strategic offensive of world revolution

Chris, London 100423.2040 at
Tue Apr 2 15:50:37 MST 1996

I liked Gina's use of metaphor and analogy. The description of
driving back towards the cities of the midwest at 5am and seeing a false
dawn on the wrong side of the globe is a striking image in an urban
world of motor cars. It is a metaphor about the one sidedness of
knowledge which could communicate to ordinary people concretely and
symbolically in a way that the metaphor of a frog at the bottom of
a well can communicate to a rural people.

I would like to unite with some points in Gina's important post but
also draw some lines of demarcation.

Yes the existing state of things is in great disorder, and yes, in my
opinion it is right to be optimistic.

But that does not mean that we must just follow the old tracks.
If I can make another ad hominem argument, Mao was wrong about some
things but also thoughtful and tantalisingly suggestive like an old
seer. His remark in 1962, now sounds prophetic: "The next fifty or hundred
years from now will be an epic period of fundamental change in the social
system of the world, and earth-shaking period, with which no past era can
be compared. Living in such a period, we must be prepared to carry out
great struggles, differing in many respects from the forms of struggles
of previous periods."

Now maybe he was just preparing the ground for the cultural revolution,
which was extraordinary enough, but what I think he did not necessarily mean
is that we just support repetitions of Peoples War of the sort fought
in the Chinkangshan mountains. When they
chime with the concerns of ordinary people, IMO some ecological issues
challenge the private ownership of the means of production in a political way.

Secondly you warn of  the possibility that the material comforts and
the propaganda blitz of the metropole may dazzle us from seeing the true
pattern of world revolution. I disagree with the way I think you mean it.

In the seventies when there were two main blocs in the world, and when
the third world was not free of colonialism and even when formal independence
had been given, countries nevertheless remained semi-colonial, then a story of
raging peoples war had credibility even to those who were not maoists.

New York, Paris, Saigon, Berlin; Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win.

The defeat of
the hegemonic power of Western Imperialism, the USA by peoples wars in
Korea and Vietnam, is one of the geo-political landmarks of this century.

BUT there has been a regrouping and a new balance of forces. Some of the
worst excesses of repression has been curtailed in some third world countries.
There has been the rise of a linked neo-liberal economic free trade doctrine.

What convinced me most is the experience of following the anti-apartheid
struggles through to the present stage of partial national liberation in
South Africa: the
ANC government has few economic alternatives than to compromise with
international finance capital to attract incoming investment funds. Because
as the cynical observers of the global finance economy observe: Africa could
fall off the map.

So could Peru.

The great mass of commodity and financial exchange is concentrated in the
developed countries and the fast developing countries. This is not an
illusion. This is about real material wealth and real exchange value.
There are problems with the Chinese anti-revisionist general line
for the international communist movement of the 1960's: the people of
the third world countries can not be expected to provide the main force
battering down imperialism.

They have not got enough economic or political clout.

None of this is an argument against international solidarity or supporting
just wars where they occur. It is an argument in favour of anlysing the
balance of forces and the prospects of revolutionary change in the more
privileged advanced capitalist countries. It is an argument for tackling
reform in a revolutionary way at the global level and not just the
level of stuggle in in individual third world counries, however
politically advanced.

Chirs B, London.

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