Tag Archives: Cultural Revolution

Polemic Against the Gang of Four: ‘Grasping Revolution, Promoting Production’

This polemic against the political line and practice of the ‘Gang of Four’ (Jiang Qing, Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan, and Wang Hongwen) during the Cultural Revolution in China is from Class Struggle (Winter, 1976-77, #6), the theoretical journal of the October League / Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist). It represents the line of Hua Guofeng, who followed Mao Zedong as the Chairman of the Communist Party of China. The document isn’t perfect, and is itself somewhat ultra-left, but it is being posted here to help look at some of the political problems of the Cultural Revolution in China:

‘Grasping Revolution, Promoting Production’
An exposure of the ‘Gang of Four’ and their attempt to restore capitalism in China

 The following article, written by Jen Ping, first appeared in the Nov. 14, 1976 issue of People’s Daily, organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. Entitled “A Gang of Vermin Noxious to the Country and the People,” it deals with one of the major questions distinguishing Marxism-Leninism from revisionism, the so-called “theory of productive forces.” It exposes how the “gang of four,” the anti-party clique headed by Wang Hung-wen, Chiang Ching, Chang Chun-chiao and Yao Wen-yuan, distorted a correct understanding of this question so as to further their plot to seize power and restore capitalism in China.

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Music and Culture of Struggle in the Colombian Revolution

The Marxist-Leninist has previously posted music by FARC-EP musician Julian Conrado. These songs and poems are by Jaime Nevado.

“The FARC-EP guerrilleros play, sing, write poetry and books, tell stories, put on plays and paint, etc. The most sensitive men and women, reflecting the reality around us, transform our culture into an orally and visually attractive form, nourishing the patriotic and revolutionary sentiment of thousands of fighters, their friends and thousands of people who today listen to the songs, read books, recite poetry and watch films made by the guerrilleros … Culture occupies a very large space and plays an important role in the life of each guerrillero in the FARC-EP … There is a cultural hour from 7 to 8 p.m. in all guerrilla camps, when the public order situation permits. In this hour there may be a book reading, a lecture, the reading of a poem, singing, or a fiesta to dance the current rhythms and compositions of the guerrilleros. This is a space created so that culture is present in the struggle of our people.”

“Revolutionary culture is present and is nurtured by the people. It is the expression of rebellion charged with social content that has flourished in spite of everything throughout our history – in spite of the massacres, the bullets and the negation with which they think they can silence the voice of the people.”

— FARC-EP, quoted in Revolutionary Social Change in Colombia: The Origin and Direction of the FARC-EP by James J. Brittain, pp. 200-201

See also the youtube page for the Bolivarian Movement for a New Colombia (MBNC): http://www.youtube.com/user/mbolivariano

The following video is from the MBNC:

Maxim Gorky’s ‘Mother’

The Marxist-Leninist recieved the following review via email:

Maxim Gorky’s ‘Mother’ — a summary

By Kazim Aizaz Alam

Maxim Gorky with J.V. Stalin in 1931

Maxim Gorky with J.V. Stalin in 1931

“Mothers are hardly ever pitied,” wrote Maxim Gorky (1868-1936) in his landmark novel Mother around 100 years ago. The novel is about the pre-revolution proletariat of Russia and focuses on the role women played in the struggle of the Russian working class on the eve of the revolution of 1905. Maxim Gorky, who was persecuted by the tsarist government and forced to live abroad for his ties with the Bolshevik Party, was moved by the brutal social and economic disparity that existed in Russian society during the tsarist government.

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The Guerrilla is Like a Poet

Jose Maria Sison presiding over the International Seminar on Mao Zedong Thought, 1993

Jose Maria Sison presiding over the International Seminar on Mao Zedong Thought, 1993

I’ve highlighted some revolutionary art and culture before. I’ve posted Rage Against the Machine’s acapella perfomance at the RNC protest this September, and the Sendoro Luminoso inspired video for the song Bombtrack. I’ve highlighted the music of Julian Conrado of the FARC-EP. Yesterday I posted an article about the outstanding Palestinian writer and PFLP martyr, Ghassan Kanafani. Today I want to highlight the beautiful poetry and songs of the Filipino revolutionary leader, Jose Maria Sison.

Comrade Sison reconstituted the Communist Party of the Philippines in 1968 based on Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought and founded the New People’s Army. He is the author of numerous important books and articles, including Philippine Society and Revolution, written under the war-name of ‘Amado Guerrero’. Today Sison lives in exile in The Netherlands and is the Chief Political Consultant to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

This is a music video of Jose Maria Sison’s lyric poem, “The Guerrilla is Like a Poet”. In the video it switches form English to Tagalog halfway through. You can also hear Sison himself sing the poem by clicking here. The words of the poem are in English in full below.

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Comrade Ghassan Kanafani and the Culture of Resistance

The following is from the website of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Marxist-Leninist organization that has been waging armed struggle against U.S./Israeli occupation for 40 years. For more about the life of Ghassan Kanafani, read “Comrade Ghassan Kanafani: The leader, the writer, the martyr“.

Towards a Better Future – Kanafani and the Culture of Resistance

by Dr. Ahmed Masoud

In 1977 a local theatrical group in Nazareth was banned from performing an adaptation of Ghassan Kanfani’s novel Men in the Sun (1962). The Israeli authority prevented the actors from going on stage and threatened imprisonment. The script was written by a Palestinian writer who was assassinated in a car bomb by Israeli agents in Lebanon in 1972. It is not surprising for governments to censor literature if it does not comply with its propaganda, but assassination is something which needs more careful examination. Why would the Israeli government feel threatened to go as far as killing Ghassan Kanafani? In order to find the answer for this question, one must look at not only the life and works of this writer but also delve deep into his mindset and how his writing has become a manifesto of the new Palestinian revolution. Continue reading

Mao! Mao! : Review of Jean-Luc Godard’s “La Chinoise”

“Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.” – Bertolt Brecht

As of this May, La Chinoise (1967), Jean-Luc Godard’s classic film about the Maoist movement in France (based on Dostoevsky’s book, The Devils), is now available on DVD! I just finished watching it for the first time, and I’d like to share a few initial thoughts, which, because of the film’s freshness in my mind, are not very systematic.

First, I’d seen two of Godard’s movies before: Breathless (1960), which I didn’t care for, and Le Petit Soldat (also from 1960), which I enjoyed. So I wasn’t sure what to expect, aside from a general idea that this was a somewhat experimental film about Maoism. Godard himself identified as a Maoist, and along with Jean-Paul Sartre, was gravitating around the Gauche Prolétarienne (GP). Additionally, this film had a big impact on French Maoism after the events of May 1968. It is characteristic of the ultraleft, however, in that it is fairly light on the Mass Line – “from the masses, to the masses” and all that. Continue reading

Maoist Film from the Cultural Revolution: Breaking With Old Ideas

Breaking With Old Ideas is a Chinese film from 1975 about revolutionizing education in the countryside and trasforming in a fundamental way the way people relate to nature, to society as a whole, and to each other. This revolutionary film is now available for free viewing.

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Study Guide: Art, Literature and Culture

This a section of M-L Study Guide. The other sections are found here: https://marxistleninist.wordpress.com/study-guide/

“In the world today all culture, all literature and art belong to definite classes and are geared to definite political lines. There is in fact no such thing as art for art’s sake, art that stands above classes, art that is detached from or independent of politics. Proletarian literature and art are part of the whole proletarian revolutionary cause; they are, as Lenin said, cogs and wheels in the whole revolutionary machine.” – Mao Zedong, Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art


Poster for the opera, Red Detachment of Women

Beginning and Essential readings

Supplementary readings