Talk given by Stephen Millies at the “Unity for Socialism and Revolution” conference in Los Angeles on March 16.
Seventy years ago — on Oct. 1, 1949 — Mao Zedong declared “China has stood up!”
The People’s Republic of China was born. A quarter of humanity had liberated itself from imperialist enslavement.
The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 had opened the door to oppressed people. The socialist revolutions in East Asia — China, Korea, Vietnam and Laos — smashed through it.
This year also marks a very different and cruel anniversary. Thirty years ago, the wave of counterrevolutions began, terrible setbacks that overthrew the socialist countries of Eastern Europe and ultimately the Soviet Union.
This immense tragedy was a greater defeat for workers and oppressed people everywhere than Hitler’s triumph over the German working class. The Ethiopian Revolution and the socialist government in South Yemen were swept away as well.
We still have five countries building socialism: the People’s Republic of China, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Cuba and Laos.
Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution has also declared independence from Wall Street. It’s defeating the CIA’s sabotage of its electrical system.
Over 1.5 billion people live in these countries. Those who are not willing to defend these revolutions against the Pentagon will be incapable of forging new victories.
Unity needed against the oppressor
More than ever, we need unity against the oppressor. Unity like the People’s Republic of China offering to help rebuild Venezuela’s electrical grid. Like the unity of Cuban medical volunteers helping people and saving lives in Venezuela and dozens of other countries.
We need the unity symbolized by Comrade Kim Jong Un traveling by train from socialist Korea through the People’s Republic of China to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Trump had to meet Comrade Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, where U.S. planes had dropped napalm bombs. The U.S. empire killed millions of people but was ultimately defeated by the Vietnamese and Laotian people.
The happiest day in my life was when a Vietnamese tank broke down the gate of the U.S. Embassy in what is now Ho Chi Minh City.
A revolution is growing in the Philippines. Never forget that Jim Crow Yankee imperialism massacred a least a million Filipino people over a century ago. At the same time, over a hundred Black people were lynched every year in the U.S.
We look forward to the victory of the Filipino Revolution and send greetings to our Comrade Jose Maria Sison.
Even before 1776, U.S. merchants and shipowners in ports like Marblehead and Salem dreamed of the vast markets in China and the rest of Asia.
President Franklin Roosevelt got the U.S. ruling class to enter World War II with the promise of taking over China. That’s what the so-called American Century was all about.
Wall Street barbarously dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They incinerated hundreds of thousands of Japanese working people and Korean slave laborers, as well as children.
But they weren’t able to stop the Chinese Revolution. The slogan of the McCarthyite anti-communist witch hunt was, “Who lost China?”
They lost China to the Chinese people, led by their communist party. The answer of the capitalist class was to start the Korean War less than nine months later.
Millions of Korean people were killed by the U.S. war machine. One massacre after another was conducted by U.S. officers.
But Gen. Douglas MacArthur was humiliatingly driven back by the Korean people and their Chinese allies. Among those who gave their lives was Mao Anying, a son of Mao Zedong.
The Pentagon never got over its defeats at the hands of Asian people. A few days ago, a CIA-organized gang brazenly attacked the embassy of People’s Korea in Spain.
It was the CIA that organized a coup in Indonesia 50 years ago that killed over a million people, including hundreds of thousands of members of the communist party — the PKI.
Capitalism still predominant
Many changes have occurred in China and Vietnam. All the countries building socialism have been forced to deal with the capitalist world market.
Even Lenin and the Bolsheviks were forced to do so during the period of the New Economic Program. That’s because capitalism is still the world’s predominant mode of production.
Good communists and good revolutionaries can disagree on the class character of China. But all of us will fight in unity any U.S. attacks on the People’s Republic of China.
Despite many backward steps, we don’t believe a counterrevolution has triumphed in China.
Foreign capital and hundreds of Chinese billionaires exploit millions of Chinese workers. The rich in China may have all the limousines, but they don’t control the People’s Liberation Army.
It’s because the 90-million-member strong Chinese Communist Party controls the commanding heights of the economy that industrial production has doubled in the last decade.
Even Forbes magazine admitted that Chinese wages have risen to match that of many European countries.
Chinese mills poured over 900 million tons of steel last year, almost 11 times the U.S. total. And Chinese auto plants made over 28 million vehicles.
China has built more miles of high-speed rail than the rest of the world combined. The real green new deal is being carried out in China.
Meanwhile, the capitalist U.S., Western Europe and Japan have stagnated. Workers in all the developed capitalist countries have endured more and more austerity.
The capitalist media want us to blame China for this poverty. But it was GM that shut down nine of its 10 plants in Flint — not China.
China’s impressive Belt and Road Initiative has given countries made poor by centuries of colonial enslavement an alternative to the robbers at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
For 20 years, Zimbabwe has been under attack for taking back land that rightfully belongs to Africans. But China’s trade and aid is helping Zimbabwe fight the credit and currency blockade imposed by the U.S. and Britain.
The threat of a new war in Asia is real. The U.S. rules the Pacific Ocean and views it like it’s Lake Michigan. Hundreds of nuclear missiles are aimed at China and Korea.
Our job in the belly of the beast is to stop this war drive. U.S out of Asia!