Tuesday, March 14, 2017






Hail the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Shanghai Peoples Commune in February 5th 1967 and later the revolutionary Committee on February 25th.

It is a historic landmark in the history of mankind and in the establishment of proletarian political power and revolutionary democracy at the highest zenith ever attained in history..Practice of MLM was taken to the highest stage ever reached in Socialist Society.

It attempted to replicate the Paris Commune and morally sustained itself till the early 1970's ,although the commune was converted into a revolutionary committee.Mao and his followers in the C.C.P.felt the state ,army and party could not be dissolved yet.It sowed the seeds for the gigantic strides attained in the Cultural Revolution in every walk of life.

Certain ideologues like com K.N.Ramchandran ,secretary of C.P.I.(M.L.) Red star feel Mao should either have surrendered or dissolve the state and abolished the standing army like in the Paris Commune..I feel The Socialist State would have been toppled had Mao done that in 1967 and it was still the stage of transition to Socialism

Below I am reproducing an extract from the outstanding research of Jiang Hongsheng which elaborated how the formation of the Shanghai Commune was not an anti-thesis of the party-state and that it's conversion to a revolutionary Commitee was in essence practice of mass line and application of Marxist-Leninist ideology in defending the concept of dictatorship of the proletariat and the party as a vanguard.

I recommend all Marxist cadres and sympathisers to read this authentic work which dialectically applies the methodology of Marxism-Lenism-Maoism.

Without doubt any development in a Socialist Society has to be analyzed dialectically and every Socialist Society too has weaknesses in development of sufficient revolutionary democracy .

The proletarian party must not impose it's politics on the mass organizations and award them their independent identity.The Shanghai commune was a historic landmark in replicating the Paris Commune and tearing the flesh of the bureaucracy.

However we must never forget that the Leninist party was not established in the time of the Paris Commune which ultimately was defeated because of lack on any proletarian party leading it.

Many new Left ideologues like Alan Badiou ,Zizek or even Charles Bettleheim are very critical of the Paris Commune model not being duplicated.

Badiou and his current supporters feel that a new party should have been formed and the CCP and the PLA should have dissolved itself.

This may be in tune to what Marx said during the Paris Commune but they hardly understand how Marxism was developed into Leninism where the need of party for proletarian power to be achieved was established.

Supporting pure model of Paris Commune in Shanghai would amount to going back to Marx but forgetting the ascendancy Lenin and Mao reached .Mao Tze Tung went one step further calling for a revolution within a Socialist Society buy always ascertained the role of the party as it is still the stage of Socialist Transition.

No doubt such thinkers have valid fact that there was bureaucracy and vanguardist tendencies existing with not enough independence to the mass organizations.

However they overlooked the subjective factors like political consciousness of workers, minority of party members in the Commune and powerful ultra leftist influence that in essence opposed the CCP.

Had Mao dissolved the party the kernel of Socialist Society would be destroyed and the Capitalist roaders would be victorious.

Mao formed the revolutionary committee applying Leninism to his own theses of continuation revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The subjective factors were not prevalent for holding elections within the commune and staging them would lead the path  for revival  of a bourgeois state similar to electoral politics in western parliamentary democracy model.

No doubt analyzing why setback took place in Socialist China is a very complex topic and Maoism needs to be developed further in handling the contradictions between the party and the people.

Fascinatingly Jiang Honshang states that the abandoning of mass organizations and the lack of powers awarded to them in supervising the party led to a setback.

He has analytically refuted the New Left ideas

Maoist intellectuals have to work on the herculean task of dialectically analyzing how a proletarian party can become more democratic in a Socialist Society and how greater proletarian power could be developed throwing light on setback in Socialist China.

Below are a series of Extracts from Hinsheng Jiang's book Paris Commune in Shanghai
CONVERSION OF COMMUNE INTO REVOLUTIONARY COMMITTEE Many Shanghai rebel leaders were not communist party members and some of them may not have been socialists or communists at all.

Therefore, if the Shanghai rebels insisted on following the Commune model based on general elections, a principle of the Paris Commune, then it was quite possible for the Shanghai Commune to elect a regime in which communists were in the minority.

Consequently, a touchy issue would emerge regarding the relationship between the Commune and the CCP. In a general election system, power comes from the voters. If communists were in the minority within such a communal regime, how should the masses follow the CCP?

Apparently, the CCP would lose its legitimacy and authority in such a regime in which the communists are in the minority.

Of course, Trotskyites, among others, would acclaim it a great thing to replace the “degenerated” Party with a self-governing workers’ regime.

But can such a self-governing workers’ regime guarantee a socialist direction and nature of the society?

If the working people’s class consciousness is not mature enough to realize that the emancipation of the working class is intimately interconnected with the emancipation of the whole of mankind and instead, the masses only strive for their own interests, the answer to this question is no.

Virtually all the so-called self-governing workers’ power organs, from Yugoslavian workers’ self-governance in factories during the Tito era to Poland’s Solidarity movement, frankly speaking, eventually became tools of unionism and economism – as Lenin argued in his time about similar cases – or tools of capitalist restoration.

Similarly, in the January Storm of Shanghai in 1967, a huge amount of workers cared nothing about the general orientation of political struggles. They just devoted their efforts to economist demands, disregarding the fact that, these kinds of actions, spread to many different localities within a short time might jeopardize the worker-peasant alliance and the construction of socialism for the whole state.

Under such circumstances, if there is not strong leadership, politically and/or organizationally, the whole state economy can collapse and a bloody civil war could be staged. Mao Zedong as a devoted Leninist, at such a critical conjuncture, would not hesitate to fight to retain the Party. He argued,

If everything were changed into communes, then what about the party? Where would we place the party? Among commune committee members are both party members and non-party members.

Where would we place the party committee? There must be a party somehow! There must be a nucleus, no matter what we call it. Be it called the Communist party, or social democratic party, or Guomindang, or I-guan-dao [a daoist religion cult], it must have a party.

The commune must have a party, but can the commune replace the party?

Mao did not think that the class-consciousness of the Chinese workers had matured enough, at the height of the CR, to dissolve the existing Party. It was too  soon for the communist party, as the vanguard of the working class, to fade away in human history.

It was true that at in the CR, Mao advocated that “the working class must exercise leadership in everything”. But as we can see, this was more a call for the workers to actively participate in and consciously lead society toward the socialist direction, and a wish for workers to foster and raise their acute and strong class consciousness, than a call to degrade and downplay the role of the Party. With regard to the need for the working class to exercise leadership in everything,

Mao emphasized, that the workers must improve themselves as well. He said in 1968: “Our country has 700 million people, and the working class is the leading class. It is essential to bring into full play the leading role of the working class in the great cultural revolution and in all fields of work. On its part, the working class should always raise its political consciousness in the course of struggle.”

If the Commune could not replace the Party, then a natural solution would be to put the Commune under the direct leadership of the Party, which could be carried out in two ways.

One was to re-introduce the “revolutionary” old Party cadres into the Commune, and another was to have the non-communist-party-member delegates of the Shanghai Commune join the Party.

Both ways, to use Mao’s word, meant to tu gu na xin (exhale the old and inhale the new) for the purpose of reconstituting the Party committee in the Commune.

b In 1975, the year before Mao died, Mao showed that a portion of working class could be captured by the bourgeoisie:

CONCLUSION from extract of book by Hongshen Jiang.The Shanghai Commune and its legal successor, the Shanghai RC – which tragically ended in 1976 in a ruthless coup that was against millions of pro-CR activists – was not a farce at all.

It was the working class’ powerful and heroic struggle to retake state power from those power holders who no longer served the people. It was an organic continuation of the proletarian revolutions in China and elsewhere in the world, notably the Paris Commune and the Russian Bolshevik Revolution. Of course, similar to every revolution, the Shanghai January Revolution

Arif Dirlik thinks that simultaneous of 1967 simultaneously entailed historical contradictions of
possibility and impossibility, continuity and discontinuity, and contingency and necessity. As Marx said, Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past.

The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living. And just when they seem engaged in revolutionizing themselves and things, in creating something that has never yet existed, precisely in such periods of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirit s of the past to their service and borrow from them names, battle-cries and costumes in order to present the new scene of world history in this time-honoured disguise and this borrowed language.

Marx’s remarks about how men make history were a comment on the bourgeois revolutions. But it could be perfectly applied to the Shanghai Commune. For the Chinese Maoist rebels, the Chinese
revolution was in crisis on the eve of the CR because of the degradation of parts of the state bureaucracy and even the Party itself.

From the very beginning, the socialist advance toward communism was interrupted and sabotaged by the “capitalist roaders taking authority within the Party”, represented notably by the Liu-Dengists.

When the Chinese revolution was in crisis, i.e. in a period of revolutionary crisis, revolutionary chaos had to be fomented in order to transform and reconstruct the society according to the Maoists’ long-cherished revolutionary values and spirit. At this moment, the specter of the past, conspicuously the Paris Commune, was conjured up.

As I have argued here, the values and spirit of the Paris Commune have been continuously transmitted for nearly one hundred years
Marx, Karl, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, in
Vol.11, pp.103-104.
from Paris, Russia, among other places, to China. Inspired by the Russian Soviet revolution that continued the cause of the Paris Commune, Chinese revolutionaries established Commune regimes twice in 1927. Their defeat was a tragedy, but not a farce.

Several decades later, the Chinese dream of the Paris Commune was conjured up and put into practice again in the later 1950s when tens of thousands of agricultural People’s Communes were established throughout the nation.

When the Liu-Dengists within the Party tried to disband the People’s Communes on the pretext of the partial failure of the Great Leap Forward, the Maoists in the Party, as guardians of the Chinese dream of the Paris Commune, resolutely fought against them.

On the eve and during the early stage of the CR, the Maoists, “under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past”, notably, under the Chinese vision and practice of the Paris Commune, called on the masses to seek a brand-new form of state structure modeled upon the Paris Commune to replace the existing one.

The Maoists did not revive the Paris Commune from their wild fantasy, nor did they make history as they pleased. Rather, they conjured up models from their revolutionary heritage. The claim that Mao and his followers’ call to build upon the Paris Commune was merely a ruse, or “flirting”, as Harry Harding suggested,is more or less misleading.

When the Maoists were busy revolutionizing themselves their surroundings in “creating something that has never yet existed”, and in the quest for a new state structure, the most convenient and attractive political resources they could resort to and employ were not from the allegedly degenerated revisionist Soviet Union,but from the first working people’s government—the Paris Commune that Marx, the greatest mentor of communist movements, had praised.

Since the Maoist leaders had called on the masses to learn from the Paris Commune, when the name of the Shanghai Commune was changed to the Shanghai Revolutionary Committee, Mao and his followers were understandably denounced as the “betrayers” and “arch criminals” of the working people’s cause by some people.

But as I discussed in previous chapters, Mao himself never advocated a strict implementation of the original shape and configuration of the Paris Commune in socialist China. Rather, he saw the Paris Commune as something to use as a model for China in terms of its principles and spirit.

Above all, “the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made State machinery,and wield it for its own purposes.” The old must be smashed whereas the new should be established, but the new did not necessary have to assume the same shape as past models such as the Paris Commune.

Again, Marx’s further remarks on the bourgeois revolution were applicable to the working class revolution: The resurrection of the dead in those revolutions served the purpose of glorifying the new struggles, not of parodying the old; of magnifying the given task in imagination, not of
fleeing from its solution in reality; of finding once more the spirit of revolution, not of making its ghost walk about again.

The Maoist rebels’ resurrection of the Parisian communards in Shanghai was not to replicate all aspects of the Paris Commune in the past century, but to uphold and celebrate the ongoing new struggles in the storm of the CR.

The new struggles Marx, Karl, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, in aimed to cast aside the degenerated parts of the bureaucracy and those parts of the Party that were onto the track of a capitalist road. It attempts to urge the degenerated power holders to return to the socialist and communist line of serving the people.

When the Liu-Dengist power holders put the Maoist revolutionaries under pressure and rejected their petition for re-revolutionizing by encouraging the wind of economism and carrying out general strikes, the Maoists had to upgrade their struggles to a full scale power seizure from the power holders.

Therefore, the intensified new struggle was first of all not designed to establish a revolutionary democratic power organ similar to that oi the Paris Commune, but to establish a new revolutionary socialist power organ by adopting a wholly new form of state structure. As I have argued before, even though in classical Marxist interpretations, the Paris Commune is a concrete example of a dictatorship of the proletariat, it is just a rudimentary one and not a dictatorship of the proletariat under socialism.

It was more, as Lenin labeled it, a revolutionary democratic dictatorship that did not abolish private property. As we know, the anti-Paris Commune bourgeois forces and their followers were largely excluded from Paris. Moreover, the Paris Commune did not produce a visible political agenda to expropriate the expropriators, even though it might have such intentions in keeping with Marx’s hypothesis.

Therefore, by winning the healthy parts of the bourgeoisie over, the Paris Commune was able to institute a general election and functioned as a revolutionary democratic power organ in 1871. But to date a socialist government has ever been successfully elected through universal suffrage at the state level, which abolishes class-property that makes the labour of the many the wealth of the few.