[Marxism] Question: Maoism and Confucianism?

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Fri Apr 30 08:50:01 MDT 2004

In respect to the "connection" between the "thought" of Mao Zedong and 
Confucianism, Henry C.K. Liu has written a brilliant article called, "Lincoln and 
Mao" probably in the Asia Times. Actually, calling the article brilliant is an 
understatement - it is extraordinary.  

Max Elbaum's "Revolution in the Air" has emerged as the must have text on the 
impact of the "Thought" of Mao Zedong in the American Union. The title of the 
book is "Revolution in the Air: Sixites Radicals turn to Lenin, Mao and Che." 

The interesting thing about the 1970s and the Young Communist Movement was 
that ideological difference quickly vanished in the heat and passion of "real 
work" within the working class. Without question the RU/RCP had a sizable core 
of dedicated revolutionaries laboring at the front of the social struggle for 
the betterment of the working class. They also had a great looking paper. 
Elbaum documents their important contributions. 

It is true that rote memorizing of the Red Book was a method promoted by 
many. In our particlar group the leading bodies condemned this method, but in 
Detroit we always did what we pleased and I personally memorized much of Mao's 
writings, especially pieces like "Method and Work of Party Committees." Thirty 
years later I forget much of this material, but I distinctly remember memorizing 
"On Practice" while working the assembly line, working on engines that came 
to you in 13 second increments. In other words Chairman Mao helped me survive 
the assembly line and I probably owe him a portion of my pension. 

A couple of years ago we organized a League of Revolutionary Black Workers 
(LRBW) ReUnion in Detroit at Wayne State University. The LRBW is the banner 
under which trade union leaders and communists of different temperament and 
ideology generally gather.  

Chairman Mao's demand "that meeting should not last to long" has always been 
taken serious by us, and we reduced this "saying " in Detroit into the phrase 
"get in and get out." The intellectuals in the party tended to talk to long in 
meetings - on every subject. In some units they were simply told to shut up. 
This caused a problem and to avoid the problem, "get in and get out" became 
the watch word. The real issues was that comrades worked on assembly lines and 
had families and no meeting was allowed to "go to long." Many would sit in 
meetings after 8 -10 hours on the "line." 

The Reunion opened with a pray by Reverend Edwards. The Reverend thanked 
comrades for making sure he was part of the occassion. "Because many of the 
Comrades do not pray, I am opening this gathering with a short pray . . .In other 
words I;m going to "get in and get out." Everyone in the audience broke out 

Later in the meeting a brief discussion took place on the importance of 
action. The Reverend spoke of Jesus as a man of action and deeds. A couple of 
comrades appeared impatient. The Reverend asked if anyone remembered "On Practice" 
and began to quote it verbatim for roughly three pages. "Practice knowledge, 
again practice again knowledge . . ." The Detroit comrades laughed until we 
cried, while some comrades from Chicago just shook their head in amazement. 

The impact of the "Thought" of Mao Zedong should not be under estimated. "The 
Chairman" was not anticlerical as such. Great thinkers prove their greatness 
in victories, not abstract "scholarly" writings. At the end of the day the 
victor writes history. 

Here is the living difference between Mao Zedong as a theorist and leader and 
Mr. Leon Trotsky prior to his expulsion from the Soviet Union. The former was 
the leader and the latter one of several important leaders, of which Vladimir 
Lenin was "the man."   

Long Live . . . .aye . .forget about it. 

Melvin P. 

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