VIII. Revisionist Whitewashing: Stalinist and Bolivarian Admirers of Beijing’s “Socialism”




Note of the Editorial Board: The following Chapter contains several figures. For technical reasons these can only be viewed in the pdf version of the book which can be downloaded here.





Marxists have always insisted that it is a grave mistake to judge parties and people by their general ideological creeds. Such political belief taken by itself are worth nothing. As Trotsky put it aptly: “Neither classes nor parties can be judged by what they say about themselves or by the slogans they raise at a given moment. This fully applies to groupings within a political party as well.” [1]


One can judge their value only by comparing them with the concrete political conclusions and the concrete stance in the international class struggle. Only then can Marxists arrive to an adequate judgment of the given party or person.


History has proven this fundamental truth countless times. As we have pointed out somewhere else, antagonistic class forces have fought repeatedly against each other under the banner of one and the same religion: the official Christian church serving the Roman Emperor against the Donatists and the Agonistici who were rooted among the poorer classes (particularly in North Africa); the corrupt Abbasid Caliphate against ‘Ali ibn Muhammad and the social revolutionary Zanj Rebellion of the slaves and poor; or take Thomas Münzer leading the revolutionary uprising of the poor peasants against the ruling feudal class in Germany and Martin Luther, compromising with the same class, under the same banner of Christianity and the struggle against the corrupt Catholic Church. [2]


We see the same in the history of the modern workers movement. In the name of Marxism we had, on one hand, revolutionary forces led by Lenin, Luxemburg and Liebknecht fighting against the imperialist war and, on the other hand, opportunist forces like Kautsky and Plekhanov supporting it. In the name of Leninism we had Trotsky and the Fourth International fighting against the totalitarian and pro-imperialist Stalinist bureaucracy which misused the same banner.


Things are not different today. There are forces which raise the banner of Marxism and at the same time support the reactionary Assad dictatorship against the popular uprising of the Syrian people. Others stand aside and take a neutral position. And another camp supports the Syrian Revolution against Assad. [3] The military coup d'état of General Sisi in Egypt in July 2013 is another example: organizations formally adhering to the ideology of Marxism supported the coup and others supported the mass protests against the army. [4] We could go on with many more examples.


This is hardly surprising: similarly to the past, numerous opportunist forces serve the ruling class, directly or indirectly, by misusing the banner of Marxism, Leninism or Trotskyism and creating confusion in the ranks of the workers vanguard and revolutionary activists in general. This is why it is crucial for revolutionaries to demarcate authentic Marxism from the revisionists who distort our banner. This is why the RCIT has always emphasized that revolutionaries must oppose any unity with socialists on the basis of “general principles” only but without agreement on a concrete program for the international class struggle. Quite the opposite, revolutionaries must wage an intransigent struggle against those who serve the ruling class and who create confusion among the political vanguard by misusing the name of Marxism, Leninism or Trotskyism.


We see the same phenomena when it comes to the emergence of China and Russia as imperialist powers and the Great Power rivalry. We have demonstrated in previous chapters the imperialist character of Russia and China. However, as a matter of truth, there are numerous parties calling themselves as “Marxist-Leninist” which characterize China as a “socialist state” or which at least characterize Xi’s China and Putin’s Russia as “objectively anti-imperialist” powers. Let us discuss this with a few examples in this and the following three chapters.


A substantial number of Stalinist and Bolivarian parties praise China as a “socialist” and “progressive” force. The South African Communist Party (SACP), part of coalition government which has loyally administered the country in the service of the monopoly capitalists since 1994, entertains close connections with the Chinese brother party since long. Here is what Benedict Anthony Duke Martins, a leader of the SACP, recently said about “the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” (a favorite phrase of the official Chinese ideologists):


As a member of the Political Bureau and Central Committee of the South African Communist Party (SACP), Benedict Anthony Duke Martins spoke highly of the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and its modeling effect on communist parties in other countries including his own. “Mutual benefits exist between South Africa and China,” Martins said. “Cooperation between the two communist parties will move up to a higher level.” Learning from the unique leadership style of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Martins said socialism with “South African” characteristics has developed and will continuously improve the national condition of wealth distribution, gender equality, financing of infrastructure and other social concerns. “During the post-colonial period, South Africa was able to achieve profound national growth that partially benefited from financial support from its Chinese communist partner,” he said.[5]


Various Stalinist-Maoist parties in Nepal are taking the same line. In a message congratulating the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the chairman of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), Puspa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, said that "’we feel pride to see our immediate neighbor to have achieved a remarkable economic progress accompanied by political stability under the leadership of the CPC.’ The world is closely scrutinizing the CPC congress as developments that unfold in China will have direct repercussions in the world, the message said, adding they believed the outcome of the congress will have a far-reaching impact both in China as well as in the world. The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) expressed solidarity with efforts made by the CPC for peace, stability and development both at home and abroad, the message said. The chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) -- Jhala Nath Khanal -- said in a message that under the leadership of the CPC, China has registered great progress and become the second largest economy of the world. The message said China has successfully built socialism with Chinese characteristics as per basic guidelines laid down by Comrade Deng Xiaoping.[6]


Cuba’s ruling Communist Party, which implemented the restoration of capitalism on the island in the past years [7], joins the chorus of praise for the “wise leadership” in Beijing. “Cuba has congratulated China as it holds the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, CPC, in Beijing. ‘We believe it will be a major success,’ Ulises Guilarte, a senior member of the Communist Part of Cuba told Chinese media. ‘China is a country that offers confidence, security and, above all, much hope in how to build a better world in the midst of an international economic order characterized by inequality, exclusion and interference by imperial powers,’ Guilarte added.” [8]


Similar praise for China’s rulers can be heard from the Bolivarian PSUV, the governing party of Venezuela: “The Communist Party of China (CPC) has demonstrated remarkable leadership which has successfully led the country through various profound transformations, Venezuelan analysts say. In a recent interview with Xinhua, international relations expert Jose Antonio Egido said the CPC's success, and by extension China's success, lies in the party's capacity to plan ahead and adapt its policies without losing sight of its fundamental socialist principles. "China has seen enormous achievements in development, such as having lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty," Egido said.


Earle Herrera, a deputy of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in Venezuela's National Assembly, believes the CPC's ability to quickly respond to domestic and global changes stems from its capacity for self-criticism. To get the Asian giant to where it is today, the CPC leadership deftly adapted policies and management to new circumstances. The CPC has been able to create high-level administrative teams capable of inventing new policies, said Egido, adding that the party also knows when and where to take a more hands-on approach. Thanks to "the party's self-criticism, the CPC has known how to renew itself when political and economic circumstances call for it," Herrera said.[9]


The Communist Party of the USA might be a far less significant force than those quoted above but is certainly not less enthusiastic in its support for the imperialist rulers in “communist” clothes. John Bachtell, the party’s Chairman, writes a most shameless eulogy: “The CPC is a deeply revolutionary party, creatively applying Marxism to the Chinese reality. Their approach is pragmatic, fact based, self-critical, and self-reforming. Far from building a capitalist economy, the CPC is charting a path in the context of China’s realities, guiding the country to achieve a modern socialist society under extraordinary difficult conditions and not without many problems, mistakes and shortcomings, one with ‘Chinese characteristics.’” [10]


Even progressive academic journals like Monthly Review, a U.S.-based journal which often publishes thoughtful analysis of the political and economic contradictions of imperialism, gives a platform for sycophants of Chinese imperialism. Such it publishes an article of Ajit Singh, an Indian lawyer and self-proclaimed anti-imperialist and Marxist:


Under the leadership of the Communist Party, China has always identified itself as part of the Third World or global South and the collective struggle of formerly colonized and oppressed nations against the global inequality wrought by imperialism. (…) While China is not a perfect society and continues to face many challenges, the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics has been able to respond to a number of pressing issues facing the world today, better than the U.S. capitalist system.[11]


Naturally, all these eulogies don’t relate to the reality of China’s capitalism but rather a fantasy world. As we have shown in this book (and numerous other studies) China’s social and economic development in the past three decades has been characterized by very similar features like other capitalist countries in the world. Contrary to the official socialist ideology, the share of wages has declined while profits for the capitalists have gone up. As a result, the income share of the richest Top 1% of the population has doubled between 1980 and 2016 from 7% to 14%. If we take the share of the richest 10%, equivalent to the bourgeoisie and the upper middle class, we see the same dynamic. (See Figure 23)




Figure 23. Income Share in China, 1978-2015 [12]




The World Inequality Report 2018 analyzed and compared these developments. It concluded that “the share of total national income accounted for by just that nation’s top 10% earners (top 10% income share) was 37% in Europe, 41% in China, 46% in Russia, 47% in US-Canada, and around 55% in sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil, and India. In the Middle East, the world’s most unequal region according to our estimates, the top 10% capture 61% of national income.[13] This is an astonishing development, particularly if we bear in mind that less than three decades ago, capitalism even did not exist in China and Russia! Today, inequality in these two countries is basically higher than in the old capitalist states of Europe and nearly as much as in North America.


As we have stated repeatedly the creation of such a class of capitalists, including monopoly capitalists, is not an “accidently” process, i.e. contrary to the intention of the CPC regime. Quite the opposite, the Chinese regime has deliberately nurtured this process for decades. The UBS/PwC report mentioned above, from which we reproduced figures about the massive growth in number of billionaires in China, confirms this truth once more. It quotes leading Western bankers who emphasize the importance of the government support for the process of capitalist accumulation. Josef Stadler, Head of Ultra High Net Worth at UBS Global Wealth Management, commented on the latest report: “Over the last decade, Chinese billionaires have created some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, raised living standards. But this is just the beginning. China’s vast population, technology innovation and productivity growth combined with government support, are providing unprecedented opportunities for individuals not only to build businesses but also to change people’s lives for the better.” Another researcher, Dr. Marcel Widrig, Partner and Private Wealth Leader, PwC, remarked: “Our report reveals how China is currently the leading country for entrepreneurs to create wealth. Nowhere else has the same combination of a huge population, technology innovation and government support.


Unsurprisingly, China’s monopoly capitalists share this view. One Chinese billionaire told the researchers of the UBS/PwC report: “Nowhere else in the world can you find better conditions for growth than in China. The continued progress of wealth creation is supported by government policies liberating the economy, while urbanisation and business model disruption has crafted powerful new entrepreneurs.[14]


Another evidence of the fusion of the state party and China’s monopoly capitalists is the fact that millionaires are officially allowed to become members of the ruling “Communist” Party. For instance, the country’s biggest capitalist, Jack Ma, chairman of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd., has become member of CCP. [15]


It is also characteristicthat the Communist Youth League – the ruling party’s youth organization – is advertising the slogan “Follow our party, start your business.” [16]


Even China’s constitution reveals that the Stalinist propagandists of a “socialist” or “deformed workers state” are clearly living in an absurd virtual reality:


Article 11: The non-public sectors of the economy such as the individual and private sectors of the economy, operating within the limits prescribed by law, constitute an important component of the socialist market economy. The State protects the lawful rights and interests of the non-public sectors of the economy such as the individual and private sectors of the economy. The State encourages, supports and guides the development of the non-public sectors of the economy and, in accordance with law, exercises supervision and control over the non-public sectors of the economy. (...)


Article 13: Citizens’ lawful private property is inviolable. The State, in accordance with law, protects the rights of citizens to private property and to its inheritance. The State may, in the public interest and in accordance with law, expropriate or requisition private property for its use and make compensation for the private property expropriated or requisitioned.[17]


The whole notion of a socialist market system is bizarre, because socialism is globally planned economy. Remaining smaller private property in the economy, which will exist in early stages of the workers state, is subordinated to the socialist plan. It will wither away until reaching full-time communism. It is true that Article 13 of China’s constitution mentions the possibility of the requisition of private property in "public interests". However, such policies were common for capitalist economies in the 20th century in times of serious economic crisis.




Is China a Unique Case of Capitalist Miracle?




As we have seen above, the Stalinists like to justify their praise for China’s ruling class by referring to the country’s rapid economic growth in the past decades. [18] However, what they hide is the fact that this growth was based on primitive capitalist accumulation and the emergence of a class of capitalists including monopoly capitalists. This is proven not only by the figures demonstrating the rise of the rich elite mentioned above. It is also obvious when one recognizes the fact that the spectacular growth of China’s economy has gone hand in hand with a spectacular growth of it’s private capitalist sector. According to a study published by World Bank and the Chinese Development Research Center of the State Council in 2013, about 70% of the country’s GDP as well as of its employment are located in the non-state sectors. The state sector’s share in the total number of industrial enterprises (with annual sales over 5mn RMB) fell precipitously from 39.2% in 1998 to 4.5% in 2010. During the same period, the share of State Owned Enterprises in total industrial assets dropped from 68.8% to 42.4%, while their share in employment declined from 60.5% to 19.4%. [19] Since then, this process has gone much further.


According to Arthur Kroeber’s book on China’s economy, the share of the state sector has continued to decline in recent years. He estimates that “the SOE share of urban employment continues to fall, and in 2013 stood at an all-time low of 17 percent”. He also calculates that “the state share of industrial production (on a value- added basis) is about 25 percent.[20] Kroeber concludes: “China’s economy is largely a private- sector success story, and its ability to keep up fast growth in the future will depend mainly on private companies.” [21]


Liu He, top economic adviser of China’s President Xi, estimates that the country’s “private sector generates 60 percent of the nation’s output, 70 percent of technological innovation and 90 percent of new jobs.[22]


Furthermore, these pro-Chinese whitewashers “forget” (or want others to forget) that periods of rapid economic growth do not indicate in itself the socialist character of a given country. It is true that China has experienced a period of rapid economic growth since the 1980s. According to one study, China’s annual per capita GDP rose from $1,300 in 1980 to $7,700 in 2010, an increase of almost 500%. [23]


This is certainly an impressive figure. But other, capitalist states, usually countries with reactionary, authoritarian regimes, have made very similar experiences. We have in mind the so-called Asian Dragons, i.e. countries like South Korea and Taiwan. These countries saw growth rates for decades similar to those of China. (See Figure 24 and 25) [24]




Figure 24. GDP per capita in China and East Asian neighbours 1960-2011 [25]




Figure 25. Long-Term Economic Growth of China and East Asia, 1870-2020 [26]












And if we look again to South Korea in detail, we see that in 1950, its GDP per capita was about $850. [27] In 1960 it had already increased to 1,537 US-Dollar. By the year 1990, South Korea’s GDP per capita was already at 11,985 – in other words, it had increased nearly by eight-times in the preceding three decades. (See Figure 26) Other sources even claim a higher growth rate. [28]




Figure 26. Real GDP per Capita in South Korea, 1960-2011 [29]








So, when the Stalinist flag-bearer of Beijing’s ruling class justify their support for China’s “socialism” by referring to its impressive economic growth, they would, consequently, have to praise also the capitalist military dictatorships in Taiwan and South Korea or the imperialist ruling class in Japan!


In summary, the Stalinist whitewashing of China’s capitalism as a kind of socialist paradise is one of the most bizarre falsifications of modern history. It is nothing but a weapon of disinformation in the service of Chinese (and Russian) imperialism.




Russian Stalinists: Failure to Understand Imperialism in their own Country




Let us briefly note the position of some Stalinist parties in Russia about the class character of “their” Great Power. The largest Stalinist party is the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF), led by Gennady Zyuganov. It is bourgeois-populist party which always considered Russia as its “fatherland” and which it views as being under threat by foreign imperialists. Clearly, they would never ever consider Russia as an imperialist Great Power. Quite the opposite, it’s openly pronounced goal is to recreate the USSR and to unite all Russian minorities living abroad in a single Great Russian Empire (more on this below).


The Russian Communist Workers' Party – Revolutionary Party of Communists (RKRP-RPK), led by Viktor Tyulkin, has a more differentiated position. This party recognizes the imperialist character of Russia, in fact, it has elaborated some detailed and well informed analysis of Russia monopoly capitalism (which stands far above the analysis of many Western pseudo-Trotskyists!). It even refers sometimes to China as an imperialist state. Viktor Tyulkin states in a document: “The foreign policy of Putin is connected with the interests of the Russian capital. Russian imperialism is still young. Nevertheless, it is well established and has a good appetite. It faces competition in the world arena from much larger and experienced opponents like the USA and the EU. (...) Russia and China as imperialist countries form some kind of union (including the BRICS) ...[30]


The problem, as we will see below, with the RKRP is that, as good old Stalinists, they only draw the conclusions from this that one has to side with the “lesser evil” – Russian and Chinese imperialism – against the “bigger evil”, the Western Great Powers! They are repeating more or less the schema of the Stalinists in the 1930s: At that time, Moscow and its international lackeys were prepared, albeit rarely, to call Britain, France and the US as imperialist. However, Stalinism considered them as “good” imperialists (“democratic”, “anti-fascist”, etc.) who were potential allies in the struggle against the “really bad” imperialists (Nazi-Germany and its allies).


Needless to say that this ideological garbage was stolen from the arsenal of international revisionism which was used to justify why the British, French and U.S. social democrats were “obligated” to side with their bourgeoisie against the “reactionary monarchies” of Germany, Austria and Turkey. And, using the same national-reformist logic, the German social democrats argued that they had to defend “their cultural superior fatherland” against the “Tatarian Russians”.


It is worth pointing out that when Moscow’s foreign policy interests changed, the whole hypocritical ideology was turned on its head. Between 1939 and 1941, during the period of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, the Stalinist fire was focused on “plutocratic” Western imperialism, while “peace-loving” Nazi-Germany was treated much more cautiously. In fact, Moscow handed over a number of German and Austrian communists to the Gestapo (among them the founder of the Austrian Communist Party Franz Koritschoner or the German communist Margarete Buber-Neumann [31]). Likewise did various Stalinist parties in France, Denmark, etc approach the German occupants and looked for possibilities of collaboration. [32] In that period, Stalinism denounced Britain and France as “brutal colonial masters” oppressing the peoples in Asia and Africa.


Of course, when the Nazis invaded the USSR in June 1941 – to the complete surprise of Stalin and Molotov – everything changed again. [33] Britain and France were no longer considered oppressive imperialists but rather democratic antifascist allies. Political hypocrisy, ideological confusion and unprincipled maneuver were certainly the chief business of Stalinism!


Naturally, such siding with one camp of imperialists against the other is in complete contrast to the principles of Marxism! There can be no justification for camouflaging one camp as “less aggressive” or “more progressive” than the other (and even less justification for swapping such attributes every few years)! Trotsky, following Lenin’s approach, insisted that it is the class character of a given state and its goals which are decisive for the approach of Marxists.


Imperialism camouflages its own peculiar aims – seizure of colonies, markets, sources of raw material, spheres of influence – with such ideas as “safeguarding peace against the aggressors,” “defense of the fatherland,” “defense of democracy,” etc. These ideas are false through and through. It is the duty of every socialist not to support them but, on the contrary, to unmask them before the people. “The question of which group delivered the first military blow or first declare war,” wrote Lenin in March 1915, “has no importance whatever in determining the tactics of socialists. Phrases about the defense of the fatherland, repelling invasion by the enemy, conducting a defensive war, etc., are on both sides a complete deception of the people.” “For decades,” explained Lenin, “three bandits (the bourgeoisie and governments of England, Russia, and France) armed themselves to despoil Germany. Is it surprising that the two bandits (Germany and Austria-Hungary) launched an attack before the three bandits succeeded in obtaining the new knives they had ordered?” The objective historical meaning of the war is of decisive importance for the proletariat: What class is conducting it? and for the sake of what? This is decisive, and not the subterfuges of diplomacy by means of which the enemy can always be successfully portrayed to the people as an aggressor.[34]


Another Stalinist party is the United Communist Party (OKP) which was founded in 2014 and which is led by Vladimir Lakeev and Darya Mitina. This party refuses to characterize Russia as an imperialist state. Without socialism, the OKP leaders tell us, Russia is doomed to be a “peripheral” and “colonial” country. Hence, the OKP elaborates in a document about “peripheral Russian capitalism, weakened by international sanctions (...) A Marxist analysis of contemporary international relations shows: Russia may once again be the "weak link" in the chain of imperialism. (...) The choice that history leaves us is simple: either socialism or a further fall into the abyss of de-industrialization, disintegration and colonization.[35]


Albeit not a Stalinist, it is worth mentioning Boris Kagarlitsky who is a prominent left-wing intellectual in Russia and internationally. He is coordinator of the Transnational Institute Global Crisis project and Director of the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements (IGSO) in Moscow. Furthermore he is also the editor of the online magazine Rabkor (Workers Correspondence). Kagarlitsky has also long-standing close relations with the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, the official think tank of the German LINKE.


While Kagarlitsky does not represent a party, his theoretical views are quite influential among the Russian left and also respected among a number of Western leftists. Basically Kagarlitsky and forces close to him share the analysis of the so-called “World-System Theory” analysis which views the world as centered around the Western Great Powers. Such a theory comfortably fits for the purpose to whitewash Russian imperialism. Hence, Kagarlitsky does not recognize Russia as an imperialist state but rather as a “peripheral capitalist state” comparable to other larger semi-colonial countries like Mexico or India. Such he wrote in his book Empire of the Periphery:


Russian society on the threshold of the twenty-first century, for all its post-Soviet peculiarities, had taken on all the characteristic traits of peripheral capitalism, and was obeying the logic of this system.[36]


... the development of Russian capitalism had an obvious peripheral character.[37]


The peripheral position of the Russian state created a need for national self-assertion, just as in other countries of the periphery, from Mexico to India.[38]


We note in passing, that Kagarlitsky in this book, which covers the history of Russia, refuses to characterize Russia even before 1917 as an imperialist state. In short we have another showcase of historical revisionism and present-day whitewashing of Russia’s imperialist class character.


The same position is shared by other eclectic world-system thinkers like Alexander Buzgalin and Ruslan Dzarasov. [39] Dzarasov explicitly denies, in his book The Conundrum of Russian Capitalism, the imperialist character of Russia. Contrary, he states: “Russian capitalism belongs to the periphery (more precisely to the semi-periphery) of world capitalism.” [40]. In is not surprising that Dzarasov, like other revisionists (e.g. Roger Annis, PO/CRFI), also denies the imperialist character of Tsarist Russia before 1917: “Tsarist Russia exhibited the typical features of a periphery society, which viewed western capital as a major driving force for its own industrialisation.[41]




The Ultra-Stalinist CPGB-ML: “Anti -Imperialist” Russia and China?




Another, particularly crude example of modern Stalinism is the so-called Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist). This group combines worshiping of Stalin and Mao with uncritical appraisal of Gaddafi, Assad and the North Korean regime.


It is therefore hardly surprising that the CPGB(ML) also esteems Russia’s and China’s role as “progressive and anti-imperialist”. It claims that Russia is ruled by a national, patriotic bourgeoisie which has stopped the interference of imperialism: “The Russian national bourgeoisie has taken back the control of the most important levers of the country’s economy and is determined to retain control in its national interest. It quite clearly does not wish to become merely a facilitator for imperialist plunder and superexploitation.[42]


Albeit even the CPGB-ML can not deny the advance of capitalism in China, it claims that the Middle Kingdom is still ruled by a (socialist) “people’s government”: “Although several decades of market socialism have weakened the state sector and reintroduced the anarchy of commodity production into China’s economy, the country is still run by a people’s government that is able to exercise control over the levers of what remains of the state sector in the interests of the Chinese people, enabling it to carry out considerably longer-term planning than any of the crisis-ridden imperialist states can manage.[43]


Hence, these ultra-Stalinists consider the global role of the Putin and Xi regime as highly progressive. In a resolution adopted at its latest congress, the CPGB-ML praises the new Eastern imperialist powers:


Congress further notes that the role played by both Russia and China in the world today is a progressive, anti-imperialist one – as shown by China’s technological transfer and infrastructure building in developing countries, for example, by Russia’s military assistance to the Syrian people in their fight against an imperialist-backed jihadi invasion, or by both countries’ roles in forming trade blocs (such as Brics or the SCC) that bypass imperialist mechanisms of control. This congress believes that, even without such overtly anti-imperialist actions as those noted above, Russia and China have earned the enmity of imperialism simply by maintaining their own national independence and refusing to submit their peoples, markets and natural resources to imperialist control. Congress further believes that neither Russia nor China have aggressive or expansionist intentions, and that all their military development is aimed at helping them to prevent an imperialist onslaught or preparing them to defend themselves in the event of one being launched.[44]


No doubt, this is a perfect example for the unashamed “anti-imperialist” coloring of imperialist powers!


Finally, let us mention, in passing, that there are also some pseudo-Marxist groups who arrive to similar conclusions like the Stalinists. Examples for this are the WWP and the PSL in the U.S. as well as some “Trotskyists” (or let us better say caricatures of Trotskyism). Such Stalinophile sects like the Spartacist ICL, the IBT or Jan Norden’s IG/LFI claim that China is still – more than a quarter of century after capitalist restoration! – a “deformed workers state”! They also suggest that Russia is not an imperialist state. The World Socialist Website (WSWS) even published a polemic against the RCIT dedicated to a slanderous attack on our characterization of China and Russia as imperialist powers. [45] Like the Bourbons of France these people have learned nothing and forgotten nothing!


[1] Leon Trotsky: An Analysis of the Slogans and Differences, in: Leon Trotsky: The Challenge of the Left Opposition 1923-25, New York 1975, p. 390

[2] See e.g. Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018, pp. 107-108,

[3] For the RCIT’s analysis of the Syrian Revolution see a number of booklets, statements and articles on the Syrian Revolution which can be read on a special sub-section on our website: In particular we refer to Michael Pröbsting: Is the Syrian Revolution at its End? Is Third Camp Abstentionism Justified? An essay on the organs of popular power in the liberated area of Syria, on the character of the different sectors of the Syrian rebels, and on the failure of those leftists who deserted the Syrian Revolution, 5 April 2017, and chapter V of Michael Pröbsting: World Perspectives 2018: A World Pregnant with Wars and Popular Uprisings, February 2018, Albeit we do not agree with all aspects of his analyses, the Australian socialist Michael Karadjis has also published a number of insightful articles on the Syrian Revolution on the website

[4] See on the Egypt coup numerous statements and articles of the RCIT published in the following sub-section of our website: In particular we refer to a comprehensive pamphlet on this issue by Michael Pröbsting: The Coup d'État in Egypt and the Bankruptcy of the Left’s “Army Socialism”, August 2013, See also Yossi Schwartz: Egypt: The U.S. Support for the Military Coup and the Left’s ignorance, 11.7.2013,

[5] Mutual interests strengthen South Africa-China relations, 2018-May-29,

[6] World party leaders congratulate China on CPC congress, 2012/11/08,

[7] On the capitalist restoration in Cuba see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: Cuba’s Revolution Sold Out? The Road from Revolution to the Restoration of Capitalism, August 2013,

[9] Xinhua: Roundup: Venezuelan analysts say Communist Party of China's leadership remarkable, 2016-07-11,

[10] John Bachtell: A new era for building socialism with ‘Chinese characteristics’, June 14, 2018,

[11] Ajit Singh: China’s rise threatens U.S. imperialism, not American people, Monthly Review Online, Apr 09, 2018,; see also, by the same author: A New Era for Socialist China, 24 October 2017,; India and China: Rivals or Potential Partners in Liberation? November 2nd, 2017,

[12] World Inequality Report 2018, p. 108

[13] Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, Gabriel Zucman: World Inequality Report 2018, p. 9

[14] Quoted in South China Morning Post: China making two billionaires every week as world’s super-rich become wealthier than ever before, report reveals, 26 October, 2018,

[15] Why Communist China Is Home to So Many Billionaires, November 29, 2018,

[18] See e.g. John Ross: Why Are China and India Growing So Fast? State Investment, August 29, 2016,; John Ross: The Asian and Chinese economic growth models - implications of modern findings on economic growth, 2009-09-08,

[19] The World Bank, Development Research Center of the State Council, the People’s Republic of China: China 2030. Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative High-Income Society, Washington 2013, p. 104

[20] Arthur R. Kroeber: China’s Economy. What Everyone Needs To Know, Oxford University Press, New York 2016, p. 100 and 101

[21] Ibid, p. 105

[22] Bloomberg: China Built a Global Economy in 40 Years. Now It Has a New Plan, 16 December 2018,

[23] Jingyi Jiang and Kei-Mu Yi: How Rich Will China Become? A simple calculation based on South Korea and Japan’s experience, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, in: The Region, June 2015, p. 8. See also Brian Wang: China development compared to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, March 31, 2014

[24] We have analyzed the specific feature of the capitalist modernization process of South-Korea and Taiwan in a special study: Michael Pröbsting: Der kapitalistische Aufholprozeß in Südkorea und Taiwan; in: Revolutionärer Marxismus Nr. 20 (1996), A shortened version of this article appeared as “Capitalist Development on South Korea and Taiwan” in: Trotskyist International No. 21 (1997),

[25] David Dollar: China’s Rebalancing: Lessons from East Asian Economic History, The Brookings Institution, Working Paper Series, October 2013, p. 5

[26] Otto Kolbl: Chinese development,

[27] Paulina Restrepo-Echavarria and Maria A. Arias: Tigers, Tiger Cubs and Economic Growth, May 25, 2017

[28] Professor Kwan S. Kim estimates that South Korea’s real GNP grew at the average annual rates in the period of 1962-1979. In terms of real per capita, growth was at an 18-fold increase to $1,481 in 1980 from $87 in 1962. (Professor Kwan S. Kim: The Korean Miracle (1962-1980) Revisited: Myths and Realities in Strategy and Development, Kellogg Institute at the University of Notre Dame, Working Paper #166, November 1991, p. 5)

[29] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Real GDP per Capita in the Republic of Korea (South Korea), retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;, September 17, 2018. The calculation is based on 2011 U.S. Dollars, Not Seasonally Adjusted.

[31] See e.g. Margarete Buber-Neumann: Als Gefangene bei Stalin und Hitler, Seewald Verlag, Stuttgart 1985

[32] A number of books have been published about the Stalinist policy in the period of the Hitler-Stalin Pact. A number of documents have been published in Raymond James Sontag and James Stuart Beddie (Ed.): Nazi-Soviet Relations, 1939-1941. Documents from the Archives of the German Foreign Office, Department of State, 1948. Many documents of the Stalinist parties in this period have become public only after 1989. Many of them have been collected in the German-language book: Bernhard H. Bayerlein. Der Verräter, Stalin, bist Du! Vom Ende der linken Solidarität 1939-1941. Komintern und kommunistische Parteien im Zweiten Weltkrieg, Aufbau Verlag, Berlin 2009; another documentation is: J.W.Brügel: Stalin und Hitler. Europaverlag, Wien 1973. See also: Bisovsky, Gerhard, Hans Schafranek und Robert Streibel (Ed.): Der Hitler-Stalin-Pakt, Verlag: Picus Verlag;, 1990.

[33] The reaction of Molotov, the USSR’s foreign minister at that time, to the German ambassador, when the latter formally informed Moscow on 22 June 1941 that Berlin had declared war, is characteristic. He was deeply hurt and responded enraged: “We have not deserved this!” (Source: Bernhard H. Bayerlein. Der Verräter, Stalin, bist Du! p. 365) Yes, indeed, how could the Stalinists have expected the Nazis to deal their Moscow allies so ungrateful?!

[34] Leon Trotsky: Lenin on Imperialism (1939), in: Writings of Leon Trotsky, Vol. 1938-39, Pathfinder Press, New York 1974, pp. 165-166

[35] Заявление Президиума ЦК ОКП: Мы отвергаем территориальные уступки, осуществленные против воли трудящихся, 21 Дек. 2016 (Statement of the Presidium of the CC OKP: We reject territorial concessions made against the will of the working people, 21 December 2016) (our translation)

[36] Boris Kagarlitsky: Empire of the Periphery. Russia and the World System, Pluto Press, London 2008, p. 305

[37] ibid, p. 307

[38] ibid, p. 319

[39] Unsurprisingly, Western pro-Russian social-imperialists like the Canadian ex-Trotskyist Roger Annis are favorable referring to thinkers like Ruslan Dzarasov. See e.g. Renfrey Clarke and Roger Annis: The myth of ‘Russian imperialism’: In defense of Lenin’s analyses, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, February 29, 2016, We have dealt with the arguments of Roger Annis in Michael Pröbsting: Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism and the Rise of Russia as a Great Power.

[40] Ruslan Dzarasov: The Conundrum of Russian Capitalism. The Post-Soviet Economy in the World System, Pluto Press, London 2014, p. 150. This statement is repeated several times in his book (e.g. p. 13, 14, and 156).

[41] Ibid, p. 42, see also p. 45

[42] Joti Brar: The Drive to War Against Russia and China, CPGB(ML), Shakun Printers, Shahdara 2017, p. 9

[43] ibid, p. 13

[44] CPGB(ML): Beware the drive to WW3 with Russia and China, Party statement of the CPGB(ML) 8th Congress, 21 November 2018

[45] See Johannes Stern: Behind the designation of Russia and China as “imperialist”: A case study in theoretical charlatanry, WSWS, 14 April 2016, (The WSWS published this attack on us into several languages; see e.g.; The RCIT has published two replies: Michael Pröbsting: The Involuntary Self-Exposure of the WSWS. A Brief Reply to a Lengthy Attack by David North’s WSWS against the RCIT, 18.4.2016,; Johannes Wiener: In Response to the Self-Proclaimed “Leadership” of the World Socialist Movement. A Reply to the Recent Polemic of the ICFI/WSWS against the RCIT, 30 April 2016,