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What does “radical right” mean in China? If it is difficult to understand its meaning in the political discourse of twenty-first century China (as the current CCP regime claims to represent the left and the liberalist forces the right), we could understand it as an enduring ideology specific to the Chinese context in the Republican era. In particular, the Chinese Youth Party with its version of national socialism can be a good lens through which to view this ideology. Incorporating my interview with Mrs. Zhao Yusheng, a minor member of the CYP, I define the “radicalness” and the “right-ness” of the CYP first, and then discuss its historical and historiographical importance in the making and unmaking of the Chinese radical right from the early 1920s to late 1940s.
This final chapter explores the patchwork state in comparative perspective. It places the uneven state-building trajectories of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh in the context of broader South Asia. It then contrasts South Asian patchwork states with dynamics in East and Southeast Asian cases, which had internal differentiation in colonial governance, but also Japanese conquest and postwar revolutionary and counterrevolutionary mobilization. The chapter concludes with the application of fear, greed and frugality in the creation of the British and American Empires, and their consequences in state strength and weakness.
This paper examines the political and cultural context of the popular 2010 revival of the light comedy theatre production Sanullim in North Korea. The play, originally written and performed in 1961, portrays the spirit of revolutionary optimism as the characters resolve an unhostile conflict and unite to expand socialist production to contribute to overcoming the (real-life) political and economic crisis of the Chollima era. The 2010 revival of this propaganda responded to similar political and economic crisis, and was designed to instil confidence that the present crisis would be overcome as successfully as in the first Chollima era, provided that people could conjure the same revolutionary optimism. This paper examines why this particular play was revived over others from the Kim Il-sung era, and its particular potential to serve as effective propaganda during the transition from military-first to party-first policy in the Kim Jong-un era, in reference to parallels between 1961 and 2010. The play immerses the audience in the dramatic situations through verisimilitude to the lives of the audience, though the emotional excess of the characters is often exaggerated. Such laughter ignited by dramatic irony contributed to creating a heightened ideological thought of the audience who would spontaneously (re-)internalise the communist human character. The revival of the play was the most appropriate choice according to the object of justification of the succession of power from Kim Jung-il to Kim Jung-un.
Few themes have greater longevity in Britten studies than politics. Conventionally, Britten abandoned his overt political engagement of the 1930s – symbolised by his departure to the United States – finding, through a process of self-discovery, a breadth of human expression that transcended the slogans of politicised art in Peter Grimes. Britten’s pacifism and left-wing politics have formed – with his sexuality – a nexus of othered identity that was, as Pears had it, ‘outside the pale’ in British society of the mid-twentieth century. However, this dichotomy of self and other risks rendering British society an undifferentiated landscape of political and social conservatism. This, in turn, prevents consideration of how Britten’s left-wing pacifism intersected with broader trends and attitudes, and other radical individuals, as well as of the place of politics within his myriad, complex interactions with such conventional institutions as the BBC or the monarchy. It is thus timely to reconsider how communism, socialism, and pacifism intersected with Britten’s musical career, exploring the history of these terms, and how they influenced aesthetics, cultural practice, and individuals.
Poetry makes nothing happen, except when it does. The sharpness of this barb may derive, strangely, from the fact that poetry keeps pretending to make things happen, keeps availing itself of a didactic, performative, and apostrophic language hailing from a world in which such techniques were for better and worse the very stuff of social reproduction, and where words could kill. Poetry is therefore the literary mode most practically suited to revolution, the literary practice that coincides most clearly with the concerted activity of revolutionaries in the throes of crisis. Resistance, insurgency, and revolution produce their novels after the fact but their poetry, often, right away. Inverting the scales of the systems of genre we inherit from Northrop Frye and Fredric Jameson, poetry’s power turns out to derive from a strange literality.
Chapter 8, “Spoiling for A Fight: Armed Opposition,” begins a two-part examination of violent resistance and how, when, and why Poles embraced or rejected it. This discussion is deliberately postponed in the story, as much of the existing literature focuses on military resistance as a shorthand for resistance as a whole, which it was not. Polish military resistance efforts, initially launched by officers and soldiers of the Polish Army in hiding under occupation, remained fractured and hamstrung by vicious Nazi reprisals until 1942. Despite its danger, myriad groups organized around plans for insurrection, spanning the political spectrum from orthodox communists to the fascist far right, and including Polish-Jewish participation. After the destruction of many such initiatives and the merging and reformation of others, one increasingly grew in size and strength: the Home Army (Armia Krajowa) eventually dominated a chaotic resistance landscape through the support of the Western Allies. This chapter argues that violent resistance was initially a disorganized catastrophe, and only late in the occupation did a few surviving underground militaries achieve the ability to influence the Polish population or threaten the German occupiers.
Chapter 9, “Home Army on the Offensive: Violence in 1943-1944,” dissects mature intelligentsia military resistance. As the tide of war turned and the Germans endured their first battlefield defeats against the Soviet Union, the consolidated Home Army grew aggressive. Its most effective move was a 1943 assassination campaign targeting Wehrmacht officers, Nazi police, and German administration personnel called Operation Heads. Heads intimidated the Germans and shifted occupation policy. The Home Army’s perceived success and the advance of the Eastern Front toward Warsaw in 1944 convinced underground military leaders that they were facing their last opportunity to launch a city-wide insurrection. Their rebellion, now known as the Warsaw Uprising, failed. Remaining German personnel in the city were reinforced and crushed the insurrection, slaughtered civilians, and destroyed the city. This chapter argues that military conspiracy, like Catholic resistance, had its successes but was ultimately dependent on the international situation and could not secure the practical support of the Grand Alliance in the face of both German and Soviet opposition.
This chapter considers the relationship between solidarity and revolution by exploring the internal and international politics of the African National Congress (ANC). In the 1960s, the ANC operated internationally but there was little consensus on how the party should wage its struggle against apartheid South Africa. Taking inspiration from Cuba, young Tricontinental radicals challenged the diplomatic strategy of ANC elders like Oliver Tambo and launched an unsuccessful invasion of nearby Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). Tambo responded by appropriating parts of this message and situating the ANC as part of an anti-capitalist revolt aimed at the United States. Tambo also opened the ANC to non-Africans who supported his leadership, which increased the influence of the South African Communist Party and fought off Cuban-inspired militancy by collapsing the distinctions between revolutionary action and international solidarity. Because the Vietnamese and Portuguese revolutions confirmed the inevitability of apartheid’s demise, the ANC prioritized international collaboration over guerrilla warfare as part of a strategy that positioned the party as the legitimate alternative to the apartheid state.
The Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China saw decolonization as a long-awaited opportunity to overturn the imperialist-dominated world order. Both countries saw themselves as bearing no guilt for the crimes of imperialism and the underdeveloped state of newly independent countries. Rather, they saw themselves to varying degrees as victims of imperialism and natural allies for Asia, Africa, and Latin America. However, the advent of attempts to give political structure to the developing world raised the specter of a “Third World” not necessarily aligned with Moscow or Beijing. For the Soviets, the very notion of a “Third World” was a non-starter, a political and ideological dead-end that would deflect the revolutionary energies of the people. For the Chinese, the unwillingness of many in the developing countries to accept Chinese leadership kept this constituency beyond China’s reach. Consequently, the rhetoric of support for anti-imperialism and alliance between the “international communist movement” and the “national liberation movement” masked a much more complex, manipulative, and often antagonistic relationship between the “Second World” and the “Third.”
Cuba is well-known for its mix of radical positions and skills at brokering agreements. Cuban internationalism began as a way to build alliances to counterbalance its geopolitical asymmetry with the United States and gain allies to ensure its survival. These skills are exemplified in the Tricontinental Conference. This investigation sketches the central role that Havana played in the development and hosting of the conference, then focuses on the negotiations undertaken by Cubans to keep the talks going in a thorny political climate in which many political positions were represented. More specifically, we focus on the role of Cuba before and after the Tricontinental in negotiating the tensions and infighting between stakeholders from anti-colonial and socialist liberation movements and parties in the Third World, as well as the emerging rift between the Soviets and Chinese. Finally, honing in on the example of West Germany, we consider how Western leftist participants at the conference saw Cuba’s role in this multidimensional, avant-garde camp that included not only guerrilla movements, communist parties, and other radical organizations, but social democrats as well.
The Cold War and process of decolonization divided the world, with Vietnam emerging after 1954 as a center of global competition. Leaders of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) in Hanoi believed that success in their revolution could tip the worldwide balance of power in favor of the socialist bloc and national liberation movements. This conviction, combined with the need to conduct diplomacy from a position of military weakness, made those leaders accomplished practitioners of international politics as they balanced commitments to Marxism-Leninism, anti-imperialism, and anti-Americanism.
This chapter addresses how Hanoi navigated its membership and commitment to overlapping international movements at the height of the Cold War. It demonstrates that despite confronting the United States in Indochina, DRV leaders never thought strictly in terms of their own interests. Over the years they iterated and acted upon commitments to socialist internationalism, “world revolution,” and “Third Worldism” (tiermondisme). The Cold War and Sino-Soviet dispute created challenges for Hanoi, but the contemporaneous process of decolonization in the Third World also created opportunities.
The chapter traces the development of Guevara’s revolutionary consciousness and the concurrent creation of a militant program of armed struggle on three continents (Asia, Africa, and Latin America). It places Guevara’s intellectual and revolutionary project in the context of the emerging and evolving alliance between the Cuban revolution and the Soviet Union, the simultaneous confrontation with the realities and legacies of US imperialism, and the quixotic quest for Third World solidarity. An exploration of Che’s beliefs, ideas, and actions relating to revolutionary warfare reveals a man ahead of his time. Guevara synthesized and built upon the foundation of guerrilla strategies and tactics promulgated most famously by Mao Zedong but also exhibited by Augusto Sandino, hero of the struggle to liberate Nicaragua from the US occupation. In doing so, he championed an agenda of political and militant solidarity that would continue to attract adherents long after his death at the hands of Bolivian security forces in 1967.
This chapter traces the emergence of the field of memory studies and assesses the historians’ contribution to this field. In particular the influential work of Pierre Nora is discussed here. Memory history, it argues, has moved from underpinning national historical master narratives to promoting transnational cosmopolitan forms of memory that in turn have produced greater self-reflexivity about the relationship between historical writing and collective identity formation and helped to de-essentialise collective identities. The chapter introduces and analyses a range of different memory debates that all, in their different ways, have helped to de-essentialise the construction of collective identities: memory debates surrounding communism, the Holocaust, Brexit, the Truth and Reconciliation Committee in South Africa are all discussed in this respect. The chapter also introduces the concept of ‘agonistic memory’ and discusses how it may help to repoliticise memory and contribute to greater self-reflexivity about the construction of memory and the shaping of collective identities.
In 1947 and 1948, UNESCO undertook an innovative survey on human rights that was intended to shape the philosophical content of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This short period is interesting for several reasons. First, because the end of the Second World War created liminal conditions in which new institutions, political alignments and moral visions could be forged. Second, because, despite the end of the war, a series of profound conflicts and global challenges remained, including colonialism and global economic inequality. This chapter examines how participants in the UNESCO survey analysed the question of social and economic rights as a response to the challenges of reshaping the post-war world. It focuses on contributions influenced by leftist social and political thought. As will be seen, leftist thinkers were not hostile to the idea of a new declaration of human rights, but the way in which rights were conceptualised in relation to social and economic problems was radically different from the form that socio-economic rights eventually took in the UDHR and in subsequent decades.
This chapter traces the origins of Romanian German entanglements with communism in Romania. It then explores the memory of their complex relationship to communism by focusing on the memory convulsions around two significant Romanian German books of the post-communist period, namely Eginald Schlattner’s Rote Handschuhe (2001) and Carl Gibson’s Symphonie der Freiheit (2008). Schlattner’s novel dealt with his own involvement in the famous ‘Authors’ Trial’ in 1959, and reactions to his work uncovered deeply repressed memories of Romanian German entanglements with communism. The broad reception, far beyond the Romanian Germans community, of both novels at the heart of this chapter revealed radical shifts in Romanian German memories of communism away from the orthodox narratives of communism during the Cold War. The once dominant Romanian German exceptionalism peddled by the Landsmannschaften fell apart not with the end of communism but, quite rapidly, in the twenty-first century.
The Malayan Emergency of 1948–1960 has been scrutinised for 'lessons' about how to win counterinsurgencies from the Vietnam War to twenty-first century Afghanistan. This book brings our understanding of the conflict up to date by interweaving government and insurgent accounts and looking at how they played out at local level. Drawing on oral history, recent memoirs and declassified archival material from the UK and Asia, Karl Hack offers a comprehensive, multi-perspective account of the Malayan Emergency and its impact on Malaysia. He sheds new light on questions about terror and violence against civilians, how insurgency and decolonisation interacted and how revolution was defeated. He considers how government policies such as pressurising villagers, resettlement and winning 'hearts and minds' can be judged from the perspective of insurgents and civilians. This timely book is the first truly multi-perspective and in-depth study of anti-colonial resistance and counterinsurgency in the Malayan Emergency.
This chapter discusses how the preceding analysis has wider, portable, comparative implications for understanding the drivers of variations in shades of authoritarianism and illiberalism in other communist legacy countries. I structure the chapter as follows. I first sketch out an analytical framework for a comparative analysis of two new cases: Hungary and China. The section also delineates limitations of scope and restrictions in applications to the universe of communist states and beyond. I then proceed to analyze each case with reference to the key variables of interest. A final section concludes with reflections on the utility of the framework for understanding social inequalities and the long shadow of premodern societies in effecting democratic vulnerabilities and resilience in the present-day illiberal world.
Poland is celebrated internationally for its rich and varied performance traditions and theatre histories. This groundbreaking volume is the first in English to engage with these topics across an ambitious scope, incorporating Staropolska, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Enlightenment and Romanticism within its broad ambit. The book also discusses theatre cultures under socialism, the emergence of canonical practitioners and training methods, the development of dramaturgical forms and stage aesthetics and the political transformations attending the ends of the First and Second World Wars. Subjects of far-reaching transnational attention such as Jerzy Grotowski and Tadeusz Kantor are contextualised alongside theatre makers and practices that have gone largely unrecognized by international readers, while the participation of ethnic minorities in the production of national culture is given fresh attention. The essays in this collection theorise broad historical trends, movements, and case studies that extend the discursive limits of Polish national and cultural identity.
In 1981 the ATF, FBI, and U.S. Customs Service agents arrested a group of American and Canadian White nationalists as they were on their way to overthrow the government of Dominica. Although seemingly improbable, the event is important because it illustrates the hegemonic nature of the relationship between the United States and Caribbean countries and, also, the globalization of White nationalist violence. In this paper I show that extant theory on White nationalism can be used to explain the White nationalist plot. In particular, I invoke the concept of Lebensraum and the fact that White nationalists espouse multiple objectives—in addition to racism—to explain their intent to subvert a Black country and to live there.