Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line


First Published: Discussion Bulletin #7, October 29, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

An open letter to all those people who went to the recent meeting on China addressed by Ted Hill and organised by the Australia-China Society.

Do you still think China is a socialist country? If so, how can you justify the changes in political line that have occurred amongst “Marxist-Leninists” over the last few years?

Do you remember when we used to believe, along with Chairman Mao, that the Cultural Revolution was basically good but that mistakes had inevitably been made? How did it strike you at the meeting to hear that the Cultural Revolution did a tremendous amount of harm and that about the only good thing that came out of it was that it introduced a generation of people OUTSIDE China to Marxism? No doubt people are entitled to change their opinion on things but do you think it is honest of people to disagree with Mao Tsetung’s judgement on these things and then say, as Ted Hill does, that they still follow his line?

Did it surprise you to hear that according to the present Chinese leadership and Ted Hill, large scale class struggles like the Cultural Revolution are a thing of the past? Do you remember that Mao declared that there would be a need, for many more Cultural Revolutions? How can people who disagree with Mao’s judgement on this still say that they are following his line? Have you thought through the implications of these statements by Hill and the Chinese leadership? Because what it means is that class struggle in China is “dying out”. It means that there is no longer a capitalist class to be fought against. Doesn’t this remind you of what Khruschev said a long time ago about Russia when he declared that the Soviet Union was a state of the whole people and that class struggle was dying out? Haven’t we come to the conclusion that such talk is a sure sign of revisionism, that it is a cover under which the capitalist elements can worm their way into power? And was not Ted Hill one of the most outspoken opponents of such talk when it came from the Russians? What is happening now when the same garbage is coming from China? Whereas in the early sixties Hill led the break, away from the old Communist Party today he does nothing but parrot the garbage himself.

On top of that, do you recall how evasive Hill was when he was asked a question on this point. Don’t you think it dishonest to attempt to justify statements about there being no need for further Cultural Revolutions by going back to something Mao said in the fifties referring to the “large scale class struggles” of the civil war period, long before the Cultural Revolution?

Why is it necessary for Hill to become something of an agnostic when questions on Yugoslavia are asked? Why does he have to say that really he knows nothing about Yugoslavia and that when the trend in the international communist movement was to criticise Tito he went along with that, and when it was favourable to Tito he went along with that? Is it possible that at a time when Hill was actively swimming against the tide of Russian revisionism and when the question of Yugoslavia was a major part of the debate, Hill chose to swim with the tide on this one question?

Don’t you think it is a sad sight to see a man crawling on the floor in his efforts to denounce his past which is in fact a record for standing up for the truth? There is no doubt that you who were there realised that Hill’s performance on Yugoslavia was pathetic. Why else did one of you jump up to assure Hill that he did not have to talk about Yugoslavia. That person told Hill that he had come to talk about China’s relevance to Australia and China’s attitude to Yugoslavia did not come into it. But that same person did not complain when Hill talked at length about China’s attitude to the three worlds. Or are we to take it that Yugoslavia is not part of any of the three worlds and is in a special category of its own?[1]

In fact China’s attitude to Yugoslavia is important. If we believe that Yugoslavia is revisionist, and the Chinese call them comrades, doesn’t that say something about the Chinese. And doesn’t it also say something about those who follow blindly, or so they tell us, in the Chinese footsteps.

People, why don’t you wake up ? Don’t you remember when we used to blast the Soviet Union for allowing in foreign investors? Didn’t we say that it showed that they weren’t socialist? Why is it that now it’s alright for the Chinese to do it? Don’t you remember how we laughed, when the Soviets let Pepsi-Cola in? Why aren’t we laughing now when the Chinese let Coca-Cola in? Ted Hill tells us that it is only being sold to foreigners and only in order to bring in Hard cash. Surely, this is an admission that the profit motive is in command in China? After all why did the Russians let Pepsi-Cola in if not to get a bit of hard cash? Why do the Yanks invest in Australia if not to bring in a bit of hard cash?

Why did we attack the Russians over the type of stuff that was appearing in their magazines? Why don’t we now see it as significant that advertisments are appearing in Chinese magazines, and sexist ones at that. Haven’t we been told that advertising is a capitalist phenomenon?

Open your eyes, see what is happening around you and realise the significance of it.

Down with Hill!

If this article offends anyone then remember there is nothing worse than a reformed smoker.


[1]The significance of China’s new relationship with Yugoslavia for communists and workers in Australia becomes clear when we examine Yugoslavia’s workers self management system.

This is a system of deception in which some workers have some say in running the factories but have no say (or as much say as the workers in Australia) in running the State, the Government or the Army. This form of capitalism is described in detail in the booklet: “Is Yugoslavia a Socialist Country?” 3rd. reply in the Sino-Soviet split) Peking 1963 and we recommend it.

In the 1970’s in some Yugoslav factories the illusion of participation by the workers has worn very thin indeed. Fortune magazine, Jan. 1972, ran an article “A Socialist Enterprise that acts like a fierce capitalist competitor”. They described the giant enterprise, Energoinvest, in Sarajevo, which employs American management consultants at high fees and management power very similar to Western enterprises (including hire and fire of workers). Pay rates at Energoinvest are determined by education, seniority and functions, so that the wage differentials between lowest and highest paid workers are claimed to be comparable to the wage differentials in America.

Prominent trade union officials in South Australia (like Ted Gnatenko of the AMWSU) eulogise Yugoslavia and promote ideas of ’workers control’ consistent with the Yugoslav system here.

Energoinvest sounds like capitalism to us and promoting it in Australia as “communism” (as Peking Review does) sounds like revisionism to us. An article in Peking Review 12, 1978 (a year and a half ago), p. 41 was full of praise of Energoinvest. On this question they saw eye to eye with Fortune, America’s business magazine.

If the worker who wanted to shield Mr. Hill on Yugoslavia wants to use the pages of Discussion Bulletin to demonstrate that Yugoslavia is socialist or that it is irrelevant to Australia then he is welcome to try. If he is not prepared to put up then we suggest he shuts up.

Tito’s firm stand against Soviet imperialism should be warmly welcomed, just as Churchill’s stand against Hitler was and Chiang Kai shek stand against Japan was. But anyone who tries to kid us that Tito was a communist is talking through their hat. The time bomb that Mao left in 1963 has exploded in the face of the now revisionists.

– Editorial note