Maoism is the highest, most advanced stage of Marxism. Just as Lenin brought Marxism to a new, superior, stage at the beginning of the 20th century, with his immortal contributions on the revolutionary vanguard party, imperialism, dictatorship of the proletariat and Socialism in One Country, so did Mao advance Marxism to a third stage, with some immortal contributions of his own regarding the continuation of the class-struggle under Socialism as a means of preventing the new emerging bourgeoisie from overthrowing the dictatorship of the proletariat and restoring the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. But another major contibution by Mao Zedong to the development of Marxist theory, that is often overlooked these days, was the Three Worlds Theory. While Mao’s teachings on the emergence of a Red bourgeoisie constitute a gigantic improvement in the Marxist understanding of Socialism, Mao’s Theory of the Three Worlds represented a major breakthrough in the Marxist understanding of imperialism.
As Mao brilliantly put it during the time of the Great Cultural Revolution, there are dangerous enemies of Socialism out there who choose to wave the Red Flag in order to OPPOSE the Red Flag, for it is much easier for enemies of Socialism to undermine Socialism and Communist ideology from withing, through DISGUISING themselves as Communists. There are open enemies of Communism and hidden enemies of Communism, there are open enemies of Maoism and hidden enemies of Maoism, and at various times, such as our own time, when the theoretical level inside the International Communist Movement is woefully low, these hidden enemies of Communism and Maoism are 100 times worse than open enemies such as Liberals, Neocons or Nazis.
These hidden enemies of Maoism fall into two distinct categories.
There are the DENGISTS on one hand, followers of traitor Deng Xiaoping, mortal enemy of Maoism, who effectively overthrew the dictatorship of the proletariat in China in 1976 and by 1978 set about restoring capitalism on a full scale. Dengists proclaim allegiance to Mao and Maoism but are in fact HIDDEN ENEMIES of Maoism because they reject and condemn the very ESSENCE of Maoist teachings, namely Mao’s teachings on the emergence of the Red bourgeoisie. Dengists claim alleagiance to Mao while openly condemning Mao’s single biggest achievement, the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1968. They claim allegiance to Mao and Maoism while at the same time condemning the living and most important core of Maoism.
The second category of hidden enemies of Maoism is represented by the so-called „Lin Biaoists”. Lin Biaoists do not condemn the Cultural Revolution and do not deny that Mao was right when he spoke of a bourgeoisie within the Communist Party, tirelessly striving to restore capitalism. They rather focus their attacks on Mao’s SECOND major contribution to the advancement of Marxism, namely Mao’s Three Worlds Theory. Dengists attack the Cultural Revolution and Mao’s teachings on the Red bourgeoisie, Lin Biaoists attacks Mao’s Theory of the Three Worlds, that is how matters stand. Both Dengists and Lin Biaoists proclaim allegiance to Mao and Maoism, yet they both are mortal enemies of Maoism, enemies who are all the more dangerous as they pose as genuine admirers of Mao, albeit in a „critical, non-dogmatic” fashion. They disguise their Anti-Maoism beneath a cloak of „Anti-Dogmatism”, the same way another notorious traitor of Communism, Khruschev, disguised his attacks on Stalin under the brightly-coloured yet so deceptive cloak of „Anti-Dogmatism”.
Since we have already spend time exposing the first variety of concealed anti-Maoism, the Dengist one, we will focus this article on exposing the second variety of anti-Maoism disguised as Maoism, the Lin Biaoist variety.
Lin Biaoists are supporters of Lin Biao, a once major figure in the Chinese Communist Party during the 1960s, who climbed as far up the CPC’s hierarchy as to become the quasi-official successor of Mao in 1968-1969. The years 1968 and 1969 constituted the height of Lin Biao’s political carreer. Thereafter his authority declined rapidly and by 1971 he was implicated in a failed coup against Mao, which would cost Lin Biao his life.
Followers of Lin Biao, both open and disguised ones, love to highlight the alleged „superiority” of Lin Biao’s theory of imperialism over Mao’s Three Worlds Theory.
First, what is Mao’s Three Worlds Theory all about?
Its origins can be traced back to a 1973 talk between Mao and Zambian anti-imperialist leader Kenneth Kaunda. While brief, this conversation is of an extraordinary importance in illuminating the Maoist understanding of imperialism.
Lenin’s theory of imperialism correctly defined imperialism as a stage of capitalism in which monopoly replaces the free-market, the intertwining of big banks and big industrial monopolies gives rise to finance capital and export of capital begins to replace export of commodities, which constitued a key feature of early, pre-monopolistic capitalism. Monopoly capitalism replacing the free market, big banks and big industry becoming intertwined through bankers acquiring shares in industrial enterprises and industrialists acquiring shares in banks, export of capital, mainly through capitalists from advanced countries opening plants in poorer countries, starting to replace export of goods, that constitutes the imperialist stage of capitalism. Lenin’s contribution to understanding this new stage of world capitalism is truly immortal.
Mao’s contribution to understanding imperialism was to RANK the imperialist countries according to their DESTRUCTIVE POTENTIAL, which was best expressed in number of nuclear weapons. According to Mao, the United States and the by-then social-imperialist and revisionist Soviet Union constituted the First World, mainly because they possesed the highest number of nukes. Japan, Western Europe and Canada, countries that were without a doubt imperialist yet lacked the nuclear weapons or possesed far fewer nukes than America and the USSR, comprised the Second World, whereas the non-imperialist countries, including Socialist ones like China, comprised the Third World.
Lin Biaoists however do not agree with Mao’s Three Worlds Theory and seek to replace it either with their own version of a theory of Three Worlds, or with a very outdated picture of „unipolar imperialism”, based on what the world looked like 20 years ago or so, not today.
Lin Biao’s outlook of world affairs is embodied in an article from 1965 entitled „The international significance of comrade Mao Zedong’s Theory of People’s War”, also known as „Long live the victory of the People’s War!”. Lin Biao speaks of basically TWO worlds instead of three. „Taken the entire globe, if North America and Western Europe can be called „the cities of the world”, then Asia, Africa and Latin America constitute „the rural areas of the world”… In a sense, the contemporary World Revolution also presents a picture of the encirclement of cities by rural areas.”
Such an outlook is not essentially wrong, and no Maoist can deny the contradiction between the imperialist world and the colonial and semi-colonial world is not only a major contradiction of our world but also THE MAIN contradiction of the world we live in.
The problem is that Lin Biao repeatedly speaks of the imperialist camp as being led by the United States, whereas Mao in his talk with Kenneth Kaunda speaks of the imperialist camp as having TWO HEADS instead of one, namely America and the revisionist Soviet Union, based on the fact the two had roughly the same destructive capabilities, which were expressed in the number of nuclear weapons. Lin Biao effectively ignored the crucial role of nuclear weapons in ranking the imperialist countries and came to the WRONG conclusion, that of an imperialist camp being „led by the United States”. He came to the absurd conclusion that the revisionist Soviet Union was somehow „less powerful” than the United States despite having far more nukes than Britain or France and being on a par with the United States in this respect.
But what do followers of Lin Biao have to say on this issue?
Various groups that claim allegiance to Lin Biao, albeit in a hypocritical „Lin Biao alongside Mao” fashion, or in the form of upholding a so-called „New Synthesis” that serves as a cover for Lin Biaoist thinking, appear to have expanded on their master’s error and taken it to new levels of absurdity and, as we shall see, of PRO-IMPERIALISM.
Lin Biao refused to grasp the importance of nuclear weapons in ranking the imperialist powers or, rather, it can be said that he chose to acknowledge it in a quite unilateral way. Lin Biao spoke of the imperialist camp as having one head, the United States, whereas Mao CORRECTLY saw it as having TWO HEADS, the United States and the revisionist, Brezhnevist Soviet Union, of roughly the same strength and locked in a sharp rivalry with each other. The Lin Biaoists of today continue to refer to both the imperialist camp of Lin Biao’s time and that of today as having „one head”, namely the United States, and even seek to JUSTIFY their erroneous assesment, clashing not just with Mao but with Mao’s argumentation as well in the process.
Mao spoke of imperialist countries ranking themselves according to the number of their nuclear weapons and also according to their wealth, primarily according to the number of their nuclear weapons. Followers of Lin Biao ignore nuclear weapons and wealth and rank the imperialist countries according to… the size and strength of their labour aristocracies, that is to say, according to their respective GDP per head !!! They argue for example that, since Russia has a weaker labour aristocracy than Western countries and Japan, as it certainly has, by the way, then Russia must belong not to the First World but to the… Second World!! They therefore argue that current Putinist, Neo-Czarist Russia is LESS imperialist than Western countries and Japan!! Despite the obvious fact that Russia has more wealth, expressed in GDP size, than very rich Western countries like Canada, Belgium, Sweden or Italy, despite the fact Russia has SIGNIFICANTLY MORE nuclear weapons and therefore significantly MORE DESTRUCTIVE POTENTIAL than ALL imperialist countries except the United States and roughly the same as the United States, despite all this the Lin Biaoists argue that Russia belongs to… The Second World and is less imperialist than the United States but also than all Western states which surpass it in the strength of their respective labour aristocracies. Ma0 ranked the imperialist countries according to the number of nuclear weapons and according to wealth, primarily according to the number of nuclear weapons. Lin Biaoists rank the imperialist countries according to the size of their labour aristocracies!
But what does the size of a country’s labour aristocracy tell us? Does the size of a country’s labour aristocracy say anything about the amount of imperialist plunder the respective country’s bourgeoisie carries out in the Third World? Does the size of a country’s labour aristocracy say anything about that country’s military strength?
No, it does not. Belgium can’t destroy Russia with its number of labour aristocrats i.e.workers who have been corrupted by imperialist superprofits, but Russia CAN destroy Belgium with even a fraction of its thousands of nuclear weapons.
All the size of a country’s labour aristocracy tells us is how willing to share with its „own” workers that country’s ruling class is. The GDP per head is not a measure of a country’s strength in economic and military terms. It is only a measure of the WILLINGNESS of the country’s bourgeoisie to SHARE with its „own” working class in the superprofits it extracts from the Third World. It may be that Canada’s or Belgium’s bourgeoisie is more willing to share with Canadian or Belgian workers than the Russian bourgeoisie is willing to share with Russian workers. But that does NOT mean that Canada or Belgium are „more imperialist” or stronger than Russia. On the country, it is Putinist Russia that is stronger in economic terms, since its GDP is greater than either Canada’s or Belgium’s, while in military terms Putinist Russia is INCOMPARABLY STRONGER than Canada and Belgium, with an estimated stockpile of 8,500 nuclear weapons, of which 1,800 are fully operational, that is, capable of striking at absolutely any moment. Can Belgium and Canada defeat Russia with their well-off workers who have been corrupted by imperialist super-profits? No, they cannot. But Russia can COMPLETELY destroy Belgium with only a tiny fraction of its nuclear arsenal, and it can completely lay waste on Canada, the second-largest country in the world in terms of area, with a little bit more than just a fraction of its nuclear arsenal.
It is not very hard for people who are acquainted with Marxism and Leninism and Maoism to see WHOM does Lin Biaoism really serve with its silly, un-Marxist, un-Leninist, un-Maoist, un-scientific world outlook. The ones who really benefit from Lin Biaoist delusion are the RUSSIAN IMPERIALIST, the Neo-Czarist Russian imperialism of the oligarchic puppet known as Vladimir Putin.
Russian imperialism constitutes, as in Mao’s time, the SECOND HEAD of the imperialist camp. It has emerged from the relative weakness experienced in the 1990s as an imperialist SUPERPOWER, every bit as powerful and every bit as evil as the United States, for in the world of imperialists equally powerful means one thing: EQUALLY EVIL! The New Russian Empire, which oppresses vast areas of Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Central Africa and, through its very large multinational corporations, even beyond the confines of the CIS, which posseses a destructive potential EQUAL to that of the United States, such an imperialist monster CANNOT be regarded as a „secondary evil”, CANNOT be regarded as „Second World”, and those who do regard it as such are either willing or unwilling accomplices of Putinist imperialism. Mao’s Three Worlds Theory must be reestablished and will be reestablished. As in Mao’s time, Russia and America belong to the First World, Japan, Western Europe and Australia, as well as rich countries like South Korea, Israel or Qatar, belong to the Second World and the rest of the world belongs to the Third World, the only major difference being that today’s China is somewhat intermediate between the Second World and the First World, due to it being the world’s second largest economy and possesing as many nuclear weapons as Britain or France but far fewer than America and Russia. And the International Communist Movement needs to wake up to this REAL picture of the world we live in, even to the point of splitting those self-proclaimed „Maoist” parties that claim allegiance to Mao yet follow in fact Lin Biao.
Long live Mao’s Three Worlds Theory, the ONLY genuine theory of imperialism in the year 2014, down with Lin Biaoist phantasies that can only serve Putinist imperialism!!!