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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

There are many fine tributes to Chairman Gonzalo and we are posting some of them here

There are many fine tributes written on Chairman Gonzalo, who died on September 11. I don’t have room to post all of the full articles here but I do plan to use this article to provide introductions into some of the better written obits, followed by their links. I will post more intros and links from the more interesting sites that I find. –Steve Otto


Obituary: Chairman Gonzalo

By Joshua Moufawad Paul

On the same date as the 1973 coup in Chile, one of the great revolutionaries of the 21st Century, Abimael Guzmán ("Gonzalo"), has passed away at 86 after having spent nearly three decades incarcerated. As the Chair of the Communist Party of Peru's (PCP) Central Committee, Gonzalo was responsible for leading the People's War in Peru and initiating the theorization of Maoism as a third stage of revolutionary science. Moreover, the now defunct Revolutionary Internationalist Movement responsible for crystallizing Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (as opposed to "Mao Zedong Thought") was only able to reach the ideological and organizational heights it once had due to the participation and influence of the Gonzalo-led PCP. For those of us who all ourselves "Maoists" because we recognize Maoism as a development in the same sense that Leninism was (however we position ourselves in the international debate about the meaning of MLM now) there is no avoiding or denying the significance of Gonzalo.

As I have said in different ways and multiple times, what do we make of the fact that right when capitalism was declaring itself the "end of history" and trumpeting the defeat of communism, the revolutionaries in Peru launched a People's War and declared a renewal of communism by stating that there was a new stage in revolutionary science? At the very least we should recognize it as heroic, and for those of us who are Maoists we should recognize it as a theoretical milestone.


For the rest click here:




Tribute to Chairman Gonzalo


By Harsh Thakor


Chairman Gonzalo or Abimael Guzman is no more. His was not a natural death but an assassination by the Peruvian state. Exactly 29 years ago on September 12th he was captured by the Peruvian police and placed in the Callao prison.Inspite of a sustained worldwide campaign to demand his release, the Peruvian state kept him entrenched within the jail walls. This testified that a leader like Gonzalo threatened the very backbone of the neo-colonial regimes.

No movement in the world caused such tremors in the camp of the ruling dictatorial regimes in the last 4 decades as the Shining path led by Gonzalo and the PCP.Gonzalo was denied the rights promised within a bourgeoisie democracy, morally being denied political prisoner status.

Gonzalo may be gone but his spirit is not dead and buried, which still shimmers in every corner of the globe. I do not ascribe to ‘Gonzalo Thought’ as being Universal but I would still classify Abimael Guzman as one of the greatest Marxist-Leninist leaders and theoreticians after the death of Chairman Mao. No Marxist leader as methodically re-organised a Communist party or so clinically paved the path for undertaking armed struggle. Chairman Gonzalo turned the spark of Maoism into a Prairie fire in unparalleled proportions after the death of Mao, traversing regions unexplored. Since Mao no Marxist took creativity to such untraversed   regions or gave such a striking blow to revisionism. Every cadre should in detail study how Gonzalo confronted opportunist trends to knit the party together. In my lifetime no Marxist leader has inducted spiritual change within the oppressed masses at the magnitude of Gonzalo. He literally emblazoned the hearts of millions like red spark illuminating within ,taking the boiling point of indignation to a crescendo. Gonzalo revealed shades of genius when building the party schools to confront revisionism and in confronting all trends negating peoples War. No Comrade did as much justice to upholding the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution or the military teachings of Mao. In the period of the Peruvian peoples War since Chairman Mao there was no leader who led a revolutionary struggle creating such tremors in the enemy camp at such magnitude or come so much within touching distance of overthrowing the oppressive rulers.Gonzalo exhibited touches of genius when penetrating the shanty tows or slum areas, and thus not mechanically copying the Chinese experience. Above all he prove that Marxism-Leninism was a creative ideology .Gonzalo gave a striking blow to revisionism of the Dengist and Khruschevite variety as no other leader and ignited the spark of Marxism-Leninism -Maoism in regions unparalleled in his lifetime.

For the rest click here:


Long live the memory of Presidente Gonzalo!



The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) expresses deepest sympathies to the workers, peasants and all the oppressed classes and sectors of Peru over the demise of revolutionary leader Manuel Rubén Abimael Guzmán Reynoso, the renowned Presidente Gonzalo, founder and leader of the Communist Party of Peru (PCP). Comrade Gonzalo died in prison at the age of 86.

We denounce the Peruvian government for having subjected Comrade Gonzalo to prolonged persecution through physical and mental torture since capturing him in 1992. He and his comrades were made to undergo repeated illegal trials. The reactionaries refused to heed the clamor to release him despite his nearly 30 years of imprisonment inside the fascist dungeons. His lifetime imprisonment was cruel and extreme punishment for having founded the PCP and initiated and led the people’s armed resistance against the reactionary ruling system in Peru and the fascist Fujimori regime. He is a martyr to the just revolutionary cause and struggle of the Peruvian people, especially the toiling masses of workers and peasants, for new democracy and the socialist cause.

While the CPP does not fully subscribe to the ideas propounded by Gonzalo and his followers, we believe he deserves recognition for his promotion and defense of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. He gave the best years of his life and sacrificed for the proletariat and oppressed masses of Peru, and their aspirations for national and social liberation. During the 1980s, the Sendero Luminoso—the Shining Path—was one of the brightest stars of armed resistance around the world.

For the rest copy and past this:

Revolutionary salute to Abimael ‘Comrade Gonzalo’ Guzman!

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) mourns the passing of Manuel Ruben Abimael “Presidente Gonzalo” Guzman Reinoso, founder and leader of the Partido Comunista Peruano — Sendero Luminoso. We are one with his relatives, friends comrades, and the workers and people of Peru and the world who are grieving his death on September 11 at the age of 86.

Comrade Gonzalo died in jail, in the hands of the ruling exploiting classes of Peru that are subservient to US imperialism. He was imprisoned for 29 years, in a grave-like prison located underground, and this could only have harmed his health and hastened his death. While the Peruvian government and judicial system once allowed dictator and plunderer Alberto Fujimori to be released from prison for humanitarian reasons, they have kept Comrade Gonzalo in prison until his death. In their anger towards this revolutionary Communist, they have exposed the double standards of their neocolonial, bourgeois and ultimately bankrupt system. They continue to inflict so much suffering to the hundreds of political prisoners in Peru.

For the rest copy and past this:

In 2018 I wrote a rebuttal to an article by the Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan which they called;

A Glimpse at the Joint International Statement of the Eight Latin American Maoist Parties and Organizations.

In that article they wrote about struggling against Gonzalo thought and its supporters. They were quite negative about Chairman Gonzalo and his supporters, partially blaming them for the fall of the Revolutionary International Movement:

-Steve Otto


“The following is a preliminary review of the latter. In this preliminary review, shortcomings, errors, and deviations have merely been highlighted and a brief commentary has been provided….

At this moment claiming a further evolution of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is baseless, whether these claims are the revisionism of “Prachanda Path” and “Avakian’s New Synthesis” or the deviationism of “Gonzalo Thought.” Our party has always emphasized that premature assertions such as Gonzalo Thought, Prachanda Path, and the Avakianite New Synthesis are historically responsible for the collapse of RIM…..

Therefore, it is necessary that––alongside the principled theoretical, ideological and political struggles based on MLM against Avakian’s New Synthesis and Prachanda Path revisionisms––a struggle should also be waged against the deviation that has emerged as Gonzalo Thought. The C(M)PA is no longer obliged to keep the struggles against the latter internal but deems it totally necessary to begin carrying out such a struggle at the international level.”


It was for this reason that I was surprised at the positive statements the C(M)PA posted recently about the death of Chairman Gonzalo. But Gonzalo has died and perhaps C(M)PA realizes it is important for all on the Maoist left to come together and defend the accomplishments of the Communist Party of Peru and the rebellion they created against the capitalist system. I was pleasantly surprised:


President Gonzalo dies after three decades in prison

Abimail Guzman (Gonzalo) died at the age of 86 after spending almost three decades in prison. He led the Communist Party of Peru for more than three decades and 10 years led the People's War in Peru before being arrested in 1992. However, the People's War in Peru was defeated because of the emergence of the right opportunist line. But this does not reduce the historical importance and lasting role of the Communist Party of Peru under Gonzalo's leadership played in the revival of communism (Marxism-Leninism-Maoism) in the world following the defeat of the Chinese revolution. From the mid-1960s to the late 1970s, Gonzalo built the Communist Party of Peru based on the ideas of Mao Zedong Thought, playing a significant role in the struggle against Deng and Hoxha revisionism.

Gonzalo and the party under his leadership launched the People's War in Peru in the early 1980s. In his renowned interview with El Diario Gonzalo stated, we started the People's War, and the People's War expanded our understanding of Maoism, and we were able to train a new generation of experienced cadres and create a new people’s power. The People's War in Peru engaged a wide section of the toiling masses on the path of the revolutionary struggle. In the liberated areas, under the PCP leadership, People’s Committees had been established to exercise the political power of the proletariat and peasantry. In these areas, feudal land ownership was abolished, and land reform took place, according to which land was distributed and equal ownership provided to both peasant men and women. On the other hand, revolutionary social reforms, especially concerning the social and political emancipation of women and indigenous peoples were undertaken. The progressive and emancipatory potential of the People's War attracted more revolutionary women to the ranks of the People's Army, and the Party, where communist women played a leadership role at all levels, including at the party central committee and the politburo. The People's War in Peru enhanced the political consciousness of the masses and widely engaged in the destruction of the old oppressive social relations and the construction of new and emancipatory social relations. The People's War in Peru under the leadership of the PCP played a significant role in the global promotion of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, elevating the spirit of communist struggle and greatly enhanced the revolutionary prestige of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement.

For the rest copy and paste:


Monday, September 13, 2021



From the site of the Communist Party of Ecuador- Red Sun/ Partido Comunista del Ecuador - Sol Rojo

For a Spanish version of this article click here.

Eagle of eagles, old red sun, comrade, president,

under a red sky, among condors and always alive.

 you will have your place in the best of villages:



It is with deep pain and regret that we have received the news of the death of Chairman Gonzalo.

The physical death of Chairman Gonzalo has definitely shocked us, and yes, we communists also cry, we express our emotions in a very heartfelt, emotional way; we are so dismayed that our body shivers with feeling and rebellion.

A communist has died, the best son of the international proletariat.

The ties that we communists establish with our comrades are firm, solid; We share our lives, our blood, our struggle that has the same political meaning and objective, the destruction of the old society to build the new Power, that is important, but we also share something that is much greater and more supreme, ideology; that unites us, chains us, makes our lives are tied by a red link so strong that it is above any other link.

The eagle of eagles, the head of the Party and the revolution, has died; However, it will live forever in the hearts and struggles of the class and the oppressed peoples of the world.

The old state of Peru has physically materialized the bloody and slow assassination of Chairman Gonzalo; in fact, he has been doing it for 29 years that has kept him locked in a gloomy dungeon in which there was no room for a single ray of sunlight; incommunicado, subjected to absolute isolation, having been subjected to lacerating psychological torture. Today, the enemies of the class and the people, together with the revelry of imperialism, sing victory, they live the allegory of the hyenas without knowing or understanding that if one dies, the ideological remains in the others, and that will never be erased.

The Communist Party of Ecuador Sol-Rojo, its leadership, cadres, militants and organizations generated, we express our most heartfelt class solidarity to the comrades of the Communist Party of Peru, the Popular Liberation Army; their leaderships, cadres, militants and combatants; the proletariat and people of Peru; the proletariat and oppressed peoples of the world.

With the beating heart in our hands, with the resounding roar of our red blood that cries out for revolution in our veins; With our pain and overflowing fury, with that firm conviction of having embraced MARXISM-LENINISM-MAOISM-GONZALO THOUGHT, guarantee of triumph until communism, in closed formation and with raised fists we say to the world:







Sunday, September 12, 2021

Chairman Gonzalo dies—a great revolutionary hero has left us

By Steve Otto

Celebrities die every day. Some times they are people I really like. But today I heard of the death of Chairman Gonzalo/ AKA Abimael Guzmán, or Manuel Rubén Abimael Guzmán Reinoso. Many people online called him the greatest living Marxist alive today. I’m not sure if that was true, but he is dead now, so he can no longer be the greatest LIVING Marxists of our time. He does win the title of greatest Marxist theoretician of the 21st century—or at least close. All the other great ones died in either the 19th century or the 20th century. In all seriousness, he has been a major political figure of the 21st century.

World wide he has lots of followers in Latin America and Europe. Just a few days ago the Central Committee of the CPI (Maoist) called on trade unions, progressive democratic forces and human rights organizations around the world to organize agitations for the release of a veteran Peruvian communist leader, Dr. Abimael Guzmán.

Of course we can expect the so called main stream press to refer to him as just a terrorist and provide no hint that he did any good in Peru or that any of the peasants or barrio dwellers got anything out of supporting him. According to nearly all of the mainstream press Gonzalo did nothing more than kill people, including the peasants he was supposedly trying to save. For example, from The Washington Post:

“Abimael Guzmán, the mastermind of the Shining Path terrorist organization in Peru, a brutal Maoist movement that nearly toppled the country’s government in the 1980s and early 1990s, leaving thousands of people dead, died Sept. 11 in a hospital at a military prison outside Lima.

We can expect a lot more of this kind of reporting in the coming weeks—that is if they pay any attention to him at all. The mainstream press did little about the ISIS (Islamic State) unarmed prisoners in Iraq that were thrown to their deaths off roof tops. Our main stream press has given crocodile tears over the US pull out in Afghanistan. And CCN was honest enough to admit:

“Another 30,000 Peruvians died at the hands of the government and paramilitary groups in the fight against the group, a government commission said in 2003.

To those of us on the left, Chairman Gonzalo was a great man, a great military strategist and a great theoretician. No amount of white wash will erase that fact. Many people know who he was and what he was. With all that phony 9/11 US military hero worship, the rest of us will remember that Chairman Gonzalo lost his life on this day and his life is way more important than the military adventurists who tried to avenge an act against an empire.  

Pix by Peru People's Movement.

Saturday, September 11, 2021



By Harsh Thakor 

On 13th September we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Lin Biao, due to a plane crash in 1971, when allegedly attempting to flee to the Soviet Union. Lin is one of the most controversial or complex and impactful characters of the Communist Movement. Few leaders more befitted the role of a Dr. Jekyll and a Mr. Hyde.




Lin made a great contribution to the Chinese revolution as a military commander, after 1945. In the last stages no military leader did as much justice to Mao’s military teachings. He exhibited genius in carrying out military affairs, settling up traps for the enemy at their hardest point. Few commanders patrolled troops with such skill, to overpower the enemy as Biao as a military leader was more responsible than anyone in delivering the final knockout punch, to Chiang Kai Shek’s Kuomintang.


By the end of 1945 Lin had 280,000 troops in Manchuria under his command, but according to Kuomintang estimates only 100,000 of these were regular forces with access to adequate equipment. The KMT also estimated that Lin also had access to 100,000 irregular auxiliaries, whose membership was drawn mainly from unemployed factory workers. Lin avoided decisive confrontations throughout 1945, and he was able to preserve the strength of his army despite criticism from his peers in the Party and the PLA. On May 8 Lin launched the first of his "three great campaigns", the Summer Offensive, intending to engage a large garrison at Huade, while a second force positioned itself to ambush the force that would predictably be sent to relieve it. With the skill of a surgeon performing an operation Lin crystallised an ambush, to deliver a striking blow to the Kuomintang in Siping, Jilin.

In the winter Offensive in Siping in Manchuria and at Jinzhou in Liaoshen he confronted encirclement of Chiang Kai Shek’s troops with daunting courage and military skill, rarely transcended. He went on to penetrate North China, annexing Taiwan and Beijing, through the Pingin campaign. The Pingjin Campaign saw Lin remove a total of approximately 520,000 enemy troops from the enemy's battle lines. Many of those who surrendered later joined the PLA. In the last stages no military leader did as much justice to Mao’s military teachings. He exhibited genius in carrying out military affairs, setting up traps for the enemy at their hardest point. Few commanders patrolled troops with such skill, to overpower the enemy.


In the post-revolution period after 1949 he was responsible for pioneering the projection of Chairman Mao’s military theory through printing of Chairman Mao's red book, where his writings were incorporated or assembled in readable form for everyone. Lin wrote a masterpiece on ‘International Significance of Peoples War,’ which lit the red spark of Mao’s teachings at an unprecedented level. Never in China's history were any leader's writings sparkled to such a magnitude. He also abolished ranks in the army and paved the way for the Socialist education movement to succeed. Possibly the Great Proletarian Cultural revolution could never be launched without the seeds sown of the Socialist Education Movement. In rendered the spirit of selflessness at the very core within the army by persuading them to participate in farm labour, to build a soil for planting a Socialist man. I recommend everyone to refer to ‘Daily lives in Revolutionary China’ which vividly illustrates the unparalleled democratic strides of the Peoples liberation army. In 1965 his speech on ‘Long Live the Peoples War’, elevated the pulse of the oppressed masses of the people to undertake peoples war at an unparalleled intensity. Above all it was Lin Biao who formally proclaimed Mao Tse Tung[1] thought as the higher or highest stage of Marxism-Leninism.




Sadly, from the period of the Cultural Revolution Lin Biao exhibited a big deviation from genuine Marxism, by placing the army over everything, and giving scant respect to the class struggles within the sphere of production and enhancing the striking power of the masses. During mass movements, the people’s liberation army often curtailed the civilians, and in 1967-69 it was only after the intervention of Premier Zhou En Lai, that the army had to withdraw. Lin Biao  attempted to project chairman Mao like a prophet and often it was Chairman Mao who had to intervene to eradicate personality cult. He now turned bloodthirsty for power, eulogising Mao to promote his chances of being anointed head of state. In 1969 Lin was chosen as Mao's successor. However, from late 1969 relations deteriorated between Lin and Mao. Lin insisted that the Cultural revolution be withdrawn and sole emphasis be placed on production In contrast Chairman Mao felt there were still glaring flaws in the society, which could be only resolved through continuous revolution. He also became a bitter critter of Chiang Ching as well as wished to restore relations with the Soviet Union.

By 1970 the relations of Lin and Mao embittered at crescendo and in the moral sense no more did Mao wish Lin to b his successor. Finally in September 1971 Lin fled in plane with his family, heading to Soviet Union. The Chinese govt alleged that Lin plotted to overthrow Chairman Mao, which is maintained by many Marxists today. However some comrades like Joma Sison feel we still have to look under the telescope to examine the correct facts. In recent years Lin's daughter has come out with another version on the incident.


The aftermath of Lin Biao's death was major determinant of the future course of events in the Cultural Revolution of China, breaking the backbone of the genuine left forces, and paving the way for the revival of the rightists or capitalist roaders. A major 2 line struggle was waged by the Maoist gang of four, portraying Lin as a 'Confucius' of the modern age or a mandarin. It had the overtones of famous emperor being overthrown and disgraced. Rightist commanders almost completely infiltrated the Peoples Liberation Army. After the rightist coup in 1976 shortly after Mao's death, in Biao was publicly disgraced and eventually sentenced as a criminal in the 1981 trials. It was ironic how a so called 'capitalist roader' was condemned by the anti-Maoist or revisionist like Deng Xiaoping, along with the Maoist gang of 4. In Mao's time after 1971, Lin was characterized as a capitalist roader.


Even if he betrayed Marxism towards the end it was travesty that on his birth centenary no memorial was staged for Lin Biao in China or amongst Marxists worldwide. Indian Maoists treated him like a demon as well as those in Peru and Nepal. Only the pro-Lin Biao camp groups paid him homage like the Leading Light Communist Organisation and the C.P.I.(ML) 2nd CC in India. Marxist writer Joseph Ball hardy gave credibility to Lin Biao being treated as a villain and plotting to kill Mao. Chairman Joma Sison is also neutral. Lin Biao would win a permanent place amongst the great Marxist or anti-imperialist military commanders but would also go down in history of marking a turning point in revisionism—in the International Communist Movement.




What Marxist need to analyse is what phenomena led to a figure like Lin biao sprouting up within a Socialist state or Communist party, to the extent of his even being appointed as Chairman Mao's successor. I feel it reflected how Confucian culture was still embedded in the minds of the Chinese people, which upheld feudal authority. For historians it is worth probing into what caused such a sensational turnabout in Lin Biao. There was also deep penetration of the Army in all spheres. Strong hierarchy existed within the party itself. In my view the trend asserts that mere 2 line struggle within a Communist party, does not build a genuine Socialist society or Socialist democracy to flourish. Even if factionalism is negative, vanguardist tendencies of the party were not properly checked by the masses. in also most erroneously defined the era in 1969,as that of "Total Collapse of Imperialism and Worldwide Victory for Socialist Revolution,' replacing Leninist evaluation of 'Era of Imperialism and Proletarian Revolution. ‘The Chinese model of revolution was exported by Lin, giving no regard to the unique characteristics engulfing different regions. Marxists were made to asses everything through the prism of the Chinese revolution. in Biao most mechanically analyzed that the third world was a storm centre for world revolution that would besiege the cities of the 1st world. Morally, Lin virtually classed the working class of the developing countries to be counter-revolutionary and only workers of developing countries to be a potent revolutionary force. In fact genuine Marxists have to counter the Lin Biaoist tendency that classes all Workers of the 1st world to be reactionary, apart from the Afro-Americans or Asians. Lin’s writings compiled in the Red Book had powerful tendencies of rhetoric and generalisation, has pointed out by Stuart Schram in his biography of Mao.



Few leaders more illustrated a dual aspect to their nature. I feel Lin deserved a gold medal for some of his contributions, while on the other hand should face the equivalent of punishment for dealing establishing of a genuine Socialist state. It is very important that we evaluate him in the correct perspective and not devalue his contribution. One must take note of how even revisionist parties in the Indian camp denounce Lin Biaoism, with groups like C.P.I.(M.L) Red Star, even equating the CCP from 1966-76 as Lin Biaoist. I asesss Lin Biao to a kind of a Brezhnevite and not a Kruschevian like Liu Shao Chi or Deng Xiaoping. To me in the classical sense Lin was not a 'capitalist roader' like Deng Xiaoping.


I would love readers to refer to Edgar Snow's notes on Lin Biao in 'Red Star over China’, which does justice to his leadership before 1949.Lin's military writings too are very insightful, with semi- colonial features still persisting in third world countries.

All Marxists should dialectically study the phenomena of Lin Biao, to study his plus points and major flaws and understand the complexities that arise within a Socialist Society itself. His treachery towards the end, all the more illustrates how imperative it was to stage the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, to keep Leninism a float. The mass movements undertaken to confront Lin Biao's ideology also have great importance. Arguably an error of Mao was over deployment and excessive power within the army and not awarding sufficient independence to mass movements. Still I feel we should tooth and nail confront anyone who projects Lin Biao's line a s a Marxist one as well as those who use his example to denounce Socialist China under Mao. I do not ascribe to the view that Chairman Mao fostered his personality cult, but completely endorse that Lin Biao completed tried to promote himself through glorifying the chairman. It is also significant that chairman Gonzalo has shades of Lin Biaoism in his thesis on 'militarization of the party.’ Readers must critically study all the writings of Lin Biao, to be enriched in Marxism-Leninism., published in the ‘Marxist Internet archive.’ They must demarcate or distinguish the sectarian elements of his writing which replace Marxism-Leninism or Mass line with military ideology. From Lin Biao’s negative experience we further understand the importance of treating Maoism as an integral part of Leninism and the importance of the Leninist vanguard party. At the same time certain chinks are exposed in our armoury, ideologically in terms of genuine democracy within a Socialist society and not mere mechanical interpretation of Maoist peoples War. His life also expressed the mysterious aspect of Marxism itself.




Very surprisingly Chairman Joma Sison is inconclusive on the Lin Biao affair 50 years ago, remaining neutral. 

"The CPC Central Committee led by Mao himself made decisions in favour of and then against Lin Piao. The circumstances and decisions must be subjected to concrete review and analysis by dialectical and historical materialists. But if a telescope were to be used, especially by outsiders like us, the downfall of Lin Piao meant a split of the Left within the CPC and PLA (between Lin Piao and the group of 4) which opened the way for the rehabilitation and ultimate ascendance of Deng with the help of Chou En-Lai who had to defend himself from the attacks of the group of 4. Lin Piao was well-known as the first PLA commander to deliver the first big blow against the Japanese invasion army and as the consistent defender of Mao in the Lushan conference, in the socialist education movement and in the first four years or so of the GPCR. Remember that the support of the PLA led by Lin Piao to the Left was crucial in mobilizing the Left and the Red Guards against the bourgeois headquarters in the CPC and the state. For this, Lin Piao gained the title of being the closest comrade in arms of Mao. He was enshrined in the Chinese constitution as the successor of Mao. He was responsible for stressing that China was the central base of the third world's struggle of peoples and countries against the first world of imperialist powers. He was also associated with rhetoric about Mao thought as the atom bomb of the people and about the world era of the impending collapse of imperialism and global victory of socialism over imperialism. For the ultimate Rightist victors in the class struggle to discredit and bring him down, he was the target of the intrigues that he was in a hurry to take power for himself in order to displace Mao, letting his wife abuse her power in the PLA Political Department and prematurely promoting his young son to a senior position in the PLA and conspiring with him to assassinate Mao. At the ideological and political level, he was accused of immodesty and recklessness in depicting China as the central base of the world revolution, contrary to the wishes of the Right to adopt capitalist reforms and open up to and integrate China with the capitalist world as the way to modernize China and catch up with the rise of technology. The circumstances of the death of Lin Piao also need concrete review and analysis. There are certain serious claims that he and other pro-Lin officers were already dead at the start of the supposed flight to the Soviet Union. What an irony that one of the top opponents of Soviet social imperialism should be fleeing to the SU. The plane could have been put on auto-pilot before leaving the Chinese border. I state conflicting facts and arguments here."




Below I am posting a most lucid analysis by late Comrade Nicholas Glais of Democracy and Class Struggle blog, who asserts how Lin Biao towards the end had betrayed the revolution and was at loggerheads with the ideology of Mao. In a dialectical manner it portrays the revisionist essence of Lin after 1969.


"Chang Jung and Jon Halliday love to compare Mao to Hitler but the absurdity of their comparison becomes evident when they raise Lin Biao's son Li Guo also known as "Tiger” to a comparison with Claus von Stauffenberg, the German officer who tried to assassinate Hitler in 1944.

Jung Chang and Jon Halliday skip over the political differences between Mao and Lin Biao and everything becomes personal between Lin Biao and Mao and politics disappears.

The important political differences between Mao and Lin Biao manifested themselves after the 9th Party Conference in the way Lin Biao was using his control of the military in a bureaucratic way.


Lin Biao also took advantage of Sino-Soviet border clashes in the spring of 1969 to declare martial law and further used his position to rid himself of some potential rivals to the succession.


Several leaders who had been purged during 1966–68 died under the martial law regime.

In foreign affairs the Lin Biao line was the tactical policy of the Cultural Revolution, fight both enemies at the same time with equal force and spread revolution, ignoring or showing hostility to other aspects of the international situation.


In regard to party and state Lin Biao intended to retain military hegemony if not dramatically increase army control over society.


Zhou Enlai supported by Mao wanted the return of civilian control of society after the Cultural Revolution in opposition to Lin Biao's line of the army in control.


In foreign affairs both Zhou Enlai and Mao wanted a foreign policy that favoured distinctions between imperialists, to determine which the principal is and which the secondary enemy is at a given time and to make use of the contradictions within the enemy camp and between the enemy camps.


The new foreign policy line represented Chairman Mao's ideas tactically applied to the current world situation.


This line meant accepting the temporary relaxation in relations offered by US Imperialism so as to remove one threat from China, attempt to divide the superpowers to the extent possible where they collude and build an important alliance of small medium and third world nations - to struggle against the "two overlords" defeating them one at a time


On August 22nd 1970 the Second Plenum of the Chinese Communist Party was once again held in Lushan. It was the Lushan Conference that first brought the differences between Mao and Lin Biao to the public. Lin Biao surprisingly did not provide a copy of his Lushan speech in advance which was the normal courtesy he gave to Mao.


The sharp difference at the Lushan conference was over the post of State President, Mao did not want the post but Lin Biao insisted that Mao take the position. It was Lin Baio's insistence on this matter that alerted Mao to the fact that Lin Biao wanted him to take this position to ensure the vice President would go to himself and confirm his succession to Mao.

There was also Chen Bo Da insisting that Mao's genius be inserted into the Constitution of China. Mao was seeing clearly that Chen Bo Da and Lin Biao were using the Mao Cult as a cover for naked power seeking for themselves. Mao had Chen Bo Da removed from the standing committee as a warning to Lin Biao to change his ways.

After the Nineth Party Congress Lin Biao had continuously requested promotions within the party and Central Government leading Mao to suspect him of wanting supreme power as quickly as possible. If Lin were to become Vice President he would legally have supreme power after the Presidents death.


Mao made his position clear about Lin Biao on a visit to Southern China after the Lushan meeting when he said that Lin Biao's politics had overestimated the role of the army in society, Lin Biao says that the army is everything, Mao said no the people are everything.

Mao wanted the rectified communist party to return to governing the provinces but Lin Biao wanted the army supervising the party. Mao made it plain the party controls the gun not the gun the party. Mao started moves to bring the army under control and this was the trigger that sent Li Guo the "Tiger:" into action to overthrow Mao.


During his visit to Southern China Mao still hoped to bring Lin Biao back to the straight and narrow inviting Lin Biao to criticise Chen Bo Da's "genius" nonsense which Mao so brilliantly ridiculed in with his classic sense of humour. Lin Biao comment that one word of Mao Tse Tung is worth 10,000 words of anybody else's were also the subject of Mao's wit on the South China visit. But Lin Biao refused to criticise Chen Bo Da and take Mao's offer of a way out of conflict and started to behave erratically at public functions.


Mao however had not calculated on the devastating effect of Lin Biao's son Li Guo who saw in his father’s diminution his diminution and saw in his father’s rise his rise. While Chang Jung and Jon Halliday relish any gossip abouts Mao's personal life they are more circumspect when it comes to Li Guo conceding he was something of a playboy, but no details here as he is another Claus von Stauffenberg and it would not do staining the character of their hero, albeit he was the spoilt son of a doting mother who could see no wrong in him, but worried about his womanising.


Without the fanatical hatred of Li Guo for Mao (shared by Jung Chang) there would probably not have been the 571 or Wu Qi Yi chinese pronounciation like "armed uprising"


But Li Guo was determined to kill Mao and raise his father to number one.

Qui Jin an historian who has studied the Lin Biao incident probably more than anyone else and whose father was head of the Airforce under Lin Biao believes that Lin Biao did not know all his son was up to and his son may have been acting on his own in organising the attempts on Mao's life.


Her view that Lin Biao he did not know anything until the 12th September at 9 pm I do not find credible as to many things were going on for him not to know nothing.

Lin Biao was not a stupid man as his history demonstrates he was a brilliant military commander and his Manchurian Campaign a classic of military history.

Li Guo, Lin Biao's son contacted Jiang Teng -Jiao the youngest general in China to kill Mao. with a plan was to shoot up Mao's train in Shanghai but the plot did not proceed as planned because the Korean War ace asked to do the job deliberately hospitalised himself to avoid carrying out the task.


Li Guo was now getting desperate and planned a suicide helicopter attack on Tiananmen Gate in Beijing but this was aborted at the last moment. There does appear to be evidence of some kind of attack on Mao in Shanghai, assassination attempts were made against Mao in Shanghai from September 8th to September 10th 1971 according to police records.

However everything unravelled when Dodo, Lin Biao's daughter informed on her brother, father and mother as fleeing the country, the first plan to flee to Hong Kong was abandoned in favour of fleeing to Russia, with Li Guo shooting Lin Biao's bodyguard on the way to the plane, the plane was forced to take off without sufficient fuel and crashed over Mongolia killing Lin Baio his wife and son and all on board.


Mao was deeply shocked by the turn of events and began a purge of the armed forces which according to Jung Chang and Jon Halliday "not a single person was executed" page 685 of "Unknown Mao".


What did Hitler do after Claus von Stauffenberg failed in his assassination attempt?

“About 180 to 200 plotters were shot or hanged or, in some cases, viciously strangled with piano wire or hung up on great meat hooks, and executed. Hitler had some of the gruesome executions filmed and watched the movies."

Well you make an ambitious playboy son into an brave man like Claus von Stauffenberg, you admit Li Guo wanted to kill Mao on a number of occasions but failed, furthermore he caused the death of his mother and father as a result from his fool hardiness in taking off in a plane half full with fuel which crashes resulting in the death of all on board. That was not all, as Lin Biao's friends and associates like Qui Jin's father as head of the airforce were also implicated in Li Guo's plots and suffered disgrace and were purged and we are told to regard him as a hero and not as the fool he was.”


“Let the consequences Li Guo's self consuming hatred of Mao stand as a warning to Jung Chang and Jon Halliday."


Lin Biao (林彪holds an interesting place in Marxist history. He is a hero to some Marxists and he is also a minor theoretician to others. But to other Marxists and Maoists he is a trator, accused of trying to kill Mao Zedong and create a coup. The evidence on that is not very clear, According to Wikipedia:

“Project 571 (Chinese五七一工程pinyinWǔqīyī gōngchéng) was the numeric codename given to an alleged plot to execute a coup d'état against Chinese leader Mao Zedong in 1971 by the supporters of Lin Biao, then Vice-Chairman of the Communist Party of China. In Chinese, the numbers "5-7-1" sound like the term "armed uprising" (Chinese武起pinyinwǔqǐyì). The Chinese government initially claimed that Lin Biao himself had devised Project 571, but evidence inside and outside of China has made it more likely that Lin's son, Lin Liguo, a high-ranking officer in the People's Liberation Army Air Force, instead developed the plot.

So it does not seem so clear as to whether Biao actually was in on the plot to kill Mao. Biao played in important role in Chinese communist history.

In Aug 12, 1972, Roxane Witke made contact with Chiang Ching, so she could write a biography of her. Before she met Chiang Ching she was introduced some of her followers who read some of Chiang’s speeches. She made this observation:

“Why not let me read these texts in the original on my own time?”

“Because Comrade Chiang Ch’ing instructed us to read them to you.”

My hunch then, confirmed upon my return to America when I could investigate the records of Chiang Ch’ing’s speeches, was that the original printed versions, most of which have restricted circulation in China, contain comradely references to Lin Piao, Ch’en Po-ta, and other pilots of the Cultural Revolution, who were later dismissed from the ranks of the revolutionary elect. “[2]

So, what was the significance of comradely references to Lin Biao? The two revolutionaries seemed to have clashed at times and yet she seemed on good terms almost a year after Biao was accused of trying to overthrow Mao.

All of this gives us a picture of a very complicated man and revolutionary. As Harsh Thakor said, Biao was a man with positive and negative attributes. He gave us a very complicated personal history.

[1] Mao’s name is often listed as Mao Tse Tung, but also as Mao Zedong or his Chinese name, 泽东. In all of these articles I have only listed his name as Mao.

[2] Roxane Witke, Comrade Chiang Ch’ing, (Little Brown and Company, Boston), 1977, pp. 24, 25.