SENZA CENSURA n.14
Italy, july-october 2004
IS CHINA CLOSE?
For a section about Asia
In this issue we are going to start a section about Asia, following two directions:
-capitalistic development in Asia and emerging industrial proletariat
-revolutionary process and resistance in Asia
We will try not to look at this process by a western point of view.
The productive Asian increase, which frightens and entices the western imperialistic bourgeoisie, has to be seen like a development of capitalism: that is a greatest turbulence inside imperialism. The development of industries and metropolises in Asia have not to be compared to the European phenomenon of 100 years ago. As the class constitution of working masses follows different traditions, methods and problems. The rapidity of the Asian development, its being colonial subject and its human mass, are unprecedented in world history.
Talking about class struggle in Asia means to consider 1 thousand situations of resistance in many different contexts: from forests and mountains where the Nepalese and Philippine guerrilla carries out, to the workers' struggle in the great Chinese and South Korean factories, with the hanging of executives and scabs at the beams of sheds. W e will analyze the relationship between the anti imperialist struggle and the capitalistic development in Asia; not to judge, but trying to tell the popular resistance against imperialism.
Capitalistic development in Asia and emerging industrial proletariat
With the strong capitalistic development in Asia it is emerging an enormous mass of industrial workers, together with the enlargement of towns; for dimensions and rapidity this is an unprecedented process. Two thirds of the active world population live in Asia, and the middle is in China and India. In industrial countries in Europe, North America and Japan, there is about a quarter . In the world there is still almost the middle of active people (the most not paid) in the countries; and in the countries of Asia, China and Africa, expulsions of peasants, emigrations towards industrial areas and the birth of waged work, even if with great dimensions (see the 150 millions of China) are just beginning. Nevertheless, if we look at the yearly increase percentages we can state that very soon China, India and Asiatic South East will have the greatest mass of waged workers in the world. The industrial development produced by the wets during 100 years, in Asia is showing itself along 10 years. The increase of the active population in China has a rate of almost 10 millions a year, in particular for industrial workers (2-4 millions more every year).
At the beginning of the 50s the active population in the world was about a thousand million of men: now they are more than 2 thousand millions and half.
And the industrial one, which was around 200 millions, today is more than half a thousand million. The farm population it's increased more slowly, from 700 millions to 1.100.000.000.
Asia is the continent which most has produced these changes, that we can synthesize by this way (considering here also Japan and South Korea):
-great increase of the active population
-great increase of industrial activities (the most are waged workers)
-light increase of farm population (that is a relative decrease in front of industrial workers), which falls from 89 to 52% of the independent workers and family contributors
-development of urban areas.
These changes have produced greater contradictions : an increase of internal emigration (from countries to towns) and an extra - national one.
A shift from west China to the east coast; the constitution of metropolises in India (during very little years some cities passed from 100.000 to 2 millions and half of inhabitants); a strong increase of working minors.
In Asia the countries which make more use of working minors are India (more than 11 millions of children between 5 and 14 years), Bangladesh (6 millions of children between 10 and 14 years), Pakistan (2 millions).
The present or future importance for Asian nations linked to production and trade is enormous. The incapacity and geo-politic inferiority of emerging countries (if we exclude China) are caused by decades of forced submission to western imperialism. The debate about nuclear between India and Pakistan and the related western worry, if compared to North American, English, Russian and French arsenals, seems ridiculous. The Asian bourgeoisie (even the Chinese one) has ever been unable to be real leader of liberation processes; slave of imperialism in the past, today doesn't represent a threat for USA's imperialist interests.
China itself, though representing a strong mass, is unable to be unscrupulous like USA in its same continent.
Revolutionary process and resistance in Asia
From an historical point of view, after the Bolshevik revolution, the Asian continent saw the second great popular revolution in the world, the Chinese one directed by Mao; the anti-colonial and socialist struggle in Vietnam, Cambodia and Korea. At the present moment many of those experiences run aground or finished; the only one which is strongly resisting and is fighting for the country's total independence is North Korea, divided in two by USA on the well known 38° parallel. Now there are countries where it opened a real revolutionary process. In Nepal the popular army directed by the communist party liberated whole areas of the country, and is trying to test a new democracy following the Maoist example. The Nepalese experience reminds to the one done by the Peruvian communist party- Sendero Luminoso (very soon on the Nepalese communist party's newspapers they are published interviews and papers by the Peruvian organizationı).
Even in India, Bangladesh and Philippines there are great communist parties which are developing guerrilla. In the Philippines, the communist party since 30 years is fighting against the regime, through the organization called Bagong Hukbong Bayan.
Besides, there's a legal association called Democratic National Front of the Philippines. All these organizations have slightest objectives, into a more general revolutionary process. If in Nepal the comrades ask a constitutional republic (now there's a dictatorial monarchic regime), in the Philippines and India they ask for an agricultural reform. These objectives have a revolutionary importance for their political implications in their countries; besides, they are an obliged passage for the communist movement, to increase a class consciousness in the masses, which through guerrilla and free red areas test a form of new power.
In the recent international meeting in Mumbai (India) these organizations created a meeting alternative to the World Social Forum, calling it "Mumbai Resistance"². The political and trade unionist delegations taking part to this alternative meeting , were higher than those in the official meeting. The western press and alternative medias could not understand this fact and how Mao and the Maoism are still popular in Asia.
If they had left their classic western prejudice, surely they could have understood that for Asian peoples the Chinese experience represented the most important struggle against imperialism and an immediate form of ransom from colonialism.
In India, where the Left rules with a revisionist communist party, the revolutionary communist organizations didn't change their behaviour, going on with the armed struggle. There's a great production by the revolutionary Indian Left, for example the journal (in English language) "People's March", near to the Indian Marxist Leninist Communist Party - Popular War³.
The communist party in the Philippines and the Nepalese one are into the USA's black list, which helps regimes to fight the communist guerrilla through mercenaries and anti-guerrilla teachers. In the west, many Left organizations are interested in these organizations; nevertheless, because of their placement in rural areas, it's difficult to export their organizing method. Their outline is the country surrounding the town through a popular army directed by the party. It's important to give voice to these organizations which fight with every necessary mean against imperialism, which carries on a communist program; the support must be unconditional, but trying to reproduce their outline in the imperialist metropolis seems a form of political exotic tendency common to many groups of the Italian antagonist Left.
In China and South Korea, though being very different, there's a parallel workers' resistance.
Shocked, a journalist of "Il Sole 24 ore" told into an article that in North China children have a play called "Kill the boss" to imitate what their parents do. There have been many executives, heads department, mayor killed by workers during spontaneous struggles against inhuman working conditions.
In South Korea workers' struggle are continuous and soon they are linked to struggles for the independence and unification of Korea, because North American troops are still present in great quantity.
Finally there's the Islamic question, which finds confessional fighting organizations in many countries, first of which India, Indonesia and Philippines. The Asian communist movement has had alternate relationships with the political Islam.
Since the second congress of the Communist International (15 December 1920) many delegates of Asian communist parties supported the Leninist thesis about the revolution in Asia like a moment of international anti imperialism.
In the lively debate the most vanguard opinion was that of the Indian delegate M. N. Roy, about cooperation between communists and Muslim nationalists 4. This cooperation has been alternate, with some bloody clashes; nevertheless the identity question of Islam in Asia represents a central point for every perspective of massive anti imperialist resistance.
1) The revolution on the world's roof, a look upon eight years of popular war, Li Honesto, Revolutionary Workers n. 1230, 22 February 2004, translated on the Bulletin of anti imperialist information, April-March 2004. Interview to Prachanda, secretary of the Nepalese communist party (Maoist), notebooks of "Revolution".
2) The final statement can be found on the Bulletin of anti imperialist information, April-March 2004
4) Alessandro Aruffo, "The Islamic world, movements, States and revolutions form Maometto till today", Datanews.