Dictionary of Revolutionary Marxism

—   Hu - Hx   —

HU Jintao   (1942-  )
The “paramount leader” of capitalist China after
Jiang Zemin, and from the years 2004-2012. During this period the Chinese capitalist economy expanded rapidly, and was only moderately affected in a negative way by the world financial/economic crisis of 2008-2009. This period of the first decade and a half of the new century also marks the emergence of capitalist China as a powerful new imperialist country. Hu was succeeded in 2012 by Xi Jinping.


HUA GUOFENG   [Old style: HUA KUO-FENG]   (1921-2008)
The designated successor to Mao Zedong as the Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, who was also the Premier of China and thus for several years the top leader of both the Party and government of China. He performed ineptly, arrested or alienated the more Maoist forces in the Party, and was outmaneuvered in the struggle for power by the more bourgeois reactionary forces led by
Deng Xiaoping.
        “Hua Guofeng” was his Party name (or nom de guerre); his real name was Su Zhu. He was born into a family of poor peasants and completed primary school, but probably received no further formal education. He joined the revolutionary ranks in 1935 when the Communist forces reached his area following the Long March. His early career was as a cadre in Hunan province and he was involved in directing land reform work there in the early to mid-1950s. Hua served as Party secretary in the province beginning in 1970.
        During the Cultural Revolution Hua, with the support of Zhou Enlai, was named to the preparatory group for the establishment of the new Revolutionary Committee of Hunan. He was first elected as a member of the Central Committee of the CCP at the Ninth Party Congress in 1969. In 1973 he became a member of the Politburo, and was then appointed Deputy Premier and head of public security (1975-76). After Zhou Enlai’s death in January 1976, Hua Guofeng became Premier. In his last days Mao designated Hua to succeed him as Party Chairman. In addition to the Premiership and Party Chairman position, he also was soon designated as the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, thus holding all the top formal positions of power in his hands.
        The official story is that the “Gang of Four”, Mao’s closest followers including his widow Jiang Qing, were planning a coup to overthrow Hua and his associates, but that Hua pre-empted this by arresting the “Gang of Four” and their top supporters. [It is still not completely clear what the precise actual situation was then, but the fact remains that Hua arrested and overthrew the “Gang of Four” in his own coup supported by the reactionary forces.]
        Hua Guofeng then brought the Cultural Revolution to a complete end and began reversing some of its policies. It seems he was attempting to move the economy back toward the Soviet-style bureaucratic and commandist form of the late 1950s in China. However these backward steps were not enough for the more bourgeois forces in the Party, and especially for Deng Xiaoping who also hungered for yet another return to personal power. With the support of the large number of national bourgeois forces still within the CCP, Deng outmaneuvered the hapless Hua and forced him into early retirement. Hua was forced to resign as Premier in 1980 and was formally replaced as Party Chairman in September 1982.
        Despite the major and prolonged campaigns within the CCP during the 1966-1976 period against capitalist roaders, they were still a very strong presence in the Party. This was because so many non-Marxist nationalists had joined the Party during the anti-imperialist struggles and the period of the New Democratic Revolution. Probably the only way a bourgeois restoration could have been avoided over the long run was to keep the Cultural Revolution going at one level or another on a more or less permanent basis. Hua did not understand that it was essential to do this.
        From a historical standpoint Hua Guofeng must be viewed as a somewhat pathetic transitional figure whose own insufficient grasp of Marxism and insufficient revolutionary zeal ended up playing into the hands of Deng Xiaoping and the bourgeoisie.

HUGHES, Langston   (1902-1967)
African-American poet, novelist and short-story writer, dramatist, and social activist, who was born in Joplin, Missouri and raised in Kansas and Ohio. Although he was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance beginning in the 1920s, his major influence was only belatedly recognized. His lyrical poetry reflected his deep knowledge of folk culture and colloquial speech, and of jazz and blues music. He was a pioneer in what came to be called “jazz poetry”. These things made him very popular with the masses although literary critics were slow to take him seriously—no doubt partly for reasons of both racism and class snobbery.
        Hughes was attracted and sympathetic to communism though he never made a deep study of Marxist-Leninist theory or actually joined the Communist Party. But many of his lesser-known poems do celebrate revolution and socialism. In 1932-3 he travelled in the Soviet Union for about a year, and in 1936 he travelled to Spain in support of the Spanish Republic’s struggle against the fascist generals revolt led by Franco. However, by the end of the 1930s Hughes’ most radical years were over. And during the McCarthy Era, he unfortunately succumbed to the heavy pressures from the government to disassociate himself from the communist movement (although by then the U.S. Communist Party was no longer truly revolutionary or “communist” in any case).
        Two of Langston Hughes’ autobiographical works are The Big Sea (1940), and I Wonder as I Wander (1956), neither of which is very progressive politically.

“Listen, Revolution,
        We’re buddies, see –
        We can take everything:
        Factories, arsenals, houses, ships,
        Railroads, forests, fields, orchards,
        Bus lines, telegraphs, radios,
        (Jesus! Raise hell with radios!)
        Steel mills, coal mines, oil wells, gas,
        All the tools of production.
        (Great day in the morning!)
        Everything –
        And turn’em over to the people who work.
        Rule and run’em for us people who work.
        On that day when no one will be hungry, cold oppressed,
        Anywhere in the world again.
        That’s our job!
        I been starvin’ too long
        Ain’t you?
        Let’s go, Revolution!”
         —Langston Hughes, “Good Morning Revolution” (excerpts), 1932. [The full poem is available at:
https://theworkersdreadnought.wordpress.com/2008/12/13/good-morning-revolution-langston-hughes-1932/ ]

“Hughes was accused of being a Communist by many on the political right, but he always denied it. When asked why he never joined the Communist Party, he wrote, ‘it was based on strict discipline and the acceptance of directives that I, as a writer, did not wish to accept.’ In 1953, he was called before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations led by Senator Joseph McCarthy. He stated, ‘I never read the theoretical books of socialism or communism or the Democratic or Republican parties for that matter, and so my interest in whatever may be considered political has been non-theoretical, non-sectarian, and largely emotional and born out of my own need to find some way of thinking about this whole problem of myself.’ Following his testimony, Hughes distanced himself from Communism. He was rebuked by some on the Radical Left who had previously supported him. He moved away from overtly political poems and towards more lyric subjects. When selecting his poetry for his Selected Poems (1959) he excluded all his radical socialist verse from the 1930s.” —Wikipedia article on Langston Hughes (accessed on March 10, 2017).


The system of household registration and residency permits in China which dates back to ancient times, but which has also been a prominent feature of the People’s Republic of China. A registration record officially identifies a person as a resident of some locality and includes other information including the person’s parents, spouse, and date of birth. In Chinese the formal name of this system is huji, and a hukou is the residency status of a person. But informally, hukou is also the name for the system, and that is what this registration system is called in English.
        In 1958 the PRC officially promulgated the family registration system to establish some general social stability and to control the movement of people from rural to urban areas. During the socialist period the government was attempting to keep the migration from the countryside to the cities from occurring in a premature and disorderly fashion. In general, the movement to the cities was limited to the workers and families needed to fill the new jobs which were opening up in the rapidly expanding socialist industries there.
        In recent decades, since the restoration of capitalism in China, the hukou system has been officially kept in place. But to accomodate both local and multinational capitalist corporations, and their need for cheap labor from the countryside, it has generally not been enforced. This has led to tens of millions of migrant workers living technically illegally in the cities, and having no rights to public housing, education, and other social benefits there. This has created a massive and growing social problem of gross discrimination against migrant workers. Since migrant workers are not allowed to enroll their children in urban schools, most of these children must remain with their grandparents or other relatives in the countryside, which means they are in effect forcibly separated from their parents. By 2005 there were as many as 130 million of these “home-staying children”, as they are called in China, with parents living away from them in distant cities.
        In many respects, the lives of migrant workers in China are similar to that of illegal migrant workers in the U.S. and other “advanced” capitalist countries. They are needed and exploited by urban capitalists, but they are paid extremely low wages and are denied many rights and benefits that other people have. This discrimination against well over a hundred million migrant workers in China is one of several important factors leading to rapidly increasing social unrest. In recent years, although the central government loosened its control over the hukou system, it mostly just transferred this control and discrimination to the local governments. And although the movement of people to the cities became unofficially allowed, the super-exploitation and discrimination against them that awaited them there was as bad as ever. That part of the hukou system still continued unabated.
        However, in December 2013 the Chinese government announced that it would be ending the hukou system, some aspects of it immediately, and some aspects gradually over time. This is being done for several reasons. The increased social unrest caused by mistreated migrant workers in the cities was seriously worrying the ruling class. And the government has somewhat changed direction by even more strongly promoting urbanization. It came to the conclusion that it would actually promote economic development to increase the speed of
urbanization in China. This view may have some partial validity to it, though it also may well end up promoting the creation of massive slums in China if more and more of the millions of rural people being rapidly moved to the cities are unable to find jobs.

[Intro to be added...]

“As the results of the HGP [Human Genome Project] began to come in, Michael Dexter, the CEO of Wellcome [a private British Trust promoting biological research from a bourgeois perspective —Ed.], claimed that the completion of the project was more important than putting a man on the moon, on a par with inventing the wheel. In fact, the results were something of a theoretical embarrassment to genocentrism. Humans, supposedly the pinnacle of evolution, with the most complex of brains, turned out to possess only some 20,000 genes—about as many as a fruit fly. The molecular biologists who had confidently predicted that all human life could be read off from the linear string of DNA went rather quiet.” —Hilary & Steven Rose, Genes, Cells and Brains (2014), p. 280.

        See also:

“For the most valuable result ... would be that it should make us extremely distrustful of our present knowledge, inasmuch as in all probability we are just about at the beginning of human history, and the generations which will put us right are likely to be far more numerous than those whose knowledge we—often enough with a considerable degree of contempt—have the opportunity to correct.” —Engels, Anti-Dühring (1878), MECW 25:80.

“But as for the sovereign validity of the knowledge obtained by each individual thought, we all know that there can be no talk of such a thing, and that all previous experience shows that without exception such knowledge always contains much more that is capable of being improved upon than that which cannot be improved upon, or is correct.” —Engels, ibid.

“Human knowledge is not (or does not follow) a straight line, but a curve, which endlessly approximates a series of circles, a spiral. Any fragment, segment, section of this curve can be transformed (transformed one-sidedly) into an independent, complete, straight line, which then (if one does not see the wood for the trees) leads into the quagmore, into clerical obscurantism (where it is anchored by the class interests of the ruling classes). Rectilinearity and one-sidedness, woodenness and petrification, subjectivism and subjective blindness—voilà the epistemological roots of idealism. And clerical obscurantism (=philosophical idealism), of course, has epistemological roots, it is not groundless; it is a sterile flower undoubtedly, but a sterile flower that grows on the living tree of living, fertile, genuine, powerful, omnipotent, objective, absolute human knowledge.” —Lenin, “On the Question of Dialectics” (1915), LCW 38:363.

[Intro material to be added... ]

“Herr Proudhon does not know that all history is but the continuous transformation of human nature.” —Karl Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy (1847), chapter 2.3.

The rights of individuals within society, which of course depend upon the particular society. As one would expect, however, bourgeois thinkers attempt to portray the rights which obtain for the bourgeoisie under the capitalist system—including the right to exploit other people—as the set of human rights which should hold always and everywhere.

        1. [Broad sense:] The view that values human beings above all else, which seeks to maximize human freedom and the achievement of human potentialities, and which finds the locus of ideology in human beings themselves. “Of all things in the world, people are the most precious.” (Mao, SW4:454) In this broad sense, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is the most consistent form of humanism.
        2. [Narrow, bourgeois sense:] A petty-bourgeois perversion of the above, which attempts to accomodate itself to private property and bourgeois values, decries the use of violence (even if it is in the interests of the people), and opposes revolution.

HUME, David   (1711-1776)
Scottish subjective idealist philosopher and historian. He was an extreme
empiricist and philosophical agnostic. He was one of the originators of utilitarianism, but he also held (inconsistently) that moral beliefs cannot be rationally justified and are based on mere custom.
        In economics Hume put forward a quantitative theory of money and favored free trade. He was a friend and adviser to Adam Smith.
        See also below, and: OUGHT-FROM-IS, and Philosophical doggerel about Hume.

The supposed mystery that a small class of rulers can (most of the time!) manage to control and govern the vastly more numerous masses who they exploit and oppress. Here is the euphemistic way that Hume himself originally put it (of course without any reference to social classes or exploitation!):

“Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few.” —David Hume, The First Principles of Government (1742).

While certainly regretable, Hume’s “Paradox” should not be too surprising to Marxists who understand that one of the basic principles of historical materialism is that the dominant ideas of any age are those of the ruling class. While the rule of “the few” over “the many” can unfortunately last for a long time, in historical terms the rule of the exploiters and oppressors is still precarious. All it takes is one grand moment of revolution to topple the bastards!

A public campaign launched by Mao in May 1957 which was intended to promote the frank and open discussion and criticism of the Communist Party of China and the new revolutionary government by the broad masses, including intellectuals. The famous slogan that Mao raised was “Let a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend!” But it was also firmly stated by Mao that this would have to occur within the framework of upholding the revolution, the new socialist system, and the continued leadership of the CCP. However, many reactionary elements popped out of the woodwork and seized the opportunity to attack socialism and the revolution. This in turn led to the necessity of cracking down on these class enemies in a new anti-rightist campaign. But even after that, the true principles of the Hundred Flowers Movement were still upheld by Mao. (This is a point seldom understood by bourgeois critics of Maoist China who always equate “democracy” with opposition to socialism and communism.)

HUNGARY — 1919 Proletarian Revolution
Communists managed to lead a revolution and briefly seize power in Hungary in the aftermath of World War I and the October Revolution in Russia. Proletarian power was proclaimed on March 21, 1919. A Soviet-style government was set up at a session of the Budapest Soviet of Workers’ Deputies in the form of a Revolutionary Government Council made up of People’s Commissars—including both Communists and Social-Democrats. The leader of the Hungarian Communists, and the revolutionary regime, was Bela Kun.
        The Hungarian Soviet Republic only managed to survive until August 1919, when it succumbed in an unequal struggle against the superior forces of foreign interventionists and counter-revolutionaries at home, who were supported by traitorous Social-Democrats.


HUSSERL, Edmund   (1859-1938)
idealist philosopher and founder of the philosophical school known as Phenomenology. His ideas are based on previous idealist philosophers, and especially Plato, Leibniz and Franz Brentano. Overall, Husserl should be considered to be a subjective idealist in that he believed that the object of cognition does not exist outside the consciousness of the subject.
        Husserl abandoned his early attempts to turn philosophy into a strictly defined science, and instead took up a position highly critical of science and scientific thinking in philosophy. Husserl’s views were quite influential in bourgeois thought, and became the foundation of German existentialism, especially that of Heidegger.

HUXLEY, Thomas Henry   (1825-95)
English naturalist and close associate and defender of
Charles Darwin, and popularizer of evolutionary theory. He was nicknamed “Darwin’s bulldog”. Also a prominent agnostic (a term which he coined), with regard to the question of God’s existence.

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