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12013Re: DSP prettifies the feudal monarchy of North Korea

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  • Peter Boyle
    Dec 23, 2004
      Reading 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

      (APISC 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
      the environment.

      Past conferences

      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
      to imperialism.

      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.

      Stan Smith


      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
      terribly repressive
      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
      emancipation of
      full: <http://www.jcp.or.jp/english/jps_weekly/2002-0101-fuwa.html#07>

      Louis Proyect

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