National Sections of the L5I:

Asia-Pacific

Maoism and the Chinese Revolution

Exert from the Degenerated Revolution

The history of the CCP as the leadership of a peasant based and largely guerrilla army began with the historic defeats of the Chinese proletariat in the years 1926-30. The CCP had entered the Nationalist Party, the Kuomintang (KMT) in a subordinate role in 1923-24 having been under pressure to do so from representatives of the Communist International (CI) since 1922. On 20 March 1926 Chiang Kai-shek led a coup d'Ètat in Canton, at that time the centre of CCP influence. Through the coup Chiang, with communist compliance, disarmed the workers' militia controlled by the CCP-led Hong Kong-Canton General Strike Committee. Read more...

Vietnam: where the US lost its first war

This is the first in a series of articles about 1968. This year has gone down in history as one of the "mad years"  like 1848, 1919, 1936. In such years, conservatives of all political colours believe that some terrible infection takes hold, as a result of which unconnected issues and grievances spark off one another, producing a series of explosions. A second feature of such "mad years" is that they seem to fail to achieve what they promised  they are not years of successful revolutions, like 1789 or 1917. As such they are jeered and mocked by relieved reactionaries and patronising liberals. 1968 is no exception. Read more...

Tibetan riots shake Chinese occupation

Tibetans and their supporters have faced down Chinese police inside the country and disrupted torch-bearing ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics around the world to highlight their cause. Peter Main argues for the right of national self-determination of the Tibetan people Read more...

17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China

Beijing has confirmed an important change of policy at the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which met in mid-October. The change was signalled by acceptance of President Hu Jintao’s policy that economic development must be guided by a “scientific outlook” in order to build a “harmonious society”. For “scientific outlook” read, “greater party control”. This represents a shift away from the policy of Hu’s predecessor, Jiang Zemin, which encouraged capitalists to expand production as fast as possible, by virtually any means. Read more...

Olympic exploitation, Olympian oppression

The Olympics mean big profits for big business, particularly the global sportswear brands and, with less than a year to go, China’s capitalists have been trying to squeeze the maximum profits from this bourgeois carnival of elitism and chauvinism. Read more...

Burmese junta massacres its own people

More and more reports are emerging from Burma of the enormous scale of the massacres of unarmed protestors, including the young monks whose participation has been such a feature of the mass demonstrations of the last weeks. “Many more people have been killed in recent days than you’ve heard about. The bodies can be counted in several thousand”, says a high-ranking intelligence officer for the junta, who defected to Thailand at the end of September. Photographs of the mutilated bodies of monks floating in the rivers have appeared on the internet. A blog by a pro-democracy activist describes a raid on a monastery by riot police. “They systematically ordered all the monks to line up and banged and crushed each one’s head against the brick wall of the monastery. One by one, the peaceful, non-resisting monks fell to the ground, screaming in pain.” Read more...

China: From Mao to the market

Peter Main surveys the changes going on in China which are propelling it forward both economically and politically - but where is it going? Read more...

Topple the military regime

Mass demonstrations in Burma/Myanmar have been defying the military dictatorship since late August, when initially small protest marches against the massive increase in fuel and natural gas prices were met with arrests and beatings by the police and army. One demonstration in the town of Pakokku was attacked by the police; several Buddhist monks were injured, causing others from the Pagoda to come out and demonstrate the next day. These actions temporarily put the regime on the back foot, not sure how to react to a demonstration led by a venerated institution in Burmese society. Read more...

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