Editorial board of Jinglei
Translated by Chunxing
Who Are We?
We, the Jinglei (Thunder,《惊雷》), is a Revolutionary Communist publication. We follow the classical Marxist tradition of Marx and Engels; we support the major resolutions of first four world congresses of the Communist International and the International Left Opposition to Fourth International:
Transitional Program, The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International (First Congress, 1938)
Socialist Revolution and the Struggle for Women’s Liberation (11th Congress, 1979)
The Dictatorship of the proletariat and socialist democracy (12th Congress, 1985)
Socialist revolution and Ecology (13th Congress, 1991)
On Lesbian/Gay Liberation (15th Congress, 2003)
Mobilization for the climate and anti-capitalist strategy (16th Congress, 2010)
Let’s seize the opportunities, and build an international for revolution and communism (Announced by Fourth International Opposition Platform, 2017)
We support socialist feminism, ecological socialism and the idea of LGBTQ equal rights. In producing this publication, we adhere to the principles of internal democracy.
Currently Communist-internationalists in China are few in number, our theoretical basis and working ability is underdeveloped, internal differences are significant; state and capitalist control over society is severe; despite increasing number of workers’ struggle, the level of struggle remains at a low level, and they are basically limited to the economic struggle; the Chinese Left is dominated mainly by Maoists and Stalinists who hold bureaucratic socialism thought. In the face of this situation, our tasks are focused on: First, conduct propaganda for advanced individuals toward the goal of converting the advanced layers of workers, young students and intellectuals into revolutionary Marxists; Second, strengthen the Revolutionary Communists’ education, development, exchange and solidarity; only in this way, will we be able to lay the foundation for propaganda and agitation to the masses when future mass movement and upsurge arise.
What We Stand For?
We stand for creating classless and stateless communist society, in order to liberate humankind from the slavery of capitalism. This society will be built on highly developed productive forces and the public ownership of the means of production for all the humankind, distribution according to one’s need, and the collective and democratic management of the economy and society. In such a society, any oppression based on gender, skin-color, sexual orientation and customs will disappear. Everyone will realise free development, and labour will become the first need of humankind. Humankind will enter the kingdom of liberty.
To realise such society, we call ourselves “communists”.
Democratic Workers’ State
To build communist society, a state of the dictatorship of proletariat will need to be created first. This state will achieve the political ruling of the working class and other oppressed people. That is a transitional stage from capitalism to socialism and communism.
This state will nationalise the important sectors of the economy (such as energy, telecommunications, railways, urban utilities etc.) and put them under workers’ supervision and management, and encourage farmers, small industry and small business to manage cooperatively. With the development of productive forces, the degree of nationalisation will gradually expand.
This state opposes the management style of bureaucratic socialism/Stalinism/Maoism (The “Cultural Revolution” is not a real anti-bureaucratic movement), and implement the system of Workers’ Democracy. The management of enterprises and community shall be passed onto workers’ and other working peoples’ democratic management committee. The state’s power is to be vested in the Workers’ Councils (Soviet) that are democratically elected by the people and have to be a multiparty system (the people have the right to organize different political parties and organizations). The state should implement a democratic centralist planned economy, and gradually reduce the role of the market as the productive forces develop. The democratic workers’ state should protect workers’ freedom of thought, and of academic and cultural creation; oppose the use of administrative and repressive methods to enforce any thought as the state ideology and the dominant position in culture; oppose ideology oppression.
The workers’ democratic state will increase investment in education, healthcare, housing and other aspects, implement free education and free medical care, affordable public housing; at the same time it will construct free state-operated nurseries and kindergartens, and affordable public canteens, in order to free women from the burden of housework. The state should make every effort to ensure that citizens receive their high quality and dignified public service. Such state will protect people from discrimination and oppression because of their beliefs, skin-colors, genders, sexual orientations and ethnicities.
Workers’ democratic state will strengthen mutual economic, political and cultural ties, and establish a unified world socialist political and economic system, toward building a world socialist society as early as possible.
Class Struggle, Class Independence and Permanent Revolution
At present, the class contradiction of capitalism is mainly between the bourgeoisie and the working class. In order to establish a workers’ democratic state, the working class needs to begin a class struggle with the bourgeois class. In the process of struggle, we ought to keep the working class independent, not to be the followers of various political factions of the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie, becoming neither the tails of “worker-caring” liberals nor the self-styled “socialist” new-leftists or right-wing Maoists. Hence, we believe that the real revolutionary policy must aim at the complete destruction of the capitalist state machinery. We reject the political factions which simply advocate the reform of the capitalist state machinery and the promotion of class harmony. In the future the mass movements, we will support workers’ self-organisation during the struggle, and will push for the transformation of the strike committee into the Workers Council (Soviet), to achieve a dual-power situation, and eventually replace the capitalist state.
We oppose the view that China will first establish a representative system of capitalist democracy, and then carry out the socialist revolution. We also oppose to the view that because the class consciousness of the working class is not sufficient, we should first promote the awakening of the class consciousness, and then conduct communist educational work to develop revolutionary consciousness. We believe that these both propositions are two-stage revolution theory. We support the theory of “permanent revolution” embodied in the Transitional Programme.
We believe that in China under capitalism, the main force for both the democratic and socialist revolutions is the working class. The bourgeoisie liberals in China cannot establish a stable democratic representative system. And, even if a democratic representative system exists in China, we will only use these democratic rights gained by workers in parliamentary system to expand and improve workers’ organisational and fighting capacities. We believe that the promotion of the political class consciousness of the working class and the promotion of Communist ideology is not a task that can wait until the generalised awakening of the working class.
Struggle for females, LGBTQ
Capitalist system promotes the value of patriarchy, and in the process of its development imposes multiple oppressions on women. Women’s lack of self-organisation during the bureaucratic socialist period in China exacerbated the setback of women’s rights after the capitalist restoration. Currently, women are discriminated against in employment and suffer from lack of protection to women in the workplace. Social customs exert pressure on women to marry and reproduce; and high fees in kindergartens and nurseries restrict many childbearing women, especially those with lower incomes, to domestic housework. Some provisions of the Marriage Law actually suppress the rights of women in the family, and many women lack protection against violence at home.
Those oppressions cannot be overcome by the individual struggle promoted by liberal feminists. It can also be overcome by the self-organisation and the solidarity of women workers. Therefore, we support socialist-feminism.
LGBTQ groups suffer discrimination under capitalism. They are unable to enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples in marriage, such as the right of custody, inheritance of property and consent for medical operation. It also causes a huge accounts of hetero-norm marriages, and many lost their lives because of attacks on their sexuality. This just proves the necessity of a society with equality and freedom, in which gender bias in laws and social customs will be eliminated. We support the LGBTQ movement and appeal workers to fight against anti-homosexuality, not only for people to be more ethical and virtuous, but to promote the class solidarity by struggling for the rights of LGBTQ groups. At the same time, we oppose male chauvinism and the segregation in the gays and lesbians movements.
In the bureaucratic socialist period, the bureaucracy disregarded any concern for the environment in its development strategy, and caused massive ecological destruction. In the years shortly before and then after the restoration of capitalism, to pursue profit, the bourgeoisie caused more damage to the environment with predatory extraction of resources. Generally speaking, China’s desertification is worsening, groundwater’s situation is serious in the north, oil resource is in shortage, the air pollution is rampant, species are decreasing, water is being seriously polluted, forests are being destroyed, and nuclear power plants are blossoming everywhere with the risk of uncountable and potential nuclear pollution.
All these are impacting the daily lives of ordinary workers and destroying the natural conditions on which human beings depend. At present, all kinds of environmental protection policies cannot solve the ecological problems in the context of the great development of capitalism, or would only delay its solution. Ecological problems can only be solved by the people from the bottom-up and through self-organised ecological struggle. We advocate for replacing the capitalist environment development strategy through revolutionary means with eco-socialism, so as to build a society in which human and nature live in harmony.
The struggle of the oppressed nations/peoples in China
China is a multi-ethnic country. Under the capitalist development strategy, the tendency of capital to make profit result in the lack of development and poverty in many ethnic minority areas. Under the slogan of “maintaining a unified multi-ethnic nation”, the state has suppressed ethnic groups’ struggles for democratic rights and the rights of autonomy and self-determination, and has imposed strong control over some ethnic minorities, such as the Uighurs and Tibetans. Cultural policies often do not respect the choice of ethnic minorities. To this end, we believe that all ethnic groups and peoples should enjoy the right of self-determination, and the freedom to either remain part of China or separate from China. At the same time, we support all nations and peoples’ struggle for real democracy, equality and autonomy (not the current official false autonomy), and the struggle for democracy and for equality of all nations and peoples, and strive for national autonomous are an integral whole.
We oppose the Han chauvinism and of some ethnic minorities, and also oppose the subordination of ethnic minorities’ working class to ethnic nationalism in the struggle. We are opposed to all kinds of extreme religious and ethnic forces. The struggle of the ethnic minorities can only be successful on the basis of the self-organisation of the working people.
Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan
While the main ethnic group in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan is Han Chinese, due to their differences in political system with Mainland China, especially as Taiwan and the Mainland have separated for more than half a century, the political, economic, social and cultural life in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and the mainland are different. The current Mainland government has imposed high pressure policies on these three areas, especially against democratic struggle among the people of Hong Kong and Macau. Because of this, we support the struggle of people in Hong Kong and Macau for democracy and socialism, and this struggle should be in solidarity and united with people’s struggle for democracy and socialism in Mainland. The far-right nativist faction in Hong Kong, which calls for Hong Kong independence, will not bring democracy to the people in Hong Kong, nor would it lead to social justice. We are opposed to undermining and reducing the current autonomy of Hong Kong and Macau.
We believe that the people in Taiwan should enjoy the right to self-determination. The reunification of the Mainland and Taiwan can only be resolved by bilateral equal negotiations under the conditions that the majority of the people in Taiwan agree to reunification, and that the form of unification should fully respect the wishes of the people of Taiwan.
We are internationalists. We oppose the imperialist oppression of backward countries and nations, which can only be achieved through international solidarity and struggle. We believe that the overall interests of the international working class are greater than the shared interests of working class and the bourgeoisie in each country. We do not agree with Stalinism and Maoism which limits internationalism to only aid in the struggle of other countries. We also believe that the struggle of working and oppressed classes from different ethnic groups, nations and immigrant groups should go beyond ethnic and national boundaries, build the solidarity and connection of revolutionaries across the world. The formulation of policies would not only consider national conditions, but also the entire international situation. Therefore, we advocate building the international movement that can develop this internationalism – the Fourth International.
Capitalist society has a systematic set of state machines, as well as a set of ideological systems that exercise thought control over the working people. To overthrow such powerful capitalist class rule, the working class must be organised. The highest form of political organisation of the working class is the vanguard party. Vanguard party should be able to gather past experiences and lessons of the working class struggle, and during the high tide of revolution, it will lead the revolutionary struggle of the working class; during the revolutionary ebb phase, it can preserve the struggle experience of working class and the theory of communism. It should implement democratic centralism, which not only maintain their discipline, and also ensure open, fair and democratic discussion, and every member has the right to defense their own views and to organise factions and tendencies. Decisions made through democratic process shall be binding on all members of the party, but it shall allow members to request reconsideration at an appropriate time.
In our opinion, in the present in China, we should gradually form study groups in areas with appropriate conditions, and then develop them into propaganda groups. Propaganda groups will actively promote the idea of communism, and to participate in the workers’ movement and various social movements, gaining the support of working class and other oppressed people in order to become as early as possible a vanguard party supported by the working class.
The working class united front
At present, the Chinese Left has a large number of differences and different factions, some of which have involved in the workers’ movement to various degrees. Generally speaking, however, the class consciousness of the working class in China is still inadequate. Therefore, we advocate in the future of the workers’ movement, in focusing on concrete problems, we should reach agreements (but should not be agreements reached only by the leadership of different political organisations that have no practical political significance) with other left-wing (whether Trotskyist or Maoist leftists, or other socialist forces) political tendencies and factions to form a united front of the working class. In the United Front, we should strive to expand our political influence, increase supporters among workers around us, and promote the solidarity of the ordinary members of the different tendencies of the working class.
But the working-class united front strategy is completely different from the “alliance of four classes” of Maoism, because this strategy will absorb the political forces in the exploiting classes. It means letting the working class subordinate to the bourgeoisie; or manipulate other parties and mass organisations for the purpose of political grouping. We should also be wary that some bureaucratic socialist factions in the name of “service to the workers” and “no heavy historical burdens” will ask us to abandon our independent propaganda in the form of merging or liquidation for the sake of unity.