October 4, 2011

The Chinese Left Hails Occupy Wall Street!

[This statement, translated by the worthies of the China Study Group, is extremely important. It has been signed by a crew of intellectuals and activists in China, many of whom are left critics of the Chinese state and its capitalist economy. Its analysis of the economic roots of the crisis and the connection to politics is trenchant and goes much deeper than denunciations of corporate greed by themselves can.

But more important is what it teaches us about the global importance of the movement that started less than three weeks ago. True, the statement may seem to be far too optimistic about the immediate prospects of the upsurge and to make more sweeping claims for the movement than any of us who have, say, actually been down at Liberty Plaza would dare, but consider the meta-message here. People around the world are looking to us in the US for inspiration, courage and ideas about how to fight the system--and to build a global movement to end capitalism and build a new world!

Think about that for a minute before you let cynicism about the movement's very real shortcomings justify your inaction.

Message from Chinese activists and academics in support of Occupy Wall Street

From the middle of September, a great “Wall Street Revolution” has broken out in the United States. This street revolution, going by the name of “Occupy Wall Street,” has already expanded to over 70 cities and countries in North America, Europe, and other areas. In their statement on “The Wall Street Revolution,” the American people have sworn that this demand for “a democratic country, not a corporate kingdom” mass democratic revolution must spread to every part of the world, and they will not rest until this goal is met. From the anti-capitalist demonstrations that began after the 2008 financial crisis, and which this year have spread across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and South America, this magnificent global mass democratic movement has finally spread to the center of capitalism’s financial empire–Wall Street.

The eruption of the “Wall Street Revolution” is an historical indicator that the popular democratic revolution that will soon sweep the world is set to begin. It is an especially significant and important event for this movement. Before this most recent action, street protests had virtually been exclusively used as a tool by US elite groups to subvert other countries. Now, however, the “Wall Street Revolution” – with its goals of shared prosperity and popular democracy – has launched protests in the country that is the self-proclaimed defender of democracy. This will inevitably strike a hard blow against the US elite group, itself responsible for the plunder and oppression of people all over the world, and the group that pushed the world into crisis and instability. The protests ring the death knell of the rule of capital. Popular democracy will replace elite democracy in the 21st Century, and the curtain has lifted on the movement from elite politics to popular politics. Using the language of the “Wall Street Revolution,” this is a struggle of the popular 99% against the corrupt 1%, a struggle of the popular 99% against the elite 1%,and is the final struggle of the popular forces against elite capitalist rule.

The world belongs to all of the people of the world. Countries belong to the entire people of those countries. Even moreso, wealth is produced by the entire people, and therefore should be shared by the entire people, it cannot be monopolized by the 1% – or even less than 1% – that is made up of an extremely small number of elites. The demand for common prosperity in economics, and popular democracy in politics has become an unstoppable historical trend! The rapid expansion of a fictitious economy and the massive flow of social wealth has created an amply reliable material foundation for the realization of the common wealth of all people. The development of internet technology and political civilization has created the conditions for human society to make the transition from capitalist democracy to popular democracy. Human society is fully capable of transforming, on the foundation of the past democracy of slaveholders, the democracy of feudal lords, and the democracy of the capitalist class, to make the fundamental shift from the democracy of the elites to real popular democracy. Common prosperity and popular democracy will become the main content of the historical transformation of the 21stCentury. No matter how brutally the American riot police will attempt to suppress the participants in the Wall Street revolution, no matter how much the global elites – especially those in the U.S. and China –try to suppress news of the Wall Street revolution, they cannot stop the vigorous growth and ultimate victory of the democratic revolution of the people of the world.

The violent repression and virtual blockade of news about the “Wall Street Revolution” by elite groups led by the US proves that the fate of oppressed people around the world is the same, regardless of whether they are from developed or developing countries, whether they are from so-called democracies or authoritarian countries. The international elite was the first class to link-up internationally via globalization. Their plunder of public wealth and repression of popular democratic movements is cruel and far-reaching, and utterly lacking in freedom and democracy. So-called freedom and democracy in modern society is nothing more than democracy for capitalism, an elite democracy. Freedom is another word for the elite to plunder, oppress and violently suppress others. Popular forces have been completely excluded from the freedoms and democracy of modern society, and the extent of democratic rights is to choose between presidential candidates that have already been vetted by capital. You can vote once every four years, but you have no way of affecting the people above you who directly determine your fate: your boss or superior. And there is no way of constraining the capitalist oligarchs who can take away the wealth of the majority of the population with the slight of hand of fictitious capital. Freedom and democracy have become a virtual game, nothing more than a tool to subvert other countries. Now the popular and democratic world revolution – symbolized by the “Wall Street Revolution”- demands an end to this political game, and that freedom and democracy be returned to the people. Democracy is not just a check on the president, but a check on government officials; democracy is not just a check on power, but a check on capital. If the rights and privileges of feudal and absolute rulers are understood to be a sin and abomination, then giving those rights to capital is also a travesty.

Securities and computer networks should have been two crucial elements of our shift from an industrial society to an information society, from a material economy to a virtual economy, from capitalism to a human-centered economic system, and from elite politics to popular politics. But the elite class has turned securities into a tool of appropriation akin to the ‘indulgences’ issued by middle-age church functionaries in Europe. In the new securitized economy, all the public’s wealth can easily melt into thin air – including their houses, wages, labor power and even their hope for the future. All these things have become the targets of appropriation by a tiny elite minority. Both the white-collar middle classes in developed countries – owners of fictitious property, and the blue-collar workers in developing countries who cannot afford housing or health care, belong in point of fact to the same class: modern proletariat. When the people protest the unprecedented plunder and vast income gap perpetrated by fictitious capital, they are met with violent repression – both in so-called democracy countries that claim to be defenders of human rights such as the US, and in authoritarian countries that are said to lack freedom and democracy. Faced with street protests erupting from the Balkans to North Africa, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have repeated over and over, “The rights of peaceful protest and the occupation of public space should be respected at all times.” Yet when US citizens attempt to exercise this right they immediately are faced with violent repression by armed police, and a blockade by the news media. If this is reaction of the US – the self-proclaimed leader in human rights – then we can imagine what the reaction will be in other capitalist countries. Rule by the capitalist elite is just as described by the “Wall Street Revolution” – everywhere. There is nowhere left were we can live and die as people.

The eruption of the “Wall Street Revolution” in the heart of the world’s financial empire shows that 99% of the world’s people remain exploited and oppressed – regardless of whether they are from developed or developing countries. People throughout the world see their wealth being plundered, and their rights being taken away. Economic polarization is now a common threat to all of us. The conflict between popular and elite rule is also found in all countries. Now, however, the popular democratic revolution meets repression not just from its own ruling class, but also from the world elite that has formed through globalization. The “Wall Street Revolution” has met with repression from US police, but also suffers from a media blackout organized by the Chinese elite.

The same fate, the same pain, the same problems, the same conflict. Faced with a common enemy in an elite global class that has already linked-up, the people of the world have only one option: to unite and in a unified and shared struggle overturn the rule of the capitalist elite, to ensure that everyone enjoys the basic human rights of work, housing, health care, education, and a secure old-age. But we must go further if we are to realize shared prosperity and popular democracy in a new socialist world historical framework, If we are to fully escape and neutralize the crises and disasters that capitalism has brought the human race, and realize harmonious social development.

The great “Wall Street Revolution” and the great popular “Chilean Winter” that preceded it signal that the day when we realize shared prosperity and popular democracy is approaching. It signals that worldwide popular and democratic socialist movement – dormant since the 1970s – is waking up again. But this time, it will be the final battle to put capitalism in its grave. The victory of popular democracy and death of elite rule are inevitable! The embers of revolt are scattered amongst us all, waiting to burn with the slightest breeze. The great era of popular democracy, set to change history, has arrived again!

Resolutely support the American people in the “Wall Street Revolution”!

Resolutely support all street protests pushing for shared prosperity and popular democracy!

Long live the “Wall Street Revolution”!

Long live the global movement for popular democracy!

Long live popular international solidarity!

Signed by,

1. 马宾(中共老一辈无产阶级革命家,对鞍钢宪法有重要贡献)
2. 张宏良(北京学者)
3. 孔庆东(北京学者)
4. 张勤德(中共中央某机关退休干部)
5. 司马南(北京资深主持人)
6. 左大培(北京学者)
7. 苏铁山(北京学者)
8. 贾根良(北京学者)
9. 韩德强(北京学者)
10. 韩中(电视剧《毛岸英》中饰演毛泽东主席的演员)
11. 刘毅然(电视剧《毛岸英》导演)
12. 顾秀林(昆明学者)
13. 赵磊(成都学者)
14. 刘长明(济南学者)
15. 孙锡良(长沙学者)
16. 郭松民(北京学者)
17. 杨思远(北京学者)
18. 徐亮(北京学者)
19. 范景刚(北京左翼网站乌有之乡网站负责人www.wyzxsx.com)
20. 吴国屏(江苏无锡红色文化大讲堂负责人)
21. 戴诚(江苏常州红色合唱团负责人)
22. 葛黎英(郑州红色事业活动志愿者)
23. 任羊成(河南林州,修建红旗渠的特等劳模)
24. 袁金萍(河南安阳,林州市红旗渠精神学习会理事)
25. 赵东民(西安红色法律工作者)
26. 桑文英(西安红歌会负责人)
27. 李忠(太原红色事业活动志愿者)
28. 聂晓萍(北京老中医)
29. 吴泽刚(四川理县,藏族农民,中共党员)
30. 苏群(深圳红歌会志愿者)
31. 朱超(重庆红色事业活动志愿者)
32. 刁伟铭(上海红色事业活动志愿者)
33. 李欣(天津红色事业活动志愿者)
34. 曹文质(北京景山红歌会负责人)
35. 吴凤藻(北京首钢退休干部)
36. 薛云(北京红色企业家,点石金校校长)
37. 杨晓陆(北京反转志愿者)
38. 马婷娜(北京反转志愿者)
39. 吕霙(北京,退休科技工作者,当年红卫兵)
40. 刘英(广西桂林学者)
41. 陈红兵 (郑州当年红卫兵)
42. 石恒利(辽宁社科院退休研究员)
43. 熊 炬(男,中共党员,诗人,作家,重庆出版社退休干部)
44. 谢明康(男,中共党员,重庆市垫江县城乡建委退休干部)
45. 邬碧海(女,浙江红色事业活动志愿者)
46. 王庆人(天津学者,南开大学教授)
47. 司马平邦(中国名博沙龙常务副主席)
48. 王左军(资深媒体人士、绿色环保人士)
49. 曾有灿(工程师)
50. 陈晶(北京红色事业活动志愿者)

(list of signees awaiting translation, please contact chinastudygroup@gmail.com to help!)

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