Saturday, May 28, 2005

Zhang Chunqiao died at 88 last April 21

Daring to Scale the Heights for the Emancipation of Humanity
In Tribute to Zhang Chunqiao: 1917-2005

Revolution #3, May 22, 2005, posted at revcom.us
by Raymond Lotta

On April 21 the international proletariat lost a great leader when Zhang Chunqiao died at the age of 88. Zhang was a close colleague and follower of Mao Tsetung and a prominent leader of the Cultural Revolution. He was arrested when the counter-revolutionary forces in the Chinese Communist Party staged a coup after Mao's death in 1976.

Zhang never wavered from revolution, in its brightest hours and in its darkest moments.

Zhang Chunqiao is not widely known to the fighters and dreamers of today. For decades the regime that imprisoned him hid information about his status from the people in China and the world. And even in his death, Zhang is slandered by reactionary forces and pundits the world over. But he had an immense impact on the course of revolution and the cause of human emancipation. His is a life to celebrate, to learn about and learn from.

Maoist China was a far cry from the corrupt capitalist China of today that is socialist only in name. It was a China of genuine socialism and all-the-way revolution. A revolution that ended exploitation, that was digging up the roots of oppression and class division, breaking tradition's chains and meeting the needs of the masses. It may be hard to imagine in today's world that on this planet there was a liberating society and economy in which the masses were ruling and increasing their collective mastery. That there was an inspiring example to the oppressed of the world and a base for promoting world revolution. But this was the reality of
revolutionary China—beginning with the triumph of the revolution in 1949 and reaching unprecedented heights during the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76, until
Mao's death.

That such a society existed was inseparable from the fact that the proletariat in power had Mao Tsetung as its leader and heroes of its cause like Zhang Chunqiao.

Zhang Chunqiao occupied high positions of authority in the party and state structures—he was a member of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party, a vice premier, and head of the political department of the People's Liberation Army.And he used these positions to lead the masses to challenge entrenched officialdom, the hierarchy and inequalities of class society, and the ideological deadweight of the past. This is quite remarkable.

Zhang was a communist leader who combined a sweeping grasp of Marxist theory with a living, developing sense of the contours and dynamics of class struggle under socialism. He fought for Mao's line of continuing the revolution until all enslaving relations and ideas are overcome on a world scale. Basing himself on the science of revolution, he dared to lead the masses to seize new ground and break new ground in emancipating themselves.

Zhang was intellectually alive, a rigorous and innovative theorist who had no taste for pale doctrine. He looked to the new and captured the imagination of China's new generation of revolutionaries who came forward during the Cultural Revolution. His revolutionary leadership and writings have influenced revolutionaries around the world.

The bourgeoisie would have us believe that revolutionary leaders invariably succumb to the privileges and corruptions of power. The life of Zhang Chunqiao proves otherwise.

The Cultural Revolution: Leading in the Trenches of Struggle

It was Zhang's role in the Cultural Revolution that marked his emergence as a major leader and standard- bearer of Mao's revolutionary line of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat to achieve classless, communist society.

Mao summed up the experience of the Soviet Union, where a new exploiting class, still calling itself socialist, had come to power. He was struggling against revisionism, the betrayal of revolution under the cover and in the name of Marxism. He analyzed that a neo-capitalist elite was arising within the political and economic structures of China, and headquartered within the Communist Party. A radical solution was required: to mobilize the masses to criticize and challenge bourgeois and reactionary authority, to wage mass political struggle to overthrow the new bourgeois forces in commanding positions of society—the "capitalist roaders"—and to carry forward the process of transforming the economic, political, social, and ideological relations of society. And through all of this to further empower the masses to be the masters of society. This was the Cultural Revolution Mao launched in 1966.

Zhang Chunqiao was drafted by Mao to join the Cultural Revolution Group in Beijing to give guidance and direction to the unprecedented "revolution within the revolution." Zhang was in the thick of some of its most complicated and breakthrough episodes—including the dramatic events that came to be known as the Shanghai January Storm.

In late 1966, rebel students and rebel workers in Shanghai mounted a challenge to the city's entrenched and oppressive ruling apparatus, raised criticisms of the local party leadership, and pressed demands for a new political order. Ferment and struggle intensified. Zhang followed developments in Shanghai with great attention and returned to the city several times, bringing support from the Cultural Revolution Group and assisting and providing leadership to the rebels. The revolutionary movement grew and an alliance of rebel forces took control of the city's vital communications and administrative centers in January 1967. This was the first "seizure of power" by the masses in the Cultural Revolution. It set an example and set the ideological tone for power seizures in other parts of the country during the Cultural Revolution.

Zhang helped systematize and spread the lessons of the Shanghai Storm. And he was deeply involved in summing up the experiences and experimentation of forging new revolutionary administrative and political institutions to replace the old order.

Advancing Socialist Theory

Zhang made an enormous contribution to the international proletariat's understanding of the nature of socialist society and its economics, and the character and goal of proletarian revolution.

Zhang further developed Mao's insight that the mere conversion of the means of production to state property does not guarantee that society is socialist. The true nature of ownership is determined by what political and ideological line is in command: are the economy and society being led and moving in the direction of restricting and eliminating the significant differences and inequalities left over from capitalist society; or is society on a road, and moving in a direction, that would bring back the old order even in the disguise of socialism? Ownership, Zhang emphasized, is a question of power: who is really running society, do the masses have the ability to continue to make revolution and transform society?

Zhang analyzed that there are still capitalist aspects in the production relations of socialism. The relations between people in production are still class relations. Do managers and leading state and party functionaries take part in productive labor with the masses; and more broadly, are the masses taking part in important spheres of administrative tasks and the spheres of education and culture? Or are differences hardening and the gulf between mental and manual labor widening? Zhang explained that the division of labor cannot be overcome all at once—but at every stage in the development of the revolution it must be restricted and transformed to the greatest degree possible.

Zhang's essay "On Exercising All-Round Dictatorship Over the Bourgeoisie" explains that the proletarian revolution is a thoroughgoing revolution that must persevere in exercising all-round dictatorship over the bourgeoisie. This means in all spheres and at all stages of development of the revolution. The proletarian revolution aims, with Zhang citing Marx's famous description, to eliminate "the 4 Alls": all classes and class distinctions generally, all the relations of production on which they rest, all thesocial relations corresponding to them, and all the ideas that result from these social relations. This revolution must continue until it banishes these
"4 Alls" from the earth.

These were not theoretical issues for discussion by a small section of party leaders. These were questions put before the masses in China. And revolutionaries throughout the world also took them up.

The Last Great Battle

Zhang Chunqiao was a pivotal figure in the struggle between revolution and counterrevolution between 1973 and 1976. In the early 1970s, Deng Xiaoping and other revisionist forces in the Communist Party began mounting an offensive to overthrow proletarian rule. Mao relied on Zhang and a core of revolutionary leaders (including Jiang Qing, who was Mao's wife) to politically arm and mobilize the masses to wage a life-and-death struggle to preserve and advance proletarian rule. Zhang rose to the challenge with vision, with scientific understanding, and with indomitable courage.

Zhang had strategic confidence in the ability of the masses to grasp their role as the makers of revolution and to grasp the science of Marxism that would enable them to do so. He acted on the understanding that the key to the defense and advance of revolution was to arouse the conscious activism of the masses. And he and the other revolutionary leaders entered the fray and gave direction to sharp and complicated struggles on many different fronts: education, industrial management, economic strategy, science and technology, and other arenas. They were continually summing up
experience, drawing lessons, and applying Marxism to new problems. They were hewing
a path forward and politicaly and ideologically arming the proletariat worldwide. They kept to this orientation and maintained their resolve—even when they made mistakes, even when sections of people were influenced for a time by backward ideas, even as the balance of political and international forces turned more unfavorable for the revolution in China.

And so, when the revisionists in China's Communist Party staged their armed coup after Mao died in 1976, they moved, and had to move, decisively against the revolutionary headquarters within the Communist Party. The defining act of the coup was the arrest of Zhang Chunqiao and Jiang Qing (and the two other members of the so-called "gang of four"). This set China on the course that would turn it into the sweatshop for world capitalism that it is today.

But isolation and threats of death could not break Jiang Qing and Zhang Chunqiao. At the show trial organized by the revisionist regime in 1980-81, Jiang Qing confronted and exposed her inquisitors and Zhang sat in defiant silence. Zhang received a death sentence that was later commuted to life imprisonment; and after more than 25 years in prison, he remained unrepentant.

With the coup of 1976, the revolution in China was defeated, but the
revolutionaries were not defeated politically and ideologically.


****

The Cultural Revolution was the highest pinnacle reached so far by the proletarian revolution. And Maoism must continue to learn from this experience and from the example of leaders like Zhang Chunqiao. The proletarian revolution must sum up the great strengths as well as the weaknesses and limitations of the Cultural Revolution, in order to go further and do even better, to make and continue the revolution worldwide until the historic mission of the proletariat—a communist world free of exploitation, oppression, and class distinctions altogether—has been achieved.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Post Teaser On Preliminary Studies in CDTT theory

If my line of calculations in my preliminary studies on CDTT theory is correct, then this theory may show when the late-time inflation started. This calculational result is derived from taking a certain form for the curvature scalar being a function of the cosmic time. This form of the curvature scalar takes on singular value not at t=0, rather when t is inversely proportional to the mu-mass parameter in the CDTT theory. Such form is based on the asymptotic form of the CDTT potential and presents that at the said value of t when the curvature scalar is singular the corresponding Hubble parameter approaches a constant (de Sitter form), and if taken to be related to the sqr.rt. of the cosmological constant then using a rough data on such constant, given that the universe is more than 12billionyears old, then the late-time inflation may have started not less than 4billionyears ago as it went to power-law inflation then.

K, thanks... :)

Monday, May 16, 2005

PPS/23 (Policy Planning Staff memorandum 23)

PPS/23 Defines U.S. Policies Towards the Philippines (February 1948)
By Jorge Emmanuel

Copyright © 1999 Jorge Emmanuel. All rights reserved. Synpopsis

PPS/23 (Policy Planning Staff memorandum 23) was a top-secret State Department document that defined U.S. policy towards the Philippines.

PPS/23 established an interventionist policy to keep the Philippines in hands which the U.S. could "control and rely on" even at the expense of "human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization." The secret policy explained many historical events since the 1950s including secret U.S. counterinsurgency operations in the Philippines, covert manipulations of national elections, and support for the Martial Law regime after 1972.

Description of Historical Event

In February 1948, a top-secret U.S. State Department document, known as Policy Planning Staff memorandum 23 (PPS/23), was formulated. It defined U.S. post-war policy in Asia, focusing in particular on Japan and the Philippines. The policy paper had been drafted by George Kennan, the first director of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff. PPS/23 stated that the United States government should see to it that the Philippines and Japan should "remain in hands which we [the United States] can control and rely on." The Philippines was to be permitted independence in internal affairs but was to be preserved as a "bulwark of U.S. security in the area." The reasons behind this policy were stated quite candidly in PPS/23:

"We [Americans] have 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of the population. This disparity is particularly great between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming.... We should cease to talk about vague, and for the Far East, unreal
objectives, such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight
power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better."

Historical Background

In 1947, then Secretary of State George Marshall appointed George Kennan to head a Policy Planning Staff which was established to develop U.S. foreign policy from a long-range perspective. Kennan became known as a proponent of the domino theory, the notion that if one country in a region turned to communism, other countries would "fall" like dominos. In 1948, he completed PPS/23 which set the course for an interventionist U.S. policy towards the Philippines that showed little respect for Philippine sovereignty. Many years later, Kennan seemed to have a change of heart as, in 1977, several years after the declaration of Martial Law, he called for immediate and complete withdrawal of U.S. bases from the Philippines arguing that there was no "serious need" for the bases and that Marcos' demand for military and economic aid in exchange for bases was tantamount to "paying huge annual bribes as a form of hush money."

Even though PPS/23 was declassified in the 1970s, its existence was known only to a few scholars and policymakers. In 1984, Professor Richard Falk of Princeton University, a well-known authority on international law, drew attention to this previously classified document at an international conference on the Philippines held in Stony Point, New York. Falk argued that PPS/23 was given the highest level of classification to keep Americans ignorant of the true nature of U.S. policies in the region.

As the journalist Raymond Bonner explained, PPS/23 was put into effect a few years later as the United States waged a secret counterinsurgency war against the Huks (short for Hukbo ng Bayan Laban Sa Hapon or People's Army Against Japan), a peasant-based guerrilla army originally formed in 1942 by left-wing labor and peasant leaders to fight the Japanese military during World War II. PPS/23 also explained why the U.S. government, through manipulations and funding by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, made certain that only presidential candidates favorable to the U.S. would win national elections. U.S. policies in light of mounting human rights abuses during and after the declaration of Martial Law in 1972 were also consistent with PPS/23; these policies included U.S. consolidation of police forces, massive infusion of U.S. military aid including counterinsurgency weapons and riot-control equipment, and U.S. training of Philippine security forces accused by human rights organizations of systematic and widespread abuses.

Significance to the Filipino Community

Disclosure of PPS/23 by Princeton University Professor Richard Falk at a 1984 conference of American religious leaders and delegates from the Philippines helped consolidate a solidarity movement among church people in the United States working for human rights and democracy in the Philippines. The conference became an annual gathering called the National Ecumenical Conference on the Philippines (NECP), organized by the Church Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (CCHRP), and played an important role in supporting the human rights movement in the Philippines. As a result of Professor Falk's presentation, many Filipinos who became aware of PPS/23 were forced to re-evaluate critically the history of U.S. foreign policy towards the Philippines.

Because PPS/23 challenges myths about U.S.-Philippine relations, it can be a valuable lesson in critical analysis of history. An understanding of PPS/23 may encourage Filipinos in the U.S. to become more involved in the political process especially in shaping a more equitable and mutually beneficial U.S. foreign policy towards the Philippines and other less developed countries. Some have argued that an unequal and oftentimes exploitative treatment of the Philippines by the United States (which has been described as "neocolonialism") will always be an underlying obstacle for Filipinos in the U.S. struggling for civil rights and full acceptance and participation in U.S. society. PPS/23 is important for the Filipino community in the U.S. because it helps us understand the nationalist movement in the Philippines as well as the solidarity movement of non-Filipinos in the U.S. working to change aspects of U.S. foreign policy.

References

Richard Falk, "The National Security Doctrine," in Cry of the People: Challenge to the Churches, a report of the International Ecumenical Conference on the Philippines, Stony Point, New York, 1984.

T.H. Etzold and J.L. Gladdis, Editors, Containment: Documents on American Policy and Strategy, 1945-1950, Columbia University Press, 1978.

"Review of Current Trends, U.S. Foreign Policy," PPS/23, Top Secret; published in Foreign Relations of the United States, 1948, Vol. I, part 2, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1976.

Raymond Bonner, Waltzing With a Dictator: The Marcoses and the Making of American Policy, Times Books (Random House, Inc.), New York, 1987.

Jorge Emmanuel, "The Philippines and East Asia-Pacific as Theaters of Intervention and Nuclear War," Diliman Review, Volume 33, No. 4-5, Quezon City, Philippines, July-October 1985.

George F. Kennan, The Cloud of Danger: Current Realities of American Foreign Policy, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1977.