12013Re: DSP prettifies the feudal monarchy of North Korea
- Dec 23, 2004Reading the review that the DSP leadership is supposed to have
"commissioned" Iggy Kim to do I cannot for the life of me see how it
in anyway "prettifies" North Korea.
Neither clearly can a couple of (non-DSP leadership controlled) people
on another list that Gould has posted this latest offensive diatribe
(see these comments below).
In his determination to expose the allegedly sinister and
mind-controlling nature of the DSP leadership, the bulk of the members
are treated as though they are helpless robots forced to do the DSP
leadership's dirty work. This is deeply offensive to the alleged DSP
I realise that this is the official Silly Season but for Bob Gould and
his little band of pathological DSP haters it carries on all year
round. One can only hope that they put aside their cups of bitterness
for a bit and get stuffed and pissed in the manner that is traditional
for this time of the year.
The Asia-Pacific International Solidarity Conference in Easter 2005
will have a wide-ranging of guests from the Asia-Pacific region and
beyond. So far I have not heard of a North Korean guest or delegation.
The details so far for APISC 2005 are as follows (a website will soon
be available off www.greenleft.org.au):
3rd Asia Pacific International Solidarity Conference, 24-28 March, 2005
Networking for campaigns against war and neo-liberal globalisation
will be a major focus of 3rd Asia Pacific International Solidarity
Conference. APISC 2005 is being organised by Green Left Weekly
newspaper and website (www.greenleft.org.au) and Action in Solidarity
with Asia and the Pacific (ASAP) (www.asia-pacific-action.org) and is
sponsored by a range of other groups and organizations.
Social movement and political leaders and activists from more than 20
countries will be coming to Australia to speak at APISC 2005. Along
with scores of Australian speakers, they will be presenting reports
and talks at more than 150 workshops and feature sessions at the
conference. It is expected that up to 1,000 people will be attending.
The campaigning focus of the conference will be marked by an opening
speech at an evening public meeting to be addressed by STAN GOFF. Goff
is a veteran of Special Operations in the U.S. Army and now a
prominent figure in the anti-war campaigns by military families in the
U.S. He is a member of the co-ordinating committee of BRING THEM HOME
NOW! He locates his opposition in an overall framework critiquing U.S.
foreign policy and the economic system it serves. GOFF will be one of
several U.S. activists speaking at the conference.
Another well-known anti-globalisation campaigner is DITA SARI. Dita
Sari is chairperson of the Indonesian National Front for Labor
Struggles (FNPBI) and was gaoled under the Suharto dictatorship for
four years. She has been a prominent campaigner in Indonesia against
the IMF and World Bank devised neo-liberal policies of the Indonesian
government. She was a keynote speaker at the last World Social Forum
meeting in Mumbai, India. In 2001 she was awarded Asia's equivalent of
the Nobel Prize, the Magsayay Award.
Struggles in the Asia Pacific
Prominent among the international speakers will be representatives
from the movements for freedom and social justice in Aceh, West Papua,
East Timor, the Philippines, India, Pakistan, South Korea, Mauritius
and Palestine. They will be reporting on the struggles in their own
countries as well as joining the collective discussion on how to
further global campaigns for justice and an end to aggression.
We are also hoping for confirmation of participation of delegations
from Vietnam and Venezuela as well as from Fiji, Papua New Guinea and
Tahiti. Activists from Europe will also be coming.
The conference will open on the evening of March 24 and will end late
afternoon March 28 and will be held near the center of Sydney. Apart
from the feature sessions and discussion workshops, there will be a
conference dinner, film showings, on site bookshops and social events.
APISC tradition of action
The APISC conferences have built up a tradition of integrating on the
gropund protest action, In 1998, hundreds of conference particpants
left the venue to join pickets during a major struggle on the
waterfront. In 2002, the conference suspended its agenda so everybody
could join a demonstration outside an immigration detention center to
protest Australi's repressive refugee policy. In 2005, the conference
coincides with another major protest against Australian government
refugee repression and the conference will again suspend some if its
agenda so to organise a demonstration in Sydney.
Another Australia is possible
With hundreds of people from around Australia at the conference, the
opportunity will not be lost to further discussion to of local
struggles and issues. Australian progressive academics and
intellectuals will join other activists in workshops and feature
sessions on the Australian economy, politics, social conditions and
See <http://www.dsp.org.au/apiaustralia/apsc98.htm#top> (1998) and for
2002 <http://www.dsp.org.au/apiaustralia/index.htm> for information
about earlier conferences.
Register your interest now!
Send an email now to APISC2005@... and register tour interest.
You will be eligible for an early bird discount on registration if you
register by 30 December 2004. Registration fees will be determined
soon but they will not be prohibitive. We will send you a registration
form immediately. When you email in provide your name, email contact
and whether you or your group would like to hold a workshop. (Please
not because commitments to overseas guests and sponsoring
organizations, there may not be space to accommodate all requests.)
* * *
Some comments from the Marxism List on Gould's strange post:
We can read this article and see the whole piece avoids discussing
what Bruce Cummings wrote and what was factually wrong with the book.
What the writer actually takes up in this misnamed article on North
Korea is animus towards some other party that printed the review. The
other issue is a rather lame ideological defense of his view of the
North Korea state. And that is unclear; can he decide if it is state
capitalist, a deformed workers state, a feudal state? No. Can he
explain why the Soviet Union was a deformed workers state, why Vietnam
is, but why North Korea is not? No.
Sometimes I get the impression these people just add up how many
hostile articles and campaigns are written in the imperialist press
about the socialist countries or workers states, then use their
tabulations to determine how deformed or capitalist these states are.
North Korea gets the most, so then it must be the most deformed, if
even a workers state at all. Vietnam gets very few, so it is an okay
deformed workers state. Cuba, I guess because it executed three
kidnappers, and has 70 dissidents for hire in jail, must be deformed.
China is inbetween, so maybe its a workers state, maybe it's
capitalist now. These kinds of writers to this list are just conveyor
belts for imperialist propaganda. How much the imperialist press
attacks each of these countries informs us how bad the countries are.
It wouldn't occur to people like the author of this article that the
Big Business press attacks Cuba and North Korea because they stand up
This article is another article, of many common to this list, of what
I assume is another Western liberal trying to pass himself off as some
kind of radical and Marxist by adopting a state capitalist Kautskyist
view of the world.
This attack on Iggy Kim contains a rather startling observation:
"I vividly remember the Asia-Pacific conference before last, to which
the DSP managed to get a delegation from the ultra-Stalinist Japanese
Communist Party, who were the stiffest Stalinists, in black
three-piece suits (flanked by younger interpreters, also suited up to
the nines), that I've seen for many a long year. "
In fact, this is what these "stiffest Stalinists" have to say about
the Soviet Union:
In discussing socialism, we specifically put forward three points.
First, the recognition that the Soviet-type political and economic
systems had nothing in common with socialism. Second, the position
that socialism should affirm and develop all valuable achievements of
the capitalist era. Third, the objective is to overcome the
profit-first principle and to eradicate exploitation. We have set out
these three points to be considered when we envision the 21st century.
Let me begin with the first point. In discussing socialism in the 21st
century, it is very important to definitely reject, even at the level
of perception, any political and economic systems that claimed to be
socialist but repressive in reality that existed and collapsed in the
Soviet Union. On this point, it seems that a lot of ambiguities remain
in the world's movements.
In November last year, an international symposium on socialism was
held in Beijing. From Japan, Tashiro Tadatoshi of the Institute of
Social Science took part and presented a report entitled "Social
Progress and Socialism the JCP Calls for." The text of the report was
published in the February issue of the JCP monthly magazine Zen'ei
(Vanguard). Tashiro told me that the question of the Soviet Union was
one of the major issues under discussion.
In his report, Tashiro first took up the question of "how to view
Soviet society." He explained that the JCP characterizes it as a
"repressive society that has nothing in common with socialism" and
gave the reason for the characterization in detail. He told me that
participants showed great interest in his report, and some were in
favor of it and others against.
Certainly, none of the international representatives in their reports
called for a Soviet-type society, but many tended to put the Soviet
society in a favorable light knowing that it had problems. Many still
believe that it was indeed a socialist society although it had many
defects. But the Soviet Union not only asserted hegemony in carrying
out oppression of and interference in other countries it maintained a
society. This is the fact that has widely been known after the
collapse of the Soviet Union. Given that the emancipation of humankind
is the major objective of socialism, if one wants to affirm that the
Soviet Union was a socialist country, one must be able to explain how
such a repressive society can be called a socialist society. Such an
attempt would necessarily undermine the core idea of socialism: the
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