Updated: Dec 7, 2021
The 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (7.23, 1921-7.23, 2021)
祝賀中國共產黨建黨一百周年（於1921 年 7 月 23 日，上海法租界， 由陳獨秀， 李大釗，毛澤東， 周恩來， 等人創辦）以及港區國安法實施一周年 (6.30, 2021)
Author: Shenming, Li and Zhihua, Chen
Chinese: 居安思危：苏共亡党二十年的思考 / 居安思危：蘇共亡黨二十年的思考
English: Be Vigilant on Possible Danger in Peace Time - 20 Years' Reflections on Soviet Communist Party's Decline [sic]
Publisher: Social Sciences Academic Press (CHINA) (Mainland China, March 1, 2011)
The direct cause of the collapse of USSR was kleptocracy. It was technically terminated by kleptocrats from the inside of the communist party in December 1991. Kleptocrats in the communist party camouflaged the process of stealing public properties as a ''reform'' or ''collapse'' in order to legitimise their theft. Furthermore, kleptocracy is broadly witnessed in neoliberal privatisation and colour revolutions in both right wing nationalist countries and targeted left wing countries. For instance, privatisation of British Telecom and British Gas in the 1980s (Also see the looting of the state treasury for personal enrichment in South Africa). Thus, kleptocracy itself has nothing to do with Marxism. In fact, it is the opposite of it.
中國共產黨（世界最大執政黨：該黨黨員總數目前為9514.8萬人）對蘇聯瓦解的原因精確地下結論了。那就是如今所謂竊盜統治。簡言之，蘇共內部的竊盜統治份子在政治技術層面終結了蘇共及蘇聯（1991年12月）。甚至，黨內盜賊勢力將他們與外部勢力攜手並肩盜竊公有財產，化公為私的過程包裝成‘改革’或‘解體’的，其實是如此被合法化了的一場打劫。此外，竊盜統治的問題廣泛地在新自由主義的私有化或顏色革命進行的右派和左派政權的國家內目擊的 (如1980年代的英國電信集團和British Gas plc之私有化)，因此‘化公為私’跟馬克思主義純然都是兩碼事，甚至實際上正相反的。
In 2011, Chinese Communist Party (a.k.a. 中國共產黨 / Communist Party of China / CCP / CPC ; 1921-) officially concluded that the collapse of Soviet Union was due to internal causes of Communist Party of the Soviet Union (a.k.a. 蘇聯共產黨 / the Soviet Communist Party / CPSU ; 1883 or 1903 or 1912 - 1991). In other words, the Soviet Union was deliberately terminated by kleptocrats. (Chapter 1)
各種不同的研究觀點都在試圖向世人解釋‘蘇聯解體’的原因： ‘經濟沒有搞好說’， ‘斯大林主義模式僵化說’， ‘民族矛盾決定說’，‘軍備競賽拖垮說’，‘戈氏叛徒葬送說’，‘外部因素決定說’等等。我們看見不同的人得出不同甚至完全相反的結論。但其中最根本的原因是什麼呢？
Chinese communist leaders already knew the answer perfectly as cited above. It's too obvious to see who actually prohibited the communist party and ordered to disintegrate the party in 1991. They were Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin. Their deliberate actions themselves were main and direct causes of the collapse. Listed 'factors' are to distract people's attentions from their actions and responsibilities.
CCP's point of view is highly technical and consciously practical. In fact, they recognised correctness of Leon Trotsky's prediction on the possibility of restoration of capitalism under bureaucratic dictatorship yet they also pointed out that Stalin's practical objection to market economy (e.g. Stalin completely eliminated unemployment in Soviet Union in 1932; he simply did not restore capitalism even though he had the absolute power to do it) indicated Stalin and so called ''Stalinists'' were not two-faced-capitalist reactionaries as ''Trotskyists'' wrongly depicted. Therefore, it's not Stalin or Stalinists who ended the Soviet Union. In reality, the terminators of USSR were neither Stalinists nor Trotskyists. This dialectic view is critically different from the traditional leftists.
Simultaneously, this book embodies CCP's political stance itself. For instance, the fatal sectarian division between Stalin and Trotsky has no longer been their dogmatic limitation on holistic learning of the 20th century socialist experiments at least since 2011. It's quite helpful for CCP and Marxists of today in order to avoid the same mistakes committed by their leading figures of the political faith.
Sectarianism divides activists in practice. And then it causes individualist conflicts for seeking hegemony in the field / market. Instead, holistically learning pros and cons of all leading figures of socialism is more valuable and constructive for them. CCP already chose the latter correctly.
Although both ''communist'' and anti-communist'' ideologues listed many ''causes'' of the collapse of the Soviet Union, those were surrounding factors, atmosphere or aftermath of actions of kleptocrats. For instance, economic malfunctions, separatist movements, imperialist regime change attempts, and military competitions etc.. However they just only listed them randomly, and no one could logically explain the cause and the effect in context.
Simply, some big data perfectly denies any economic reason while Soviet Union was still the world's number 2 advanced economic power in January 1990 ($2.66 trillion nominal GDP) even during the social chaos caused by the 'reform' (1986-1991). (2)
For military aspects, the Red Army had been the world's number 1 largest active army since 1945 to 1991 with annual military budget 200 billion USD or above. Average number of active personnel was stably 5 million people. Furthermore, there were still 92,345,764 people available for military service in 1991. In other words, there was no indication of the military reason or its disintegration. The Soviet Union were not militarily defeated by any one in 1991. This also supports the CCP's analysis on the collapse.
Kleptocrats actively collapsed the Soviet Union.
CCP sees the start of the formation of kleptocrats as the Nikita Khrushchev regime era, and they gradually had infiltrated the communist party until the Mikhail Gorbachev regime and finally hijacked it.
Again, kleptocrats were neither genuine Stalinists nor Marxists no faith in socialism because they only saw it as a method for careerism from the beginning. (Chapter 2)
Chapter 3 concludes that sincere Marxists must be in charge of ideological jobs to lead the upper structure of the society.
Political monopoly is justifiable only if it genuinely serves the class interests of the working class people in practice and significantly improves their livelihoods.
Of course, it's still questionable as there are almost no honest Marxists in any country today. What is the meaning of the honest Marxist? It inevitably involves a controversy on the definition yet it can be theoretically explained by the original Marxist principles which not fully practiced in China even in 2021.
Chapter 4 is the answer to the main question of the chapter 3 that class nature of the community party is fundamentally the working class neither capitalist ruling class nor all people under class society. As people know, it is quite difficult to distinguish the class nature of the ruling communist party of today under neoliberalism with Chinese Characteristics (Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau). There is no such MARXIST to justify capitalist exploitation on workers. It is an ethical crisis.
In short, the class nature of the communist party is not a matter of dogmatism / theories as revisionists told in China but it is essentially a matter of raison d'etre of being a communist party.
The class nature of communist parties must be the class interest of the working class people. Meanwhile, the original concept of a communist party was the highest form of unionisation of workers. In other words, it's politically the most advanced form of labor organisation(s) not something fundamentally alienated from labor unions and labor movements.
The primary mission of a communist party is to end capitalist monopoly of politics under capitalism according to the original concept of Marxism.
In chapter 5, CCP accepted Leon Trotsky's theory on bureaucracy. Bureaucrats themselves are not classes but they are just layers of both capitalists and workers in reality. The distinction between the class and the layer is still persuasive that the definition of any class is based on the ownership of methods of production of commodities in terms of capitalist economy.
CCP thinks that the privileged upper layer of the communist party was the driving force on the termination of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and USSR. This is the answer to the main question of this book.
Chapter 6 is mainly about how to accurately organise a communist party and govern the establishment in terms of HR and administrative inspection to maintain the party line. For this, Democratic centralism is not a problem if a communist party can manage everything effectively within the country.
Ultimately, so called organisational principle or the party line is also a matter of its class nature in practice.
蘇聯部長會議原主席尼古拉·伊萬諾維奇·雷日科夫（Nikolai Ryzhkov； 1929-）在總結蘇共亡黨，蘇聯解體的原因時，曾十分痛心地說：是黨的領導者們，正是他們背叛了黨，出賣了國家和人民。(6)
In chapter 7, CCP mentioned the individual function in history however those kleptocrats simultaneously had power to control the methods of production of commodities under planned economy thus it was and still is a matter of historical materialist analysis. They were not exceptions to historical materialism. Moreover, transformation of kleptocrats into oligarchs during westernisation and privatisation process is a proof of accuracy of historical materialism.
Like Muammar Gaddafi's socialist Libya (1969-2011), Soviet Union (1922-1991) was unnaturally destroyed and ransacked by both internal and external forces.
The conclusion of this book is chapter 8. It indicates that CCP's theoretical ability is higher than any other socialist / communist party in the world that a few sentences can summarise the core thought and the entire book of 522 pages see below:
美國國務卿貝克(James Addison Baker III; 1930-)在談到蘇共亡黨，蘇聯解體時曾說：我們不是這場‘革命’的領袖，但也不是旁觀者。
According to materialist dialectics, ''external causes become operative through internal causes'' which means that people must realise dialectics of both the internal cause and external cause on this issue. The kleptocrats got ostensible and insensible support from external forces like US imperialists to create the necessary atmosphere (social chaos) in order to stage their political and economic plot in the name of ''reform'', ''openness'', ''humanism'', ''democracy'' and ''peaceful-coexistence'' etc..
In addition to the discussion on the advantages of this book, there are also disadvantages of this book below:
a. CCP writers here think dialectics of practice and theory (a.k.a. materialist dialectics) is limited in actions of the government not individuals. It is a sheer 'revision' to Mao's On Practice (1937).
b. The main focus of CCP writers is on foreign governments, bureaucrats, politicians, political parties, scholars, NGOs (1986-) and media throughout this book. Thus they regularly ignore political functions of chambers of commerce and oligarchs. This kind of analytical tendency was practically obsolete and broadly observed on the major Hong Kong political turmoil during 2019 to 2020.
c. Although CCP writers precisely analysed the cause of the collapse of the Soviet Communist Party and USSR, many critical points are also applicable on Reform and Opening-up (the post Mao era; 1979 - present). In short, this book is a mirror of CCP itself.
d. All communist regimes of the 20th century did not give any power to the working class in practice. In other words, dictatorship of bureaucrats was and still is a time bomb for any ruling communist / socialist parties themselves. Therefore, the working class-control of the state is necessary to prevent kleptocracy.
e. CCP ''politically'' separates both 'market economy' and capitalist economy. On the contrary, so called market economy is capitalist economy. Capitalist economy is fundamentally market economy. Today's mainland China is undeniably a (state) capitalist society.
Who were kleptocrats of the communist party? 誰以瓦解蘇聯來偷竊了國家財產？
[所謂改革的真相] 更有甚者，當權者乘私有化改革之際損公肥私，化公為私，大肆鯨吞公有財產，使得蘇聯幾代人艱苦奮鬥積累的成果，轉瞬間化為少數人口的口袋裡的財富。蘇聯解體後俄羅斯商界精英60%以上來自前蘇聯的官僚。在1992至1993年的100家俄羅斯私人企業的所有者中，原先的黨政精英，企業家，銀行家及其家族佔了62%。曾擔任俄羅斯總理的維. 斯. 切爾諾梅爾金，在20世紀80年代當過蘇聯天然氣工業部部長，1992年天然氣公司私有化 [‘讓一部分人先富起來’？] 後，切爾諾梅爾金腰身一變成了天然氣股份公司最有實力的控股人，他控制著全世界40%以上的天然氣資源，是世界上最富有的幾個人之一。前蘇聯共青團中央書記霍多爾科夫斯基利用自己的職位創辦了一家大銀行，把原屬人民的財富變成了他個人的財產。(10)
According to Ryzhkov, the kleptocrats were about 20% of the residents of Russia (200 to 300 families) in the ruling class in 1998 while more than 25 million Russian workers unemployed.
Besides this, about 75% of new ruling classes of Russia are originally Soviet communist bureaucrats; at least 62 % of capitalists of new Russian society are also ex-Soviet communist officials. Moreover, Russian oligarchs like Viktor Chernomyrdin (1938-2010) and Mikhail Khodorkovsky (1963-) are the best examples of this phenomenon.
Was there any sharp economic decline in GNI in USSR during Cold War before the 'reform'? 在冷戰時期，所謂‘改革’前，蘇聯的國民收入有無特別明顯的不景氣？
GNI and Gross value of industrial output data during the Cold War era before the 'reform' clearly indicate that there was no 'inevitable tendency of the collapse of the Soviet economic model' as the development rates of Soviet model economies were higher than the most of leading western capitalist countries. For instance, USSR had developed national income 9.9 times and Gross value of industrial output 14 times larger than 1950.
It also clearly indicates that there were global disinformation ops against the Soviet economy and its model during that era. From the point of view of Russian workers, there could be no objective and scientific reason to terminate the Soviet economic model because it was only suicidal for themselves. This is why workers should be highly conscious about their own class interest and should not confuse their own class interest with the ruling class interest on any political issue.
Who knew the real cause of the collapse of USSR correctly? 誰確實曾經知道蘇聯瓦解的真相？
No text survives in the Thatcher MSS, probably because MT spoke off the cuff or from notes. No tape has yet been traced. The API seems to have none. The speech was open to the public and there is a report of it in the Houston Chronicle of 19 Nov 1991, which records remarks on the Gulf War. No other topic is addressed in the report. Lurid conspiracy theories have circulated about this speech for a decade or more, suggesting that MT revealed Western plots to undermine the Soviet Union. No evidence has ever been produced for this claim. (13)
This book cited words of Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013) from Speech to the American Petroleum Institute in Houston, Texas, USA, on November 18, 1991. However there is no evidence to prove the authenticity of the conspiracy theory which originated in Communist Party of the Russian Federation (1993-) due to total lack of the record. Apparently, it is more like communist propaganda to frame western leaders and ex-Russian leaders (in fact both Gorbachev and Yeltsin were not paid agents of western imperialists). Conversely, CCP made the slightly different conclusion on this.
External forces were and are only supportive roles compare to internal forces. And the economic competition (class war between different political camps) is still the core of the Cold War narrative.
What should have done to prevent the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991? 當年應該如何阻止蘇聯解體？
克留奇科夫後來在一次談話中說，當時我們對戈爾巴喬夫抱有幻想，希望他能夠改邪歸正。亞納耶夫也說，我們的錯誤在於，一方面想挽救國家，阻止簽訂新聯盟條約，同時又要保住總統。當然，事件組織者本身行動不堅決和內部不一致也是一個原因。俄羅斯學者，前‘持不同意見者’ 亞歷山大·季諾維耶夫在其近著中指出，‘叛亂份子’不是三歲小兒，他們 [當局] 應該明白他們在幹什麼。假使他們的意圖是真正認真的，他們應該做的第一件事是逮捕所有‘民主派’的積極份子 – 首先是葉利欽。 他們 [當局] 應該明白，國內是在進行著一場摧毀整個蘇聯的戰爭，應該以符合這一現實的方式來行動； 但是他們害怕這樣做，他們甚至不敢承認這一無情的真相。(14)
The ex-oppositionist Alexander Zinoviev (1922-2006) was technically correct that the only way to stop the disastrous plot could be mass arrests of all leading opposition figures like CPC did on the Hong Kong opposition on January 6 and 7, 2021. See Hong Kong Intelligence Report #39 The Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement Ended.
What is revisionism? 什麼是修正主義？
[在鄧小平推出改革開放的正好一百年前] 在世界社會主義史上，最早提出‘全民黨’思想的是伯恩斯坦。他在1879年與卡. 奧. 施拉姆一起（即所謂蘇黎世三人團），寫了一篇文章，主張把德國社會民主黨從‘片面的工人黨’改造成為‘一切富有仁愛精神的人’的‘全面的黨’。為了批評‘蘇黎世三人團’的錯誤觀點，馬克思，恩格斯專門發了一封通告信。他們建議，不贊成黨的無產階級性質的人，應當退出黨，至少也應當放棄他們的顯要職位。不這樣，那就是黨自己出賣自己。(15)
In Social Democratic Party of Germany's the Manifesto of the Zurich Trio, Eduard Bernstein (1850-1932), Hirschman and Schramm suggested the workers' party to abandon its political orientation. Then Marx and Engels themselves strongly opposed it in 1879 because the class nature of the party was critically essential and uncompromisable. This was and still is the first example of so called revisionism. Read the “Circular Letter”.
In short, revisionism is fundamentally denial of the class nature of a labor party or socialist party or communist party. Moreover, it is perfectly harmonious with the theory of ''all-people's party'', opportunism and kleptocracy. Undoubtedly, it's far worse than Stalinism in terms of socialism.
How Yeltsin and Gorbachev ended the Soviet Union? 葉利欽和戈爾巴喬夫如何終結蘇聯的？
葉利欽在他的《 總統筆記》[Ch.ver., 1995, p.19] 中坦率地說出了他與戈爾巴喬夫的關係：戈爾巴喬夫並沒有把我推倒荒無人烟的偏僻角落裡，也沒有把我發配到遙遠的異域他鄉，就像他的幾位前任所做的那樣。相反地，他似乎是很高尚地寬恕我，憐憫我。我曾來沒有把同他的鬥爭作為自己的目標。不但如此，在諸多方面，我是跟著他亦步亦趨，拆掉共產主義的大廈的一磚一瓦。(16)
Boris Yeltsin admitted his political coordination with Gorbachev to gradually dismantle the communist regime in The View from the Kremlin: The President's Journal, 1991-93 (HarperCollins, January 1, 1994; ISBN:978-0002555449). It means that both Yeltsin and Gorbachev consciously destroyed the Soviet establishment one by one. This is apparently the main cause of the collapse.
Gorbachev was and still is a communist or anti-communist? 戈爾巴喬夫究竟是個共產主義者還是反共分子？
有材料說，戈爾巴喬夫1999年在土耳其安卡拉某大學 [後來確認了那是American University] 的一次講話中說：我生活的目的就是消滅對人民實行無法忍受的獨裁政治的共產主義。我的妻子在這方面堅定了我的信心，她有這種觀點比我還早。我只有身居最高層職位，才能為此有最大的作為。因此，我妻子要我不屑地努力上爬。當我親自認識了西方，我的決定就成了不可更改的了。我必須清除蘇共和蘇聯的整個領導，我必須清除所有社會主義的領導。我的理想是走社會民主黨的道路。他還說：當葉利欽瓦解了蘇聯，我離開克里姆林宮時，上百的記者們以為我會哭泣。我沒有哭，因為我生活的主要目的已經達到。(17)
My ambition was to liquidate communism, the dictatorship over all the people. Supporting me and urging me on in this mission was my wife, who was of this opinion long before I was. I knew that I could only do this if I was the leading functionary. In this my wife urged me to climb to the top post. While I actually became acquainted with the West, my mind was made up forever. I decided that I must destroy the whole apparatus of the CPSU and the USSR. Also, I must do this in all of the other socialist countries. My ideal is the path of social democracy. Only this system shall benefit all the people. This quest I decided I must fulfil.
I found friends that had the same thoughts as I in Yakovlev and Shevernadze, they all deserve to be thanked for the break-up of the USSR and the defeat of Communism.
World without communism is going to be much better. After year 2000 the world will be much better, because it shall develop and prosper. But there are countries which shall try to struggle against this. China for one. I was in Peking during the time of the protests on Tiananmen Square, where I really thought that Communism in China is going to crash. I sternly demanded of the Chinese leadership that I want to speak to the protesters, but they did not allow me to do so. If Communism would fall in China, all the world would be better off, and on the road to peace.
I wanted to save the USSR, but only under social democracy rule. This I could not do. Yeltsin wanted power, he did not know anything about democracy or what I intended to do. We wanted the democratic USSR to have rights and freedom.
Then Yeltsin broke up the USSR and at that time I was not in the Kremlin, all the newspaper reporters asked me whether I shall cry? I did not cry, because I really managed to destroy Communism in the USSR, and also in all other European Socialist countries. I did not cry, because I knew that I fulfilled my main aim, that was the defeat of communism in Europe. But you must also know, that communism must be defeated in Asia also, to make the transition quicker to democracy and freedom in the whole world.
The liquidation of the USSR is not beneficial to the USA, since they have now no mighty democratic country (the former USSR) which I wanted to call the Union of Independent Sovereign Republics. I could not accomplish all of this. All the small countries now are thanking the USA for the help. I wanted the USA and the former USSR to be partners without the scourge of Communism, these could have been the ruling countries of the world. The road towards democracy will be a long one, but it is coming very quickly. The whole world must now defeat the last remnants of communism!
This is from an interview by newspapers with Gorbachev in Ankara, Turkey where he was a guest at a seminar at the American University. It was published in the 'Dialog' newspaper in the Czech Republic. Courtesy: 'Northstar Compass', Toronto, February, 2000. (18)
This Gorbachev's stance was later confirmed by The Guardian below:
Asked to name the things he most regretted, he replied without hesitation: "The fact that I went on too long in trying to reform the Communist party." He should have resigned in April 1991, he said, and formed a democratic party of reform since the Communists were putting the brakes on all the necessary changes.
This judgement will be of particular interest to historians since it is Gorbachev's first public admission that he should have left the Communist party several months before the coup of August 1991. In the memoirs he published in 1995 he did not go so far.
[...] As the hour-long interview neared its end, I asked the former Soviet president about change in China, the world's largest Communist state. Gorbachev takes the long view of history but is sure reform there is inevitable. Any suggestion that he should have followed China by starting with economic rather than political reform is wrong, he says.
"In the Soviet Union nothing would have happened if we had done that. The people were cut out, totally isolated from decision-making. Our country was at a different stage of development from China and for us to solve problems we had to involve people."
"Do you think the Chinese will be able to avoid the same hard choices at some point in time? There will be a moment when they will have to decide on political change and they are already nearing that point."(19)
As cited above, both interviews do not contradict with what Gorbachev had done to USSR during 1986 to 1991. His tone was perfectly matched in the important interviews. Again, the main and direct causes of collapse of USSR were actions taken by Gorbachev and Yeltsin. In their views, there were their own hostility and strong determination to terminate USSR.
How US officials and politicians analysed the disintegration process of the Soviet Union? 美國官方和政治家如何分析了蘇聯解體的過程？
美國駐蘇聯最後一位大使馬特洛克曾敏銳地看到：階級鬥爭理論是列寧主義者的國家結構演進觀及同西方發生冷戰所依據的概念，我注意到了逐漸修正或廢除這一理論的種種跡象（指戈爾巴喬夫時期。 –引者註 ）他還不乏遠見地指出：如果蘇聯領導人真的願意拋棄這個觀點（ 指階級鬥爭理論。–引者註 ），那麼他們是否繼續稱他們的指導思想為‘馬克思主義’也無關緊要了。(20)
CCP writers here made a mistake that Jack F. Matlock Jr. (1929-) was not the last US ambassador to Soviet Union. That was Robert S. Strauss (1918-2014).
Anyway, the US ambassador to USSR had more profound knowledge about Marxism than 'Marxists' on this. The core of Marxism is the theory of class war. If removing the class war theory, so called ''Marxism'' is nothing, total emptiness.
Meanwhile, he meant that Cold War was mainly an international class war between US and USSR. How about today's new Cold War between China and US? In fact, CCP abandoned the theory of class war already. Therefore, so called 'New Cold War' is fake narrative. Indeed, the aim of US is to defend its global hegemony from the rising superpower China's state capitalism which is outperforming US capitalism.
The main difference between USSR and PRC is that China is still in a long process of privatisation (1979-present) under CCP's leadership without Marxist policies. Privatisation of state-owned enterprises is suicidal for the socialist regime because it means that the government loses its economic base for executing policies and providing public service. Thus completion of privatisation of the public sector will be the collapse of the CCP regime. In other words, this is why US is sanctioning CCP's public sector to accelerate the process. In addition, China's productivityist dogma is capitalism not Marxism because of its abstraction of the class nature and socialist features of product relations. A sheer contrast to the Soviet economy which had been the world number 2 economic power during 1937 to January 1990 with its socialist product relations.
It's Zbigniew Brzezinski (1928-2017) who most accurately predicted the disintegration of USSR. Abandonment of the theory of class war is the clear sign of the revisionist 'reform' that sooner or later risks the existence of the socialist regime in general. Brzezinski was the one who perfectly understood what was going on in the Soviet Union under Gorbachev.
What is a conclusion of CCP on this topic? 中共得出了什麼樣的結論？
The 'reformists' of China after Mao clearly did not know abandonment of class war is theoretical surrender of the dictatorship of proletariat because you do not fight class war for proletariat, why the dictatorship of proletariat is logically necessary?
Although CCP already officially abandoned the theory of class war in the 1970s, the CCP writers of this book (2011) faithfully suggested below:
In conclusion, so called 'reform' is to gradually or rapidly disintegrate social monopoly of a communist party as people witnessed on collapse of the Soviet Union. CCP's ideological confusion is a undeniable fact that it is reflection of the major contradiction between the principles of class war / class interest / class nature / class analysis / class monopoly of politics and the ongoing-long-term privatisation (''developing capitalist economy'').
The most important thing is that the social conditions of the working class people of mainland China, Macau and Hong Kong are the best litmus tests for the class nature of the ruling communist party.
There is still some time left to prevent another 1991 in China. From both points of view of Chinese right wing nationalists and left wing Marxists, another 1991 in China will only be disastrous because kleptocracy is totally unfair for non-communist citizens in terms of capitalist competition; for Marxists, it means another historical defeat of communism.
One of Hong Kong Trotskyists pen name 'Yufan, Liu / 劉宇凡' (a member of now defunct Pioneer Group; 區龍宇) made the most precise criticism on the privatisation issues under CCP in 1997.
The following article especially points out that for Marx, there would have been principally no compromise with kleptocrats of USSR and China.
Karl Marx himself on various revisionist tendencies:
In a letter to Sorge from September 1879, Marx described the new tendencies emerging in the German party. He stressed that people like the publisher Karl Höchberg, “nonentities in theory and nincompoops in practice”, were “seeking to draw the teeth of socialism (which they have rehashed in accordance with academic formulae) and of the Party in particular”. Their aim was “to enlighten the workers, … to provide them, out of their confused and superficial knowledge, with educative elements” and, above all, “to make the party ‘respectable’ in the eyes of the philistines”. They were, he concluded, “poor counter-revolutionary windbags”. With subtle humour, he suggested that Bismarck had “done a lot of good not to himself, but us”, by imposing selective silence in Germany and allowing such windbags “a chance of making themselves plainly heard”.
In a French police report from London, an agent claimed that, “following the death of Lassalle, Marx [had become] the undisputed leader of the German revolutionaries. If the socialist deputies in Germany [were] the official leaders, the divisional commanders, Marx [was] the chief of the general staff. He devised the battle plans and watch[ed] over their implementation.” In reality, Marx’s criticisms of the party often went unheeded, and from his study in London he observed “the depths” to which “parliamentary representatives” had “already been brought by parliamentarism”.
Another polemical focus was the question of who should edit the new journal of the Socialist Workers’ Party of Germany, Der Sozialdemokrat [The Social Democrat], publication of which began in Zurich in September 1879. Marx and Engels, disagreeing with the proposed stance of the paper, felt obliged to send another letter (drafted by Engels) to Bebel, Liebknecht and Bracke. In this “Circular Letter” (1879), as it became known, they denounced the growing consensus in the party behind the positions of Höchberg, the main source of finance for the undertaking. He had recently published an article in the Jahrbuch für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik [Annals for Social Science and Social Policy], a reformist journal under his direction, in which he called for a return to the Lassallean spirit. In his view, the Lassalleans had given birth to a political movement open “not only [to] the workers but all honest democrats, in the van of which [should] march the independent representatives of science and all men imbued with a true love of mankind”.
For Marx, all these were views he had firmly rejected since his early years and the Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848). The “Circular Letter” underlined the dangers of one of Höchberg’s statements: “In short, the working class is incapable of emancipating itself by its own efforts. In order to do so it must place itself under the direction of ‘educated and propertied’ bourgeois who alone have ‘the time and the opportunity’ to become conversant with what is good for the workers.” In the view of this “representative of the petty bourgeoisie”, then, the bourgeoisie was “not to be combated – not on your life – but won over by vigorous propaganda”. Even the decision to defend the Paris Commune had allegedly “put off people otherwise well-disposed towards” the workers’ movement. In conclusion, Engels and Marx noted with alarm that Höchberg’s objective was to make “the overthrow of the capitalist order … unattainably remote” and “utterly irrelevant to present political practice”. One could therefore “conciliate, compromise, philanthropize to one’s heart' s content. The same thing applie[d] to the class struggle between proletariat and bourgeoisie.” The disagreement was total.
Marx’s tenacious opposition to what he called the “armchair socialist riff-raff” was akin to his view of those who confined themselves to empty rhetoric, however concealed beneath radical language. Following the launch of the journal Freiheit [Freedom], he explained to Sorge that he had reproached its editors not for being “too revolutionary” but for having “no revolutionary content” and “merely indulg[ing] in revolutionary jargon”. In his view, both these positions, though stemming from very different political tendencies, were no danger to the existing system and ultimately made its survival possible.
Marx’s idea of socialism was very different from State socialism and reformism that emerged in the German Social Democratic Party and that became hegemonic after the foundation of the Second International. The Marx revival underway today will be much more effective if Marx’s writings will be re-examined not only for an understanding of how capitalism works but also of the failure of socialist experiences until today. It goes without saying that we cannot today simply rely on what Marx wrote a century and a half ago. But nor should we lightly discount the content and clarity of his analyses or fail to take up the critical weapons he offered for fresh thinking about an alternative society to capitalism. (25)
China under CCP undeniably became a capitalist society. In fact, more than 60% of Chinese economy today is controlled by capitalists not by CCP. Furthermore, when capitalists control 80 to 99% of the Chinese economy, the CCP regime will be liquidated by kleptocrats highly probably.
A workers' party's proletarian character is fundamentally uncompromisable under any circumstances. The most important document of Marx on the revisionist issues is undoubtedly Circular Letter to August Bebel, Wilhelm Liebknecht, Wilhelm Bracke and Others (1879) below:
[...] In the meantime we have received Höchberg’s Jahrbuch, containing an article, “Rückblicke auf die sozialistische Bewegung in Deutschland,” which, as Höchberg himself informed me, was actually written by the three members of the Zurich committee.
Here we have their authentic critique of the movement up till now, and hence their authentic programme for the new paper’s stance insofar as this is dependent on them.
At the very start we read:
“The movement, regarded by Lassalle as an eminently political one, to which he sought to rally not only the workers but all honest democrats, and in the van of which were to march the independent representatives of science and all men imbued with a true love of mankind, was trivialised under the chairmanship of J. B. von Schweitzer into a one-sided struggle of the industrial workers to promote their own interest.”
I shall not inquire whether and to what extent this is historically true. The specific charge against Schweitzer is that Schweitzer trivialised Lassalleanism, here regarded as a bourgeois democratic-philanthropic movement, into a one-sided struggle of the industrial workers to promote their own interests — trivialised it by emphasising its character as a class struggle of industrial workers against the bourgeoisie. He is further charged with having “repudiated bourgeois democracy”. But has bourgeois democracy any business to be in the Social-Democratic Party at all? If it consists of “honest men”, it surely cannot wish to join, and if it nevertheless wishes to join, this can only be for the purpose of stirring up trouble.
The Lassallean party “chose to present itself in a most one-sided manner as a workers’ party”. The gentlemen who wrote those words are themselves members of a party which presents itself in the most one-sided manner as a workers’ party, and now hold office in the same. Here we have a complete incompatibility. If they think as they write, they ought to leave the party or at least resign from office. If they don’t, it is tantamount to admitting that they intend to use their official position to combat the party’s proletarian character.
Hence the party is betraying itself if it allows them to remain in office.
Thus, in the view of these gentlemen, the Social-Democratic Party ought not to be a one-sided workers’ party but a many-sided party of “all men imbued with a true love of mankind”. This it is to prove, above all, by divesting itself of crude proletarian passions and applying itself, under the direction of educated philanthropic bourgeois, “to the formation of good taste” and “the acquisition of good manners” (p. 85). After which the “seedy appearance” of some of the leaders would give way to a respectable “bourgeois appearance”. (As though the outwardly seedy appearance of those referred to here were not the least that could be held against them!) After which, too,
“there will be an influx of supporters from the ranks of the educated and propertied classes. These, however, must first be won over if the ... agitation engaged in is to have perceptible results... German socialism has laid “too much stress on winning over the masses, thus omitting to prosecute vigorous” (!)"propaganda amongst the so-called upper strata of society”. For “the party still lacks men who are fit to represent it in the Reichstag”. It is, however, “desirable and necessary to entrust the mandates to men who have had the time and the opportunity to become thoroughly conversant with the relevant material. Only rarely and in exceptional cases does ... the simple working man and small master craftsman have sufficient leisure for the purpose”.
Therefore elect bourgeois!
[...] There you have the programme of the three censors of Zurich. As regards clarity, it leaves nothing to be desired. Least of all so far as we're concerned, since we are still only too familiar with all these catch-phrases of 1848. There are the voices of the representatives of the petty bourgeoisie, terrified lest the proletariat, impelled by its revolutionary situation, should “go too far”. Instead of resolute political opposition — general conciliation; instead of a struggle against government and bourgeoisie — an attempt to win them over and talk them round; instead of defiant resistance to maltreatment from above — humble subjection and the admission that the punishment was deserved.
Every historically necessary conflict is reinterpreted as a misunderstanding and every discussion wound up with the assurance: we are, of course, all agreed on the main issue. The men who in 1848 entered the arena as bourgeois democrats might now just as well call themselves Social-Democrats. To the former, the democratic republic was as unattainably remote as the overthrow of the capitalist order is to the latter, and therefore utterly irrelevant to present political practice; one can conciliate, compromise, philanthropise to one’s heart’s content. The same thing applies to the class struggle between proletariat and bourgeoisie.
On paper it is recognised because there is no denying it any longer, but in practice it is glossed over, suppressed, emasculated. The Social-Democratic Party should not be a workers’ party, it should not bring upon itself the hatred of the bourgeoisie or, for that matter, of anyone else; above all, it should prosecute vigorous propaganda amongst the bourgeoisie; instead of laying stress on ambitious goals which are calculated to frighten off the, bourgeoisie, and unattainable anyway in our own generation, it should rather devote all its strength and energies to those petty-bourgeois stop-gap reforms which provide new props for the old social order and which might, perhaps, transform the ultimate catastrophe into a gradual, piecemeal and, as far as possible, peaceable process of dissolution.
These are the same people who keep up an appearance of ceaseless activity, yet not only do nothing themselves but also try to ensure that nothing at all is done save — chin-wagging; the same people whose fear of any kind of action in 1848 and ’49 held back the movement at every step and finally brought about its downfall; the same people who never see reaction and then are utterly dumbfounded to find themselves at last in a blind alley in which neither resistance nor flight is possible; the same people who want to confine history within their narrow philistine horizons, and over whose heads history invariably proceeds to the order of the day. (27)
Shenming, Li and Zhihua, Chen, 'Be Vigilant on Possible Danger in Peace Time - 20 Years' Reflections on Soviet Communist Party's Decline ', Social Sciences Academic Press (CHINA) (Mainland China, March 1, 2011), p.4.
https://theodora.com, 'GDP - Million 1990 - 1990 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK', accessed on June 27, 2021. https://www.theodora.com/wfb/1990/rankings/gdp_million_1.html
Shenming, Li and Zhihua, Chen, 'Be Vigilant on Possible Danger in Peace Time - 20 Years' Reflections on Soviet Communist Party's Decline ', Social Sciences Academic Press (CHINA) (Mainland China, March 1, 2011), p.5.
Margaret Thatcher, https://www.margaretthatcher.org, 'Speech to the American Petroleum Institute', Houston, Texas, USA, November 18, 1991. https://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/207917
Shenming, Li and Zhihua, Chen, 'Be Vigilant on Possible Danger in Peace Time - 20 Years' Reflections on Soviet Communist Party's Decline ', Social Sciences Academic Press (CHINA) (Mainland China, March 1, 2011), p.116.
https://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org, 'My Ambition was to Liquidate Communism', 'Northstar Compass', Toronto, February, 2000. https://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/rdv6n1/gorbach.htm
Jonathan Steele, 'Mikhail Gorbachev: I should have abandoned the Communist party earlier', August 16, 2011. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/aug/16/gorbachev-guardian-interview
Shenming, Li and Zhihua, Chen, 'Be Vigilant on Possible Danger in Peace Time - 20 Years' Reflections on Soviet Communist Party's Decline ', Social Sciences Academic Press (CHINA) (Mainland China, March 1, 2011), p.413.
彭厚文, http://cpc.people.com.cn, '邓小平巧妙否定“以阶级斗争为纲”', February 27, 2019. http://cpc.people.com.cn/n1/2019/0227/c69113-30904184.html
Shenming, Li and Zhihua, Chen, 'Be Vigilant on Possible Danger in Peace Time - 20 Years' Reflections on Soviet Communist Party's Decline ', Social Sciences Academic Press (CHINA) (Mainland China, March 1, 2011), p.489.
向青, 劉宇凡, '《从官僚社会主义到官僚资本主义的中国》', 新苗叢書（11）1997年6月第一版, April 1997. https://sites.google.com/site/red1917star/liu61
Marcello Musto, https://www.marcellomusto.org, 'Marx’s Critique of German Social Democracy:From the International to the Political Struggles of the 1870s', September 29, 2019. https://www.marcellomusto.org/marx-s-critique-of-german-social-democracy-from-the-international-to-the-political-struggles-of-the-1870s/912
評論編輯室, HK01, '中國經濟由國家壟斷嗎？', January 19, 2021. https://www.hk01.com/01觀點/576534/中國經濟由國家壟斷嗎
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, 'Circular Letter to August Bebel, Wilhelm Liebknecht, Wilhelm Bracke and Others (9. 17-18, 1879)', Die Kommunistische Internationale, June 15, 1931. https://marxists.architexturez.net/archive/marx/works/1879/09/18.htm
Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favour of fair use.