen by the number of Chinese workers employed by foreign-based corporations (though many of these “foreign” corporations are actually Chinese companies based in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan). (See the quotation below.)
See also: “CHINA PLUS ONE” STRATEGY
“[P]olitical tensions obscure the region’s intense economic links,
particularly the fact that an astonishing number of Chinese are employed on the mainland
by East Asian firms.
“At the latest count 88,000 firms from Taiwan employ 15.6 million Chinese workers. About 11 million are employed at 23,000 Japanese firms or their suppliers. Throw in 2 million more workers for South Korean enterprises, and companies from around the troubled East China Sea have approaching 30 million Chinese on their payrolls.
“... The working conditions at some firms have come in for criticism. Foxconn from Taiwan, which makes things for Apple and other high-tech firms, is the best-known example, and also the largest foreign employer, with a staggering 1 million Chinese workers. Chinese authorities, never friendly to independent organized labor, have at times tolerated strikes and other labor disputes at foreign-owned factories, including Japanese carmakers. At times, it makes being in business in China look a touch risky. When anti-Japanese tension flares in China, intricate regional supply chains suddenly look fragile.”
—“East Asian firms in China: A bridge over troubled waters”, Economist, Nov. 8, 2014, p. 44.
CHINA — GDP per Person in Different Regions
The map at the right shows the substantial differences in GDP/person, and hence overall economic development, in the various provinces of China (as of 2015). Note that in the new capitalist era far less attention than before has been given to developing the interior of the country and the rural areas. (Inner Mongolia shows as a fairly high GDP/person only because it is so extremely sparsely populated over most of that region.)
CHINA — Hyperinflation In (1937-1949)
The corrupt and reactionary Chiang Kai-shek regime in China horribly mismanaged the nation’s economy, as well as the country in general. In order to pay for its enormously expensive war to try to put down the Revolution, it simply printed up ever more money. By late 1946 what had cost one yuan (the unit of Chinese money) in 1937 now cost 1 million yuan. By December 1947, it cost 16 million, and by the end of 1948, 21 billion yuan. In May of 1949, just before the final collapse of that government, the same purchase would have required 8.5 trillion yuan, perhaps the most extreme example of hyperinflation in world history!
The new revolutionary government led by Mao Zedong soon brought the situation under complete control, however. For some information on how this was done, see the pamphlet “Why China Has No Inflation” (Peking: 1976), by Peng Kuang-hsi, posted at: http://www.massline.org/PolitEcon/China/Inflation-pamphlet.htm
“Already by late 1945 the wheelbarrow had become the common mode of conveyance for money, because so much of it was needed. In November in Shanghai, a rickshaw race was held for public amusement. Chinese, White Russian, and American women sat in the rickshaws, which were decorated with crepe paper and banners and pulled by Chinese coolies. The winning coolie got seven million Chinese dollars, which was equivalent to twenty-two American dollars, and when he put it in his rickshaw to take away, it took up the same space as the passenger he’d just discharged.” —Richard Bernstein, a reactionary American historian, China 1945 (2014), p. 274. [This also says something about the nature of upper class “amusements” at the time! —Ed.]
CHINA — Inequality In
Since the restoration of capitalism in China after the death of Mao Zedong, there has been a long term trend toward worsening economic inequality in China. This was originally promoted by capitalist-roaders like Deng Xiaoping who proclaimed that “to get rich is glorious” and that “some must get rich first”. What has actually happened is that while a fairly large “middle class” has in fact developed, the extremes of wealth and poverty have gotten ever worse.
“This paper combines national accounts, survey, wealth and fiscal data (including recently released tax data on high-income taxpayers) in order to provide consistent series on the accumulation and distribution of income and wealth in China over the 1978-2015 period. We find that the aggregate national wealth-income ratio has increased from 350% in 1978 to almost 700% in 2015. This can be accounted for by a combination of high saving and investment rates and a gradual rise in relative asset prices, reflecting changes in the legal system of property. The share of public property in national wealth has declined from about 70% in 1978 to 30% in 2015, which is still a lot higher than in rich countries (close to 0% or negative). Next, we provide sharp upward revision of offical inequality estimates. The top 10% [of the population] income share rose from 27% to 41% of national income between 1978 and 2015, while the bottom 50% share dropped from 27% to 15%. China’s inequality levels used to be close to Nordic countries and are now approaching U.S. levels.” —Thomas Piketty, Li Yang and Gabriel Zucman, “Capital Accumulation, Private Property and Rising Inequality in China, 1978-2015”, April 2017, summary online at: http://www.nber.org/papers/w23368?ulm_campaign=ntw&ulm_medium=email&ulm_source=ntw [By other measures, such as the Gini Coefficient, China already has even more economic inequality than the U.S. —Ed.]
CHINA — Inflation In (Recent)
During the socialist period there was no inflation in China (see CHINA—Hyperinflation). But since capitalism was restored after the death of Mao, inflation has once again arisen. At times this has become quite worrisome, but as of 2013 it is only moderate. (See chart at the right.) There will inevitably be periods of considerable inflation in the future, however.
CHINA INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING GROUP (CIPG)
The Chinese agency/corporation which has published foreign language publications since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China. CIPG was founded in January 1949, and opened what became the China International Bookstore in December 1949. It launched the Foreign Language Press in Beijing in July 1952. Here is a list of some of the more important magazines it publishes:
• People’s China — English bi-weekly magazine launched in January 1950. It later had editions in Russian, Japanese, Chinese, French and Indonesian. [We think only the Japanese edition continues to be published. The English language magazine continued through 1957, but its function was then evidently replaced by Peking Review and China Reconstructs.] Some issues of People’s China are available online at: http://www.massline.org/PeoplesChina/index.htm
• El Popola Cinio [People’s China] — In Esperanto; launched in May 1950.
• China Pictorial — Launched in July 1950. This monthly English magazine eventually came to also have Russian, Indonesian, Korean, Japanese, French, Spanish, Vietnamese, German, Hindu, Indonesian, Arabic, Burmese, Swedish, Swahili, Italian, Urdu, Romanian, Thai, Mongolian, Tibetan, Uygur and Kazakhstan editions. Many issues are available (most in English, some in Chinese) at: http://www.bannedthought.net/China/Magazines/ChinaPictorial/index.htm
• Chinese Literature — The English edition began as a quarterly in October 1951, and by 1961 had become a monthly magazine. A quarterly French edition, Litterature Chinoise, began later. Many English language issues are available at: http://www.bannedthought.net/China/Magazines/ChineseLiterature/index.htm
• China Reconstructs — Launched in English in January 1952; monthly magazine. (Renamed as China Today in 1990.) Other editions include simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian, German and Portuguese. Many English language issues are available at: http://www.bannedthought.net/China/Magazines/ChinaReconstructs/index.htm
• Peking Review — Weekly English edition launched in March 1958, and renamed Beijing Review in January 1979. Editions in French, Spanish, Japanese and German began in March 1963. In the late 1970s an Arabic edition began, and later still editions in Indonesian and Portuguese were added. This is the most important political magazine published in China. Over 1,600 entire issues of the English language edition, along with hundreds of individual articles, are available at: http://www.massline.org/PekingReview/index.htm
CHINA — “Loss Of” (by U.S. Imperialism)
“In 1949, China declared independence—resulting, in the United States,
in bitter recriminations and conflict over who was responsible for that ‘loss.’ The tacit
assumption was that the United States ‘owned’ China by right, along with the most of the
rest of the world, much as post-war planners assumed.
“The ‘loss of China’ was the first significant step in ‘America’s decline.’ It had major policy consequences. One was the immediate decision to support France’s effort to reconquer its former colony of Indochina, so that it, too, would not be ‘lost.’” —Noam Chomsky, Who Rules the World? (2016), pp. 73-74.
CHINA — Magazines From
Many English language magazines published in China (and some in other languages), especially during the Mao Era, are available at: http://www.bannedthought.net/China/Magazines/index.htm See also the entry above on the CHINA INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING GROUP
CHINA — One-Child Policy
See: ONE-CHILD POLICY (in China)
“CHINA PLUS ONE” STRATEGY
A recent widespread investment strategy by foreign imperialist corporations which says that factories and facilities should be built in China plus one other lower-wage country. The idea is that China is in many ways the best country to locate factories in—because of the skilled work force, impressive infrastructure and large internal market—but that to further increase profits production that is labor intensive should now be shifted to another country, such as Vietnam, India, or Bangladesh, which all have much lower wages than China now does.
“In the face of Chinese wage inflation, investors have begun to explore
alternative [labor] markets as a means of safeguarding investments in low cost
manufacturing. Dubbed ‘China plus One’ production, this dynamic approach leverages China’s
comparative advantages whenever possible, while moving uncompetitive production to frontier
“Among nations vying to capture capital outflows, Vietnam’s demographics, wages, and relative political stability position it as a strategic destination for investment in 2015 and 2016. Compared to China, where factory wages exceed US $29 per day, comparable production in Vietnam is achieved at a rate of just US $6.70. Compounding this trend, divergent levels of urbanization—33 percent in Vietnam versus 54 percent in China—are likely to ensure a continuation of wage differentials into the near to medium term.
“Having joined the WTO in 2007, Vietnam is primed for foreign investment and offers many unique opportunities.”
—“The China Plus One Strategy and the Rise of Vietnam”, by Dezan Shira & Associates [a consulting firm for corporate foreign investment], Vietnam Briefing, #24, Nov. 2015.
CHINA — Principles of Aid to Other Countries (During the Maoist Era)
A series of principles consciously designed to be the very opposite of the guiding principles actually employed by imperialist countries such as the U.S. and the revisionist Soviet Union in their so-called “aid” to foreign countries.
“Eight Principles Guiding China’s Economic Aid to Other Countries
“From late 1963 to early 1964, Premier Chou En-lai [Zhou Enlai] toured 14 Asian, African and European countries on a friendly visit. During the tour, Premier Chou, following Chairman Mao’s consistent teachings, enunciated eight principles guiding China’s economic aid to other countries as follows:
“(1) The Chinese Government always bases itself on the principle of equality and mutual benefit in providing aid to other countries. It never regards such aid as a kind of unilateral alms but as something mutual.
“(2) In providing aid to other countries, the Chinese government strictly respects the sovereignty of the recipient countries, and never attaches any conditions or asks for any privileges.
“(3) China provides economic aid in the form of interest-free or low-interests loans and extends the time limit for the repayment when necessary so as to lighten the burden of the recipient countries as far as possible.
“(4) In providing aid to other countries, the purpose of the Chinese Government is not to make the recipient countries dependent on China but to help them embark step by step on the road of self-reliance and independent economic development.
“(5) The Chinese Government tries its best to help the recipient countries build projects which require less investment while yielding quicker results, so that the recipient governments may increase their income and accumulate capital.
“(6) The Chinese Government provides the best-quality equipment and material of its own manufacture at international market prices. If the equipment and material provided by the Chinese Government are not up to the agreed specifications and quality, the Chinese Government undertakes to replace them.
“(7) In giving any particular technical assistance, the Chinese Government will see to it that the personnel of the recipient country fully master such technique.
“(8) The experts dispatched by China to help in construction in the recipient countries will have the same standard of living as the experts of the recipient country. The Chinese experts are not allowed to make any special demands or enjoy any special amenities.” —Reference note in Peking Review, #48, Nov. 25, 1977, p. 28.
CHINA — Revolution of 1911
The anti-feudal bourgeois revolution which overthrew the Qing Dynasty, and which was led by Sun Yat-sen and others. (Also known as the Xinhai Revolution, based on the Chinese calendar.)
CHINA — Socialist Economy in Mao Era — Growth Rate Of
“China’s socialist economy expanded at a very rapid pace during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (often dated from 1966 through 1976), averaging more than 10% per year! [See: Mobo Gao, ‘Debating the Cultural Revolution: Do We Only Know What We Believe?’, Critical Asian Studies, vol. 34 (2002), pp. 424-425; and Maurice Meisner, The Deng Xiaoping Era: 1978-1994, p. 189.] Even the capitalist-roaders themselves had to admit that, except for brief declines during the Great Leap Forward and the first 3 years of the GPCR, the growth of both industrial and agricultural production during the rest of the Maoist socialist period (1969-1976) was very fast. See the charts on the second page of the article ‘China’s Industry on the Upswing’, Beijing Review, Vol. 27, #35 (Aug. 27, 1984), p. 18 ff., online at: http://www.massline.org/PekingReview/PR1984/PR1984-35.pdf The later claim of the capitalist-roaders that the Cultural Revolution was a ‘disaster’ for the economy was an outright lie. Even the brief production declines of the first three years of the GPCR were very rapidly made up for beginning in 1969, and the overall trend line from before the decline and after it was as if the short decline had not even occurred.” —N. B. Turner, et al., Is China an Imperialist Country? Considerations and Evidence (2014), footnote on page 18, online at: http://www.bannedthought.net/International/Red-Path/01/RP-8.5x11-IsChinaAnImperialistCountry-140320.pdf
“Even in the area most closely identified with the achievements of the
post-Maoist regime—improving the material well-being of the Chinese people—Mao’s record,
as I have noted, was good. From 1953 until 1977, Chinese industry grew at an average rate
of 13.134 percent (even including the disastrous Great Leap Forward years) while from 1978
to 1995 Chinese industry grew at a rate of only 12.4 percent. If the period is extended to
include the steep rise in Chinee industrial production that occurred from 1949 to 1953,
years that were certainly under Mao’s watch, the comparative rate of increase of Chinese
industry realized under Mao becomes truly spectacular. Industrial growth is the area in
which Mao’s comparative economic record shines the most, but in most other areas the
overall economic growth under Mao was also impressive.” —Lee Feigon, Mao: A
Reinterpretation (2002), pp. 180-181.
[Note that this comment by Lee Feigon is referring to the industrial growth rate specifically, whereas the previous quote is talking about the overall economic growth rate including agriculture—which though smaller was still very impressive. A footnote mentions that Feigon’s statistics are from the Historical National Accounts of the People’s Republic of China, 1952-1995, which is a quite respectable academic source. It should be admitted that during the years following 1995 the GDP growth rate in China under the new capitalist regime remained high. It was only during and after the world financial crisis of 2007-2009 that Chinese GDP growth consistently fell below 10% and is now down to around 6% to 7% annually and still falling. Although there can be at times economic booms under capitalism, they always come to an end eventually. Socialism, however, has no such internal contradictions which lead to the inevitability of overproduction, and it is quite possible for impressive economic growth to continue indefinitely, even overcoming any temporary political missteps that might occur, such as the Great Leap Forward, and major political struggles that might be necessary, such as the Cultural Revolution. —Ed.]
CHINA — State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs)
Even though China has been a capitalist country for decades now, as of 2012 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) still form a large part of the overall economy: approximately half of the economy in terms of assets owned, and about one-third in terms of value-added production. About 20% of Chinese employees work at these SOEs, down from 60% as recently as 1998.
During the Mao era, when the working class and its genuine representatives ruled the country, these SOEs were socialist enterprises. But now the SOEs are the collective property of the ruling Chinese bourgeoisie and are operated in its own class interests. They are no more “socialist” workplaces than the Postal Service is in the U.S.
These SOEs may be viewed as constituting a type of state capitalism. However, unlike state capitalism in the Soviet Union during its final decades, the Chinese SOEs have formed a decreasing share of the economy, and have also been restructured so that they operate with a large degree of independence and generally produce goods in accordance with the dictates of the capitalist marketplace much more so than according to any state plan. Moreover, in China even privately-owned monopoly capitalist corporations are under somewhat more state direction (or “interference”, as they often view it) than is common in most Western capitalist countries. (Of course, in the capitalist-imperialist era there has been a partial merger of the corporations and the state everywhere, to varying degrees.) So the difference between SOEs and private corporations in China is not nearly as great as one might imagine. Both types of ownership are tools for the exploitation of the Chinese working class by the ruling capitalist class.
CHINA — Urbanization Of
In China in recent decades there has been a historically unprecented migration of hundreds of millions of people from rural areas to urban areas. By 2012 more than half of the population in China lived in cities, and by 2016 the urban population reached 55%.
“The Third Five-Year Plan calls for moving such a large number of people
from the rural areas to the cities to be workers. This is not good.” —Mao, “Interjection
at a Briefing by Four Vice-Premiers” (May 1964), SW 9:97.
[Mao was of course not against the transformation of the peasantry into proletarians, nor was he opposed to the gradual urbanization of China. But he felt that much more of an effort should be made to develop a lot of industry in the countryside itself, in accordance with Marx’s call to merge the cities with the countryside. In the recent years of the capitalist-imperialist era in China, however, there has been a mad rush to shift ever larger parts of the population into the cities (even when there are no jobs for them!)—in direct opposition to what Mao aimed for. —Ed.]
CHINA — “Workshop of the World”
Over the past few decades China has become the new “workshop of the world”, the country where more and more of the world’s manufacturing is done. Even the gradual rise of wages in China has not slowed this down very much.
See also: RISE AND FALL OF KEY MODERN ECONOMIES, “CHINA PLUS ONE” STRATEGY
“In the mid-1800s Britain was known as the ‘workshop of the world’. But that changed. By the early 1900s the main workshop of the world was the United States, and Germany had also surpassed Britain. Now manufacturing is in serious decline in the U.S. and everyone appropriately views China as the main workshop of the world. As the world changes it is necessary for our ideas to change along with it.” —N. B. Turner, et al., Is China an Imperialist Country? Considerations and Evidence (2014), section 10. This book is online at: http://www.bannedthought.net/International/Red-Path/01/RP-8.5x11-IsChinaAnImperialistCountry-140320.pdf and elsewhere.
“A few low-tech industries, like garment manufacturing, are moving from China to places that still have very low wages, like Bangladesh. But many industries, particularly electronics, are still moving factories to China. That is because so many of the parts suppliers are now in China that it is often more costly to do assembly elsewhere. So although building robots to replace workers is seldom cheap, a growing number of companies are finding it less costly than either paying ever-higher wages in China or moving to another country.” —Keith Bradsher, “Cheaper Robots, Fewer Workers”, New York Times, April 24, 2015.
A term used during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China to refer to the revisionist Liu Shaoqi (Liu Shao-chi), especially during the early years of the criticism directed against him when his name was not explicitly mentioned.
CHINESE EMBASSY BOMBING BY U.S./NATO (1999)
The May 7, 1999, bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade during the U.S./NATO imperialist war against Yugoslavia. Three Chinese reporters were killed by the bombs, and China and Chinese public opinion were outraged. President Bill Clinton later apologized for the bombing, and the CIA originally claimed that it was an “accident” caused by wrong co-ordinate information on an out-of-date map. This turned out to be a lie, though it does seem that the incident was probably accidental and due to indifference and carelessness on the part of the arrogant CIA and U.S. military. Further information is available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_bombing_of_the_Chinese_embassy_in_Belgrade
CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT OF 1882
A notoriously racist American law which barred practically all Chinese immigrants to the United States. It was the first federal law that explicitly banned a group of immigrants solely because of their race or nationality, and set a precedent for later restrictions on immigrants from Asia beginning in the early 1900s and from parts of Europe in the 1920s. The law was finally repealed in 1943 to improve relations with China as a World War II ally of the U.S. However, significant amounts of Chinese immigration to the U.S. didn’t start to develop until the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 which abolished national-origins quotas. In 2011-2012 the U.S. Congress finally passed resolutions apologizing for the Exclusion Act—130 years late.
“Ought we to exclude them? The question lies in my mind thus: either the Anglo-Saxon race will possess the Pacific slope or the Mongolians will possess it.” —Senator James G. Blaine, of Maine, Feb. 14, 1879, in a racist diatribe against Asians while promoting the Chinese Exclusion Act. In a letter a week later Blaine called Chinese immigration “vicious,” “odious,” “abominable,” “dangerous,” and “revolting,... If as a nation we have the right to keep out infectious diseases, if we have the right to exclude the criminal classes from coming to us, we surely have the right to exclude that immigration which reeks with impurity and which cannot come to us without plenteously sowing the seeds of moral and physical disease, destitution, and death.” Quoted in Andrew Gyory, Closing the Gate: Race, Politics, and the Chinese Exclusion Act (1998). Blaine was twice the U.S. Secretary of State, and the Republican candidate for President in 1884.
Once the capitalist-roaders in China seized power after Mao’s death and proceeded to restore the capitalist relations of production, it was only a short time until capitalist China developed into a full-fledged capitalist-imperialist country. As Lenin noted, in the modern imperialist era there is no other form of advanced capitalist development than the imperialist form. The formal coming out of China as an imperialist country may well be viewed as the moment in 2001 when it joined the World Trade Organization with more or less equal possibilities for exploiting the rest of the world as those enjoyed by the other imperialist countries.
See also: “HUNDRED YEAR MARATHON”, RISE AND FALL OF KEY MODERN ECONOMIES, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION—China’s Admission Into, and the book by N.B. Turner, Is China an Imperialist Country? Considerations and Evidence (2014), online at: http://www.bannedthought.net/International/Red-Path/01/RP-8.5x11-IsChinaAnImperialistCountry-140320.pdf
CHINESE LANGUAGE — Romanization Of
There are two common systems for Romanizing Chinese names and words. The older of these is known as the Wade-Giles system, and the newer (and better) system is known as Pinyin. Pinyin was devised in China in the 1950s and came into virtually universal use in foreign-language publications published in China beginning on January 1, 1979. Most Western scholarship also switched over to Pinyin at about that same time. For historical reasons some Chinese names (such as Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek) are still commonly given in the older Wade-Giles system. Some other names, such as Mao Zedong, while usually given in Pinyin today, are also still encountered in Wade-Giles form: Mao Tse-tung. In this dictionary names are normally given in Pinyin, and the Wade-Giles version of the name is sometimes also added and described as “old style”.
Romanization of Chinese Names and Words |
[Primary source: Colin Mackerras & Amanda Yorke, The Cambridge |
Handbook of Contemporary China, (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1991), p. ix.]
CHINESE NATIONAL CHAUVINISM
See also: HAN CHAUVINISM [In China]
“China is a land with an area of 9,600,000 square kilometers and a
population of 600 million, and it ought to make a greater contribution to humanity.
But for a long time in the past its contribution was far too small. For this we are
“However, we should be modest—not only now, but forty-five years hence and indeed always. In international relations, the Chinese people should rid themselves of great-nation chauvinism resolutely, thoroughly, wholly and completely.” —Mao, “In Commemoration of Dr. Sun Yat-sen” (Nov. 12, 1956), SW 5:330-1.
CHINESE PEOPLE’S POLITICAL CONSULTATIVE CONFERENCE
“[The] organization of the Chinese people’s democratic united front
led by the Chinese Communist Party and uniting all the nationalities, democratic
parties and people’s organizations in China as well as overseas Chinese and other
patriotic democrats. It was also called the New Political Consultative Conference as
distinguished from the Political Consultative Conference the Kuomintang was forced to
convene in January 1946.
“A preparatory meeting for the New Political Consultative Conference was held in Peiping (Peking) in June 1949. It adopted the ‘Organic Rules of the Preparatory Committee of the New Political Consultative Conference’ and elected a Standing Committee headed by Chairman Mao.
“In September that year, the New Political Consultative Conference held its first plenary session which exercised the functions and powers of the National People’s Congress. It enacted the Organic Law of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the Common Programme of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the Organic Law of the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China, elected the Central People’s Government Council of the People’s Republic of China headed by Chairman Mao, and proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
“With the convocation of the First Session of the First National People’s Congress in September 1954, the C.P.P.C.C. ceased to exercise the functions and powers of the National People’s Congress, but remained an organization of the Chinese people’s democratic united front.” —Note in Peking Review, #1, Jan. 6, 1978, p. 20.
[To be added...]
See also: PRE-MARXIST: FENG YU-LAN, YANG CHU
MARXIST: MAO ZEDONG, AI SIQI, FENG YU-LAN, LI DA
CHINESE RED ARMY
The original name of the revolutionary army led by the Communist Party of China in the early days of the Chinese Revolution. The Chinese Red Army (which became the Eighth Route and New Fourth Armies during the War of Resistance Against Japan and then later became the People’s Liberation Army) was created on August 1, 1927, during the Nanchang Uprising.
One major part of the Chinese Red Army was the Fourth Army. In December 1929 the Communist leadership of this Fourth Army held a Party Conference at Kutien Village, which adopted Mao’s resolution On Correcting Mistaken Ideas in the Party. This resolution summed up experience and enabled the Red Army to build itself on a Marxist-Leninist basis and eliminate the influences of armies of the old type. It marked the transformation not only the Fourth Army, but also soon of the entire Chinese Red Army, into a genuine people’s army.
See also: “SANWAN REORGANIZATION”
CHINESE REVOLUTIONARY ART
See: RENT COLLECTION COURTYARD
CH’ING DYNASTY (In China)
See: QING DYNASTY
CHOMSKY, Noam (1928- )
Famous American linguist and political radical, who is known very widely for both things. He is perhaps today the most prominent American intellectual who regularly speaks out against United States imperialism. Politically he is variously described as an anarchist, an anarcho-syndicalist, or a libertarian socialist. He is surprisingly weak when it comes to political theory and political economy, but quite often effective in criticizing American foreign policy.
Chomsky is one of the most famous linguists in history, and his contributions starting in the 1950s are now known as the “Chomskyian Revolution” in that branch of science.
In the 1950s, Chomsky began developing his theory of generative grammar, which has undergone numerous revisions and has had a profound influence on linguistics. His approach to the study of language emphasizes “an innate set of linguistic principles shared by all humans” known as universal grammar, “the initial state of the language learner,” and discovering an “account for linguistic variation via the most general possible mechanisms.” He also established the Chomsky hierarchy, a classification of formal languages in terms of their generative power. In 1959, Chomsky published a widely influential review of B. F. Skinner’s theoretical book Verbal Behavior, which was the first attempt by a behaviorist to provide a functional, operant analysis of language. In this review and other writings, Chomsky broadly and aggressively challenged the behaviorist approaches to studies of behavior dominant at the time, and contributed to the cognitive revolution in psychology. His naturalistic approach to the study of language has influenced the philosophy of language and mind. [From the “Chomsky” entry at Wikipedia.com]
Chomsky first became known as a critic of American foreign policy during the Vietnam War.
He has published a large number of books which expose the day-to-day activities and outrages of
American imperialism in detail. Indeed, sometimes these books are a bit dull because of all their
many details and extensive source notes! But his writings are a good source for particulars about
the actual role of the United States in the world today. Chomsky has also given many extensive
interviews (a number of which have been published in book form), and gives frequent public
lectures on political matters (many of which are available as videos on the Internet).
Chomsky describes himself as a libertarian socialist, which he says is “the proper and natural extension of classical liberalism into the era of advanced industrial society.” [“Government in the Future” (1970)] The surprising thing, however, is how very non-radical his political ideas are when you look at them carefully! He seems to think that American politics is “democratic”, or has mostly been so far (even if there are now growing “limitations” to that “democracy”. He has no deep theoretical criticism of bourgeois democracy, of the sort that Lenin did. When it comes to political economy, his ideas are even more startling! He actually said in a recent video that contemporary American corporations can be “democratized” and thus be transformed to serve the people. He has little or no understanding of Marxist political economy, and doesn’t even understand something as basic as the nature of surplus value. Thus, like many liberals, he thinks the cause of the current economic crisis is the foolishness of the banks in creating and promoting sub-prime mortgages and securities based on them, and doesn’t even begin to understand that capitalist economic crises are inherent in capitalism, and ultimately arise from the very extraction of surplus value!
Chomsky’s contributions to linguistics are important (though not always completely correct), as are his constant criticisms of American foreign policy. But his theoretical writings and lectures on politics and economics are of little value. He is called an “anarchist”, and even wrote a book promoting his idea of what anarchism is. But actually he is proof of how pedestrian and non-revolutionary anarchism can sometimes be! He is really only proposing that we make some rather limited and superficial modifications to the American bourgeois socioeconomic system that in fact deserves to be completely destroyed and reconstructed from the ground up.
See: ZHOU ENLAI
[To be added... ]
See also: COMMUNISM—Among Early Christians
CHRISTIAN DEMOCRACY (CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS) (Italy)
A bourgeois political party in Italy which dominated Italian politics for half a century. The Christian Democracy party (Democrazia Cristiana in Italian) was founded in 1943, and from 1946 until its collapse in a scandal in 1994 was the largest party in the Italian parliament. For most of that time it ruled the country, either alone or in coalitions with other bourgeois parties.
“[Allen] Dulles and the CIA felt they had a proprietary relationship with the Christian Democrats, ever since those early Cold War days when the agency began funneling money to the Italian party. Dulles himself had confirmed this arrangement when he was CIA director, during a secret meeting with [party leader Aldo] Moro that was held in [Moro’s secretary Sereno Freato’s] Rome office. Following this meeting, the Christian Democratic Party became the beneficiary of CIA funds that arrived promptly on a monthly schedule. By the early 1960s, the party was receiving 60 million lire a month (about $100,000) from the spy agency. In the beginning, it was Freato who collected the cash in a large suitcase, a duty that later fell to other administrative secretaries of the party. These monthly CIA payoffs to the party were in addition to the under-the-table contributions made to the Christian Democrats during various political campaigns.” —David Talbot, Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government (2015), p. 468.
Advocacy and/or support on the part of Christians for the Jewish conquest and settlement of Palestine and the expulsion of the Palestinian Arabs from their homeland. In the late 1800s and early 1900s one of the major motivations for Christians to urge or support Zionism was anti-Semitism; and more specifically, the desire of many European Christians to rid their countries of Jews. But there were also reasons of dogmatic religious doctrine (and the supposed fulfillment of Biblical prophecies) which led many Christians to encourage Zionism. This sort of religious doctrinal nonsense is now much more dominant, although today there is also an additional reason why many Christians in the United States in particular support Zionism; namely, because this promotes the U.S. imperialist agenda in the Middle East, including the weakening of Arab and other Muslim regimes, which in turn allows the easier American exploitation of Middle Eastern oil.
“Christian Zionism in Britain and the United States long preceded Jewish
Zionism, and has been a significant elite phenomenon with clear policy implications (including
the Balfour Declaration, which drew from it). When General Edmund Allenby conquered Jerusalem
during World War I, he was hailed in the American press as Richard the Lion-Hearted, who had at
last won the Crusades and driven the pagans out of the Holy Land.
“The next step was for the Chosen People to return to the land promised to them by the Lord. Articulating a common elite view, President Franklin Roosevelt’s secretary of the interior, Harold Ickes, described Jewish colonization of Palestine as an achievement ‘without comparison in the history of the human race.’ Such attitudes find their place easily within the Providentialist doctrines that have been a strong element in popular and elite culture since the country’s origins, the belief that God has a plan for the world and the United States is carrying it forward under divine guidance, as articulated by a long list of leading figures.
“Moreover, evangelical Christianity is a major popular force in the United States. Further toward the extreme, End Times evangelical Christianity also has enormous popular outreach, invigorated by the establishment of Israel in 1948 and revitalized even more by the conquest of the rest of Palestine in 1967—all signs, in this view, that End Times and the Second Coming are approaching.
“These forces have become particularly significant since the Reagan years, as the Republicans have abandoned the pretense of being a political party in the traditional sense while devoting themselves in virtual lockstep uniformity to servicing a tiny percentage of the superrich and the corporate sector. However, the small constituency that is primarily served by the reconstructed party cannot provide votes, so they have to turn elsewhere. The only choice is to mobilize social tendencies that have always been present, though rarely as an organized political force: primarily nativists trembling in fear and hatred and religious elements that are extremist by international standards but not in the United States. One outcome is reverence for alleged Biblical prophecies; hence not only support for Israel and its conquests and expansion but a passionate love for Israel—another core part of the catechism that must be intoned by Republican candidates (with Democrats, again, not too far behind).
“These factors aside, it should not be forgotten that the ‘Anglosphere’—Britain and its offshoots—consists of settler-colonial societies, which rose on the ashes of indigenous populations suppressed or virtually exterminated. Past practices must have been basically correct—in the case of the United States, even ordained by divine providence. Accordingly, there is often an intuitive sympathy for the children of Israel when they follow a similar course. But primarily, geostrategic and economic interests prevail, and policy is not graven in stone.”
—Noam Chomsky, Who Rules the World? (2016), pp. 80-81.
CHURCHILL, Winston (1874-1965)
Famous British politician and imperialist leader. He had a very long history of leadership of the capitalist-imperialist state against the interests of both the British peoples and—even more outrageously—against the people in the British colonies and elsewhere in the world. However, he is viewed as a national hero by the ruling class in Britain (especially for his leadership role in World War II), and as a “great world leader” by both the bourgeoisie and numerous misled people in other countries. There is much work still to do to more fully expose him as a vicious enemy of the people of the world.
See also: FAMINES—Imperialist Caused
“We [the British] are not a young people with an innocent record and a scanty inheritance... We have engrossed to ourselves an altogether disproportionate share of the wealth and traffic of the world. We have got all we want in territory, and our claim to be left in the unmolested enjoyment of vast and splendid possessions, mainly acquired by violence, largely maintained by force, often seems less reasonable to others than to us.” —Winston Churchill, a comment to his British Cabinet colleagues in January 1914; quoted in John Darwin, The Empire Project (Cambridge, 2010), p. 268.
“Obama said he keeps [a] Churchill bust where he can see it every day. ‘It’s
there voluntarily... I love Winston Churchill. I love the guy.’
“What is there to love about Winston Churchill? His hands were shamelessly drenched in the blood of literally millions of people in Africa and Asia, and he defended these deaths by arguing that the world’s dark-skinned natives benefited from the rule of the superior white man. Yet people are so brainwashed that UK polls hail Winston Churchill as a great statesman, perhaps the greatest ever.
“As a young man he set off for Africa to take part in ‘a lot of jolly little wars against barbarous peoples’. When he found the local population fought back against British troops and settlers occupying their land, he branded their resistance as ‘a strong aboriginal propensity to kill’ and demanded they be crushed. He defended the British concentration camps in South Africa where 28,000 Boers (Dutch immigrants) died, and separate camps where 150,000 Black Africans were herded and 14,000 died. As Colonial Secretary in the 1920s, he unleashed Black and Tan thugs (the Special Forces of the day) on Irish rising up against British rule. When Kurds rebelled against British domination in the 1940s, he declared himself ‘strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes’.
“Churchill believed the fertile highlands of Kenya should belong to white settlers and indigenous populations should be cleared out. When the Kikuyu people fought against this in what became known as the Mau Mau rebellion, some 150,000 were forced into detention camps. In her book Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag, based on five years of investigation, Pulitzer prize-winning historian Professor Caroline Elkins describes the electric shocks, whipping, horrendous mutilation and murder, including burning people alive, used against Africans suspected of supporting the uprising.
“He offered the ‘Promised Land’ to Jews and dismissed the Palestinians already living in the country as ‘barbaric hoards who ate little but camel dung’. He created Jordan and Iraq, using arbitrary borders to divide and rule ethnic groups, bombing whole villages into submission and setting the stage for today’s crisis. The terror bombing of civilians in 1920 was a preview of US and British tactics during the invasion and occupation of contemporary Iraq.
“In sheer numbers, Churchill’s imperial policies were most brutally demonstrated in colonial India. In the 1943 famine, at least 3 million people starved to death in Bengal. In full awareness, Churchill refused to send food supplies to the region, saying it was the fault of Indians themselves for ‘breeding like rabbits’.
“Madhusree Mukerjee’s book Churchill’s Secret War vividly describes the famine’s effect, drawing on interviews with survivors. ‘Many suicides, mercy killings and cases of child abandonment took place among families who could no longer bear to see the wild-eyed, starving faces of their children. Mass prostitution by village mothers, wives or daughters with anyone who had grain often saved whole families. Brothels for [British and Australian] soldiers were serviced by the starving young girls from the countryside. Many were lured by promises of a real job and then forced into servitude, in much the same way as today women are forced into prostitution around the world.’”
—“Barack Obama and Winston Churchill”, A World to Win News Service, April 25, 2016.
Dictionary Home Page and Letter Index
MASSLINE.ORG Home Page