Maoism in Britain - Is this the End?

Maoism in Britain - Is this the End?

Postman Pete
Postman Pete

August 14th, 2009, 1:47 am #1

(I found this piece on the Democracy and Class Struggle website and am posting it here just to see what other comrades have to say about it. I find it a little odd and hopeless. What "Maoist" organisation is he talking about that went out of existence 20 years ago? Is it the RCLB (M-L)? Who is Harry Powell?)


It is nearly twenty years since there has been a Maoist political organisation in Britain. Even during the revival of interest in revolutionary politics back in the late sixties and early seventies there were never more than a few hundred Maoists in this country and their numbers rapidly diminished after the capitalist roader coup in China in 1976. During the late eighties there were a couple of short-lived Maoist groups but since then no explicitly Maoist political organisation has existed in Britain.

On a number of occasions since that time I have called meetings of some of the few remaining Maoists in Britain to propose that we form a Maoist political organisation with the eventual aim of forming a proper Marxist-Leninist-Maoist revolutionary party. On each occasion the response was negative with people giving no very definite reasons as to why we could not form an organisation other than vague assertions that the objective conditions were not favourable.

In the latter part of 2008 I was encouraged when three other Maoists invited me to join with them in convening a meeting to consider whether a MLM organisation could be formed in Britain. Since then there have been a number of meetings with a somewhat shifting range of people participating. At the last meeting I reluctantly reached the conclusion that practically all of these people had no real intention of trying to form a Maoist organisation. They dont mind talking about the proposal in the abstract and discussing issues of the day such as the economic recession. But they are not going to take any effective political action about anything.

At first sight it seems strange that people who present themselves as Maoists - hardly a popular political affiliation - should hold back from getting organised and engaging in collective political action. An explanation of such perversity is required.

THE LONDON POLITICAL SCENE

Most of the remaining Maoists in Britain live in London, a large cosmopolitan capital city. Indeed the Maoists themselves are of an international composition, some of them being political refugees from their countries of origin. In London there is a continuous round of leftist political meetings, demonstrations and pickets. If one wants to, it is easy to spend all of ones available time attending such occasions and this is what some of the Maoists do. A lot, but not all, of this political activity is focussed on events abroad such as developments in Nepal, India and Iran. To a far lesser degree are these occasions directly concerned with what is happening within British society. Of course, communists are internationalists and should necessarily see and conduct the struggle against capitalism on an international basis rather than a narrow national one. Even so, many of these people seem far more concerned and knowledgeable about political struggles thousands of miles away rather than on their own doorstep. We should not forget that Lenin and Mao asserted that the best form of internationalism is to engage in and develop revolutionary struggle in whatever place one happens to be.

The effectiveness of many of these activities is questionable. For example, picketing the Indian High Commission or the Peruvian Embassy in support of imprisoned comrades in those countries almost certainly has no impact on their reactionary governments. Many of the national demonstrations which are held in London, to which the Maoists sometimes half-heartedly tag on, go unnoticed by the nation and the government. There is a large element of ritualism in this sort of behaviour. People do it simply because that is what they have always done. They do not reflect critically on whether these activities are achieving any worthwhile political objectives. (In this respect the Maoists are no different from most of the other leftists.)

This round of political activity in London is essentially inward-looking. On each occasion it is the same people from the same loose political network who are present. You picket my embassy and Ill picket yours. Usually there are few, if any, new faces present. Indeed, no serious efforts are made to reach out to and involve newcomers. The fact of the matter is that the great mass of the people, especially the working class, are oblivious of and untouched by such political activity. What is more, one gets the impression that most of the people who participate in these ritualised activities are quite content with this way of life. They like going along to a picket or public meeting (at which the public are not usually present). There is a large element of social activity here often involving having a chat and a drink with old friends and acquaintances. It passes the time.

Much of this political activity - if that is what it is - is poorly organised even in its most elementary aspects. It is quite typical to find that a room for a meeting has not been booked, that the event has not been properly publicised, that the speaker is late or does not turn up, that a leaflet has not been printed, that placards have not been made, etc. etc.. Most of the Maoists in Britain - with one or two notable exceptions - are organisationally incompetent even at the most basic level but they dont seem to care..

In so far as any of the Maoists engage in any mass work, go out and try to reach the great mass of people, especially the working class, it takes the form of engaging in routine trade union work and participation in broad front campaigns such as the Stop the War Coalition. Obviously there are definite limitations from a Maoist point of view to these activities but most of the Maoists are not involved in them anyway. What they never do is to attempt their own initiatives in trying to stimulate class struggle. This is particularly obvious at present when the considerable weakening of bourgeois ideological presents good opportunities for interesting people in a revolutionary perspective on contemporary events.

There is one area in which the Maoists in Britain do get excited and exert a considerable amount of energy. This is in debating the correctness or otherwise of the political lines of Maoists engaged in class struggles in other countries. Much passion is aroused and much is spoken and written about the course of revolutionary struggle in Middle East countries such as Iran and in particular on the political trajectory of the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Yes, it is correct for communists to assess and constructively criticise the actions of comrades in other countries. However the odd thing about the Maoists in Britain is that while they get very heated and split over these controversies they expend little energy on ideological-political struggle over how to handle the contradictions of capitalism in Britain. The reason for this is not difficult to discern. It is that the Maoists in Britain are not really interested in engaging in revolutionary struggle within the society in which they live.

MIND POLITICS

So what is going on here? What is the explanation for this odd behaviour? I have come to realise that what is important for most of the Maoists in Britain is not what is happening within the objective social reality around them but rather it is the state of their subjective consciousness which is most important for them. Their strongest desire is not to transform a world in turmoil but to feel that the political perspective they hold on it is in some sense correct. In philosophical terms these people are not materialists. Rather they are idealists because for them the most important thing is inner certainty. What is going on in the external world is entirely secondary. For them an internal ideological purity is their primary aim. That is why I call it mind politics. Indeed there is a certain latent religiosity at work here. (In my talk Against Religiosity in Politics I have discussed this quite widespread phenomenon whereby people use secular doctrines such as Marxism as substitute religions.) These people are going to do nothing except continue to pour forth a torrent of words on the internet.

IS THIS REALLY THE END?

The truth is that in Britain Marxism of any kind as a live political trend is in steady decline. The remaining revisionist and Trotskyist organisations are slowly dwindling away. People, especially young people, of radical inclinations are attracted towards anarchism and environmentalism (with all their obvious limitations) but not to Marxism. What is more, this is happening at a time when capitalism is embroiled in major economic difficulties and debilitating imperialist wars. The reason that Marxism in general, and Maoism in particular, is on the way out in Britain is because communists are failing to seriously address, both in theory and practice, the major issues of our time. These include the impact of new productive forces, changes in class structure, environmental degradation, the quality of life, etc.. (See my talk The Death of Marxism? for more on these issues.)

I remain convinced of the essential correctness of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism but it is not a fixed formula set in tablets of stone. For MLM to be of any use in making the world a better place it needs to change and develop in intimate response to the contemporary world. In this part of the world this is not happening. My reluctant conclusion is that Maoism in Britain is finished.

Convince me that I am wrong.

Harry Powell
July 2009
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NM
NM

August 14th, 2009, 9:36 am #2

Maoism as a specific political current in Britain only made sense (to the extent that it made any sense at all) in the context of the Sino-Soviet split and the political ferment of the Cultural Revolution. All that has gone, now, never to return. Mao is now back in favour with the more traditionalist communist groupings, in recognition of his overall achievements in the transformation of China and his loyalty to the memory of J V Stalin. The divisions in communism that sustained a distinct Maoism have disappeared. A very small-scale, but very striking, example of this process is the close relationship that seems to exist between the NCP (originally the most loyally pro-Soviet party) and the RCPB(ML) (originally, as the CPE(ML), super-Maoists).

What specifically Maoist things would a Maoist party do in Britain anyway? Organise the peasantry? Start a revolutionary guerrilla struggle? Wear olive green jackets and caps and chant phrases from the Little Red Book?
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SJW
SJW

August 14th, 2009, 11:36 pm #3

(I found this piece on the Democracy and Class Struggle website and am posting it here just to see what other comrades have to say about it. I find it a little odd and hopeless. What "Maoist" organisation is he talking about that went out of existence 20 years ago? Is it the RCLB (M-L)? Who is Harry Powell?)


It is nearly twenty years since there has been a Maoist political organisation in Britain. Even during the revival of interest in revolutionary politics back in the late sixties and early seventies there were never more than a few hundred Maoists in this country and their numbers rapidly diminished after the capitalist roader coup in China in 1976. During the late eighties there were a couple of short-lived Maoist groups but since then no explicitly Maoist political organisation has existed in Britain.

On a number of occasions since that time I have called meetings of some of the few remaining Maoists in Britain to propose that we form a Maoist political organisation with the eventual aim of forming a proper Marxist-Leninist-Maoist revolutionary party. On each occasion the response was negative with people giving no very definite reasons as to why we could not form an organisation other than vague assertions that the objective conditions were not favourable.

In the latter part of 2008 I was encouraged when three other Maoists invited me to join with them in convening a meeting to consider whether a MLM organisation could be formed in Britain. Since then there have been a number of meetings with a somewhat shifting range of people participating. At the last meeting I reluctantly reached the conclusion that practically all of these people had no real intention of trying to form a Maoist organisation. They dont mind talking about the proposal in the abstract and discussing issues of the day such as the economic recession. But they are not going to take any effective political action about anything.

At first sight it seems strange that people who present themselves as Maoists - hardly a popular political affiliation - should hold back from getting organised and engaging in collective political action. An explanation of such perversity is required.

THE LONDON POLITICAL SCENE

Most of the remaining Maoists in Britain live in London, a large cosmopolitan capital city. Indeed the Maoists themselves are of an international composition, some of them being political refugees from their countries of origin. In London there is a continuous round of leftist political meetings, demonstrations and pickets. If one wants to, it is easy to spend all of ones available time attending such occasions and this is what some of the Maoists do. A lot, but not all, of this political activity is focussed on events abroad such as developments in Nepal, India and Iran. To a far lesser degree are these occasions directly concerned with what is happening within British society. Of course, communists are internationalists and should necessarily see and conduct the struggle against capitalism on an international basis rather than a narrow national one. Even so, many of these people seem far more concerned and knowledgeable about political struggles thousands of miles away rather than on their own doorstep. We should not forget that Lenin and Mao asserted that the best form of internationalism is to engage in and develop revolutionary struggle in whatever place one happens to be.

The effectiveness of many of these activities is questionable. For example, picketing the Indian High Commission or the Peruvian Embassy in support of imprisoned comrades in those countries almost certainly has no impact on their reactionary governments. Many of the national demonstrations which are held in London, to which the Maoists sometimes half-heartedly tag on, go unnoticed by the nation and the government. There is a large element of ritualism in this sort of behaviour. People do it simply because that is what they have always done. They do not reflect critically on whether these activities are achieving any worthwhile political objectives. (In this respect the Maoists are no different from most of the other leftists.)

This round of political activity in London is essentially inward-looking. On each occasion it is the same people from the same loose political network who are present. You picket my embassy and Ill picket yours. Usually there are few, if any, new faces present. Indeed, no serious efforts are made to reach out to and involve newcomers. The fact of the matter is that the great mass of the people, especially the working class, are oblivious of and untouched by such political activity. What is more, one gets the impression that most of the people who participate in these ritualised activities are quite content with this way of life. They like going along to a picket or public meeting (at which the public are not usually present). There is a large element of social activity here often involving having a chat and a drink with old friends and acquaintances. It passes the time.

Much of this political activity - if that is what it is - is poorly organised even in its most elementary aspects. It is quite typical to find that a room for a meeting has not been booked, that the event has not been properly publicised, that the speaker is late or does not turn up, that a leaflet has not been printed, that placards have not been made, etc. etc.. Most of the Maoists in Britain - with one or two notable exceptions - are organisationally incompetent even at the most basic level but they dont seem to care..

In so far as any of the Maoists engage in any mass work, go out and try to reach the great mass of people, especially the working class, it takes the form of engaging in routine trade union work and participation in broad front campaigns such as the Stop the War Coalition. Obviously there are definite limitations from a Maoist point of view to these activities but most of the Maoists are not involved in them anyway. What they never do is to attempt their own initiatives in trying to stimulate class struggle. This is particularly obvious at present when the considerable weakening of bourgeois ideological presents good opportunities for interesting people in a revolutionary perspective on contemporary events.

There is one area in which the Maoists in Britain do get excited and exert a considerable amount of energy. This is in debating the correctness or otherwise of the political lines of Maoists engaged in class struggles in other countries. Much passion is aroused and much is spoken and written about the course of revolutionary struggle in Middle East countries such as Iran and in particular on the political trajectory of the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Yes, it is correct for communists to assess and constructively criticise the actions of comrades in other countries. However the odd thing about the Maoists in Britain is that while they get very heated and split over these controversies they expend little energy on ideological-political struggle over how to handle the contradictions of capitalism in Britain. The reason for this is not difficult to discern. It is that the Maoists in Britain are not really interested in engaging in revolutionary struggle within the society in which they live.

MIND POLITICS

So what is going on here? What is the explanation for this odd behaviour? I have come to realise that what is important for most of the Maoists in Britain is not what is happening within the objective social reality around them but rather it is the state of their subjective consciousness which is most important for them. Their strongest desire is not to transform a world in turmoil but to feel that the political perspective they hold on it is in some sense correct. In philosophical terms these people are not materialists. Rather they are idealists because for them the most important thing is inner certainty. What is going on in the external world is entirely secondary. For them an internal ideological purity is their primary aim. That is why I call it mind politics. Indeed there is a certain latent religiosity at work here. (In my talk Against Religiosity in Politics I have discussed this quite widespread phenomenon whereby people use secular doctrines such as Marxism as substitute religions.) These people are going to do nothing except continue to pour forth a torrent of words on the internet.

IS THIS REALLY THE END?

The truth is that in Britain Marxism of any kind as a live political trend is in steady decline. The remaining revisionist and Trotskyist organisations are slowly dwindling away. People, especially young people, of radical inclinations are attracted towards anarchism and environmentalism (with all their obvious limitations) but not to Marxism. What is more, this is happening at a time when capitalism is embroiled in major economic difficulties and debilitating imperialist wars. The reason that Marxism in general, and Maoism in particular, is on the way out in Britain is because communists are failing to seriously address, both in theory and practice, the major issues of our time. These include the impact of new productive forces, changes in class structure, environmental degradation, the quality of life, etc.. (See my talk The Death of Marxism? for more on these issues.)

I remain convinced of the essential correctness of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism but it is not a fixed formula set in tablets of stone. For MLM to be of any use in making the world a better place it needs to change and develop in intimate response to the contemporary world. In this part of the world this is not happening. My reluctant conclusion is that Maoism in Britain is finished.

Convince me that I am wrong.

Harry Powell
July 2009
End? When did it begin?
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Pavel Korchargin
Pavel Korchargin

August 15th, 2009, 6:23 pm #4

Maoism as a specific political current in Britain only made sense (to the extent that it made any sense at all) in the context of the Sino-Soviet split and the political ferment of the Cultural Revolution. All that has gone, now, never to return. Mao is now back in favour with the more traditionalist communist groupings, in recognition of his overall achievements in the transformation of China and his loyalty to the memory of J V Stalin. The divisions in communism that sustained a distinct Maoism have disappeared. A very small-scale, but very striking, example of this process is the close relationship that seems to exist between the NCP (originally the most loyally pro-Soviet party) and the RCPB(ML) (originally, as the CPE(ML), super-Maoists).

What specifically Maoist things would a Maoist party do in Britain anyway? Organise the peasantry? Start a revolutionary guerrilla struggle? Wear olive green jackets and caps and chant phrases from the Little Red Book?
The original purpose of the Maoists in Britain was to fight modern revisionism in the CPGB and elsewhere during the early and mid 1960s. Maoism or anti-revisionist politics kicked off in this country with the formation of the committee to defeat revisionism for communist unity and with the forum group. Micheal McCreery of the founder of the anti-revisionist committee went to found the Working Peoples Party of England. The largest and most "successful" of the Maoist parties in Britain was Reg Birch' Communist Party of England (Marxist-Leninist) back in 68. As for your assertion about the RCPB M-L being "SuperMaoist" is incorrect, this party was never a Maoist one at all, but a pro-Enver Hoxha group. The RCPB M-L certainely in the 80s were extremely anti-Mao, anti-Deng, anti-China, they regarded the PRC and CPC as social imperialist.Incidentally I have a copy of McCreery's booklet "The Patriots" from 1963.
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Pavel Korchargin
Pavel Korchargin

August 15th, 2009, 6:49 pm #5

End? When did it begin?
While we are on the subject of British Maoism, Does anybody remember the Revolutionary Communist League (Marxist-Leninist) who publish a journal in the 80s called "Class Struggle"? This group had a Third-worldist interpretation of Maoism ie that revolution was only possible in the developing countries, that working class in the imperialist centres had been corrupted and the national minorities in Britain were the true vanguard.

Another Maoist group which I have heard about is the Marxist Industrial Group. I believe that they were heavliy into the "Three Worlds Theory" put forward after by Hua Kuo-feng and Deng Xiaopeng in 1978 after Mao's death and the defeat of the gang of Four.By applying the Three Worlds Theory to British conditions they came to the conclusion of supporting NATO's descision to station cruise missiles,increased military spending and even supporting the Tory Party of Thacther, all in the name of struggling aganist the main reactionary superpower- Soviet social imperialism.

Finnally are any remains of the once diverse Maoist movement left here in Britain at the moment? The Nottingham and Stockport Communist Group were the RIM official section in the UK. I did hear that in the 1990s there was something called The Vanguard which were the fraternal party of Peru's Shinning Path. Apart from exiled and residing Maoists from Turkey,Kurdstan, Iraq and Nepal are there any indigenous Maoist parties left?
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NM
NM

August 15th, 2009, 10:50 pm #6

The original purpose of the Maoists in Britain was to fight modern revisionism in the CPGB and elsewhere during the early and mid 1960s. Maoism or anti-revisionist politics kicked off in this country with the formation of the committee to defeat revisionism for communist unity and with the forum group. Micheal McCreery of the founder of the anti-revisionist committee went to found the Working Peoples Party of England. The largest and most "successful" of the Maoist parties in Britain was Reg Birch' Communist Party of England (Marxist-Leninist) back in 68. As for your assertion about the RCPB M-L being "SuperMaoist" is incorrect, this party was never a Maoist one at all, but a pro-Enver Hoxha group. The RCPB M-L certainely in the 80s were extremely anti-Mao, anti-Deng, anti-China, they regarded the PRC and CPC as social imperialist.Incidentally I have a copy of McCreery's booklet "The Patriots" from 1963.
As far as I am aware, the RCPB(ML) is the direct continuation of the CPE(ML), which was certainly one of the Maoist groups in Britain in the early 1970s. It wasn't until the Sino-Albanian split after Mao's death that the groups in Britain had to choose which state to follow, at which point both the CPB(ML) and the RCPB(ML) chose Albania.

This does raise an interesting overall question about how far British Maoism was ever fully Maoist, rather than just Stalinist and anti-Khrushchevite. I suspect that hostility to Khrushchev and veneration of Stalin was far more important in Britain than positive Sinophilia, which was why most of the British Maoists preferred Hoxha's plainer brand of Stalinism to the more unpredictable Peking line.

But this is all of purely academic interest now. Maoism throughout Western Europe was a product of a misplaced enthusiasm for the Cultural Revolution amongst some of the less sophisticated 1960s and 1970s radicals. Its bankruptcy was finally revealed to all but the most stubbornly blinkered by the blood-drenched fiasco of "Democratic Kampuchea". There is - happily - not the slightest political, social or economic basis for any kind of Maoist movement in Britain today.
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Harsanyi_Janos
Harsanyi_Janos

August 16th, 2009, 1:36 am #7

I agree - I think "Maoists" in the UK and indeed throughout the industrial world were more merely anti-Khrushchev or Brezhnev than followers of Mao in any real sense. Its not surprising that at the time of the "Sino-Albanian split after Mao's death ... groups in Britain had to choose which state to follow, at which point both the CPB(ML) and the RCPB(ML) chose Albania." By that time Deng was running the show and rapidly introducing market reforms that made the USSR look like Kampuchea.

Moreover, what exactly did Mao contribute to marxism that was of such value? I purchased a lovely set of Chinese-published collected works of Mao in the late 1980s on Charing Cross Road and have read some of it. It seems pretty thin as marxist theory. Slogans, aphorisms and odd folksy stuff. Stalin, on the other hand, for all his many faults, actually contributed some theory. Was it good theory? I would say no -- but it certainly was not risisble as Mao's was. Perhaps that's really why Maoism doesn't exist in developed countries (does it exist anywhere outside Peru, India and Nepal?).
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'arold
'arold

August 16th, 2009, 6:44 am #8

While we are on the subject of British Maoism, Does anybody remember the Revolutionary Communist League (Marxist-Leninist) who publish a journal in the 80s called "Class Struggle"? This group had a Third-worldist interpretation of Maoism ie that revolution was only possible in the developing countries, that working class in the imperialist centres had been corrupted and the national minorities in Britain were the true vanguard.

Another Maoist group which I have heard about is the Marxist Industrial Group. I believe that they were heavliy into the "Three Worlds Theory" put forward after by Hua Kuo-feng and Deng Xiaopeng in 1978 after Mao's death and the defeat of the gang of Four.By applying the Three Worlds Theory to British conditions they came to the conclusion of supporting NATO's descision to station cruise missiles,increased military spending and even supporting the Tory Party of Thacther, all in the name of struggling aganist the main reactionary superpower- Soviet social imperialism.

Finnally are any remains of the once diverse Maoist movement left here in Britain at the moment? The Nottingham and Stockport Communist Group were the RIM official section in the UK. I did hear that in the 1990s there was something called The Vanguard which were the fraternal party of Peru's Shinning Path. Apart from exiled and residing Maoists from Turkey,Kurdstan, Iraq and Nepal are there any indigenous Maoist parties left?
You mean the Revolutionary Communist League of Britain. After a number of ideological twists and turns, it was finally dissolved in 1998. Yes, the RCLB paper was called "Class Struggle". You can find a couple of examples of front pages of "Class Struggle" at the Wikipedia page on the RCLB at:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutionary_Communist_League_of_Britain

I hope some former RCLB comrades can add further information to the page.
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NM
NM

August 16th, 2009, 10:23 am #9

I agree - I think "Maoists" in the UK and indeed throughout the industrial world were more merely anti-Khrushchev or Brezhnev than followers of Mao in any real sense. Its not surprising that at the time of the "Sino-Albanian split after Mao's death ... groups in Britain had to choose which state to follow, at which point both the CPB(ML) and the RCPB(ML) chose Albania." By that time Deng was running the show and rapidly introducing market reforms that made the USSR look like Kampuchea.

Moreover, what exactly did Mao contribute to marxism that was of such value? I purchased a lovely set of Chinese-published collected works of Mao in the late 1980s on Charing Cross Road and have read some of it. It seems pretty thin as marxist theory. Slogans, aphorisms and odd folksy stuff. Stalin, on the other hand, for all his many faults, actually contributed some theory. Was it good theory? I would say no -- but it certainly was not risisble as Mao's was. Perhaps that's really why Maoism doesn't exist in developed countries (does it exist anywhere outside Peru, India and Nepal?).
From my unabashedly pro-Menshevik standpoint, I would say that Leninism represents an impoverishment of Marxism, Stalinism represents an impoverishment of Leninism, Maoism represents an impoverishment of Stalinism, and Pol Potism (does that expression exist?) represents an impoverishment of Maoism. Each phase in this degeneration involved the loss of some of the remaining critical, inquiring spirit of its predecessor, and its replacement either by dogmatic certainties or meaningless platitudes.
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SJW
SJW

August 16th, 2009, 3:07 pm #10

I agree - I think "Maoists" in the UK and indeed throughout the industrial world were more merely anti-Khrushchev or Brezhnev than followers of Mao in any real sense. Its not surprising that at the time of the "Sino-Albanian split after Mao's death ... groups in Britain had to choose which state to follow, at which point both the CPB(ML) and the RCPB(ML) chose Albania." By that time Deng was running the show and rapidly introducing market reforms that made the USSR look like Kampuchea.

Moreover, what exactly did Mao contribute to marxism that was of such value? I purchased a lovely set of Chinese-published collected works of Mao in the late 1980s on Charing Cross Road and have read some of it. It seems pretty thin as marxist theory. Slogans, aphorisms and odd folksy stuff. Stalin, on the other hand, for all his many faults, actually contributed some theory. Was it good theory? I would say no -- but it certainly was not risisble as Mao's was. Perhaps that's really why Maoism doesn't exist in developed countries (does it exist anywhere outside Peru, India and Nepal?).
In a sense the absense of a real yet niche Maoist tradition in Britain is peculiar. In the US and France Maoist movements grew up as part of the New Left (inspired by the cultural revolution), usually not emerging primarily as splits from the "revisionist" official CP but from ideologically more ambiguous and experimental student movements. In many ways the rise of Deng in the 70's helped them distance themselves from any criticisms of pragmatic state policy in China, and adopt a quasi-libertarian rhetoric which was more acceptable to the new left.

I suspect the reason for the absense of Maoism in Britain's anti-revisionist tradition was the nature of the split of such groups from official Communism in protest to Krushchev, as opposed to a fundamental break with it, so it's no supprise they ended up with a more pure Stalinism in the pro-Albania line.
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