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To the Marxist-Leninists, the Workers and the Oppressed of All Countries

By | 10/19/2022

Today the world is on the threshold of momentous events. The crisis of the imperialist system is rapidly bringing about the danger of the outbreak of a new, third, world war as well as the real perspective for revolution in countries throughout the world. During the last few years revolutionary struggles have erupted, including in certain areas of strategic importance. All the imperialist powers are preparing to lead the workers and the oppressed people to an unprecedented mutual slaughter to protect and expand their empires of profit and exploitation throughout the world. The imperialist powers and reactionary ruling classes are joined in two rival bands of cutthroats and slavemasters, two blocs which are led one by the U.S. imperialists, the other by the equally imperialist USSR. This war is looming on the horizon and will break out unless the revolutionary struggle of the masses, the seizure of power by the working class and oppressed peoples, is able to prevent it. Still if this does break out, it will represent an extreme concentration of the crisis of the imperialist system and will heighten the objective basis for revolutionary struggle that must be seized by the Marxist-Leninists.

But at the very time when such great dangers, challenges and opportunities are placed before the workers and oppressed of all countries, a great crisis exists within the ranks of the Marxist-Leninists who have the responsibility of leading the working class and peoples in making revolution. After revisionism had clearly come to power in the USSR with Khrushchev, the international proletariat suffered a further grievous loss after the death of Comrade Mao Tsetung in 1976 with the seizure of power in socialist China by a new, counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie dragging one fourth of humanity back down the capitalist road. This great loss was further compounded by the attacks on the great contributions Mao Tsetung made to the revolutionary science of the working class, Marxism-Leninism. These attacks were not only launched by the new reactionary rulers of China, but have been joined by deserters from the revolutionary ranks, and clearly the Soviet revisionists themselves are mixed up in these attacks.

In the face of this sharpening situation, and recognizing the critical need to rise to the great challenge that this situation represents, delegates from a number of Marxist-Leninist Parties and organizations have held a meeting to discuss how to emerge and advance from this crisis on the basis of forging and uniting around a correct ideological and political line for the international communist movement. Through the course of the meeting unity was achieved on the following points, which the undersigned Parties and organizations consider important elements for the development of this line:

The Current Situation

  • Imperialism means war. This basic truth analyzed by Lenin holds particular meaning for today as another world war shapes up on the horizon. This is not a result of the desire of any particular bourgeois leader but stems from the very laws of the imperialist system.

  • In the current historical conjuncture it is only the two most powerful imperialist powers, the U.S. and the USSR, who are capable of heading up imperialist blocs to go to world war. These two imperialist powers are also the most powerful bastions of reaction in the world today.

  • All the other imperialist powers are also driven by their nature toward war—they are also big exploiters, thoroughly reactionary, aggressive and enemies of the proletariat and the peoples of the world.

  • In the face of the growing danger of world war the proletariat and the oppressed people must develop their revolutionary struggle against imperialism and all reaction. If such a war breaks out they must strive to turn inter-imperialist war into a revolutionary war aimed at the overthrow of the reactionary ruling classes.

  • In the last few years powerful revolutionary movements have developed in a number of countries, which have greatly battered or even toppled the reactionary regimes and shaken the imperialist system. While none of these revolutionary movements has yet led to the dictatorship of the proletariat, they are another clear indication of the possibility of doing so. The objective conditions for revolution are ripening throughout the world and in some countries these conditions are already mature. But the subjective conditions, especially the development of the Marxist-Leninist movement, are lagging seriously behind the objective conditions.

Tasks of Marxist-Leninists

It is necessary to rescue and build upon basic principles of Marxism-Leninism which revisionists and opportunists have done their best to obscure and bury.

  • The dictatorship of the proletariat has been and remains a cardinal point of Marxism-Leninism. This principle too has been trampled on by revisionism. From the time of Karl Marx down to the present, fighting to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat and to defend and strengthen it where it is established, have remained touchstone questions for Marxist-Leninists.

    However, it is not correct and is especially harmful today, to fail to take into account the important experience, positive and negative, the proletariat has acquired in this respect since the time of the October Revolution. In particular the great teachings of Mao Tsetung on continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat and the experience of the Cultural Revolution he led are of vital importance. Comrade Mao Tsetung correctly pointed out that during the entire period of socialism, that is in the period of the transition to communism, classes and class struggle still exist. He pointed out the continued existence and constant regeneration of the bourgeoisie under socialism, its material and ideological base, and the means for combatting it. Mao clearly indicated, for the first time in the history of the science of Marxism-Leninism, that the ringleaders and most important section of the bourgeoisie during the socialist period (after the socialist transformation of ownership has in the main been completed) are those leading people in the Party and the state apparatus taking the capitalist road. Mao made clear that it would be necessary to wage repeated mass revolutionary struggles, such as the Cultural Revolution, against the new bourgeoisie during the entire socialist transition.

    The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was an unprecedented mass revolutionary movement which succeeded for ten years in blocking capitalist restoration, training revolutionary successors who are fighting today against the new capitalist rulers in China, and helped to spread Marxism-Leninism throughout the world. The fact that the Cultural Revolution did not succeed in the final analysis in preventing the overthrow of the dictatorship of the proletariat in no way lessens its historic importance nor its important lessons for the world proletariat.

  • “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 is universally true for all countries. The “peaceful road to socialism” is littered with the corpses of countless masses who were pointed down this road by revisionist betrayers.

    The principle of armed struggle of the masses has also been abandoned by revisionists who replace it with putschist theses and practices or empty phrases which renounce all types of political and organizational preparations. No matter what stages the revolution may go through, the need to seize political power by the force of arms must be propagated broadly among the masses of people, the Marxist-Leninists must carry out the necessary ideological, political and organizational preparations with this goal in mind and must strive to launch the armed struggle for power as soon as the conditions are ripe. In short, communists are advocates of revolutionary warfare.

    The armed struggle must be carried out as a war of the masses and through it the masses must be prepared ideologically, politically and organizationally to exercise political power.

    Whatever the necessary forms and stages of the revolutionary process the principal reliance must be based on building up the armed forces of the masses led by the party, while it is also necessary to carry out political work among the armed forces of the enemy to help disintegrate these armed forces and win over as many of their soldiers as possible in the course of the revolutionary struggle.

  • The existence and the leading role of the party of the proletariat is another cardinal principle. This is expressed in an organization of the vanguard of the proletariat which must be based on a Marxist-Leninist ideological, political and organizational line on the principal problems of the revolution; which at every moment, inside and outside its ranks, combats all bourgeois and revisionist influences; which permanently practises criticism and self-criticism and centralism based on democracy; which has a conscious iron discipline, all in order to link closely with the masses, to raise, generalise and coordinate their struggles, particularly political struggles, leading them to seize power from the ruling classes. With this aim, the party must attach great importance to formulating and spreading, according to principles, a concrete strategy, line and policy in accordance with the concrete conditions of the country and the interests of the masses and their wish to liberate themselves. The party must give great attention to the illegal forms of struggle and organization, in order to preserve its independence and to educate the masses in the struggle against their enemies. From a strategic point of view, illegal forms of work are fundamental. At the same time the party must make use of legal opportunities in order to broaden its influence without falling into or promoting bourgeois democratic illusions and while preparing for the inevitable repression by the reactionaries.

    The party must gain the leadership of the struggle of the masses and the revolution in practice, by correctly applying the mass line. The party must continually strengthen its leading role by ensuring that the masses and the working class continually raise their ideological, political and organizational level and that they take over an increasingly important part of the tasks of the revolution. In this way, the party will create the conditions for an authentic dictatorship of the proletariat and likewise the final withering away of the party with the withering away of social classes, communism.

Capitalism has long ago reached its final stage of imperialism, one of the most important features of which is the pillaging of the dominated countries and the exploitation of the oppressed peoples. In doing so, imperialism also greatly expands and strengthens the gravediggers destined to overthrow it.

As Lenin analysed, the world proletarian revolution, in the era of imperialism, consists of two great currents allied against the imperialist system—the proletarian socialist revolution in the capitalist countries and the new democratic revolution in the semi-feudal, colonial, semi-(or neo-) colonial countries subjected to imperialist enslavement. There are many features in common between the revolution in these two types of countries: above all that in both instances the revolution must be led by the working class and its Marxist-Leninist party, through whatever stages, and to the dictatorship of the proletariat, socialism. But there are also some important distinctions in the path of the revolution in the two types of countries.

Colonial and Dependend Countries

In the semi-feudal, colonial, semi-(or neo-) colonial countries the revolution must in general pass through two stages—first that of the new democratic revolution led by the proletariat which leads to the socialist stage. Those who insist on making a principle of skipping this stage or eclectically combining the democratic and the socialist revolution do great harm to the revolution.

While the exact course of the revolution in any given country is dependent on the concrete conditions found there, the teachings of Mao Tsetung concerning protracted people’s war are of great relevance in these types of countries. Those revisionists who attack Mao’s theory of surrounding the city by the countryside as having failed to insure the hegemony of the proletariat or dogmatically insist that insurrection in the city is the sole form of seizing power in these types of countries are in fact attacking the revolutionary struggle there.

Experience has shown that without the leadership of the proletariat and a genuine Marxist-Leninist line it is impossible to free these types of countries from imperialist enslavement, still less to advance on the socialist road. While in general it is possible and necessary to build a very broad united front in such countries, even at times involving sections of the exploiting classes, experience has underscored the importance of the Marxist-Leninists maintaining leadership and political and organizational independence, of conducting widespread education on the need to advance to socialism and ultimately communism, to combat narrow nationalist tendencies even while waging a struggle for national liberation, and exposing and combatting in the appropriate ways the bourgeoisie, even the sections with which it may be allied in this struggle against foreign imperialism and the reactionary ruling classes in power.

There is an undeniable tendency for imperialism to introduce significant elements of capitalist relations in the countries it dominates. In certain dependent countries capitalist development has gone so far that it is not correct to characterize them as semi-feudal. It is better to call them predominantly capitalist even while important elements or remnants of feudal or semi-feudal production relations and their reflection in the superstructure may still exist.

In such countries a concrete analysis must be made of these conditions and appropriate conclusions concerning the path, tasks, character and alignment of class forces must be drawn. In all events, foreign imperialism remains a target of the revolution.

Imperialist Countries

In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels pointed out that the “workers have no fatherland”. Lenin stressed that this is particularly applicable in the imperialist countries. This, too, is not only a cardinal principle of Marxism-Leninism that must be rescued from decades of revisionist distortion but takes on special importance in the current conjuncture with the approach of a third world war. Communists combat every form of national chauvinism within the working class and other sections of the oppressed people. This means fighting against every tendency which identifies the interests of the proletariat with the interests of its “own” imperialist ruling class either in plundering people of the colonial and dependent countries or, especially in today’s situation, in going to war to protect the interests of the bourgeoisie. If a third world war breaks out the proletariat must work actively for the defeat of its own bourgeoisie in the war, attempting to transform the war into revolutionary civil war and to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat.

While the road of the October Revolution is universally applicable in the sense of the need for the armed revolution, the leadership of a proletarian vanguard party, the dictatorship of the proletariat, the establishment of socialism, etc., in all countries; in addition in the capitalist and imperialist countries the October Revolution remains the basic point of reference for Marxist-Leninist strategy and tactics. The Marxist-Leninists recognize that in each country the revolution will take specific forms and must analyse the concrete conditions and sum up the experience of the masses in struggle while upholding the basic Leninist line concerning the political and organizational measures necessary for the preparation for and the seizure of power by the proletariat. Again, the distortion and negation by the revisionists of basic Leninist principles in this regard is not only an historical fact but continues to be a current problem. While paying attention to concrete analysis of concrete conditions in each country, it is necessary to study and apply correctly Lenin’s theses on the importance of raising the political consciousness of the working class to its historic mission and developing its political and revolutionary struggle, on the importance of the communist press, and of combatting the influence of economism while paying attention to the needs and conditions of the life of the masses. It’s also necessary to study and apply Mao’s teachings of the need to base oneself on the profound sentiments of the masses to liberate themselves.

On the Unity of the Marxist-Leninists

The proletariat is a single class worldwide with a single historic class interest in liberating humanity from all exploitation and oppression and in ushering in the era of communism throughout the globe. For this reason proletarian internationalism is something inseparable from Marxism-Leninism and a constant need of the working class and its Marxist-Leninist vanguard in all countries. In addition to this obvious, but often forgotten, truth, the current conjuncture also demands vigorous efforts to establish the unity of Marxist-Leninists and the revolutionaries in all countries if we are to meet the tests and opportunities facing us. In fact, the need for the unity of the Marxist-Leninists is not only objectively necessary but is increasingly demanded by revolutionaries and the masses throughout the world. In this process, as in all things, ideological and political line is decisive.

As Lenin emphasized, “Unity is a great thing and a great slogan. But what the workers’ cause needs is the unity of Marxists, not unity between Marxists and opponents and distorters of Marxism”.

In our view unity can only be achieved on the basis of drawing firm and clear lines of demarcation with revisionism and opportunism of all forms. These lines of demarcation are not something which have dropped from the sky or been concocted by sectarians nor can they be treated as mere topics for sterile, academic debates—they reflect the main and decisive forms in which revisionism confronts the revolutionary proletariat and the Marxist-Leninist movement in the world today.

Upholding the contribution of Mao Tsetung to the science of Marxism-Leninism represents a particularly important and pressing question in the international communist movement and among the class conscious workers today. The principle involved is nothing less than whether or not to uphold and build on decisive contributions to the proletarian revolution and the science of Marxism-Leninism made by Mao. Mao Tsetung made important developments of Marxism-Leninism in the area of the anti-imperialist democratic revolution leading to socialism, people’s war and military strategy generally, philosophy (where he made important contributions on the analysis of contradictions, which is the essence of dialectics, and on the theory of knowledge and its links with practise and the mass line), revolutionizing the superstructure and continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat, as well as in the struggle against revisionism on the practical and theoretical fronts. It is therefore nothing less than the question of whether to uphold Marxism-Leninism itself. Mao’s theoretical and practical leadership represent a quantitative and qualitative development of Marxism-Leninism on many fronts and the theoretical concentration of the historical experience of the proletarian revolution over the last several decades.

We are still living in the era of Leninism, of imperialism and the proletarian revolution; at the same time we affirm that Mao Tsetung Thought is a new stage in the development of Marxism-Leninism. Without upholding and building on Mao’s contributions it is not possible to defeat revisionism, imperialism and reaction in general.

Closely linked to the above is the need to vigorously oppose the new revisionist rulers in China who have overthrown the dictatorship of the proletariat and are restoring capitalism. They have utterly capitulated to imperialism, and have demanded that others follow suit, at the present time under the signboard of their reactionary “strategic theory of the three worlds” which they have fraudulently tried to pass off to the ignorant as the work of Mao himself.

The Soviet revisionists and those revisionist parties historically linked to them remain bitter enemies of the international proletariat. In recent years the Soviet revisionists have adopted a more militant posture vis a vis the Western imperialist powers. This is consistent with their own requirements as a great imperialist power heading up a rival imperialist bloc. They have on several occasions intervened directly by military means or made use of the Vietnamese and Cuban revisionists who are part of their bloc, to seek to expand their imperialist domination. This is often masked as “internationalism”. In some cases revisionist parties historically tied to the USSR have prompted such counterrevolutionary lines as “peaceful roads” and “historic compromise” with the bourgeoisie; in other cases these revisionist parties prepare military coups and armed actions divorced from the masses. The role and nature of the revisionist parties today must be further analyzed and studied, both in particular cases and in general, but in any event it is completely clear that they stand as bitter enemies of the proletarian revolution and must be unmasked and defeated as a crucial part of developing the revolutionary movement of the proletariat and mobilizing the masses in revolutionary struggle.

The Albanian Party of Labor and its leadership have fallen completely into the revisionist swamp. Shortly after the counterrevolutionary coup in China the PLA attracted a number of genuine revolutionaries because they opposed some of the more hideous features of the Hua-Teng clique in China, especially regarding international line. Very quickly, however, they outdid even Hua and Teng in the virulence of their attack on Mao and Mao Tsetung Thought. The PLA leaders have adopted classic Trotskyite positions on a number of questions, including the nature of the revolution in semi-feudal, semi-colonial countries, e.g. excluding people’s war as a form of revolutionary struggle. More significantly their position grows daily closer to the made-in-Moscow revisionist line on a number of cardinal questions and world events, as already shown by their stand on Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia, the workers’ upheaval in Poland, and their attacks on Mao, which are similar to the Soviets’ attacks.

The influence of Trotskyism has been strengthened by revisionism in general and has been especially strengthened recently by the coming to power of the revisionists in China and by the revisionist stands of the PLA. The organizations and Parties which endorse this communique are calling for the struggle against revisionism to be linked to the struggle against the positions of the Trotskyites, which are left in form but deeply rightist in essence, and are especially calling for opposition to the following points: their “purist”, “workerist” line of negating the alliance with the peasantry or other non-proletarian forces, negating in particular the policy of a united front against the reactionary classes in power; the negation of the possibility of seizing power and embarking on the socialist transition period in a single country; and their economist conception of the mass struggles and with regard to the way in which they see the transition to communism as consisting basically of a development of the productive forces.

The signatory organizations and Parties underline the increased danger posed by social democracy which holds power in a number of countries and which continues to serve as a Trojan horse for the interests of the Western imperialists. In addition to its usual conciliatory tactics, in some countries social democracy is attempting to form or influence armed groups in order to play a role in a situation of changing conditions. Marxist-Leninists must steadfastly combat their influence among the masses and must denounce all their tactics.

While it is not only possible but vitally necessary to take important steps now to unify genuine Marxist-Leninists on the basis of clear lines of demarcation that have emerged and in the face of the urgent tasks of the international movement, it is also necessary to carry out collective study, discussion and struggle over many important questions. This is particularly evident in relation to the necessity of developing a much fuller and deeper understanding of the history of the international communist movement. As the Chinese Communist Party pointed out in 1963 when it was a genuine communist party, in its polemics with the Soviet revisionists, with regard to the history of the international communist (and national liberation) movement there are “many experiences and many lessons. There are experiences which people should praise and there are experiences which make people grieve. Communists and revolutionaries in all countries should ponder and seriously study these experiences of success and failure, so as to draw correct conclusions and useful lessons from them”. Today, in light of further momentous experiences, positive and negative, since that time, and with the present situation and the looming possibilities in mind, this orientation assumes all the more profound significance. The need to dare to ponder and analyze more deeply and penetratingly in order to act more boldly is all the more decisive.

Before modern revisionism revealed itself openly in the USSR and various other countries, there already existed within the international communist movement different erroneous conceptions which facilitated its development.

While recognizing the undeniable contributions made by the Third International to the unity of the international proletariat, to the founding of communist parties and to their struggles; and while recognizing the tremendous role played by the October Revolution, which initiated the epoch of proletarian revolutions and opened the way for the construction of socialism in the USSR, communists must endeavor to critically sum up these experiences, making it possible to explain in the light of Marxism-Leninism the seizure of power by the bourgeoisie in that country and in other socialist nations, and also making it possible to learn from the errors and deviations which were committed and to evaluate to what extent they had bearing on the degeneration into opportunism of the majority of the international communist movement. In the face of the demoralization caused by these facts among broad sectors of the masses, and given that the bourgeois sectors are taking advantage of these facts, claiming that they prove the “failure” of Marxism, it falls on us communists to show that it is not scientific socialism which has failed, and that, on the contrary, scientific socialism makes it possible for us to grasp what objective and subjective factors gave rise to these events. Among other things, we must investigate and struggle over the experiences of the Third International and the reasons which led to its self-dissolution; the way in which the relationship between the revolutionary struggle against the bourgeoisie and imperialism and the policy of forming an anti-fascist united front was handled during the last world war, and also the very reasoning behind this policy; the origin of the revisionist tendencies, such as Browderism, which spread faith in the idea that it would be possible to establish a lasting peace and improve the living conditions of the masses on the basis of agreements between the USSR and the imperialist powers who were fighting against the fascist states, and of the tendencies to conciliation which these gave rise to; the deep roots that led to the restoration of capitalism in the USSR and other socialist countries, paying particular attention to the way in which the development of the class struggle was handled and the question of how the need to consistently apply the dictatorship of the proletariat was treated in those countries, to the handling of the relationship between politics and ideology, between politics and economic and technical questions, the question of the mass line, the question of the correct handling of contradictions among the people and with the enemy on the basis of mobilizing the masses, the relationship of centralism and democracy within the party and the relationship of the party to the masses. By throwing light on these questions, while staying clear of the slander of the Trotskyites and other enemies of the revolution, we will be able to draw important lessons for the development of the revolution.

In sum, in order to achieve the unity of the Marxist-Leninists, it is essential to deepen the study so as to make an evaluation of the theoretical and practical activity of the communists during the period of the Third International, the Second World War and especially the causes of the coming to power of the revisionists in the countries in which the proletariat held power, particularly in the USSR and in China.

The undersigned Parties and organizations received and discussed a major draft text prepared jointly by the Revolutionary Communist Party of Chile and the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. They hold that, on the whole, the text is a positive contribution toward the elaboration of a correct general line for the international communist movement. With this perspective, the text should be circulated and discussed not only in the ranks of those organizations who have signed this communique, but throughout the ranks of the international communist movement. 1

To carry out the struggle against revisionism and to aid the process of developing and struggling for a correct general line in the international communist movement, the undersigned Parties and organizations are launching an international journal. This journal can and will be a crucial weapon which can help unite, ideologically, politically and organizationally, the genuine Marxist-Leninists throughout the world.

These Parties and organizations signing this communique stress the need not only to maintain contact and carry out discussion and struggle with each other but actively to seek out and develop relations with other genuine Marxist-Leninists around the globe and carry out an ideological struggle and political work to win still broader forces of the international movement and the masses to consolidate the revolutionary position and reinforce the revolutionary struggles.

The current conjuncture in the world and in the international movement presents the revolutionary proletariat, the oppressed peoples and the Marxist-Leninists with great tasks, trials and, above all, great opportunities. Marxism-Leninism, the science of the revolutionary proletariat, has always been forged and tempered in the furnace of class struggle. Today we must rise to meet the challenges before us, race to catch up with the rapid developments of the objective conditions, reconstruct the unity of Marxist-Leninists on the basis of a correct line and summing up the experience of the past, fight for proletarian internationalism—and in so doing push ahead the advance toward communism throughout the world.

Joint Communique of

Ceylon Communist Party

Groupe Marxiste-Leniniste du Senegal

Grupo para la Defensa del Marxismo-Leninismo (Spain)

Mao Tsetung-Kredsen (Denmark)

Marxist-Leninist Collective (Britain)

New Zealand Red Flag Group

Nottingham Communist Group (Britain)

Organizzazione Comunista Proletaria Marxista-Leninista (Italy)

Partido Comunista Revoludonario de Chile

Pour l’Intemationale Proletarienne (France)

Reorganization Committee, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)

Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

Union Comunista Revolucionaria (Dominican Republic)

  1. “Basic Principles for the Unity of Marxist-Leninists and for the Line of the International Communist Movement” is available in English, French and Spanish editions from: RCP Publications, P.O. Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654, USA.

‘Banderstadt’ must be abolished!

By | 10/14/2022

Why should the modern Ukrainian regime be abolished?

There are four crucial reasons for this, which significantly distinguish it from those ugly who rule other countries.

  1. It corrupts its own nation with fascism, incites chauvinism and militarism, and spreads a genuine cult of evil. Posing as a liberator from the colonial legacy, it sold the country to the imperialists and kowtow to its masters, forcing its miserable citizens to do the same. It severely punishes dissent and eliminates any opportunity for it.

  2. It turned Southeastern Ukraine, also known as ‘Novorossiya’, into colony. It made the local population (i.e. Russian Ukrainians) third-rate citizens, ceaselessly humiliating and persecuting them, closing the path of historical development for them. It diligently divides them into despised mankurts and Russian agents of influence.

  3. It is a poisonous spitting creature in the service of the US imperialists, serving their intention to deprive sovereignty and plunge into pettiness all those who oppose them i.e. Russia1, and thereby Belarus, Transnistria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, with further plans for the siege of the DPRK and PRC2, not to mention Cuba and Venezuela.

  4. It parasitizes the working people of Europe, and pays them with lies, discord and the threat of war. It brings coldness and international hatred to the proletarians and peoples of the world. It is a slimy terrorist stone in the way of progress.

  1. Even if it is imperialist itself.
  2. Even if it is imperialist itself.

Trans gender liberation

By | 08/26/2022

Only the first chapter of the pamphlet is published here. Read in full in FB2 format.

Maoism.ru

Leslie Feinberg - Trans Gender LiberationThis pamphlet is an attempt to trace the historic rise of an oppression that, as yet, has no commonly agreed name. We are talking here about people who defy the “man”-made boundaries of gender.

Gender: self-expression, not anatomy.

All our lives we’ve been taught that sex and gender are synonymous—men are “masculine” and women are “feminine.” Pink for girls and blue for boys. It’s just “natural,” we’ve been told. But at the turn of the century in this country, blue was considered a girl’s color and pink was a boy’s. Simplistic and rigid gender codes are neither eternal nor natural. They are changing social concepts.

Nevertheless, there’s nothing wrong with men who are considered “masculine” and women whose self-expression falls into the range of what is considered “feminine.” The problem is that the many people who don’t fit these narrow social constraints run a gamut of harassment and violence.

This raises the question: Who decided what the “norm” should be? Why are some people punished for their self-expression?

Many people today would be surprised to learn that ancient communal societies held transgendered people in high esteem. It took a bloody campaign by the emerging ruling classes to declare what had been considered natural to be its opposite. That prejudice, foisted on society by its ruling elite, endures today.

Yet even in a society where there are harsh social penalties for not fitting, a large part of the population can’t or won’t change their nature. It is apparent that there are many ways for women and men to be; everything in nature is a continuum.

Many of the terms used to describe us are words that cut and sear.

When I first worked in the factories of Buffalo as a teenager, women like me were called “he-shes.” Although “he-shes” in the plants were most frequently lesbians, we were recognized not by our sexual preference but by the way we expressed our gender.

There are other words used to express the wide range of “gender outlaws”: transvestites, transsexuals, drag queens and drag kings, cross-dressers, bull-daggers, stone butches, androgynes, diesel dykes or berdache—a European colonialist term.

We didn’t choose these words. They don’t fit all of us. It’s hard to fight an oppression without a name connoting pride, a language that honors us.

In recent years a community has begun to emerge that is sometimes referred to as the gender or transgender community. Within our community is a diverse group of people who define ourselves in many different ways. Transgendered people are demanding the right to choose our own self-definitions. The language used in this pamphlet may quickly become outdated as the gender community coalesces and organizes—a wonderful problem.

We’ve chosen words in this pamphlet we hope are understandable to the vast majority of working and oppressed people in this country, as a tool to battle bigotry and brutality. We are trying to find words, however inadequate, that can connect us, that can capture what is similar about the oppression we endure. We have also given careful thought to our use of pronouns, striving for both clarity and sensitivity in a language that only allows for two sexes.

Great social movements forge a common language—tools to reach out and win broader understanding. But we’ve been largely shut out of the progressive movement.

It was gay transvestites who led the 1969 battle at the Stonewall Inn in New York City that gave birth to the modern lesbian and gay movement.

But just as the lesbian and gay movement had to win over the progressive movement to the understanding that struggling shoulder to shoulder together would create a more powerful force for change, the transgendered community is struggling to win the same understanding from the lesbian and gay movement.

Many people think that all “masculine” women are lesbians and all “feminine” men are gay. That is a misunderstanding. Not all lesbians and gay men are “cross”-gendered. Not all transgendered women and men are lesbian or gay. Transgendered people are mistakenly viewed as the cusp of the lesbian and gay community. In reality the two huge communities are like circles that only partially overlap.

While the oppressions within these two powerful communities are not the same, we face a common enemy. Gender-phobia—like racism, sexism and bigotry against lesbians and gay men—is meant to keep us divided. Unity can only increase our strength.

Solidarity is built on understanding how and why oppression exists and who profits from it. It is our view that revolutionary changes in human society can do away with inequality, bigotry and intolerance.

In the spirit of building that fighting movement, we offer this view of the sweeping patterns in history, the commonality of women and men who have walked the path of the berdache, of the transgendered—walked that road whether we were held in high esteem or reviled.

Look at us. We are battling for survival. Listen. We are struggling to be heard.

New Democratic Marxist Leninist Party and the Ukraine Conflict

By | 08/14/2022

Discussion paper by the party’s study group on the Ukraine crisis

Communists must always go into the whys and wherefores of anything, use their own heads and carefully think over whether or not it corresponds to reality and is really well founded; on no account should they follow blindly and encourage slavishness.”.

Mao Zedong. Rectify the Party’s Style of Work (February 1, 1942)

To take the correct stand on any problem we should study the information before us and identify the core issues, and thereby recognize the true nature of the problem and visualize what the implications of our stand will be not only for the problem at hand but also a number of related matters which could be of far greater significance.

Let us face a few questions before we address the problem at hand.

  • Is the conflict in Ukraine one mainly between Russia and Ukraine?
  • What are the main contending forces?
  • What are the interests at stake?
  • Is it a conflict between two ‘imperialisms’?
  • Even if it is between two ‘imperialisms’ can Marxist Leninists simply denounce the contending parties and refuse to take sides?

To answer these questions, we should be clear about certain matters which the Party has repeatedly discussed and arrived at a clear position. If our findings contradict the stand of the Party, the Party should critically review its position.


There is common tendency to locate Putin at the core and based on that adopt a stand to support or oppose Russia. The Party has no illusions about Putin or his politics. Putin is a strong nationalist hostile to communism. He has harshly criticized communism and rejected Lenin and Stalin. He resents the breakup of the Soviet Union from a Russian nationalist perspective while also rejecting what the Soviet Union stood for before or after revisionism took hold.

We know that the fall of the Soviet Union led to Russia becoming a kleptocracy and face economic ruin under Yeltsin. Putin inherited it and made deals with the oligarchs without fundamentally changing the scheme of things. But the partnership between the state and the oligarchs was re-balanced to stabilise the Russian economy.

What is at stake right now, to a Marxist Leninist, is not Putin, regardless of how he is painted by others, for better or worse. The fight for socialism in Russia is for the Marxist Leninists and other progressive allies there, who are still a force in Russia. But that is not the central issue here.

What is central is what US imperialism has been up to with the former Soviet Union, Russia in particular. That has to be seen in the context of what the US did to Yugoslavia and later to Serbia, and still does in the Middle East and North Africa, and of course Latin America.

The US undermined the Russian economy with ease under Yeltsin so that Russia would soon be a vassal of the US. Russia was in the process also militarily weakened. But things changed since Putin assumed power. The economy recovered, thanks to the oil boom and fair management of state finances. Putin also resurrected Russia’s defence. Some could see Russian imperialism at work. The party declined to take a dogmatic view and studied what Russia is and what imperialism is in the new context. The Party is clear that Russia is capitalist, even a kleptocracy. But Russia’s prospects to develop into an imperialist power are poor right now. Much has been written on the subject in the Party’s quarterly journal.

The Party should view events in Ukraine in the context of US imperialism closing in on Russia using NATO. Ukraine and Belarus are the last European defence frontiers of Russia. What is involved is not a matter of two superpowers racing to capture a piece of land.

The US has since 1991 worked on isolating Russia and surrounding it with its servile NATO allies. By 1999, three former Warsaw Pact allies joined NATO. In 2004, three more Warsaw Pact countries and the three Baltic States, formerly of the Soviet Union, and one member of former Yugoslavia joined. The process continued. All former Warsaw Pact partners of the Soviet Union are now in NATO. Of countries born of Yugoslavia only Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia are not yet in NATO, and in a few years only Serbia may keep out.

Of former European Soviet Republics, Georgia, Ukraine and Belarus that adjoin Russia and Moldova are not in NATO. The US caused regime changes in the first two using its agents of subversion. But the colour revolution in Ukraine led to a corrupt regime that was electorally defeated soon after. A government friendly to Russia followed.

Moves by the US to draw Georgia into NATO were hampered by internal troubles amid which the autonomous Georgian states of South Ossetia and Abkhazia sought to secede in 2008. Russia retarded Georgia’s NATO bid by recognizing their independence and militarily backing them.

US meddling and Ukraine

In 2014 Obama’s government got active in Ukraine to facilitate a fascist coup called the Maidan revolution. (Ukraine is the only former Soviet state in which neo fascists are a strong political force.) The coup government promptly declared its intention to join NATO (which it strangely got written into the new constitution). The neo-fascists acted to crush by force pro-Russian Crimean ‘autonomists’ and ethnic Russians and other minorities, especially in the industrialized south and east, and to downgrade the status of the Russian language (spoken by 30% of the people) and widely used in the country. Russia responded by encouraging Crimea (a strategic peninsula, once part of Russia ‘gifted’ to Ukraine in 1954 by the pioneering revisionist Khrushchev, himself a Ukrainian) to hold a referendum to secede from Ukraine. Predominantly Russian-speaking Crimea voted overwhelmingly to leave Ukraine.

Today’s Ukraine crisis grew out of US policy to isolate and weaken Russia since 1990. The idea was that Ukraine, controlled by US clients, will be a NATO military springboard to strike at the heart of the Russian Federation, while Ukraine’s industrial and agricultural resources enrich Western investors. Thus, from early on, the US invested heavily in client-building among ‘civil society groups’ and malleable political parties and leaders, in western Ukraine, around Kiev especially. It paid early dividends in 2004: the ‘Orange Revolution’ installed a pro-US-EU regime. But corruption scandals and mismanagement brought the regime to an early end in 2006. The West lost its foothold in Ukraine in the elections of 2010, and reactivated its ‘direct action’ fronts with a fresh agenda. Neo-fascists seized power in 2014 through violent demonstrations, vandalism, armed assaults and mob violence to establish a dictatorial junta, comprising neo-liberal politicians seeking closer ties with NATO and neo-fascists and violent nationalists out to persecute ethnic Russians and other minorities.

The coup, besides leading to Crimean independence and reunion with Russia, also led to the predominantly Russian speaking Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic in Donbas region declaring independence. In that context, the West resorted to dirty tricks to discredit both the separatists and Russia.1

Russia sought to settle with Ukraine based on assurances of security and arrived at the Minsk Protocol of 2014, whose ineffectiveness led to Minsk II in 2015. But the Ukrainian attitude was negative, while Russia as late as 2022 January called for fulfilment of the Protocol of 2015.2

Concluding Summary

Let us now return to the questions raised earlier:

  • Is the conflict in Ukraine mainly between Russia and Ukraine?
  • What are the main contending forces?
  • What are the interests at stake?
  • Is it a conflict between two ‘imperialisms’?
  • Even if conflict is between two ‘imperialisms’ can Marxist Leninists simply denounce the contending parties and refuse to take a stand?

The conflict is between the US and Russia, with the Ukraine government as a US proxy.

The Russian interest at stake is the security of Russia against encirclement by NATO rather than control of all or part of Ukraine.

The US-sponsored coup of 2014 was designed to use Ukraine to intensify military pressure against Russia.

It will be dogmatic to define Russia an imperialist and based on that treat any conflict with the US or its proxy as conflict between two imperialisms.

The Party has rejected the thesis that Russia is imperialist, and is aware that Russia is at present not in a position to adopt an expansionist agenda. Even, for argument’s sake one considers it to be imperialist, its actions have to be seen in context.

Russia does not use socialist logic or language in its foreign affairs. When it failed to take the correct stand (as in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya this century) imperialism gained (although to its eventual peril and great cost to its victims of aggression). Had it not been for Russian intervention in Syria, the US will now have a client state in Syria and be well placed to bully Iran and further humiliate Iraq. Russian backing for Nicaragua and Venezuela, regardless of Russian motives, is as important from an anti-imperialist perspective.

Let us consider the options before Russia.

  1. Do nothing and allow Ukraine to join NATO
  2. Persuade Ukraine diplomatically or by threat to abandon the thought of joining NATO
  3. Invade Ukraine in the event of its joining NATO
  4. Launch a pre-emptive attack

Russia was pushed to a defensive position by the expansion of NATO and ceaseless US attempts at regime change in former Soviet republics. In that context the first option would be suicidal. The second was explored unsuccessfully by Russia since 2014. The third will be too late and too expensive. Thus Russia had no choice but launch a pre-emptive strike in Ukraine, without which Russia would face slow strangulation by US using NATO.

Defending Russian military action in Ukraine is not defending Putin or Russian capitalism. What is defended is action by a state that is under escalating threat from the US on several fronts, the most crucial being the military front.

NATO should have been disbanded in 1991, when there was no more a case for its existence. It has only served to destroy countries outside Europe and North America besides prolonging instability in Europe. It is the root cause of the Ukraine crisis and elimination of NATO is top priority for peace in Europe and elsewhere. A NATO declaration that it will not covet Ukraine should precede any call for Russian forces to withdraw.

It will be good for a Marxist of any description to look at the totality and prescribe possible options with their implications and subject it to discussion among anti-imperialists before rushing to praise or denounce the Russian action.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Party strongly urges an early end to the conflict based on:

  1. Neutrality of Ukraine with necessary assurances of its not joining any military alliance that could threaten Russian security.
  2. Ukraine recognizing the fee will of the people of Crimea to re-join Russia, while the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics will be controlled by a joint Russia-Ukraine administration for a limited period and let them decide their future on the basis of right to self determination.
  3. Russian assurance that it will not intervene in Ukraine or forcefully seize Ukrainian territory subject to Ukraine’s protection of Russian speaking minorities against neo-fascists and the ‘far right’.
  4. A Russia‒Ukraine peace accord free of meddling by US imperialists or its agencies.
  1. There was also the conspiracy to bring down the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 July 2014 just across the rebel held territory and blame it on the separatist rebels and Russia, although there was little for Russia or the pro-Russian Donbas rebels to gain from it. In 2018 Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad challenged the objectivity of investigations into the 2014 disaster. He rejected the findings of Dutch-led international team and asserted that Russia was being made a scapegoat for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
  2. For instance, in January 2022, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council said: “The fulfilment of the Minsk agreement means the country’s destruction. When they were signed under the Russian gun barrel — and the German and the French watched — it was already clear for all rational people that it’s impossible to implement those documents.”
    In February 2022, the Finnish President said “the most possible solution (to the current situation) could be the Minsk agreement to be fulfilled or that there would be significant progress in its implementation.”

On the New Historical Play “Dismissal of Hai Jui”

By | 07/23/2022

People’s Daily Editor’s Note:

Comrade Yao Wen-yuan has published in Wen-hui Pao this article to make known his important critical views in regard to such an historical character as Hai Jui and the play Dismissal of Hai Jui.

We are of the opinion that the evaluation of Hai Jui and the play Dismissal of Hai Jui actually involve the problem of how to deal with historical characters and plays, what viewpoint should be adopted in the study of history, and what form of art should be used to reflect historical characters and events. On this problem, the views of our thinkers are at variance. This is because the problem has not been systematically debated and has not been correctly solved for a number of years.

This paper has also published in the past Comrade Wu Han’s “Hai Jui Abuses the Emperor” (on June 16, 1959 under the pseudonym of Liu Mien-chih) and “On Hai Jui” (on September21, 1959). It has also published articles on other historical characters concerned. We plan to start a debate on the play Dismissal of Hai Jui and other pertinent problems. Readers among historians, philosophers, and writers and artists are welcome to participate in this debate.

In his article “Talk at the National Conference on Propaganda Work of the Communist Parly of China,” Comrade Mao Tse-tung has this to say:

“Our regime is a people’s democratic regime which provides advantageous circumstances for writing for the people. The guideline of letting one hundred flowers bloom and one hundred schools of thought contend provides new guarantees for the development of science and art. If what you write is right, you need not be afraid of any criticism, but may further expound your correct views through debate. If what you write is wrong, then criticism will help you to rectify your error. There is nothing undesirable about that. In our society, revolutionary, fighting criticism and countercriticism is a good means of exposing and resolving contradictions, developing science and art, and properly doing all kinds of work.”

We hope that through this debate, the contention of various kinds of views and their criticisms of each other can be further developed. Our guideline is that both the freedom of criticism and the freedom of countercriticism should be allowed. In regard to erroneous views, we also adopt the methods of reasoning and seeking truth from facts to convince people with reason. As Mao Tse-Mao Tse-tung has indicated, “We must learn to overcome all kinds of erroneous thinking by means of debate and reasoning.”

Comrade Mao Tse-tung has also said:

“This method may enable us to make fewer mistakes. There are many things which we do not know, and therefore we do not know how to solve them. During debate and struggle, we shall come to know these things and shall know how to solve problems. As a result of debate between different opinions, truth will unfold itself. This method may also be adopted in dealing with those poisonous, anti-Marxist things, because it will be possible to develop Marxism by waging struggle against those anti-Marxist things. This is development in the struggle of opposites, a development that conforms to dialectics.”

Beginning in June 1959, Comrade Wu Han wrote a number of articles—including “Hai Jui Abuses the Emperor” and “On Hai Jui—in praise of Hai Jui, emphasizing again and again the “realistic significance” of studying Hai Jui.1

In 1961, he finished a Peking opera play called Dismissal of Hai Jui after making seven revisions, wrote a preface to it, and once again urged people to study the “good virtues” of Hai Jui. After the play was published and staged, it was widely praised by newspapers and periodicals. Some articles said that this play “is of great significance,” and “leaves room for the audience to think about.” They praised Hai Jui because “he was ashamed to be licorice root and dared to assume the role of Lord Pao of the South.”2 Some commentaries went to the extreme in praising Comrade Wu Han “as an historian, good at integrating historical research with participation in realistic struggle,” and “using the tactics of making veiled criticism of contemporary people with ancient people, thus making the ancient serve the contemporary through historical research.” They said that this play “has opened up a new way of making one’s own historical research render better service to socialist realities and the people.”3 Some articles also said: “The extolment of ‘honest, incorrupt officials’ in plays functioned as a ‘big-character poster’ for educating the officials at that time.”4

Since the play Dismissal of Hai Jui and its admirers have brought forward so important a problem and have widely publicized what they advocate, we cannot but study the play in real earnest.

How Is Hai Jui Molded in the Play Dismissal of Hai Jui?

In this historical play, Comrade Wu Han makes a perfect and noble character of Hai Jui was portrayed as “a person who had the people in mind in every place” and “was a savior of the oppressed, bullied, and wronged people.”5 In his person, you simply cannot find any shortcoming. It seems that he is the ideal character of the author. He not merely was the “savior” of the poor peasants in the Ming Dynasty, but is also an example for the Chinese people and cadres of the socialist era to learn from.

The author has gone to great pains to mold his own hero. Out of the nine acts in this play, he reserves three acts completely to portray this honorable official.

In the first and second acts—before Hai Jui comes into the scene—the play takes a lot of trouble to portray the House of Hsu— the family of Hsu Chieh who brought about the downfall of Yen Sung who was once the prime minister and was then leading a life of retirement. It tells how this family encroaches upon the land of the peasants, carries off the daughters of other people by force, and bribes the officials into beating poor peasant Chao Yti-shan to death. When peasant woman Hung Ah-lan “is appealing to Heaven for justice in her anguish,” an urgent dispatch brings the news that Hai Jui has been appointed governor of the Ten Prefectures of Yingtien. To the exalted officials, this is a bolt from the blue. They cry in alarm: “What are we going to do?” Even the yamen underlings exclaim: “The Honorable Hai is coming. This is terrible.”

In the third act, Hai Jui appears in plain clothes. The author portrays how Hai Jui personally listens to the “villagers who feel as if they were in the frying pan,” who pay him their highest respects and tell him how they have prayed for his coming. They praise him for his “impartiality,” “wise judgments,” “high repute,” and “good government.”

Although in the feudal society “the world from top to bottom is under the sway of officials and there is no justice for those in the right but without money,” yet the peasants who have been wronged unanimously believe that the “Honorable Hai” is an exception, and they think that “he can make decisions in their favor.”

These tactics of forming a contrast seek to give the audience the strong feeling that only Hai Jui can alleviate the miseries of the peasants. It shows that the Dismissal of Hai Jui does not present “the internal struggle of the feudal ruling classes”6 as the author claims but molds in every possible way for our audience today a hero who determines the destiny of the peasants.

The conflict of the play unfolds itself around the theme of “return of land.” Although Comrade Wu Han says in the preface that the play “has been revised to take the suppression of despots as the main theme,” yet in actuality, the seizure of land is the cause of all grievances, and the action “to suppress the despots” and “redress grievances” also centers on the “return of land.” “Return of land” is portrayed as “a means to help the poor peasants”7 and is also responsible for the dismissal of Hai Jui—the climax of the conflict in this play.

The play makes this special statement through “Villager A”: “We are all tenants of the House of Hsu.” It wants the audience to remember that it portrays the struggle between the poor peasants and the House of Hsu and other retired officials and corrupt officials, and that Hai Jui stands on the side of the tenants of the House of Hsu.

The Honorable Hai does not belie the hope of the public, and as soon as he assumes office, he “decides in favor of the people.” He not only curses “the genuine sharp dealers who practice usury and take over land by force,” and encourages the peasants “to make complaints” against them, but also displays a democratic spirit in court by finding out the opinions of “the elders” of the petitioners.

The peasants ask Lord Hai Jui to order the House of Hsu and the “families of retired officials” to return the seized land. So Hai Jui issues an order “requiring all families of retired officials to return within ten days all the land which they have seized from the law-abiding people.”

After “the return of land,” the sharp class contradictions abruptly cease to function. The “villagers” kowtow to Hai Jui and say: “Because the decisions of Your Honor are in favor of the people, the poor people south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River will see better days in the future.”

The author makes the poor peasants express their “gratitude” and joy by “singing together” a sing in glorification of the honest, incorrupt official. They sing: “We see the blue sky today and must work diligently to rebuild our homes and gardens. With land we shall be properly fed and clothed and a good life will unfold before us.”

The play tells people that although the feudal system is still intact and the ruthless oppression and exploitation of the landlords still exists, so long as we handle things in the same way as Hai Jui, the peasants’ problems of “land” and “food and clothing” can also be solved, and “a good life” lies “before us.”

The play also lays emphasis on portraying how Hai Jui “avenges the people” and executes the “corrupt officials” en masse. It gives repeated publicity to “the need of reopening misjudged cases,” and Hai Jui’s determination “to pacify the anger of the people.” He wants to “sweep away all wicked officials” and “exercises no leniency in the enforcement of law to pacify the anger of the people.” The actions he takes in the play include beheading Wang Ming-yu, magistrate of Huat’ing hsien; sentencing Sung-chiang Prefect Li P’ing-tu to “dismissal and imprisonment pending the receipt of the Imperial verdict”; and hanging Hsu Ying, son of Hsu Chieh.

In Comrade Wu Han’s own words, so that “Hai Jui’s departure will not present a dismal gloomy aspect, I decided to have Hsu Ying sentenced to death.”8 In this way, Hai Jui terminates his official career and becomes a hero who has triumphantly resisted the feudal Imperial Court.

At the end of the play, Hsu Ying is executed, Hsu Chieh faints away, and the new governor is thrown into consternation. But Hai Jui holds high the official seal, stands erect, and declaims: “A virtuous man stands with his head reaching the sky and his feet on the earth.” Inwardly, he tells himself: “I have triumphed.”

The author has also “triumphantly” completed his task of molding his own hero.

In this play, only Hai Jui is the hero. The peasants can only air their grievances to their lord, beg “their lord to make decisions in their favor,” and entrust their own destinies to the “Honorable Hai.” In order to make the image of Hai Jui stand out against all other feudal officials, all the principal officials in the play are portrayed as bad characters. Hai Jui’s wife and family dependents are wise people who want to protect themselves, and only his mother backs him up. Hai Jui goes it alone in making a great economic and political revolution.

After seeing this play, people strongly feel that this heroic image as molded by Comrade Wu Han is much greater than the image of Hai Jui which was portrayed by any operas and novels of the feudal age in the past. Although Comrade Wu Han has especially written some explanatory notes for inclusion in the play, published in a single volume, and has extracted a number of historical data from the story of Dismissal of Hai Jui itself in an attempt to give people the impression that he has written the play in complete accordance with historical facts, yet people still cannot help asking: Was there really such a hero among the ruling classes of the feudal society? Is this “Honorable Hai” just an artistic version of the real Hai Jui in history or just a fictitious character coined by Comrade Wu Han?

A False Hai Jui

We are not historians. But according to the data we have read, the historical contradictions and the class stand taken by Hai Jui in handling such contradictions—as portrayed in this play—are in contravention with historical realities. The Hai Jui in the play is only coined by Comrade Wu Han to give publicity to his own point of view.

Hai Jui was the governor of Yingtien during the period from the summer of 1569 to the spring of 1570. At that time, the class contradiction and the class struggle in the countryside south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River were very sharp. From the reign of Cheng-te through the reign of Chia-ching to the reign of Lung-ch’ing, with the landlord class frantically seizing land from the peasants in diverse ways, the concentration of land became higher and higher, and the peasants were more and more heavily exploited.

The Jihchihlu states: “Only one in ten of the people in middle Kiangsu owned land, and the other nine persons were tenants.” This shows that the overwhelming majority of the land was owned by landlords. Although Ku Yen-wu did not give the exact date, yet according to the data available to us, this estimate was in conformity with the state of affairs in Soochow and Sungchiang after the middle of the Ming Dynasty.

The expropriation of land was carried out most ferociously by the group of imperial landlords who depended upon political influence to expand their “imperial estates.” Apart from this, some bureaucrat-landlords in rural areas also seized a lot of land. The land owned by Hsu Chieh alone was put at 240,000 mou in some cases, and 400,000 mou in other cases— equivalent to about one-third or one-half of the acreage of arable land in Sungchiang hsien under the jurisdiction of Shanghai municipality today.

Hai Jui’s statement that “the common people cursed and resented the large numbers of estates and slaves owned by the retired officials in Huat’ing” was a portrayal of the sharp class struggle which he saw with his own eyes. The concentration of land accelerated the sharpening of the class contradiction between the peasants and the landlord class. Large numbers of peasants went bankrupt and fled, many fields were left uncultivated, and “the landless people could only work as hired farmhands for other people” (Records of Huat’ing Hsien).

The contradiction between the peasantry and the landlord class was the basic contradiction of the feudal society, and the sharpening of the class struggle would inevitably affect the relationships between various strata within the landlord class. Under the circumstances that most land was owned by the landlords, the bureaucrat-landlords could not but concentrate their target of land annexation on the small and middle landowners and the “rich families” which “hired people to farm their land”— that is the “rich peasants” (also called “upper peasants”). As a result, the contradiction within the landlord class also grew acute.

Meanwhile, because the bureaucrat-landlords hid away a lot of land—on which no taxes were paid—and monopolized the fruit of exploitation, the Imperial Court found itself in financial difficulties, and some officials in court continuously demanded survey of arable land, limitations on the size of “imperial estates” and other estates, and restriction of the continued annexation of “private land” owned by middle and small landowners. This sharpened the contradictions between various groups of landlords in and out of office.

At that time, one of the principal methods for the bureaucrat-landlords to annex land was the so-called “surrender of land” which was opposed by Hai Jui when he demanded the “return of land.”

Surrender of land was mainly implemented in two ways. One way was for the powerful landlords to instigate the lackeys—who were related to the original landowners in some ways—to “surrender” such land to themselves. Such land was taken away from the “rich families” which originally owned it, and the lackeys who “surrendered the land” became the caretaker or sublandlord of such land.

The other way was for the middle or small landowners, rich peasants, individuals, or the few small holders to surrender their land to the bureaucrat-landlords with the object of evading heavy official corvees and taxation. The reason was that the “Ming Code” provided that officials enjoyed the privilege of exemption from official corvees and taxation to varying extent according to their ranks, and the landowners could evade such official corvees and taxation by placing their land under the names of bureaucrat-landlords. The bureaucrat-landlords took advantage of this, and seized the land owned by the middle or small landowners, rich peasants, or small holders who sought to evade official corvees and taxation.

Because most land was owned by the landlords and rich peasants, the land seized by the bureaucrat-landlords was in most cases property of the middle or small landowners or rich peasants.9 This was the essence of the matter.

The Biography of Hai Jui says:

Therefore, the rich often surrendered their land to the officials, and would rather work as rent-paying tenants to evade their major duties. This was called surrender of land. Because of this, once a scholar passed the examination of the second degree, he often acquired the land surrendered and became a rich man. Once the downfallen officials regained their offices and power, they often behaved like the upstart officials, and looked upon the annexation of land as a matter of course. When those with power and influence took over the estates they wanted, nobody would dare to refuse.

What is described here as “the rich” refers of course not to the poor peasants who had no land “to surrender,” but to the local officials who had “lost their influence” or the middle or small landowners with no political status or the rich peasants. Their “private land” was continuously annexed by the powerful bureaucrat-landlords and when the latter “wanted to take over anything, nobody would dare to refuse.” This seriously jeopardized the interests of the middle and small landowners and rich peasants, and also seriously affected the financial receipts of the Imperial Court.

It was precisely because of this that as soon as Hai Jui came to Sungchiang and Huat’ing, he discovered that “the first-degree licentiates,” “the good retired officials,” and even “the prefects and magistrates” in some places opposed with “one voice” the large-scale annexation of land by such big bureaucrat-landlords as Hsu Chieh and their practice of accepting “surrendered land.”

The “good retired officials” told Hai Jui: “In the past twenty years, because the prefects and magistrates one-sidedly heeded the recommendations and biddings of the retired officials, private properties were gradually wiped out and the retired officials gradually grew rich.” Do not these words give a vivid portrayal of the annexation of the middle and small landowners by the big bureaucrat-landlords?

Hai Jui came to the conclusion that “the nonbenevolent rich were resented by the public.”10 Such “common resentment” indicated the political attitude of the middle and small landowners, the rich peasants, and the intellectuals representing their interests toward annexation by the big landlords.

When Tai Feng-hsiang, the spokesman of the big landlords south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, attacked Hai Jui for connivance with the “knaves,” Hai Jui used the above-mentioned material to show that his call for “return of land” was based upon the clamors of these people. It seems that he was telling the truth. His call for “return of land” reflected the common demand of the middle and small landlords and the rich peasants whose “private properties had gradually dwindled.” It was implemented for easing the contradictions within the landlord class and the ever more acute class contradictions between the broad masses of the peasants and the landlord class. Moreover, it was beneficial for increasing revenue receipts and solving the financial difficulties of the Imperial Court.

After these historical facts are clarified, we shall have a clearer picture of how the Dismissal of Hai Jui has distorted the class relationships.

Did Hai Jui require the landlords to return land to the peasants when he called on the retired officials to return their land? No.

Both the Ming History and a number of biographies of Hai Jui clearly state that Hai Jui called on the retired officials to return the land “surrendered” to them. “His Lordship ruled with an iron fist and ordered all those who had been offered land to return such land or permit such land to be redeemed.” This was done to discourage annexation and to bring blows to bear upon the big landlords. Apart from the land which was returned to the government, most of the land returned went back to the “weaklings” and the “rich families”—that is, the middle or small landowners or the rich peasants—who had “surrendered such land.” This actually safeguarded the interests of the middle and small landowners and the rich peasants.

Since the poor hired farmhands had no land “to surrender” and no money “to redeem” such land, naturally, none of the “land returned” would come into their hands. How can it be assumed that Hai Jui “fought” wholeheartedly for land for the poor peasants?

Did Hai Jui seek to bring emancipation to “the tenants of the House of Hsu”? He had basically done nothing in this connection.

In his letter to Li Ch’ung-fang, Hai Jui explained his object of requiring Hsu Chieh “to return land” by saying:

Unless more than half of his land is returned, how can the depravity of the people be stemmed? It can do no good but harm for the rich to be non-benevolent, and the cart in the rear should take warning from the overturned cart in front. … In requiring venerable Hsu to return more than half of his land, I just want to preserve tranquillity after he passes away. Please don’t misunderstand me.

Was this not a clear indication of the class stand of Hai Jui? He clearly wanted to “stem” the “depravity” of the people, to prevent the landlord class from being overthrown in the ever more acute class struggle, and to ensure “tranquillity after the death” of Hsu Chieh. In no case, did he consult the poor peasants and try to solve the problem of land for “the tenants of the House of Hsu.”

Was Hai Jui’s call for “return of land” a “decision in favor of the people”?

Hai Jui told us in his Governor’s Proclamation that all the measures issued by him as governor sought “to pacify the public by getting rid of old abuses and to restore the established laws of our ancestors.”

Now, in the Ming Code formulated by the “founder of the dynasty,” there was such a provision: “Those who surrender the land under dispute or the land of other people as their own properties to the officials in power, and those who receive such land shall each be punished with one hundred strokes of the cane and three years of imprisonment.”11 Was this not precisely the contradiction which Hai Jui had to handle?

The Ming Dynasty had long ago laid down this law against the surrender of land for the purposes of alleviating contradictions within this class, guarding against the acute development of annexation, and facilitating the consolidation of the dictatorship of the whole landlord class. This law later existed only in name. Hai Jui had done nothing more than oppose the surrender of land within this sphere. How can it be said that he “decided in favor” of the peasants south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River?

Did Hai Jui oppose “usury” with the “poor peasants” in mind?

It is best to quote the statement made by Hai Jui to refute Tai Feng-hsiang’s attack against him. He said:

In past years, when collecting grain, the grain officials often deducted first their private debts before they turned over grain to the government. The wealthy aristocrats also forced settlements at harvesting time. Since private and public interests were dealt with side by side, the payment of grain tax could hardly be fulfiled. It is my opinion that the grain tax must be paid before private settlements can be made, and it is not my intention to prohibit the settlement of debts.

The “public side” meant the feudal Imperial Court, while the “private side” meant the landlords and the local bullies. Hai Jui made it known that he was not against exploitation by rural landlords and the granting of loans. He only opposed the monopoly of the fruit of exploitation by the big landlords in the countryside so as to solve the problem of financial income for the Imperialist Court.

Hai Jui never thought of basically solving the contradiction between the peasants and the landlords. He only wanted to ease this contradiction.

Hai Jui himself said: “The support of the higher level by the lower level is a principle that cannot be done away with, but the loss and gain must be adjusted so that the system may last.”

This made it plain that in working for “the adjustment of gain and loss,” his aim was to limit the exploitation of the big landlords within the legitimate sphere-without hampering the basic interests of landlord class— and to weaken the resistance of the peasants, so that feudal exploitation based upon “the support of the higher level by the lower level” might be “perpetuated.”

He again and again admonished the peasants to submit to feudal rule, to abide by “decorum,” and not to “become bandits.” To deal with the rioting peasants, he advocated that “force of arms should be used and the people should be pacified” at the same time.

In opposing the most reactionary big landlords, his aim was not to weaken the system of ownership of land by landlords, but to consolidate such a system, the landlords’ rule over the peasants, and the Imperial regime. This was where the common interests of the different groups and factions of the feudal ruling classes and the “long-range interests” of the landlord class lay.

The portrayal of Hai Jui is representing the interests of the peasants seeks to confuse the enemy and ourselves, to obliterate the essence of the dictatorship of the landlord class, and to prettify the landlord class.

Hai Jui again and again expressed his loyalty to the emperor. In his letter to Kao Kung to make known what he had in mind, he said: “I am doing my utmost to build a lasting foundation south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and to justify His Majesty’s confidence in me.” How could he do anything to rock this “lasting foundation”?

The “return of land” is untruthfully portrayed. Is the portrayal of his “redressing grievances” true? According to the data we have found, we can only answer in the negative.

The Sungchiang Prefect and the Huat’ing Magistrate had not basically been executed or dismissed. When Hai Jui was governor of Yingtien, not a single official at the hsien level or above in the area of Soochow and Sungchiang had been dismissed. The son of Hsu Chieh had not been executed but was sentenced to banishment. Hai Jui was also not responsible for this. The one responsible was Kao Kung—the political enemy of Hsu Chieh—when he once again rose to power following the removal of the latter as prime minister. When Chang Chii-cheng came into power, this sentence was annulled.

The “Biography of Kao Kung” in Ming History has this to say: “The children of Hsu Chien were tyrants in their home village. Kao Kung appointed Ts’ai Kuo-hsi, a former prefect, as inspector-general to bring all the sons of Hsu Chieh to book. They were all sentenced to banishment. Kao Kung did everything to repress Hsu Chieh, who was left alone only after Kao Kung lost his office.”

Similar records are also found in the Biography of Hsu Chieh.

The arrest of Hsu Chieh’s sons was by nature a vengeance wrecked by Kao Kung and was carried out by another official. It had nothing to do with Hai Jui.

After the downfall of Yen Sung, Hsu Chieh, Kao Kung, and Chang Chii-cheng waged a protracted struggle for power. Is it not contrary to the basic historical fact to transplant the collision of different political groups in the cabinet in the person of Hai Jui and portray him as “standing on the side of the poor peasants to redress the grievances of the people”?

Comrade Wu Han knows very well that “in history the sons of Hsu Chieh were only sentenced to banishment,” but in order to prettify Hai Jui, he chooses to portray him in this way. This shows that he makes no bones of rewriting history in order to mold his ideal hero.

Hai Jui was also not as “democratic” as portrayed in the play. On the contrary, he was of the opinion that “the people south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River were knavish and rascally in character,” and “made all kinds of fabricated charges in nine out of ten petitions.” He himself stated that the way to deal with “knavish suits” was to fetter and shackle seven or eight persons before the yamen at all times and beat them up ruthlessly first. He thought this was a good experience.

When Hai Jui discussed “doubtful cases” in Rules for Reform, he also said: “In a lawsuit, it is better to wrong the common people than the retired officials in order to preserve prestige.” Below this there is a short note which reads: “Preservation of prestige is called for because the retired officials are of patrician birth while the common people are of lowly birth.” In order to safeguard “the dividing line between people of patrician birth and those of lowly birth,” it would do “to wrong the common people.” This was a manifestation of the reactionary nature of the dictatorship of the landlord class.

Now, Hai Jui is portrayed as being so democratic as to seek “advice” from the peasants. His political stand is thus transposed.

By comparing these historical facts with the Hai Jui in the play Dismissal of Hai Jui, it is not difficult to discover that the latter is a fictitious character. It is a character remolded with the bourgeois viewpoint.

A historical play needs to be processed artistically and recreated. We do not expect a new historical play to agree with history in every detail, but we do expect that the class stand and class relationship of the characters portrayed therein should agree with historical facts.

Comrade Wu Han has said that a historical play “must make every effort to bring itself in greater conformity with historical facts, and there is no room for distortion and hypothesis.”12 However, facts speak louder than words. The image of Hai Jui in this play has already nothing to do with rational imagination or typical generalization. It can only come under the category of “distortion, hypothesis, and making veiled criticism of contemporary people with ancient people.”

The course of class struggle tells us that there was no way for Hai Jui or other feudal officials after him to restore vitality to the rotten and degenerated Ming Dynasty or to alleviate the fire of hatred for the peasants. After Hai Jui, the peasants of Sungchiang were ruthlessly oppressed and exploited as usual. Annexation and exodus continued and the class contradiction went on to grow more acute.

After the death of Hai Jui in 1587, the peasants rose in revolt like clouds in the winds and a surging tide. The Ming Dynasty fell in 1644—less than 60 years after the death of Hai Jui.

Confronted by such historical realities, the play makes the peasant praise the “return of land” by singing: “With land we shall be properly fed and clothed and a good life will unfold before us.” They also cheer: “The poor people south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River will lead a good life from how on!” Is this not preposterous and ridiculous?

What Does Dismissal of Hai Jui Extol?

Let us see what does the author extol with the artistic image of a phoney Hai Jui.

We know that the state is the tool of class struggle and a mechanism for one class to oppress another. There is no nonclass or supraclass state. This is the basic viewpoint of Marxism-Leninism on the problem of state.

Proceeding from this viewpoint, we cannot but admit that the feudal state is a tool for the landlord class to enforce dictatorship on the peasants. The laws and courts of the feudal state and the officials who rule over the people—including “honest, incorrupt officials” and “good officials”—can only be the tools of the dictatorship of the landlord class and can never transcend class, nor can they serve the ruling class as well as the ruled class.

To be sure, because there are different strata and groups within the landlord class and because of changes in the situation of the class struggle, they may differ and come into conflict over this or that problem, over the attitude adopted toward the interests of the big landlords, the middle and small landowners, and the rich peasants, and over the degree and method of oppression to which the peasants are subjected.

Fundamentally speaking, however, the substance of such struggle can never transcend the sphere of upholding the dictatorship of the landlord class. At no time can we distort the struggle within the landlord class as the class struggle between the peasants and the landlords.

Taking the struggle between the “honest, incorrupt officials” and the “corrupt officials” for illustration, there really have been honest, incorrupt officials who punished some “corrupt officials” in the courts of the landlord class according to some provisions of the law of the landlord class. There have also been cases in which a particular peasant “won” the case against a member of a faction or group because the case was tried by an “honest, incorrupt official” who happened to be an opponent of the faction or group to which the defendant belonged. Such phenomena have misled many peasants without experience in class struggle, and made them lose sight of the class features of the “honest, incorrupt officials” and the class essence of the feudal state and the feudal courts. The landlord class has also made constant use of such phenomena to benumb the consciousness of the peasants, and of the “honest, incorrupt officials” as tools to cover up the essence of class rule and as important means for carrying out the class struggle against the peasants in coordination with armed suppression.

There are in the Ming History records about the dispatch of “honest, incorrupt officials” by the landlord class—the strategy of delaying the approach of the enemy—before action was taken to wipe out the uprising peasants at one stroke.13 Basically speaking, however, no matter how “honest” and “good” are the “honest officials” and the “good officials,” they can only be “honest officials” and “good officials” for implementing the dictatorship of the landlord class over the peasants, and can never take the opposite course.

However, the Dismissal of Hai Jui tells us: No! The “honest, incorrupt officials,” are not the tools of the landlord class but are in the service of the peasant class. You see, Hai Jui in the play is an ambassador of the feudal dynasty, but he wages a fierce struggle against Hsu Chieh and represents the interests of the poor peasants.

In this struggle, “honest official” Hai Jui is on the one hand portrayed as a great hero who safeguards the interests of “the tenants of the House of Hsu” and all poor peasants. He is opposed to other officials who implement the dictatorship of the landlord class, and the contradiction between the “honest, incorrupt officials” and the “corrupt officials” is portrayed as the contradiction between the protection and the suppression of the peasants as well as the contradiction between the return of land to the peasants and the seizure of land from the peasants. We can see nothing of the role played by the “honest, incorrupt officials” in consolidating the dictatorship of the landlord class.

On the other hand, all peasants are portrayed as a passive lot devoid of any spirit for revolutionary struggle. Their sole role is to kneel before the “Honorable Hai,” beseech him to redress their grievances, and look upon the “honest, incorrupt official” as their savior.

Obviously, as the author of the Dismissal of Hai Jui sees it, the motive force for propelling history forward is not the class struggle but “honest, incorrupt officials.” There is no need for the masses to rise and liberate themselves, for with the blessings of an “honest, incorrupt official,” they can promptly lead “a good life.”

In this play, the “honest, incorrupt officials,” law, and courts—which are the tools of the dictatorship of the landlord class—are all prettified as things which transcend class and their existence is divorced from and independent of the dictatorship of the landlord class. The play publicizes that there is no need for the oppressed people to make revolution, to go through any serious struggle, and to smash the state machinery. Provided they bow and kowtow to the “honest, incorrupt officials” and abide by the “law” of the feudal dynasty, they can wipe out the corrupt officials in one stroke and “lead a good life.”

Lenin once said that the state problem “is a problem most confused by the bourgeois scholars, writers, and philosophers” (“On State”). What is called the “redressing of grievances by honest, incorrupt officials”—as a component of the state problem—is, it is [sic] afraid, a problem especially confused by the bourgeoisie and a sort of superstition for poisoning the minds of the people. Marxist-Leninists have the duty to expose such falsehood and to explode such superstition.

The Dismissal of Hai Jui takes precisely the opposite course. Instead of exploding such superstition, it takes on the mantle of a new historical play and prettifies with all means the officials, courts, and law of the landlord class, thus deepening such superstition.

The peasants know that “the world is under the sway of the officials at both the high and the low levels” and “has no place for those in the right but without money.” As soon as Hai Jui enters the scene, he angrily ask the peasants: “What sort of law do the landlords and despots rely on?” He also lectures the peasants by saying: “You have also yourselves to blame. Why don’t you make complaints?” In the course of “redressing grievances,” he emphasizes again and again: “A law-breaking prince is punished in the same way as the commoner.”

The play makes use of these statements to cover up the class essence of “law.” It also employs “practical action” to demonstrate that provided the “honest, incorrupt officials”—such as Hai Jui— act according to “law,” they can turn the courts into places that give protection to the peasants, “redress grievances for the people,” reverse “wrong judgments,” and enable the peasants to obtain land.

Does this not seek to look upon the state machinery of the landlord class as the tool for protecting the peasants? Does this not seek to obliterate the essence of the suppression of the peasants by the dictatorship of the landlord class? Does this not seek to publicize that provided the honest, incorrupt officials of the landlord class “make decisions in favor of the people” in the yamen, once the peasants “make complaints,” they can be liberated? How can such a play—which prettifies the landlord class state in a big way and publicizes nonrevolution and class reconciliation—say anything about “the need for guiding the creation of historical plays with Marxism-Leninism and the thought of Mao Tse-tung”?14

Since there were classes and states in human society, such a thing as “officials making decisions in favor of the people” has never occurred in the world. In China, neither the reformers of the landlord class nor the bourgeois democrats have ever brought “good times” to the peasants. Only the great revolution led by the Chinese Communist Party—which has thoroughly smashed the state machinery of the landlord class and the bourgeoisie and founded the People’s Republic of China led by the proletariat and based upon the worker-peasant alliance-has solved the problems of “land, food, and clothing” for the peasants south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the whole country. This is an ironclad fact which nobody can refute.

We hope that Comrade Wu Han will compare the image of Hai Jui which he has molded and the viewpoints publicized through this image with the Marxist-Leninist viewpoints which Comrade Mao Tse-tung has explained again and again. It will not be difficult to discover that he has actually replaced the Marxist-Leninist concept of the state with that of the landlord class and the bourgeoisie, and the theory of class struggle with the theory of class reconciliation. What is he driving at in publicizing today the antiquated viewpoint which has been played up by the landlord class and the bourgeoisie for hundreds and thousands of years? And who will reap the benefit? It is necessary to distinguish right from wrong.

What are the Things which the Dismissal of Hai Jui Wants People to Learn?

Hai Jui was an influential historical character. As we see it, he was a more far-sighted personality among the landlord class during the decline of the feudal society. He was loyal to the feudal system, and was a “loyal official” of the feudal dynasty. He perceived some phenomena of the sharp contradiction between the peasant class and the landlord class at his times. In order to consolidate the feudal rule, weaken the resistance of the peasants, alleviate the sharp class contradictions, and uphold the fundamental interests of the feudal dynasty, he dared to wage a sharp struggle against some groups or measures which endangered the interests of the feudal dynasty.

In some respects, his interests were in agreement with those of the middle and small landowners and the rich peasants. In restraining the powerful landlords, his aim was to consolidate the dictatorship of the whole landlord class over the peasants and uphold the interests of the Imperial Court.

His Memorial on Security is taken by Comrade Wu Han and many articles and plays as representing the interests of the people, and some people have especially composed and staged a new historical play called Hai Jui Submits a Memorial.15 However, he stated at the beginning of the memorial that he was of the opinion that “the sovereign is the master of his subjects and all things.” His object was “to seek ten thousand generations of peace” for the imperial dynasty. This action could only show how loyal he was to the sovereign and nothing else.

Because of this, Emperor Chia Ching did not punish him with death. After he died, the emperor was very sad and “posthumously conferred on him the office of Junior Guardian of the Heir-Apparent and the title of Chung Chih [loyalty and integrity].” When the senior vice president of the Board of Rites came to pay him last respects, he said: “Although he could not work in harmony with the times because of his intractability, he finally won recognition because of his straightforwardness.”

The feudal Imperial Court knew very well that Hai Jui was a loyal defender of the interests of the landlord class. This was the class essence of Hai Jui, and was also the point of departure as well as the end for all his actions. By portraying Hai Jui as representing the interests of the peasants, “loving the people and doing everything with the common people in mind,” fighting “for the interests of the people,”16 and even a hero “undaunted by the influence of the feudal bureaucrats,” Comrade Wu Han has distorted outright the class features of Hai Jui.

The Imperial Court of the Ming Dynasty glorified Hai Jui by saying that “he protected the people as his children,” while Comrade Wu Han says that he “did everything for the people.” Is there any difference between the two?

In the historical records of the landlord class, there is a profusion of data which describe in great length how Hai Jui “worked for the people in every place and every thing.” For example, when Hai Jui was governor of the area south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, he acted against Hsu Chieh and called for “return of land” on a large scale. “In less than a month,” he put the Wusung River under good repairs, and the people lauded him by saying that he was “the dragon king of the sea.” Because of this, after his death, the common people closed the market, and a hundred-li-long queue of weeping mourners dressed in white lined the two banks of the river when the boat carrying his coffin came to the place. These records, coupled with the colorful stories in old novels and plays, are very easy to mislead people. However, the records in such “official documents” obviously embody the exaggerated accounts of the landlord class, and we should carefully analyze them from the class viewpoint.

There was such a thing as “opposition to surrender of land” and Hsu Chieh was called upon “to return land,” but no reliable data can be found to show whether Hsu Chieh had complied with the demand, how much land he returned, and whether the return of land was genuine or fictitious. According to Tan Ch’ien’s State Taxation, in the seventh month of the fifth year of the Reign of Lung-ch’ing, Hsu Chieh returned 40,000 mou of land, but according to the statement that “40,000 mou of land was handed over to the government,” it was definite that such land was handed over to the government and was basically not returned to the peasants.

Even assuming that “more than half of the land was returned,” it was still in the interest of the landlord class and Hai Jui was not the only man who had called for the return of land. When Hsii Chieh was in power, he also had ordered “the return of land.” When the fourth son of Emperor Chia-ch’ing—Tsai Chun, Prince of Ching—died, Hsu Chieh “submitted a memorial recommending the seizure of several ten thousand hectares of land on the slope from the House of Ching for return to the people, and the people of Ch’u were very pleased.”17

If the class of the “people to whom the land was returned” is not analyzed and if, according to Comrade Wu Han’s view, anybody who dared to order “the return of land” would be a hero, was not Hsii Chieh a greater hero than Hai Jui, seeing that he dared to order the return of several ten thousand hectares of Imperial land?

Hai Jui did try to regulate the Wusung River, but his success in this connection was also open to doubt. Even under modern conditions the regulation of a river is by no means easy; how could Hai Jui have regulated a river in so short a time? According to his “memorial on widening of the Wusung River,” he originally “planned to widen the river by 150 feet.” The project was started on the third day of the first month, but all the money had been spent by the middle of the second month. Because “the engineering project was heavy and there was not enough money,” he asked for permission to draw on public funds. It can be seen that he encountered great difficulties and was unable to fulfill even the original plan in more than a month.

Comrade Wu Han overstated the truth: “The progress of work was so fast that it took less than a month to finish the project.” Such exaggeration has nothing in common with Hai Jui’s own memorial.

As to his portrayal of the funeral, this also gives us food for thought. Before liberation, under the ruthless exploitation of the landlord class, the broad masses of the poor peasants were so impoverished that they could not afford to put on clothes. Many peasants shared their rags generation after generation. They had no mourning clothes to put on even when members of their own families passed away. It can be seen that those people who could put on presentable “white caps and robes” to attend the funeral at that time could never be the poor peasants or “the broad masses of the people” as Comrade Wu Han claims, but could only be the landlords, rich peasants, and merchants.

It is not a matter of no significance if in the course of writing a historical play we can really follow the principles of historical materialism, scientifically analyze such historical data, eliminate what is false, retain what is true, and mold the character of Hai Jui according to his original features—thus enabling the audience to see what is his class essence and to know the class features of historical characters from the viewpoint of historical materialism. It will acquire a positive significance in eliminating the undesirable effects spread by many old novels and plays which sing praises to Hai Jui.

However, Comrade Wu Han not only runs counter to historical facts and adopts—in whole and without any change—the standpoint and viewpoint of the landlord class and its data to sing praises of Hai Jui, but even goes to the extreme of molding Hai Jui as the “savior” of the poor peasants, and a victor in the struggle for the interests of the peasants. He wants the people of today to follow his example. This is total departure from the correct direction.

Comrade Wu Han unambiguously calls upon others to learn from the Hai Jui molded by him. What are, after all, the things we can “learn” from him?

The “return of land”? The socialist system of collective ownership has been realized and great people’s communes have been established in our countryside. Under such a circumstance, who is required “to return the land”? Do we want the people’s communes “to return the land”? Can it be said that the 500 million peasants who are pushing forward with resolve along the socialist road should be required to “learn” such “return of land”?

Or to learn “the redressing grievances”? Ours is a country in which the dictatorship of the proletariat has been realized. Speaking of redressing of grievances, with the proletariat and all oppressed and exploited classes breaking out from the darkest hell in the world, smashing the shackles of the landlords and the bourgeoisie, and becoming the masters of their own destinies—have not the grievances been redressed the most thoroughly in the history of mankind? If we are required to learn “to redress grievances” today, we must ask: What are after all the classes which have “grievances,” and how can their “grievances” be “redressed”?

If we are not required to learn the return of land or the redressing of grievances, what then is the “realistic significance” of the Dismissal of Hai Jui?

Perhaps Comrade Wu Han would say: Granted it is wrong to learn Hai Jui’s return of land or redressing of grievances, we can at least learn his spirit as “a great man” who “stands on the earth with his head reaching to the sky,” and to “oppose today’s bureaucratism as he opposed the hypocrites in old days.” Have I not said in the synopsis of the Dismissal of Hai Jui that this play “lays emphasis on Hai Jui’s uprightness and refusal to bow to brute force” and his “determination”? Do we also need such a “he-man” to handle our internal relationships today? The play has saliently portrayed Hai Jui’s opposition to “licorice root” and his attack on the hypocrites, and has also molded Hsu Chieh as a typical “hypocrite.”

It is necessary to oppose bureaucratism. As a matter of fact, the Chinese Communists have never slackened their struggle against bureaucratism. However, we know that the existence of bureaucratism in the socialist society has its social origin and root cause in ideology, and it is necessary to wage a protracted struggle before it can be extirpated.

As to “uprightness,” “great man,” “he-man,” and “opposition to hypocrites,” it is first necessary to determine their class content—for what class do they work and against what class are they directed. These concepts are interpreted by different classes in different ways, and we cannot discard their class content and regard them in the abstract. “Uprightness” or “great man” has its specific class meaning, and basically cannot be mixed with the revolutionary or militant character of the proletariat.

We want to quote once again the statement made by Comrade Mao Tse-tung to explain a couplet from a poem by Lu Hsun:

Fierce-browed, I cooly defy a thousand pointing fingers,
Head-bowed, like a willing ox I serve the children.

Comrade Mao Tse-tung said: “The ‘thousand pointing fingers’ are our enemies, and we will never yield to them, no matter how ferocious. The ‘children’ here symbolize the proletariat and the masses.” (“Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art”)

We must face the enemies with “a scornful frown,” but serve the children with heads bowed like a willing ox. If we depart from so definite a class standpoint or class viewpoint today, describe “uprightness” and “great man” in the abstract, even call those who “serve the children with the head bowed like a willing ox” the “hypocrites” and those, who cooly defy with a scornful frown the proletariat and the working people, “upright” persons and use such “self-respect” to demand “return land,” “redress grievances,” “oppose today’s bureaucratism,” and “officials be dismissed” by the working people—then where shall we lead people to?

If we were not forgetful, we would still remember that after the basic completion of the socialist transformation of the ownership of means of production in 1957, a small bunch of people suddenly showed a special interest in the opposition of “hypocrites.” Some people made use of the slogan of “opposing the hypocrites” and “opposing licorice root” to oppose the revolutionary cadres of the proletariat and the left-wingers among the democrats. They cursed the Party leaders as “hypocrites who are mindful of minor virtues,” and slandered the democrats who followed the Communist Party as the disciples of “licorice rootism.” An abundance of jargon of this kind can be found from certain newspapers at that time.

This was because—in the view of those who took the stand of the landlords and the bourgeoisie—all those who proceeded from the supreme interests of the Party and the people, adopted the means of democracy and persuasion and the method of unity/criticism/unity to handle correctly the contradictions among the people, and urged people to exert themselves for progress were all “hypocrites” and “licorice roots.” Proceeding from the interests of the landlords and the bourgeoisie, they dared to persist in mistakes to the end, dared to become opponents of the proletarian dictatorship, and dared to slay with a stick those who disagreed with them. They thought that only in this way could they be “great men” and “strong men” who were “ashamed to be identified with licorice root.”

The substance of this set of theories is already known to everybody. Why do the Dismissal of Hai Jui and its commentators want to proclaim them once again?

Comrade Wu Han has stubbornly publicized the theory that historical plays must bring the “good virtues” of some characters of the feudal age “deep into people’s hearts to form a component of socialist and communist morality.”18 We are not going to discuss here the problem of morality (which is also a problem much confused by the bourgeois scholars, writers, and philosophers). But if the thoughts and deeds of Hai Jui are considered as “components” of communist morality as the Dismissal of Hai Jui preaches, what then is the use of studying the thought of Mao Tse-tung; ideological remolding; becoming one with the workers, peasants, and soldiers; and revolutionization; and labor transformation?

Let us now return to the problem raised at the beginning of this article: What is the “realistic significance” of the Dismissal of Hai Jui as a “big-character poster”? In order to find an answer to this problem, it is necessary to study the background to the production of this play.

As is known to all, China in 1961 encountered temporary economic difficulties because it was attacked by natural calamities for three years in succession. With the imperialists, the reactionaries of various countries, and the modern revisionists launching wave after wave of attacks against China, the demons and spirits clamored for “individual farming” and “reopening of cases.” They played up the “superiority” of “individual farming” and called for the restoration of individual economy and the “return of land.” In other words, they wanted to demolish the people’s communes and to restore the criminal rule of the landlords and rich peasants. The imperialists, landlords, rich peasants, counterrevolutionaries, undesirable characters, and rightists who were responsible for numerous grievances of the working people in the old society had lost their right to manufacture more grievances. They felt that it was “wrong” to overthrow them and vociferously clamored for “the redressing of their grievances.” They hoped that someone who represented their interests would come forward to resist the dictatorship of the proletariat, redress their “grievances” and “reopen the case” for them so that they might be returned to power.

“Return of land” and “redressing of grievances” formed the focal point of bourgeois opposition to the dictatorship of the proletariat and the socialist revolutionary struggle at that time.

The objective existence of class struggle will necessarily be reflected in this or that form in the ideological sphere, or through the pen of this or that writer. Regardless of whether this writer is conscious of it or not, this is an objective law which is independent of one’s will. The Dismissal of Hai Jui is a form of reflection of such class struggle.

If Comrade Wu Han does not agree with this analysis, he is asked to give us a clear and definite answer: In 1961, what things could the people have “learned” from the Dismissal of Hai Jui which distorts historical facts?

We are of the opinion that the Dismissal of Hai Jui is not a fragrant flower but a poisonous weed. Although it was published and staged several years ago, yet because large numbers of articles have been written in praise of it, and such articles have been widely read and have influenced people in a big way, their damaging effect has been felt far and wide. The play ought to be discussed; for any failure to clarify the problem will be most harmful to the people’s cause. In such discussions, provided we make earnest use of the viewpoint of class analysis to think, we certainly can learn a profound lesson from the realistic and historical class struggle.

  1. Wu Han’s “On Hai Jui,” Jen-min Jih-pao, 21 September 1959.
  2. “Be Ashamed To Be Licorice Root, Dare To Assume the Role of Lord Pao of the South,” Peking Wen-i, March 1961.
  3. “On Dismissal of Hai Jui,” Peking Wen-i, March 1961.
  4. “From Hai Jui to ‘Plays Portraying Honest, Incorrupt Officials,’“ Peking Wan-pao, 23 June 1961.
  5. Wu Han’s “On Hai Jui,” Jen-min Jih-pao, 21 September 1959.
  6. Introduction to Dismissal of Hai Jui in one volume, published by Peking Publishing House in November 1961, p. 7.
  7. Wu Han’s “Story of Hai Jui,” Collected Works on Chinese History, June 1963, 2nd edition, Chung Hua Book Company, p. 15.
  8. Wu Han’s Preface to Dismissal of Hai Jui in one volume, p. vi.
  9. In the Notes on the Twenty-Two Dynasties of China, the examples given on surrender of land in Chiating and Ch’ingp’u under the Reign of Wan-li give a marked reflection of the contradiction within the landlord class. An excerpt follows: “An example was also set in the surrender of land. The villains seized land from landowners and surrendered it to those in power, thus turning such land into the property of those in power. … During the Reign of Wan-li, there was a gallant fellow named Chou Hsing-ch’ing in Chiating and Ch’ingp’u. A widow there has some property and her son was young. Her nephew secretly sun-ended her land to a powerful family, and the powerful family came in a boat to inspect the estate. Learning about the injustice, Chou Hsing-ch’ing mustered a number of strong men and came forward to challenge the powerful family. The latter were scared and fled. … It can be seen from this how bad the custom of surrender of land was at that time.” (Commercial Press, July 1958 edition, p. 721.)
  10. “Memorial To Admit Incompetency After Being Criticized,” see Collected Works of Hai Jui published in December 1962, by Chung Hua Book Company. All subsequent utterances by Hai Jui used in the article are quoted from this book.
  11. Ming Law Explained, Vol. V.
  12. Wu Han’s “More on Historical Plays,” Wen-hui Pao, 3 May 1961, Spring Collection, p. 155.
  13. For example, in 1450 (first year under the Reign of Ching-t’ai), the peasant insurgents led by Huang Hsiao-yang surrounded the city of Canton and cut off all means of communication. The offensive was very fierce and the armed forces of the landlord class were “repeatedly defeated.” At that time, seeing that the armed suppression failed, the Imperial Court sent there Yang Hsin-min, then a well-known “honest, incorrupt official.” As soon as Yang arrived, he promptly made use of the flexible means of “pacification.” He carried out a lot of work to deceive, disintegrate, and soften up the peasant insurgents. The latter were deceived by the “honest, incorrupt official.” They dared not do anything “to harm him” and slackened their armed struggle. Following this, Tung Hsing sent large contingents of the armed forces of the landlords in Kwangtung, Kwangsi, and Kiangsi to the place to carry out a sanguine massacre of the peasants and their troops. The uprising thus failed, and Huang Hsiao-yang was also killed by an arrow. This story is told in the “Biography of Yang Hsin-min” and the “Biography of Tung Hsing” in Ming History.
  14. “Wu Han’s “More on Historical Plays,” Wen-hui Pao, 3 May 1961, Spring Collection, p. 152.
  15. Hai Jui Submits a Memorial, a collective work of Shanghai Peking Opera Theater written by Hsu Szu-yen, published in April 1960, by Shanghai Literature and Art Publishing House. When this play was staged in 1959 and 1961, comments and articles were carried by both Chieh-fang Jih-pao and Wen-hui Pao separately published the two articles, “The Image of Hai Jui in Hai Jui Submits a Memorial” and “On Chou Hsin-fang’s New Play, Hai Jui Submits a Memorial.” When the play was staged once again during the Spring Festival of 1961, Chieh-fang Jih-pao also published on February 11 an article entitled “On Peking Opera Hai Jui Submits a Memorial.”
  16. “Wu Han’s “Story of Hai Jui,” Collected Works on Chinese History, 2nd edition, June 1963, Chung Hua Book Company, pp. 19-35.
  17. “Biography of Hsii Chieh” in Ming History.
  18. Wu Han’s “More on Historical Plays,” Wen-hui Pao, 3 May 1961.

Reject imperialist propaganda in Ukraine

By | 03/22/2022

We must dispel US propaganda about Ukraine and what it insists as a “Russian invasion.” The US imperialists dominate the “narrative” about the emerging war to demonize Russia and obscure its role in intervention and provocation of war in Ukraine. The US line is being parroted by large news agencies and media outlets, as well the Philippine mass media. There is a lack of critical analysis and understanding of historical and current information about US interference and inter-imperialist conflicts over the current imperialist division in Europe.

To repudiate the deceptive propaganda of the imperialists and fully understand the situation in Ukraine, we must consider and study the following information.

  1. Donbass is a region in the eastern part of Ukraine, bordering Russia’s west. It is an industrial area that developed during the period of socialism under the Soviet Union (USSR). Even before the USSR was formed in 1922, Donbass has been dominated by Russian people (in terms of language, culture and history). The Russian population in Donbass expanded in the 1930s when Russian workers were deployed to help in industrialization.

  2. Ukraine, a former member of the Soviet Union, together with Russia and Belarus (Belarus is a country north of Ukraine) formed the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). When the USSR was dismantled in 1991 after years of capitalist restoration since 1953, these countries forged in Minsk (a city in Belarus) an agreement that they will build a special military area which would not be part of the US-led NATO.

  3. In 2014, the US mounted a coup in Ukraine and installed a puppet regime through the so-called Maidan Revolution. When it assumed power, the Kyiv government (supported by Obama) mounted a relentless bombardment of the Donbass region targeting the civilian population. More than 14,000 were killed in what is considered a genocide or pogrom against the Russian people in Donbass. This is one of the biggest crimes of the Obama government in collusion with the Ukrainian government.

  4. The people of Donbass took up arms and fought the attacks of Kyiv since 2014. From this war emerged the People’s Republic of Donetsk and the People’s Republic of Lugansk (both key areas in Donbass). In negotiations in Minsk in 2014 and 2015, Ukraine was obliged to recognize Donbass as an autonomous area. The agreement also provided for the withdrawal of all foreign troops in Donbass, including forces of the Ukrainian and Russian army.

  5. Far-right neo-Nazi groups are strong in Ukraine; the current president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is an anti-Russian Nazi. He declared last year that he will “free” Donbass and called on all Russians to “go home to Russia.” Since last year, Kyiv has laid siege on Donbass with several brigades surrounding the region.

  6. On December 16, 2021, the United Nations approved a resolution calling for “combatting glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism.”.Only two countries voted against the resolution: the US and Ukraine.

  7. The US has long sought for the inclusion of Ukraine into NATO because this will help the US strengthen its missile network along Russia’s border. It has missiles positioned in Slovenia and Romania; as well as in Alaska’s border in Russia; it has military bases in Poland; and has positioned war matériel in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. In 2019, the US withdrew from the agreement with Russia concerning intermediate-range nuclear missiles that prohibited both sides from deploying such missiles in each others’ borders.

  8. Since the end of January, Kyiv has been massing up troops to encircle Donbass. Based on some reports, the Ukrainian army has put into position 13 brigades, with some forces occupying some areas in Donetsk. There is information that US military advisers and private military contractors such as the Blackwater (Academi) are stationed in Ukrainian army camps. On February 21, it was reported that Ukrainian forces fired 1,500 artillery shells against Donetsk and Lugansk destroying important civilian infrastructure such as power plants. The US has been claiming that Russian plans to carry out “false flag” operations to obscure the fact that its military advisers have long deployed in Ukraine and are coordinating these attacks to provoke a “Russian invasion.”

  9. This week alone, after around seven years, Russia recognized the People’s Republic of Lugansk and the People’s Republic of Donetsk, an act that these independent republics have long sought for. This raised Donetsk and Lugansk from its former status as forming an autonomous region in Ukraine, to becoming separate republics. By recognizing these two independent states, Russia declared outrightly that it has no intention of occupying these states. On February 22, these two states formally sought Russian military assistance to counter what they described as “the Ukrainian regime’s military aggression into their territory.” As a result of relentless cannon fire by Ukrainian forces, more than 40,000 civilians were forced to evacuate to Russia. In response, Russia sent “peacekeeping” troops into the region.

  10. Russia has ordered a “special military operation” in Ukraine. This is amid escalating armed conflicts between the Donetsk army and Ukrainian soldiers in Donbass. In mounting attacks against Ukrainian military facilities, Russia declared that it has no objective of invading or occupying Ukraine. According to Russian president Vladimir Putin: “It is not part of our plan to occupy any Ukrainian territory. We will not impose anything by force.” Russia’s “special military operations” of mounting attacks against military facilities in Ukraine are described as a response to the relentless attacks of the US-puppet Kyiv regime against the Donbass region and its independent republics.

  11. The attacks against Donbass are part of the US provocations to make Russia “invade” Ukraine. The objective of the US is to ignite a conflict and war in order to boost the sales of its arms and justify increased military aid to Ukraine. The US is drumbeating a Russian “invasion” in order to isolate it from international public opinion, and thus pressure Germany and other US allies in Europe to cut trade relations with Russia, especially the purchase of oil. The US has long opposed the operations of the Nord Stream 2, a new pipeline that can double the delivery of natural gas from Russia to Germany and the rest of Europe.

  12. There is a heightening call from different parts of the world to stop the attacks from all sides, to conduct negotiations and forge agreements for the peaceful resolution of the conflicts. At the center of discussions would be the previous agreements in Minsk (2015) between Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, in order to forge a new agreement to ensure the peaceful coexistence of countries in the region, as well as the demand of Russia for a specific prohibition against Ukraine’s inclusion into the NATO and an end to Ukraine’s genocidal war in the Donbass.

Conclusions

The current conflict in Ukraine is a manifestation of heightening inter-imperialist conflicts. In particular, war provocations and drumbeating by the US and its NATO allies aim to change the current imperialist division, especially in terms of trade and investment, particularly in Europe; as well as divisions in imperialists spheres of influence and hegemony. On the other hand, Russia’s defense of Donbass and attacks against Ukraine’s military facilities seek to preserve and strengthen the current division that favors its interests.

There is danger that the flames of war in Ukraine and Europe will spread and bring about gross sufferings to the workers and people in the region. The people suffering the worst are those in Donetsk and Lugansk in the face of the relentless Ukrainian attacks. Thus, it is just for the people of Donetsk and Lugansk to uphold their right to national self-determination and win the broadest international support for its aspiration. The people of Ukraine will also suffer as a result of the depletion of resources by the fascist state in waging war against the Donbass region and forcing its people and soldiers into an unjust war of genocide, aggression and territorial occupation.

The conflicts among the imperialist countries generate favorable conditions for the revolutionary proletariat in various countries to expose the rotten capitalist system and the worsening exploitation against workers and other oppressed classes. Communist parties must strengthen their class initiative and strength, to fight the fascist forces and the imperialist war, and advance the revolutionary struggles in their countries.

On heightened US provocations against Russia in Ukraine and effects on oil prices

By | 03/22/2022

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemns the US imperialists for heightening provocations and warmongering against Russia in Ukraine. The CPP condemns the Biden regime for issuing sanctions and mobilizing troops in Eastern Europe as part of war preparations against Russia.

Heightened US provocations follows the recognition of Russia of the People’s Republic of Donetsk and the People’s Republic of Lugansk in the predominantly Russian region of Donbass, in the eastern part of Ukraine. This was Russia’s response to the artillery strikes in Donbass by the US-supported fascist forces of Kyiv over the past few days.

Russia’s recognition of the independent people’s republics are well within its rights. Such recognition has long been sought after by the autonomous governments in the Donbass region. The people’s republics have been fighting for their right to self-determination since 2014 when the US-installed Kyiv government mounted relentless attacks and acts of aggression against people in the region.

It is also within the rights of Russia and the independent republics to have Russia deploy peacekeeping troops as an act of defense to help the Russian people in the region against military attacks by the US and Kyiv governments, as it did in 2014 when the Russian-majority people of Crimea voted to separate itself from Ukraine to rejoin the Russian federation.

The Biden government is distorting historical facts and current realities by insisting that the presence of Russia in the Donbass region constitutes an “invasion” in the desperate attempt to justify the increased military intervention in Ukraine including the possibility of US forces deployment. Biden has ordered his state secretary to cancel negotiations with Russia despite rhetoric of remaining open to talks.

The US continues to provoke Russia by pushing for the inclusion of Ukraine in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) which would allow the US and allied imperialist powers to position its missiles and other war matériel in the border right next to Russia. The objective of the US is expand the market for its military weapons and boost military production. The plan to have Ukraine join the NATO tramples on the red line set by the Minsk Agreement which constrains NATO’s eastward expansion into the former Warsaw Pact countries.

The US drive to expand its military power in Ukraine is part of its aim to put pressure on Germany and other European countries cancel its contracts for the operation of the Nord Stream 2. The strategic aim of the US is to grab Russia’s oil market in Europe for itself. Russia’s Nord Stream 2, completed last year but which has yet to commence operation, has the potential of doubling the volume of natural gas which the country supplies to Europe.

The Biden government’s increasingly aggressive actions and war mobilization serves the interests of American big oil. US fracking interests have long wanted to expand its overseas markets since oversupply of US shale oil has pushed down prices and resulted in losses. Since the Trump regime, they have been pushing to forge contracts with Germany and other European countries to buy US shale oil and cut contracts for Russia to supply much cheaper natural gas.

The US governments push against Russian oil is causing artificial disruptions in oil supply and are being taken advantaged of by profit-hungry monopoly capitalist oil companies to raise prices through speculation and hoarding. Oil companies are raking in large volumes of profits as the price of crude oil is set to surpass $100 per barrel.

In the Philippines, the Filipino people are suffering from the debilitating effect of non-stop increases in oil prices over the past two month, which are indirect effects of US war provocations in Europe. Rising prices of oil products are pushing high the costs of transportation, food, and other commodities and rapidly eroding the purchasing power of workers and toiling people.

The Filipino people must protest the incessant oil price increases and demand oil companies to immediately rollback prices. At the same time, they must join the international peace-loving community and anti-imperialist forces in denouncing US provocations and warmongering and demand that the US stop its drive to push for the eastward expansion of NATO towards the borders of Russia.

Stop US provocations and warmongering in Ukraine

By | 03/22/2022

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounces the US imperialists for provocations and relentless warmongering in Ukraine in the hope of sparking an armed conflict and proxy war with Russia. The US government, in collusion with American big media and the military industrial complex, has been whipping up the threat of an “imminent invasion” by Russia in Ukraine to justify heightened military spending to raise the sales of military weapons. It is also rapidly arming its puppet regime in Ukraine to carry out aggressive action against the independent people’s republics in the Donbass region.

Since last year, the US has been provoking Russia by pushing for the inclusion of Ukraine into the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and by taking measures to oppose the commercial operations of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The US puppet regime in Ukraine has been pushing for the country’s inclusion into the NATO, a move which Russia considers a “red line” as it would allow the US and its military allies to position troops, tanks, missiles and other military matériel right next to its border. The NATO currently has 30 member states which bind themselves to the principle than an attack against one is an attack against all and the commitment to defend one another. Russia fears that the inclusion of Ukraine into the NATO, which is being compared to Mexico joining a Chinese- or Russian-led alliance, will reinforce the US network of military bases in its state of Alaska, in Poland, Romania and other countries close to the Russian border.

To further provoke Russia, the US has been opposing the operations of the Nord Stream 2, a natural gas pipeline that is capable of transporting twice the amount that is currently being supplied by Russia to Germany, France, Italy and the rest of western Europe. The construction of the pipeline that goes through the Baltic Sea was completed last year. It has yet to start operation because of US opposition and demand for Europe to buy US shale oil and thus favor American fracking interests. The US has been arm-twisting Germany to turn back on its contracts with Russia.

In the face of US provocations, Russia positioned tanks and an estimated 100,000 troops in its western borders with Ukraine, as well as in the southern borders of Belarus, a country north of Ukraine, where Russia maintains a military base. Russia described these as part of routine training and exercises and declared no intention of aggression against Ukraine. These, however, are clearly part of Russia’s political and diplomatic tactics to oppose moves for Ukraine’s inclusion into the NATO and seal its agreements for the operation of the Nord Stream 2. Russia is pushing for renewed negotiations to reaffirm previous agreements surrounding the Donbass region, explicit prohibition of the eastward expansion of NATO to Ukraine and other countries, and a ban on US and NATO intermediate-range missile in countries within striking distance of Russia.

The Biden government has responded to the Russian political and military moves with outright bellicosity. For weeks now, the US has been beating the drums of war to justify plans of increasing military aid and stepping up weapons sales to Ukraine under the guise of opposing the “imminent invasion” of Ukraine by Russia’s forces, a claim that US officials have failed to provide evidence for. Western media has helped whip up Washington propaganda by calling for “decisive action.”

The US congress aims to triple military aid to Ukraine this year to $1.2 billion including more than $500 million worth of foreign military financing to sell excess weapons, $200 million worth of drawdown authorization for the US president to transfer war matériel in US stockpiles to non-US militaries, and other measures. The US has already allowed its NATO allies Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to send US-made weapons to Ukraine. The US, furthermore, has offered a $1 billion sovereign loan guarantee and support from the International Monetary Fund to secure its puppet regime in Ukraine.

By flooding Ukraine with weapons, the US aims to stoke the war of its puppet Ukrainian government against the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic in the Donbass region (west of Ukraine), and press for the re-annexation of Crimea, in the hope that this will further provoke Russia. Such aggressive action violates the Minsk II Agreement which gives the Donbass region a special status in Ukraine.

Clearly, the biggest beneficiary of US provocations and warmongering in Ukraine is the military industrial complex and the Pentagon (Department of Defense) which was allotted a record $768 billion budget for 2022. After withdrawing from Afghanistan, the US imperialists are bent on inciting another long-drawn armed conflict onto which it can pour its surplus arms and induce production of more weapons. While the US is constantly pushing to raise the temperature of tensions against China, prospects of an open war in the Asia-Pacific is still not imminent.

The US is pushing its NATO allies to support its heightened military response and threats of economic sanctions against Russia. Some US allies, however, are not ready to ride along with US policy. Germany, which relies largely on Russian natural gas to fuel its economy and provide heating to homes, is not ready to bow to US demands for NATO countries to deploy troops and weapons to Ukraine. Even France has rejected the US line of an “imminent invasion” by Russia. Even the Ukrainian government is wary of US warmongering which has resulted in economic instability and capital flight.

Ukraine was a former socialist country under the Soviet Union. Although it suffered under the errors of overly rapid socialist collectivization of agriculture, its people enjoyed the fruits of industrialization and social progress that guaranteed high standards of living. Ukraine was reduced to an appendage of imperial Russia as a supplier of grains during the period of capitalist restoration under modern revisionism from the late 1950s onwards. All-out neoliberal reforms which dismantled the structures of public service (including free education and health service) pushing down the people’s standards of living have been carried out since the breakup of the USSR in 1991 and, especially since the installation of a US puppet regime after the 2014 “revolution.”

The people of Ukraine are being made to suffer from interimperialist conflict between the US and its NATO allies, and Russia. The progressive and revolutionary forces in Ukraine and across the world must arouse, organize and mobilize the people to demand an end to US warmongering and provocation in Ukraine and demand the imperialist powers to negotiate and reach a peaceful settlement of their conflicts.

US provocations and Russian bullying in Ukraine is a portent of even worse forms of armed conflict amid rising contradictions between imperialist powers.

The global capitalist crisis is pushing imperialist countries to redivide the world to expand their own spheres of investment and influence. While the imperialists are raising walls to protect their own national economies, they are more aggressively pushing for neoliberal reforms in the semicolonial and semifeudal countries and less developed capitalist countries to allow them to expand their plunder and intensify the exploitation and oppression of workers and other toiling people. This is creating ever more favorable conditions for the proletariat to carry out revolutionary struggles for national liberation and socialism.

US & NATO mastermind and engineer armed conflict between Russophobe Ukranian regime and Russia

By | 03/21/2022

It is a matter of history that the Soviet modern revisionists from Khruschov to Gorbachov and Yeltsin had the illusion that, if the Soviet Union took the road of capitalist restoration, bourgeois populism and bourgeois pacifism, the Cold War and the threat of a nuclear war would end, Russia would go back to the European homeland, join the Council of Europe and enjoy the “dividends” of peace like the US and its NATO partners.

Thus, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine as the founders of the Soviet Union decided to co-sign the original Minsk Agreement in 1991 in order to dissolve the Soviet Union and form the ephemeral Commonwealth of Independent States in exchange for the assurances of the US, NATO and the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) that the human rights and democratic rights of the former Soviet republics, their peoples, various nationalities, institutions, parties, organizations and individuals would be respected and that NATO would not recruit from the former Warsaw Pact members and expand to the borders of Russia.

So soon after the original Minsk Agreement, the US and NATO started war in Europe by destroying Yugoslavia, turning so many former Warsaw Pact member-states into NATO members, setting up missile and anti-missile bases to threaten Russia with nuclear obliteration in a matter of minutes from Eastern Europe, expanding the NATO to the borders of Russia and instigating violent incursions into Russian territory and emboldening so-called color revolutions to facilitate the spread of arms sales and capital from the US and Western Europe.

The US and NATO masterminded, engineered and openly funded from the US embassy in Kyiv the Maidan protests in 2013 and the bloody coup d’etat against the pro-Russian government in 2014 in order to bring to power the Russian-hating Bandera-type fascists (the National Socialists of Ukraine), the political descendants of Nazis, and a new breed of Zionist fascists, all servile to the US and West European monopoly capitalism and the NATO. Thus was institutionalized a Russophobic and neo-fascist regime in Ukraine in 2014.

Why the delay in the US and NATO in making trouble in Ukraine, from 1991 to 2013-14? Modern Ukraine was created by the Bolsheviks soon after the October Revolution and became one of three republics (together with Russia and Belarus) that founded the Soviet Union or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922. More than 22 per cent of the total Ukrainian population in 2014 was of Russian nationality, who have comprised the majority in the Donbass region since pre-Soviet times and were either a majority or significant minority in major cities because Russian engineers and industrial workers had migrated to Ukraine to help in its industrialization in the time of the Soviet Union.

Upon coming to power in 2014, the Russophobic, chauvinist and fascist rulers in Kyiv engaged in acts of discrimination (including prohibition of the Russian language in Russian communities) and violent attacks against Ukrainian citizens of Russian nationality, including military offensives against the Donbass region and vigilante attacks in a number of major cities. Since 2014, the Ukrainian fascists have been able to kill so many Russians and destroy their homes and workplaces and cause the reduction of the overall Russian population in Ukraine from more than 22 to 17 per cent (or by more than three million) by forcing them to seek refuge in Russia and other countries as refugees.

The predominant Russian people of the Donbass region have suffered the main brunt of fascist attacks. In unilateral acts of aggression, the Kyiv chauvinists and fascists have killed more than 14,000 people (mostly civilians) in the last eight years. Out of these, more than 7.5 thousand cases have been filed against the Kyiv authorities in the European Court of Human Rights. Homes, factories, schools, hospitals and other social infrastructure have been destroyed by artillery fire and bombs. And yet the US and EU imperialists deny and obscure these facts as they harp on the line that Russia is the aggressor to Ukraine.

Under the direction of the US and NATO, the purpose of the fascist attacks on the Russians in the Donbass region and other parts of Ukraine is not only to unleash anti-Russian chauvinism but to denigrate and insult Russia as impotent against the relentless NATO expansion. But the Russian people in the Donbass region have courageously resisted and established the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in accordance with the principle of national self-determination, despite US and fascist slander against them as “terrorists” and “fascists”.

As a consequence of the violent attacks of the Kyiv fascists on Russian citizens of Ukraine, the overwhelming Russian population in the Crimean Peninsula decided in a referendum to take it back from Ukraine to Russia. This peninsula was a gift of Krushchov to Ukraine in 1954 in order to let it have an outlet to the Black Sea. After all, the Soviet Union was still existent. Russia’s lawful recovery of the Crimean Peninsula became the reason for the US and its G-7 partners to remove Russia from the G-8 and impose sanctions on Russia.

Because of the heroic resistance of the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and because of the limited but highly potential support of Russia, the Ukrainian fascists and their US and NATO sponsors agreed to the Minsk II agreement of 2015 (Package of Measures for the Settlement of the Conflict) which recognized the autonomy of said people’s republics, provided for ceasefire and prohibited the Kyiv fascists from bringing heavy artillery and other weapons at a certain distance from the Donbass region.

But under the instigation of the US and NATO, the Kyiv fascists have constantly violated the ceasefire under Minsk II agreement and attacked the Donbass region, using weapons supplied by the US and NATO. In recent months and weeks before the current special military operation to destroy military facilities in Ukraine, the Kyiv fascists shelled daily the civilian communities of Donbass and used attack drones, heavy equipment, missiles, artillery and multiple launch rocket systems. The killing of civilians, the blockade, the abuse of people, including children, women and the elderly have not stopped.

Despite constant and repeated reminders of Russia to the US and NATO through the NATO-Russia Council and the OSCE, the US and NATO have aggressively accessed Ukraine to the NATO in practical terms and in brazen violation of the original Minsk Agreement and other related agreements. The US and NATO have integrated in the its command and control system the armed forces of Ukraine and have actually used Ukrainian airfields and other military bases close to the borders of Russia and Belarus to engage in military training and exercises and install equipment for surveilling and threatening the two neighbors of Ukraine deep within their own territories.

The US and NATO have obstinately designated Russia as their enemy despite Putin’s repeated offers of a new agreement to limit the strengthening of security by a state or international organization at the expense of the security of others. As late as December 2021, the Russian Federation handed over to its supposed Western partners a draft agreement between itself and the US on security guarantees as well as a draft agreement on security measures with NATO member states. But the US and NATO were already obsessed with a blitzkrieg to attack the Donbass region and provoke Russia. Since then or even earlier, Russian and the people’s republics have been forewarned of the aggressive plan of the US and NATO.

In the current time of the Biden presidency, the US and the UK have been the most aggressive in providing weapons and military training to the armed forces of the Kyiv regime, issuing provocative statements against Russia and accusing it of invading the Ukraine long before the current special military operation declared by Russia. In fact, the Russian military forces stayed within their own territory before the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and Putin took the long overdue step of recognizing the independence and sovereignty of the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk on February 21, 2022 and ratifying the Treaties of Friendship and Mutual Assistance with said republics on the ground that the Ukrainian fascists and US and NATO sponsors have themselves wantonly violated and nullified the Minsk agreements.

Even as the US and all its NATO partners take a common posture of opposing Russia and supporting the fascist-ruled Ukraine, the US has its very own interests that only its British valet can best understand and agree with. It has been making the war provocations against Russia in Ukraine in order to assert and reinvigorate its hegemony over NATO and Europe, promote its own economic, political and military interests, favor its own oil and fracking interests, stop the Nord Stream 2 and prevent Germany and other West European countries from accessing gas from Russia and advance the geopolitical and hegemonic interests of the US in its inter-imperialist contradictions with Russia and China.

Many people are apprehensive that a direct inter-imperialist war can arise between Russia and the US-NATO combine as a result of hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, especially because the former has advantages over the latter in a war short of using nuclear weapons. But there are certain factors that are at work to determine calculated and measured steps by all sides. Among these factors are the contradictory interests of the US and the European Union in economic and political relations with Russia as well as with China and the still valid fear of mutually assured destruction in a nuclear war.

Short of a nuclear war, Russia has a clear advantage over the US and even NATO in fighting the Ukrainian fascists and supporting the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and the people of Russian nationality within Ukraine in terms of conventional war, economic tit-for-tat and diplomacy. In the rivalry of two imperialist powers, Russia has been relatively more sober and calculating while the US has been more frantic, provocative and aggressive in matters pertaining to Russia and Ukraine.

Following its recognition of the sovereignty and independence of the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and complying with the Treaties of Friendship and Mutual Assistance, Russia has declared a special military operation against the Ukrainian fascists, coalesced with the military forces of the aforesaid people’s republics and is now demonstrating the foolhardiness of the US-NATO and its Ukrainian fascist puppets in unleashing Russophobic attacks since 2014, drumming up war provocations and threatening to widen the scale of war to the borders and territory of Russia.

After all its arrogance and braggadocio that it can be at the head of NATO and fight Russia in Ukraine and thereabouts, the US has been totally exposed as impotent in the face of the coalition of the Russia and the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. It has responded by merely calling on all its NATO allies to be ready for attacking Russia on all borders. At the same time, the US, NATO and the Group of 7 are expected to impose further sanctions on Russia and further exacerbate inter-imperialist contradictions. But Russia like China has already prepared counter-sanctions which can have adverse effects on the US and the European Union.

I am most concerned that since 2014 the US and NATO have brought about in Ukraine a regime that is extremely oligarchic, chauvinist and fascist, oppressive and exploitative of the people of Ukraine, including those of Ukrainian, Russian and mixed Ukrainian-Russian nationalities. And yet this fact has been deliberately obscured by the US and NATO propaganda and overlooked by those who do not study and know the particularities of the Ukraine issue.

The people of Russian nationality within Ukraine have suffered the main brunt of fascist oppression and deserve the solidarity and support from all the peoples of the world and from all other possible forces supportive of their just cause. For supporting the Ukrainian people of Russian and other nationalities against the Ukrainian fascists, Russia proves itself in a better position than its US imperialist rival which has been prodding Ukraine to join the NATO in violation of the original Minsk agreement and supplying it with weapons and pushing it to make war provocations against Russia.

As a result of Russia’s special military operation in coalition with the people’s republics in the Donbass region, the offensive military capabilities of the Ukrainian fascists have been greatly degraded but these Russophobes are attacking Russian residential areas in Ukraine and misrepresenting the civilian victims in the press as Russian military troops. In the meantime, the US, NATO and the Group of 7 are reacting with vociferous statements and imposing further sanctions on Russia and further exacerbating inter-imperialist contradictions.

Nevertheless, it will take some more time and further developments before there can be an all-out war between US-NATO and Russia or the Russia-China tandem. Let us not forget that the US and its NATO allies have their own contradictions. For instance, it is not a small matter that the European Union gets 40 per cent of its energy supply from Russia. Germany and its ruling politicians will be taken to account by the German people for agreeing with the US to shut down the Nord Stream 2. The peoples in the other NATO member-countries in Western Europe will also complain that they are made to give up a cheaper source of energy than what the US wants to provide. This energy issue is only one of several major issues that put the EU in a disadvantageous position by the bellicosity and aggressiveness of the US.

The US will continue its strategic decline before it can plunge the world into an all-out war that can end the existence of humankind. It also remains to be seen how the European Union and people will assert their independence and attend to their own needs as the main protagonists in the new Cold War launched by US imperialism will adversely affect their respective interests in a world capitalist system that is already saturated by an excessive number of imperialist powers and whose multiple crises are rapidly worsening and driving the proletariat and people of the world to rise up in resistance.

Ang Bayan interview with CPP Information Officer Marco L. Valbuena on the CPP’s stand on the armed conflict in Ukraine

By | 03/21/2022

Some activists, friends and readers have raised the critical concern that the CPP did not clearly or roundly condemn Russia’s “invasion of Ukraine” in the two statements released before the “special military operation” of February 24 and the background article published on that day. There is the view that Russia, as an imperialist country, is as culpable as the US and its NATO allies for the escalation of the armed conflict in Ukraine. Or that Russia’s attacks against Ukraine serve only the interests of Russia’s oligarchs and should therefore be opposed by the working class in Russia and Ukraine and peoples across the world.

1. First of all, does the CPP consider Russia as imperialist?

Yes, Russia is an imperialist power, albeit much smaller than the US, Japan, China, Germany, France and other imperialist countries. As an imperialist country, Russia imposes its military, political and economic dominance on smaller countries particularly around its borders in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, most of which belonged to the Soviet Union (USSR) until it was dissolved in 1991.

Since the leadership of the Soviet Union was taken over by modern revisionists in 1953 who subsequently carried out capitalist restoration, capital and resources became more and more concentrated in the hands of state monopoly capitalists in Russia, the biggest state in the Soviet Union, at the expense of the smaller member states and areas of the Russian countryside, many of which were reduced to sources of cheap labor or raw materials (grain and minerals). They became dependent on Russian investments and imported commodities from Russia.

Russia perpetuates its hegemonic power through military power, and by the fact that it maintains one of the world’s biggest nuclear arsenals, which it inherited from the Soviet Union. In terms of military strength, Russia is second or third in the world, ranked behind the US, and around equivalent to the overall strength of China. It has almost the same amount of nuclear weapons as the US and is ahead in many fields of military technological research including the development of hypersonic weapons.

Military overspending combined with large-scale bureaucratic corruption and plunder by oligarchs and criminal groups, however, has depleted Russia’s economic resources. Despite being the largest country in the world in terms of land and has vast economic resources, it is not as big as the US or China in economic terms (it is ranked only 11th in the world in terms of GDP as estimated by the IMF in 2021, only 7% of the size of the US economy, and 9.7% of China) and depends largely on exporting oil and natural gas. The workers and people of Russia suffer from economic stagnation, widespread misery, worsening forms of exploitation and oppression, chronic unemployment, low wages and deteriorating socioeconomic conditions.

2. Does the CPP consider the armed conflict in Ukraine a result of inter-imperialist armed conflict?

The current armed conflict in Ukraine is within the context of rising inter-imperialist contradictions and armed conflict. It is a manifestation of the push of the US and its allied imperialist powers to redivide the world and take away from Russia its spheres of influence, investment and trade; and the counter-push of Russia to preserve the current order and recover its lost spheres.

Russia’s sphere of influence has been systematically and violently eroded by the US-led NATO alliance since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, starting with the US-NATO-initiated war and destruction of Yugoslavia, and expansion of NATO in former Warsaw Pact countries in central Europe (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Lithuania, Poland) and eastern Europe, right up to the borders of Russia. This is in flagrant violation of the Minsk Agreement of 1991 which dissolved the USSR and which involved assurances of the US, NATO and OSCE that the Warsaw Pact members would not be converted to NATO members. Even those who celebrated the 1991 Minsk Agreement as a landmark achievement for ending the Cold War and the threat of nuclear war are appalled at how it has been systematically violated by the US and NATO.

Since 1991, the US and NATO have established military facilities and missile and anti-missile bases in Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania, in addition to those in Alaska bordering Russia. In 2019, the US trashed the intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) agreement with Russia further paving the way for expansion of the US and NATO’s missile system.

3. What are the specific circumstances that gave rise to the current armed conflict in Ukraine?

While it is important to understand the armed conflict in Ukraine as within the context of rising inter-imperialist conflict, we must proceed to grasp its particular characteristics, the main aspects of the conflict and the principal aspect of the armed conflict.

We must understand that Ukraine is the last frontier in the US imperialist drive to surround Russia with its intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The US has spent at least $4 billion in military assistance to Ukraine since 1991, with over $2.5 billion since the 2014 coup. The country has also received more than $1 billion in military aid from the NATO Trust Fund. In addition, the United Kingdom has forged agreements with Kyiv, in which the UK would spend 1.5 billion pounds for upgrading Ukraine’s naval capabilities and arming its warships with British missiles, and building naval military bases on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov bordering Ukraine, Crimea and Russia.

Having eroded Russia’s sphere of influence in central and eastern Europe since 1991, US imperialism and its NATO allies proceeded to push its drive to establish their military dominance in Ukraine and complete its network of missile bases surrounding Russia. In 2014, the US instigated a coup in Ukraine and installed a neo-Nazi regime. It did so by funding and arming far-right groups under the so-called Azov Battalion that was formed in 2014 from such groups as the Patriot of Ukraine and Social National Assembly. These groups trace their roots to the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) of Stepan Bandera, and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, that were both allied with Nazi Germany.

Widespread protests by people in south and eastern Ukraine, as well as in Crimea, against the US-sponsored coup was violently suppressed by the neo-Nazi Ukrainian regime combined with the forces of the Azov Battalion. It proceeded to mount attacks against the predominantly Russian population in Crimea and the Donbass region marked by gross violations of human rights, war crimes, mass looting, unlawful detention and torture. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights estimates around 14,000 people were killed in massacres and artillery shelling.

The Russophobic attacks against the Donbass region instigated the people to mount an armed resistance and seek the support of Russia. By April 2014, the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic were declared to have been established, further strengthened by a referendum on May 11, 2014. In 2014 and 2015 negotiations between Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France in Minsk, the Donbass region was recognized as an autonomous area under Ukraine, all foreign troops were withdrawn, and a “line of contact” was established on which either side will not enter or cross.

4. What is the status of the 2014 and 2015 ceasefire agreements around the Donbass region?

The attacks against the people of the Donbass region did not cease after the Minsk 2014 and 2015 agreements with repeated violations by Ukraine which has fortified its forces along the so-line of contact area. This year alone, monitoring organizations have recorded 8,000 violations of the agreement, largely from the Ukrainian side.

US weapons, military advisers and private contractors have been deployed around the Donbass area to arm, train and instigate Ukrainian military forces in mounting attacks against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk. The immediate objective of the US is to provoke Russia in order to justify its heightened military intervention and military financing in Ukraine, push for Ukraine’s inclusion into the NATO, and compel Germany and other allies in Europe to cancel trade agreements with Russia, specifically against the operations of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline.

Russia and the predominantly Russian people of Donbass have been making repeated calls for negotiations to revisit the 2014 and 2015 Minsk agreements in order to ensure their implementation by making its provisions more explicit. Russia’s show of force since December in its western border area was a direct call for negotiations to revisit the Minsk agreements and forge new agreements to ensure security of the Donbass regions, and to push for clear prohibitions against Ukraine’s inclusion into the NATO.

Provoked by the US, Ukraine ignored calls for negotiations. Instead, it intensified attacks against Donetsk and Lugansk on February 21 firing 1,500 artillery rounds within 24 hours hitting civilian infrastructure, including power plants, water systems and school buildings.

These brazen acts prompted the DPR and LPR to declare secession from Ukraine as the only recourse to put an end to their oppression. These also heightened calls for Russia to recognize the DPR and LPR and independent nation states both from within the Donbass region, from Belarus and inside Russia. Russia formally recognized the DPR and LPR on February 22 and immediately deployed “peacekeeping” troops to fortify defenses of the Donbass region against Ukrainian attacks, then subsequently mounted a “special military operation.”

The declared objective of the “special military operations” mounted by Russia in Ukraine concerns primarily the struggle of the people of the Donbass region which has now taken the form of their defense of their right to national self-determination.

5. The CPP has condemned the US for provoking war in Ukraine? Are not both the US and Russian imperialists, in fact, equally to blame for the current armed conflict in Ukraine?

Indeed, the CPP has previously issued statements denouncing US war provocations and warmongering in Ukraine, specifically its frenzied attacks against the Donbass region to provoke Russia. It has also denounced the NATO expansion to the borders of Russia, as well as US-NATO intrusions and trouble making in Chechnya and Georgia, the so-called color revolutions. The aggressive acts of the US and NATO against Russia have been long-running and continuing.

The CPP considers the current armed conflict principally as a direct result of the heightened attacks of the Ukrainian armed forces, under the instigation by the US and planned with US military advisers, against the people in the Donbass region.

Russia’s military actions in Ukraine are not unprovoked. The CPP considers Russia’s action, tactically, as a counter-reaction to the incessant US-supported military provocations and attacks against Donbass. The escalation of the armed conflict could have been avoided had Ukraine heeded calls for it to stop the attacks against Donbass and engage in new negotiations. The CPP, however, is aware that Russia’s support for the Donbass region is motivated by its strategic imperialist interests of securing and expanding its hegemonic interests.

If we are to blame and condemn the US and Russia with equal weight for the escalation of the armed conflict in the region, we would have undermined the justness of the struggle for national self-determination of the people of Donetsk and Lugansk, the valiant armed resistance of the people of Donbass and their effort to take advantage of the inter-imperialist conflict by winning the support of Russia. It will also make the people of Donbass culpable for asking Russia to help repel Ukrainian aggression.

As a matter of fact, it is reasonable to criticize Russia and Putin for being so late in extending sufficient support to the peoples of Donetsk and Lugansk. For eight years, it allowed the Russophobic fascists to slaughter 14,000 Ukraine-born Russians, the destruction of their factories, homes, schools, hospitals and public utilities and the forced migration of millions of Russians, thus reducing the Russian population share in Ukraine from 22% in 2014 to 17% in 2022.

The people of Donetsk and Lugansk must stand firmly for their right to national self-determination and adopt a foreign policy that is consistent with their national interests. While winning the support of Russia, the people’s republics of Donetsk and Lugansk must also stand firmly against Russian hegemonism and demand equal treatment as independent nation states. But only the US-NATO imperialists and Trotskyites would demand right now for the people of Donetsk and Lugansk to fight Russia’s “invasion” which is helping them to fight the Kyiv fascist puppets of the US and NATO.

6. Does this mean the CPP considers Russia’s “special military operation” against Ukraine justified because of its declared aims of ending the attacks against the people of the Donbass region?

From the point of view of the national revolutionary war of the people of Donetsk and Lugansk, Russian military support is justified and necessary. Prior to Russia’s direct support, they were practically being butchered by Ukraine’s US-supported military forces which have shown outright disregard for all previous international agreements.

The CPP, however, is also keenly aware that Russia is an imperialist power that is driven by its hegemonic aims and drive to defend and expand its spheres of influence and control. While Russia declares its “special military operation” as congruent with the objective of the Donbass people to put an end to Ukraine’s attacks, it is motivated primarily by its imperialist objective of defending its sphere of influence and strategic aim of reinstalling a client-state in Ukraine.

If Russia will stick to its declarations of hitting only military targets and not occupying territory, its actions can be considered defensive and retaliatory which are generally acceptable under international rules of war. It will be Russia’s own lookout if it has not learned any lesson from both the Soviet social-imperialist aggression and occupation in Afghanistan in the 1980s and from the US wars of aggression and occupation since the end of World War II which have been frustrated by people’s resistance but which have caused the death 25 to 30 million as well self-defeating costs for the US that have accelerated its strategic decline.

There are information that Russian military forces are pushing beyond the Donbass region, and occupying Ukrainian territory reportedly prompted by the massacre of Russians in the Kharkiv region by the forces of the Akov Battalion.

The CPP joins in appeals to the Ukrainian people to demand a stop to the Russophobic fascist attacks and to demand their government to respect and protect the Ukrainians of Russian nationality in the various cities of Ukraine in and beyond the Donbass region.

At the same time, the CPP supports their fight to defend their country’s sovereignty and in the demand for Russia to suspend its military offensives, withdraw its forces as soon as possible, and pave the way for dialogue and peaceful resolution of the conflict.

7. Russia’s attacks against Ukraine are now on its fifth day. There are news of civilian casualties and residential apartments damaged by rocket fire. People in Kyiv and other areas are evacuating in droves. On the other hand, Russia insists that civilians are not being targeted and claims to have eliminated 975 Ukrainian military facilities, and shooting down jets, helicopters and drones. In light of these developments, what is the CPP’s call?

In times of intense armed conflict, the fog of war thickens, and actual facts on the ground become hard to determine in real time. Both sides are expected to heighten their propaganda offensive to support their military objectives. Even the widely-circulated photograph of an apartment in Kyiv damaged by missile fire is unverified and disputed: Ukraine claims it was hit by a Russian missile, while there are information that it was damaged by a Ukrainian missile or anti-missile rocket that misfired.

Faced with Russia’s blitzkrieg attacks, Kyiv publicly lamented that it was “left alone” to fight and declared openness to dialogue to discuss Ukraine’s “neutrality” and other issues. This was followed by Russia’s order to suspend military operations on February 25.

However, the US imperialists and its allies intensified its intervention with the US decision to extend $600 million military aid to Ukraine. The US also succeeded in pushing Germany to send tanks and other weapons contrary to its own policy of not sending weapons to conflict areas. This has apparently emboldened the Zelensky government to return to its previous bellicose position and abandon the planned negotiations. Russia’s response was to resume its attacks.

The CPP welcomes fresh news that lines of dialogue remain open and that Ukraine has proposed to meet with Russian officials in the Belarussian city of Gomel, and that Russia has declared it will be sending its delegation. The talks are set to start today. Russia, however, said it will not suspend again its military attacks during the upcoming dialogue.

The CPP urges Russia to suspend its military offensives against Ukraine in order to increase the chances of success of the talks and the Kyiv authorities to stop their offensive against the people of the Donbass region as well as the attacks on Russians by its Russophobic territorial units and neo-Nazi vigilante groups like the Azov Battalion against Russian apartments and communities.

Most importantly, the CPP calls on the US and its allies in the NATO to put an end to intervening and provoking Ukraine to escalate the war, and let the dialogue between the two countries proceed and seek to resolve the conflict through peaceful negotiations to discuss the issues being raised by both sides.

The CPP calls on the workers and people of Ukraine to demand an end to the genocidal war against the people in the Donbass region, resist Russian aggression, oppose US and NATO intervention and fight for their country’s neutrality in the face of rising conflicts among the hegemonic powers.

The CPP calls on the workers and people of Russia to strengthen support for the struggle for national self-determination of the people of the Donbass region and demand the Putin government to immediately suspend its military offensives against Ukraine, extend solidarity with the democratic people of Ukraine and advance their own struggles against the Russian oligarchs and ruling classes.