A member of the social class of people who farm the land as very small landowners or else as laborers on the land of landlords or better off peasants, and who are also politically oppressed by the landlord class.
See also: SERF, FEUDALISM, CHINA—Class Analysis Before 1949, RUSSIA—Class Analysis at the Time of the Revolution, SEMI-PROLETARIAN
The name given to the “emancipation” of the serfs in Russia in 1861. See: SERFS—Emancipation of in Russia
PEIRCE, Charles Sanders (1839-1914)
American idealist philosopher, psychologist and logician, and one of the principle founders of pragmatism.
An important English-language weekly news magazine published by the government of the People’s Republic of China since March 4, 1958. Beginning with issue #1 in 1979 it was renamed “Beijing Review” after the Pinyin transliteration system was adopted for foreign-language publications. Since the beginning this magazine has authoritatively expressed the views and opinions of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government.
An archive of hundreds of articles from the magazine and many entire issues, especially from the Mao period, is available at: http://www.massline.org/PekingReview/index.htm
A 7,000 page set of internal assessments by the U.S. government that demonstrated that they knew their imperialist war in Vietnam was going very poorly, and also helped show how they were consistently misleading the American public about this and about the nature of the war. These were leaked to the press in 1971 by defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg, and were one of many factors that led to promoting the growth of the U.S. anti-war movement at the time.
A term devised by renowned linguist and activist Noam Chomsky to describe the state-capitalist nexus that exists between the US government and various capitalist corporations (such as the Lockheed Martin Corp.) through the funding of research and development of high-technology. The main benefactors of this largesse have been the aviation, electronics and computer industries. The Pentagon system is effectively a subsidy to capitalist corporations, as the advancements procured through these programs are then handed over to private industry. The Pentagon system is one example of how the military apparatus provides an important economic function for the capitalist class. Another is “military Keynesianism”. Yet another is the use of force in world affairs to protect the imperialist system. —L.C.
1. [In Marxist, especially Maoist usage:] The proletariat and its allied classes and strata, as opposed to “the enemy”.
2. The entire population. (When we anti-revisionist Marxists wish to refer to the entire population we generally use phrases such as: “the people as a whole”, or—better yet—“the whole population”.)
PEOPLE’S COMMITTEE AGAINST POLICE ATROCITIES (PCAPA)
Also known as the Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (PSBJC). This is a mass organization of Adivasis in the Jangalmahal area of West Bengal, India. This organization has strongly defended the rights of the tribal peoples living in that area, especially against the theft of their land by Indian and transnational mining corporations. This mass organization has been supported by Maoist revolutionaries in the area, and is now falsely viewed by the Indian government as itself being composed almost exclusively of Maoists.
For extensive news reports about the struggles of the PCAPA see the Lalgarh Page on BANNEDTHOUGHT.NET.
[To be added... ]
Courts set up by revolutionary governments or movements which serve the interests of the people and which typically (and appropriately) emphasize the democratic participation by the people in their work and decisions.
See also: JAN ADALAT
The daily newspaper published by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, and authoritatively expressing the views of the top leadership of that Party. In Chinese pinyin transliteration its name is Rénmín Rìbào. It was established on June 15, 1948 in Hebei province, and moved to Peking (Beijing) in March 1949. Deng Tuo was its editor from 1948 to 1958, and Wu Lengxi was its editor from 1958-1966. It is said, however, that Mao’s personal secretary Hu Qiaomu provided overall supervision for the newspaper while Mao was alive.
PEOPLE’S LIBERATION ARMY [China]
[To be added... ]
See also below, and: CHINESE RED ARMY, KUTIEN CONFERENCE
PEOPLE’S LIBERATION ARMY [China] — Democracy Within
The PLA during the Chinese Revolution and the Mao era of the People’s Republic of China was probably one of the most democratic armies in history, and while Mao was alive it got ever more democratic as time went on. [More intro material to be added... ]
“Democracy in the three main fields refers to the three aspects of democratic life in the People’s Liberation Army, namely, democracy in the political, economic and military fields. With regard to political democracy, fighters [soldiers] are politically on an equal footing with cadres and are free to criticize and voice their opinions against them and to put forward proposals regarding work in the army. With regard to economic democracy, the economic committee elected by the company’s armymen meeting assists the company leadership in managing the company’s mess and production and supervises expenditures to guard against corruption and waste and any violation of policies. With regard to military democracy, in periods of training there must be mutual instruction between cadres and fighters and among the fighters themselves, and there must be a review of the results of the instruction and learning. In periods of fighting, the rank and file should be aroused to discuss how to fulfil combat tasks and at the end of an engagement to review the fighting.” —From a short glossary accompanying an editorial from Jiefangjun Bao [Liberation Army Daily], Peking Review, vol. 10, #3, Jan. 13, 1967, p. 10.
PEOPLE’S LIBERATION ARMY [China] — Ten Principles of Operation
Ten basic principles guiding the strategy and tactics of the PLA which were summed up by Mao in December 1947, when the PLA was on the strategic offensive:
“1. Attack dispersed, isolated enemy forces first; attack
concentrated, strong enemy forces later.
“2. Take small and medium cities and extensive rural areas first; take big cities later.
“3. Make wiping out the enemy’s effective strength our main objective; do not make holding or seizing a city or place our main objective. Holding or seizing a city or place is the outcome of wiping out the enemy’s effective strength, and often a city or place can be held or seized for good only after it has changed hands a number of times.
“4. In every battle, concentrate an absolutely superior force (two, three, four and sometimes even five or six times the enemy’s strength), encircle the enemy forces completely, strive to wipe them out thoroughly and do not let any escape from the net. In special circumstances, use the method of dealing the enemy crushing blows, that is, concentrate all our strength to make a frontal attack and an attack on one or both of his flanks, with the aim of wiping out one part and routing another so that our army can swiftly move its troops to smash other enemy forces. Strive to avoid battles of attrition in which we lose more than we gain or only break even. In this way, although inferior as a whole (in terms of numbers), we shall be absolutely superior in every part and every spcific campaign, and this ensures victory in the campaign. As time goes on, we shall become superior as a whole and eventually wipe out all the enemy.
“5. Fight no battle unprepared, fight no battle you are not sure of winning; make every effort to be well prepared for each battle, make every effort to ensure victory in the given set of conditions as between the enemy and ourselves.
“6. Give full play to our style of fighting—courage in battle, no fear of sacrifice, no fear of fatigue, and continuous fighting (that is, fighting successive battles in a short time without rest).
“7. Strive to wipe out the enemy when he is on the move. At the same time, pay attention to the tactics of positional attack and capture enemy fortified points and cities.
“8. With regard to attacking cities, resolutely seize all enemy fortified points and cities which are weakly defended. At opportune moments, size all enemy fortified points and cities defended with moderate strength, provided circumstances permit. As for strongly defended enemy fortified points and cities, wait till conditions are ripe and then take them.
“9. Replenish our strength with all the arms and most of the personnel captured from the enemy. Our army’s main sources of manpower and matérial are at the front.
“10. Make good use of the intervals between campaigns to rest, train and consolidate our troops. Periods of rest, training and consolidation should not in general be very long, and the enemy should so far as possible be permitted no breathing space.” —Mao, “The Present Situation and Our Tasks (Excerpts)” (Dec. 25, 1947), Selected Military Writings of Mao Tse-tung (1963), pp. 347-8.
This is a term which developed in the course of the Chinese Revolution led by Mao Zedong. The strategy which Mao developed for this revolution was very distinctive, and a great departure from the basic strategy used in the Russian Revolution, and other earlier proletarian-led revolutions. Instead of a long period of preparation and then more or less simultaneous insurrection by the working class in the major cities, Mao’s People’s War in China involved mobilizing the peasantry in the countryside using the method of the mass line, building up first small-scale guerrilla warfare arising from the masses and strongly supported by them, establishing and then expanding liberated areas, gradually developing guerrilla warfare into ever larger-scale mobile warfare, then positional warfare and the countryside surrounding the cities, and then finally capturing the cities primarily by attack from the outside. This basic strategy worked with great success in China and also in some other countries such as Vietnam.
People’s War in China was successful for a number of important reasons, including excellent overall leadership by Mao and the CCP who were deeply integrated with the people in the rural areas. China was mostly a peasant country with by far the largest part of its population in the countryside. Moreover, China was a large and very backward country, and this backwardness included major difficulties in transportation and communication. Although Chiang Kai-shek’s Guomindang had airplanes and some other modern weapons for the times, it was still very difficult for them to bomb the liberated areas, or to quickly move troops around to attack the revolutionary forces. In addition to all these factors, there was a long imperialist invasion of China by Japan which the CCP took the lead in resisting.
It is much more difficult to create and defend liberated areas in the countryside today, in any part of the world—even in the remaining semi-feudal backward countries. The imperialists have access to constant satellite and drone aircraft surveilance, and can remotely rain down rockets and bombs on any spot on earth. More than half of the population of the world now lives in cities (albeit often in horrible slums). This does not mean that People’s War can no longer possibly work anywhere, but it does mean that the regions where it still might work are being severely restricted, while the difficulties for this revolutionary strategy are rapidly increasing. It may also mean that the strategy of people’s war, even where it can still be used, may need to be part of a dual strategy along with simultaneously working toward insurrection in the larger cities. Even in China today (which also now has more than 50% of its population living in cities) it is very doubtful if Mao’s pure strategy of People’s War in the countryside could ever work again.
See also below, and: “SANWAN REORGANIZATION” [Of the Chinese Revolutionary Army]
PEOPLE’S WAR — As a “Universal” Revolutionary Strategy
When Mao first formulated the revolutionary strategy of People’s War for China (see above) it was condemned by many “formula Marxist-Leninists” (and especially by Trotskyists) as being an abandonment of Marxism-Leninism, destined to fail miserably. “Imagine, relying so much on the peasantry in the countryside rather than the workers in the cities!” they said. (Strangely, many of those people kept to that same tune even after the huge victory of the Chinese Revolution in 1949!) But for decades after that success all genuine Marxist-Leninists took the position that in many backward, semi-feudal “Third World” countries something along the lines of Mao’s strategy of “People’s War” was appropriate, while in the highly urbanized advanced capitalist countries the appropriate basic strategy was still something similar to Lenin’s strategy in Russia, the “October Road”, building up the revolutionary forces through mass struggle followed by mass insurrection and civil war at the appropriate moment. Most seasoned Marxist-Leninist-Maoists today still hold to that dual strategic position, depending on the precise situation of the country in question. And in some countries, Maoists now recognize the need for some combination of those two distinct strategies.
However, for some curious reason (perhaps due to insufficient study of the past, and a tacit downplaying of the countributions to revolutionary theory and practice by Marx and Lenin), some young and inexperienced Maoists today maintain that protracted People’s War is now the only appropriate revolutionary strategy in absolutely all countries! Many of them claim that whether or not someone upholds the universality of People’s War is the litmus test of whether they are a real Maoist revolutionary or a revisionist! But to many other Maoists, claims of this sort seem to be the adoption of a new dogmatic “formulaic MLM” divorced from the actual conditions in specific countries.
However, a major question among those who uphold the “universality of PW” in the Maoist movement around the world today is how much of the precise strategy and experience of the Chinese Revolution to regard as essential to the very concept of People’s War. For example, is relying on the peasantry in the countryside an essential aspect of People’s War? If so, then in advanced capitalist countries with essentially no peasantry, there could be no such thing as a People’s War. Or how about the aspect of the countryside surrounding the cities? How could that be applicable to today’s highly urbanized countries, even in large parts of the “Third World”?
It seems that the term People’s War has developed both a narrow and a wide sense. In the narrow sense People’s War means something pretty close to the strategy of the Chinese revolution, including being based on the peasantry, rural guerrilla warfare and the countryside surrounding the cities. In the wider sense apparently being used by those who favor the “universality” of PW, it may now mean pretty much any revolutionary war of the people. By this standard even the Russian Revolution itself could now be considered to have been a “People’s War”. But how useful is it to have a term which covers nearly all possible strategies? In deciding what strategy to use in some particular country a term which covers too wide a range of strategies would not help clarify anything.
Even Mao himself at times seemed to talk in terms of some wider sense of People’s War. He said, for example, that “A nation, big or small, can defeat any enemy, however powerful, so long as it fully arouses its people, firmly relies on them and wages a people’s war.” [Quoted in Peking Review, Feb. 28, 1969, p. 21.] On most other occasions, however, Mao more clearly had in mind something close to the strategy of the Chinese Revolution when he referred to People’s War. And Mao also frequently advised foreign revolutionaries not to try to blindly copy the strategy and tactics of the Chinese Revolution.
Certainly anyone proclaiming the “universality of PW” has an absolute obligation to say exactly what they mean by ‘People’s War’, and explain why they insist on using that term if it is not something very close to Mao’s strategy in the Chinese Revolution!
See also: FOREIGN EXPERIENCE
“The seizure of power by armed force, the settlement of the issue by
war, is the central task and the highest form of revolution. This Marxist-Leninist
principle of revolution holds good universally, for China and for all other countries.
“But while the principle remains the same, its application by the party of the proletariat finds expression in varying ways according to the varying conditions. Internally, capitalist countries practise bourgeois democracy (not feudalism) when they are not fascist or not at war; in their external relations, they are not oppressed by, but themselves oppress, other nations. Because of these characteristics, it is the task of the party of the proletariat in the capitalist countries to educate the workers and build up strength through a long period of legal struggle, and thus prepare for the final overthrow of capitalism. In these countries, the question is one of a long legal struggle, of utilizing parliament as a platform, of economic and political strikes, of organizing trade unions and educating the workers. There the form of organization is legal and the form of struggle bloodless (non-military). On the issue of war, the Communist Parties in the capitalist countries oppose the imperialist wars waged by their own countries; if such wars occur, the policy of these Parties is to bring about the defeat of the reactionary governments of their own countries. The one war they want to fight is the civil war for which they are preparing. But this insurrection and war should not be launched until the bourgeoisie becomes really helpless, until the majority of the proletariat are determined to rise in arms and fight, and until the rural masses are giving willing help to the proletariat. And when the time comes to launch such an insurrection and war, the first step will be to seize the cities, and then advance into the countryside, and not the other way around. All this has been done by Communist Parties in capitalist countries, and it has been proved correct by the October Revolution in Russia.
“China is different however. The characteristics of China are that she is not independent and democratic but semi-colonial and semi-feudal, that internally she has no democracy but is under feudal oppression and that in her external relations she has no national independence but is oppressed by imperialism. It follows that we have no parliament to make use of and no legal right to organize the workers to strike. Basically, the task of the Communist Party here is not to go through a long period of legal struggle before launching insurrection and war, and not to seize the big cities first and then occupy the countryside, but the reverse.” —Mao, “Problems of War and Strategy” (Nov. 6, 1938), SW 2:219-220.
“While actively leading immediate struggles, Communists in the capitalist
countries should link them with the struggle for long-range and general interests, educate
the masses in a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary spirit, ceaselessly raise their political
consciousness and undertake the historical task of the proletarian revolution. If they
fail to do so, if they regard the immediate movement as everything, determine their
conduct from case to case, adapt themselves to the events of the day and sacrifice the
basic interests of the proletariat, that is out-and-out social democracy.
“... Beyond any shadow of doubt, Communists must win over the masses under the influence of the social democratic parties and must win over those left and middle elements in the social democratic parties who are willing to oppose domestic monopoly capital and domination by foreign imperialism, and must unite with them in extensive joint action in the day-to-day struggle of the working-class movement and in the struggle to defend world peace.
“In order to lead the proletariat and working people in revolution, Marxist-Leninist Parties must master all forms of struggle and be able to substitute one form for another quickly as the conditions of struggle change. The vanguard of the proletariat will remain unconquerable in all cirucumstances only if it masters all forms of struggle—peaceful and armed, open and secret, legal and illegal, parliamentary struggle and mass struggle, etc. It is wrong to refuse to use parliamentary and other legal forms of struggle when they can and should be used. However, if a Marxist-Leninist Party falls into legalism or parliamentary cretinism, confining the struggle within the limits permitted by the bourgeoisie, this will inevitably lead to renouncing the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat.” —A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement: The letter of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in reply to the letter of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union of March 30, 1963 (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1963), p. 19-20. (The writing of this document was closely supervised by Mao.)
See: NARODNAYA VOLYA
[To be added... ]
See also: SENSATION
See: CENTER VS. PERIPHERY THEORY
PERSONAL CONSUMER EXPENDITURES
A category of GDP which includes not only actual consumer-controlled expendures, but much else besides. PCE totals about 70% of U.S. GDP at the present time.
For further details see: CONSUMER SPENDING
“A political point becomes ten times more convincing if linked with the personal experience of an audience.” —Chou Kai, “Art Goes to the Villages”, Peking Review, #5, Jan. 28, 1966, p. 11.
“Experience is essential for the cadres, and failure is indeed the mother of success. But it is also necessary to learn with an open mind from other people’s experience, and it is sheer ‘narrow empiricism’ to insist on one’s own personal experience in all matters and, in its absence, to adhere stubbornly to one’s own opinions and reject other people’s experience.” —Mao, “Problems of Strategy in China’s Revolutionary War” (December 1936), SW1:223.
[To be added...]
See also: HOUSEHOLD INCOME
An excessive or unquestioning deference to the authority of an individual leader, generally promoted by that person or a group led by that person. Marx, who introduced the term, called it the “superstitious belief in authority”. Also known as the “cult of the individual”.
See also: CULT
“... Neither of us [Marx and Engels] cares a straw for popularity. A proof of this is, for example, that, because of aversion to any personality cult, I have never permitted the numerous expressions of appreciation from various countries, with which I was pestered during the existence of the International, to reach the realm of publicity, and have never answered them, except occasionally by a rebuke. When Engels and I first joined the secret Communist Society we made it a condition that everything tending to encourage superstitious belief in authority was to be removed from the Rules.” —Marx, Letter to Wilhelm Blos, Nov. 10, 1877, Marx-Engels: Selected Correspondence (Moscow: Progress, 1975), p. 291. [In a slightly different translation in MECW 45:288.]
PESSIMISM — Bourgeois
“Of all the changes that the twentieth century has brought, none goes deeper than the disappearance of that unquestioning faith in the future and the absolute value of our civilization which was the dominant note of the nineteenth century.” —Christopher Dawson, The Dynamics of World History (1956), p. 54.
Literally in French, the “little bourgeoisie”. In other words, a social class between the proletariat (working class) and the bourgeoisie (capitalist class), which (for the most part, at least) neither exploits members of other classes, nor are themselves exploited by other classes. Thus, professional people (lawyers, doctors, etc.) who do not work for corporations but who “hang out their own shingle”, and (very!) small businessmen and store owners, who run their businesses alone or with their families, etc. Of course the lines are quickly blurred somewhat, since many small businesses also hire one or a few employees, but still do not receive the bulk of their income through exploiting the labor of others.
[More to be added.]
PETTY, Sir William (1623-87)
An early bourgeois political economist, described by Marx as the “founder of political economy” and by Keynes as “the father of modern economics”. His principal mentor was Hobbes, particularly in matters of taxation. Petty was an original thinker and is credited with the first clear statements of many ideas in political economy, including the labor theory of value, the differential theory of rent, how banks create credit, and the velocity of money circulation. He was also the first economist to put forward public works as a cure for unemployment (which Keynes often gets undeserved credit for).
The tendency in a capitalist economy for the proportion of the labor force engaged in services (rather than production) to increase over time. Some of the reasons why this occurs (or may occur) include:
1) The tendency of firms to become specialized, and to “outsource” service functions which were formerly done “in-house”.
2) Rising incomes for some social classes and strata which leads them to hire others to do what they formerly did for themselves.
3) The growing difficulty in finding profitable new business opportunities in production, which leads some capitalists to start and promote companies which provide services.
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