Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Resistencia Puertorriqueña

Using Hinton as straw man: The Guardian Slanders China

First Published: Resistencia, Vol. 7, No. 5, n.d. [1976]
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In Our vol.7 #3 issue we announced that we intended to publish an article titled “The Attacks on China are on Attack on Marxism-Leninism”. The urgency to publish other materials led us to postpone the article. Meanwhile, the Anti-China campaign gathered more strength led by the fifth-column of revisionism and Soviet social imperialism in the U.S. – The Guardian. The last issues of their intellectualist rag have been a constant attack on the correct international policy of the Communist Party of China and its Chairman Mao Tse Tung. Faced with this, we have decided to update our article to include a criticism of the article by William Hinton which appeared in “China and us” a publication of the U.S. China People’s Friendship Association, as well as a polemic with the revisionist line of The Guardian. Following we put forth briefly some of the most important points to be dealt with in depth in the article that will appear in a pamphlet soon together with an article on Angola.

In the publication of the U. S. Friendship Association, New York, Vol. 5, No. 2, William Hinton, National Chairman of the USCPFA, was interviewed concerning his visit to China with nine other members of the National Steering Committee where they “... had some extensive exchanges on the world situation and China’s foreign policy. These discussions were off the record. We cannot quote our hosts...”

This interview was reprinted, we understand, at Hinton’s behest, by a vacillating, petty-bourgeois, intellectualist rag, an organ of the social imperialist Fifth Column of the Soviet Union in the U.S., The Guardian, in its May 5, 1976 issue, along with a scurrilous anti-China editorial and an article attacking China’s Angola policy by one of the Column’s agents, Wilfred Burchett.

The Guardian introduces Hinton’s article by saying:

William Hinton’s perspective on China’s world view is an extraordinarily important article which should be read and studied very seriously. We assume that Hinton, who is National Chairman of the U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association, (and a member of “R”“C”P may we add) is basically accurate in his summary of China’s Foreign policy at this time, a summary which adds an entirely new chapter to The Guardian’s own on the subject. (underline is ours, RP)

It is clear from this issue of The Guardian that these opportunists are using Hinton as their “straw man” who is just perfect as a springboard from which to launch their attack at the Peoples’ Republic of China, its Communist Party, its leader, Chairman Mao Tse-Tung and consequently at Marxism-Leninism Mao Tse-Tung Thought. Comrades, do not be fooled. The world situation and China’s foreign policy has been openly and fully delineated by the Chinese working class, the Chinese Communist Party and Chairman Mao Tse-Tung – it needs no speculative explanation, “off the record” and “unquotable”.

Hinton’s analysis, in keeping with his official position is supposedly written from the viewpoint of U.S.-China peoples’ friendship. This is a cause to which we, too, are dedicated. However, from a scientific point of view, i.e., from the viewpoint of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought, a representation of the world situation which deals only with states, which does not have as its core class analysis, cannot be a deep, scientific analysis of the world situation. There is not one word in Hinton’s article about the world proletariat or the international communist movement. The “Goal” of the U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association as embodied in its “Statement of Principles” is “To build active and lasting friendship based on mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of China.” (Brochure of U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association.) What kind of understanding is this that does not mention the international proletariat or the communist movement? Does or does not the Communist Party of China lead the Chinese working class, the Chinese people, and the Chinese state and its foreign policy? Is not proletarian internationalism and unity of the international communist movement part and parcel of Chinese foreign policy? Does or does not there exist in the U.S. a communist movement which bases itself on Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought? How can “mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of China” be furthered by blinding oneself to these facts? The unscientific character of Hinton’s viewpoint lends itself to distortion and misinterpretation, which is the special function, of The Guardian, and is perfectly compatible with its reactionary purpose.

Hinton says:

... The thinking in China is that short of revolution in the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R., a third world war is inevitable. (Our emphasis, RP)

This slighting reference to the U. S. revolution at the beginning of this series of speculations is the only reference in this entire interview to U.S. revolution in an article addressed, we may suppose, to the American people. Minimizing and downgrading revolution has been the method of Soviet revisionism in attacking the cause of the world’s peoples led by China and Albania. Minimizing and downgrading the U.S. revolution has been the method of U.S. revisionism from Browder to the “R”“C”P.

Further on, in answer to the question “... isn’t there some basis for a world-wide united front, even including the United States, against the Soviet Union?.” Hinton’s answer is that “.. .while a united front of all forces against the main danger is not ruled out in the future, the conditions for it do not exist at present.” Hinton fails to elaborate here. One of the present conditions is detente, i.e. that U.S. imperialism is nourishing the beast which is seeking to devour it. It is necessary to develop the struggle of the U.S. people against their rulers who are traitorously undermining U.S. security against an attack by Soviet social-imperialism. The foundations of such security lie not in the war budget but in arming the U. S. working class and people both with military weapons and with working class ideology. In order to develop the struggle against detente in the U.S. a prime requisite is the building of a genuine Communist Party. Fake imitations such as the “R”“C”P will not serve.

As to the future possibility of such a united front against the Soviet Union, Hinton again fails to elaborate. U.S. revolutionaries are clear that the struggle for revolution in the U.S. to defeat our own bourgeoisie, destroy the state apparatus of U.S. imperialism and for a U.S. proletarian dictatorship will continue within the united front, if such a united front materializes. It is necessary to insist on this since we have the historical lesson of the treachery of the Browder leadership of the “C”PUSA in virtually liquidating the revolutionary role of communists in the years around and during World War II. Hinton’s failure to elaborate here can only open the way for Browderite illusion and make easy defamations from Fifth Column sources such as The Guardian on this score.

Thus “Guardian Viewpoint” in The Guardian, May 5, 1976. criticizes (along with Burchett), “China’s errors in Angola. ”

1. The Guardian claims it “opposed” (while it in fact supports) “Soviet hegemonistic aspirations in Africa.”

2. The Guardian states “... it is precisely the hegemonism of one superpower – the U.S. – which is being militantly challenged by the African masses.” This is not true. Both superpowers are increasingly being “challenged by the African masses” both in Angola and in the rest of Africa since the Soviet Union has exposed itself and its social-imperialist role in Angola. True, using its “socialist” cover, the Soviet Union was able to gain a toehold in Angola but it was unable to move further and its position in Angola itself is untenable and is threatened by its increasing contradictions with the people of Africa, of the Third World and of the whole world.

3. It claims that U.S. imperialism is the main source of the war danger. This is precisely the misconception of many honest people (not including The Guardian) which enabled the Soviet Union to sneak into Angola. The history of Soviet aggression in Angola is proof that China’s policy in Angola was correct in maintaining that both superpowers had to be ousted from Angola and that the Soviet Union is the main source of the war danger.

Comrades and friends: We stand behind the official position of the People’s Republic of China. We oppose both superpowers. At the same time we recognize that the Soviet Union, who has arrived too late to get its share in the imperialist distribution of the world, is today the main source of war danger. “Either revolution will stop the war or the war will bring about revolution.” Either way our responsibility remains the same. We have to build a Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of the new type to lead the U.S. multinational proletariat to seize state power, smash the U.S. bourgeois state, establish the dictatorship of the proletariat and build socialism in this country. No matter what kind of twists and turns occur in the road, both in the international and the national situation, this historical task will have to be fulfilled by us, the U.S. multinational proletariat, led by our Party, to which today we dedicate our best efforts to build.