Jim Blaut on Lenin and the National Question

Henry C.K. Liu hliu at SPAMmindspring.com
Mon Nov 20 20:41:15 MST 2000

Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:

> >  >"This Nation and socialism are one and the same thing"
> >  >Ho Chi Minh
> >
> >NY Times, November 20, 2000
> >
> >
> >Vietnam's New Struggle: How Global to Become?
> >
> >
> >HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, Nov. 19 — Bill Clinton took extra trouble 30
> >years ago to avoid showing up here for America's first conflict with Vietnam.
> Nixon in China, Albright in North Korea, & now Bill Clinton in
> Vietnam....  Luckily, Fidel settled for the Pope, the Canadians, the
> Spaniards, etc. & refused to go the distance.
> >Without Third World nationalism, there would not have been Third
> >World socialism.
> >Henry C.K. Liu
> Quite right, with a couple of modifications:
> Third World nationalism was a necessary but not sufficient condition
> for Third World socialism.  And at this point in history, we hear
> more of nationalist rhetoric without any substance; in fact, more
> often than not, the idea of need for national competitiveness, etc.
> gets used to _destroy gains made in the past_, sometimes in such a
> way that the social reality of the nation melts down.

Modern China's nationalism is not based on any empire fixation, but rather on the
fact that all separatist movements in modern time have been fanned by Western
imperialism for ulterior motives.  Taiwan and Tibet are clear examples.  The Dalai
Lama stands for feudal theocracy against communism.  Both Taiwan and the exiled
Dalai Lama declare their willingness to rejoin Beijing if China stop being
communist, repaeting propaganda slogans fabricated in Washington.

As long as China remains a socialist country, it opposition to separatism is
progressive.  This is another reason why China has no alternative to socialism.
History has shown that collective prosperity and socialist equality among all
people are the two prerequisites for the progressive functions of Chinese
nationalism that distinquishes it from Western imperialsm.  This is why
imperialist forces have been relentless in trying to keep China poor while
fanning ethnic strife in China as well as all over the world.

The Communist Party of China is the only political institution capable of
delivering these two prerequisites to resist Western-induced separatism in China.
That is why even non-communists in China should support the CPC.
Without CPC leadership, China will be partitioned into warring states at the mercy
of Western neo-imperialism.  Regionally, Chinese nationalism is a stabilzing
progressve force, and not the imperialistitic threats the US propaganda tries to
paint it.

Nationalism is the only political concept and national government is the only
agent capable of resisting globalized neo-liberalism.

"The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party", written jointly by
Comrade Mao Zedong and several other comrades in Yenan in the winter of 1939:
It is evident, then, that the enemies of the Chinese revolution are very powerful.
They include not only powerful imperialists and powerful feudal forces, but also,
at times, the bourgeois reactionaries who
collaborate with the imperialist and feudal forces to oppose the people.
Therefore, it is wrong to underestimate the strength of the enemies of the
revolutionary Chinese people.

In the face of such enemies, the Chinese revolution cannot be other than
protracted and ruthless. With such powerful enemies, the revolutionary forces
cannot be built up and tempered into a power capable of crushing them except over
a long period of time. With enemies who so ruthlessly suppress the Chinese
revolution, the revolutionary forces cannot hold their own positions, let alone
capture those of the enemy, unless they steel themselves and display their
tenacity to the full. It is therefore wrong to think that the forces of the
Chinese revolution can be built up in the twinkling of an eye, or that China's
revolutionary struggle can triumph overnight.

In the face of such enemies, the principal means or form of the Chinese revolution
must be armed struggle, not peaceful struggle. For our enemies have made peaceful
activity impossible for the Chinese people and have deprived them of all political
freedom and democratic rights. Stalin says, "In China the armed revolution is
fighting the armed counter-revolutionary. That is one of the specific features and
one of the advantages of the Chinese revolution." This formulation is perfectly
correct. Therefore, it is wrong to belittle armed struggle, revolutionary war,
guerrilla war and army work.
Imperialism and the feudal landlord class being the chief enemies of the Chinese
revolution at this stage, what are the present tasks of the revolution?

Unquestionably, the main tasks are to strike at these two enemies, to carry out a
national revolution to overthrow foreign imperialist oppression and a democratic
revolution to overthrow feudal landlord
oppression, the primary and foremost task being the national revolution to
overthrow imperialism. (and the new imperialism in the form of neoliberal

These two great tasks are interrelated. Unless imperialist rule is overthrown, the
rule of the feudal landlord class cannot be terminated, because imperialism is its
main support. Conversely, unless help is given
to the peasants in their struggle to overthrow the feudal landlord class, it will
be impossible to build powerful revolutionary contingents to overthrow imperialist
rule, because the feudal landlord class is the main social base of imperialist
rule in China and the peasantry is the main force in the Chinese revolution.
Therefore the two fundamental tasks, the national revolution and the democratic
revolution, are at once distinct and united.
It is an era in which the world capitalist front has collapsed in one part of the
globe (one-sixth of the world) and has fully revealed its decadence everywhere
else, in which the remaining capitalist parts cannot survive without relying more
than ever on the colonies and Semi-colonies, in which a socialist state has been
established and has proclaimed its readiness to give active support to the
liberation movement of all colonies and semi-colonies, and in which the
proletariat of the capitalist countries is steadily freeing itself from the
social-imperialist influence of the social-democratic parties and has proclaimed
its support for the liberation movement in the colonies and semi-colonies. In this
era, any revolution in a colony or
semi-colony that is directed against imperialism, i.e., against the international
bourgeoisie or international capitalism, no longer comes within the old category
of the bourgeois-democratic world revolution, but
within the new category. It is no longer part of the old bourgeois, or capitalist,
world revolution, but is part of the new world revolution, the
proletarian-socialist world revolution. Such revolutionary colonies and
semi-colonies can no longer be regarded as allies of the counter revolutionary
front of world capitalism; they have become allies of the revolutionary front of
world socialism.

Although such a revolution in a colonial and semi-colonial country is still
fundamentally bourgeois-democratic in its social character during its first stage
or first step, and although its objective mission is to clear the path for the
development of capitalism, it is no longer a revolution of the old type led by the
bourgeoisie with the aim of establishing a capitalist society and a state under
dictatorship. It belongs to the new type of revolution led by the proletariat with
the aim, in the first stage, of establishing a new-democratic society and a state
under the joint dictatorship of all the revolutionary classes. Thus this
revolution actually serves the purpose of clearing a still wider path for the
development of socialism. In the course of its progress, there may be a number of
further sub-stages, because of changes on the enemy's side and within the ranks of
our allies, but the fundamental character of the revolution remains unchanged.

Such a revolution attacks imperialism at its very roots, and is therefore not
tolerated but opposed by imperialism. However, it is favoured by socialism and
supported by the land of socialism and the socialist
international proletariat.

Therefore, such a revolution inevitably becomes part of the proletarian-socialist
world revolution. - Mao Zedong.

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