‘Tombstone': Radio 4’s Book of the Week

October 30, 2012 at 6:51 pm (BBC, China, history, Jim D, stalinism, terror, wireless)

‘I call this book Tombstone. It is a tombstone for my foster father who died of hunger in 1959, for the 36 million Chinese who also died of hunger, for the system that caused their death, and perhaps for myself for writing this book’ - Yang Jisheng

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BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week is Tombstone, Yang Jisheng’s shocking, almost unbelievable account of the so-called ‘Great Leap Forward’ of 1958-62, the biggest manmade disaster in history. The author saw his own foster father die of hunger in 1959 (described in episode 2), but as a member of the Communist Youth League at the time, did not blame either Mao or the Party.

Mao’s crazy policy of unrealisable industrial tragets in the town and forced collectivisation in the countryside was driven by no more than the desire to outstrip Moscow (ie:Khrushchev) as the supposed leadership of international “Communism.” It resulted in mass starvation, cannibalism and terror. Those who dared question the policy were denounced as “right-deviationists” and “counter-revolutionaries” and suffered torture and death. The top echelons of the Party remained silent. Twenty years later Deng Xiaoping said, “During the Great Leap Forward, was it only Mao Zedong who was so fanatical and none of the rest of us? Neither Comrade Liu Shaoqi nor comrade Zhou Enlai nor I opposed him.”

The greatest manmade disaster in history? If you doubt it, listen in every morning this week at 9.45 am or catch the 12.30 pm repeats. Or read the book itself. Here’s a flavour:

A 41-year-old woman, Pan Suhua, in March 1960, dug up the body of her husband after he had committed suicide, and apart from cooking and eating his flesh, sold 5.875 kilograms of his bones as bear bones at 75 fen per kilogram.”

“In the spring of 1960, a four-member family had been reduced to just the mother and her emaciated daughter. Driven to madness by starvation, the woman killed her daughter and cooked her flesh to eat, after which she became completely deranged and repeatedly cried out her daughter’s name.”

“When [the brigade leaders] went inside they saw something being cooked in a wok, and when they raised the lid they saw it was human flesh. The wok contained an arm that still had a hand attached, from which I could see that it had come from a child.”

65 Comments

  1. bler4egHH omceonmretatry said,

    In Late Victorian Holocausts, Mike Davis charts the unprecedented human suffering caused by a series of extreme climactic conditions in the final quarter of the 19th century. Drought and monsoons afflicted much of China, southern Africa, Brazil, Egypt and India. The death tolls were staggering: around 12m Chinese and over 6m Indians in 1876-1878 alone. The chief culprit, according to Davis, was not the weather, but European empires, with Japan and the US. Their imposition of free-market economics on the colonial world was tantamount to a “cultural genocide”.

    These are strong words. Yet it’s hard to disagree with them after reading Davis’s harrowing book.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2001/jan/20/historybooks.famine

  2. bler4egHH omceonmretatry said,

    Speculation by large investment banks is driving up food prices for the world’s poorest people, tipping millions into hunger and poverty. Investment in food commodities by banks and hedge funds has risen from $65bn to $126bn (£41bn to £79bn) in the past five years, helping to push prices to 30-year highs and causing sharp price fluctuations that have little to do with the actual supply of food, says the United Nations’ leading expert on food.

    Hedge funds, pension funds and investment banks such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Barclays Capital now dominate the food commodities markets, dwarfing the amount traded by actual food producers and buyers. Purely financial players, for example, account for 61 per cent of investment on the wheat futures market, according to the World Development Movement report Broken Markets…

    Food prices reached a 30-year high in 2008, sparking food riots from Mexico to Bangladesh. Prices rose even higher in September 2010 and, although they have dipped since, they remain above the 2008 crisis level. This has resulted in a “silent tsunami of hunger”, according to the UN World Food Programme. High prices for basic foodstuffs, combined with the global economic slump, have pushed 115 million more people into hunger and poverty since 2008, bringing the total number of hungry people in the world today to 925 million.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/the-real-hunger-games-how-banks-gamble-on-food-prices–and-the-poor-lose-out-7606263.html

  3. bler4egHH omceonmretatry said,

    Capitalist genocide in Niger:

  4. Michael Ezra said,

    Another recent book on the great leap forward that I reviewed here is Frank Dikotter’s Mao’s Great Famine. One cannot stress enough how this famine occurred as a result of Mao’s policies and not as a result of nature.

  5. Faster Pussycat Miaow! Miaow! Miaow! said,

    They are all in this together — bosses, coppers, politician scum

    http://soc.li/wSPv8NG (@paulmasonnews)

  6. Faster Pussycat Miaow! Miaow! Miaow! said,

    BTW Ezra is repulsive. In his intensely weird and obsessive microverse, the policies of imperialist powers never result in famine or war.

    Imperialist State causing famine and war = GOOD

    Deformed Workers’ State causing famine and war = BAD

    Why the difference? Cui bono?

  7. Jim Denham said,

    “Deformed workers’ state”?

    China?

    What workers were involved in the revolution?

    When did they become deformed?

  8. Faster Pussycat Miaow! Miaow! Miaow! said,

    I think you are thinking of a degenerated worker’ state James

  9. Jim Denham said,

    No I’m not, Cat.

  10. Jim Denham said,

    Actually, the “degenerate(ad) workers state” theory is marginally less preposterous than the “deformed workers’ state” theory, in that at least it recognises that workers must create a workers’ state.

  11. Herr Yigal Gluckstein von Bronstein said,

    State capitalist comrades, state capitalists!

  12. Jim Denham said,

    As for “state capitalism,” only someone who doesn’t understand what generalised commodity production means and/or doesn’t understand the difference between use values and exchange values (as Cliff evidently didn’t), can possibly subscribe to that ludicrous theory.

  13. Faster Pussycat Miaow! Miaow! Miaow! said,

    No really James, it is not preposterous at all. It describes Maoist China perfectly, a state which had some characteristics of a workers’ state but where the working class had never actually held power.

  14. Faster Pussycat Miaow! Miaow! Miaow! said,

    …or peasants

  15. Jim Denham said,

    With all due respect, “a state which had some characteristics of a workers’ state but where the working class had never actually held power” is simply nonsense. It makes no sense from *any* point of view. Either the workers once held power, and then lost it, or they never did. If they never did, then the words “workers state” make no sense – “deformed,” “degenerated,” or otherwise.

    So I repeat: when did the workers hold power in China?

    If you agree (as you explicity do) that the working class *never* held power in China, then one thing’s for sure; It’s no kind of “workers’ state” and never has been.

    Marx explains, thus: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1871/civil-war-france/ch05.htm

    The crucial bit being:

    “But the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.

    “The centralized state power, with its ubiquitous organs of standing army, police, bureaucracy, clergy, and judicature – organs wrought after the plan of a systematic and hierarchic division of labor – originates from the days of absolute monarchy, serving nascent middle class society as a mighty weapon in its struggle against feudalism. Still, its development remained clogged by all manner of medieval rubbish, seignorial rights, local privileges, municipal and guild monopolies, and provincial constitutions. The gigantic broom of the French Revolution of the 18th century swept away all these relics of bygone times, thus clearing simultaneously the social soil of its last hinderances to the superstructure of the modern state edifice raised under the First Empire, itself the offspring of the coalition wars of old semi-feudal Europe against modern France.”

  16. Faster Pussycat Miaow! Miaow! Miaow! said,

    Not *is* but *has some of the characteristics of* — there is a difference.

  17. Jim Denham said,

    Cat: “is” or “has some of the characteristics of” a workers state. Now, I submit, you’re playing with words and definitions (as all “orthodox” Trotskyists have to). Either the words “workers’ state” mean anything, or they don’t. I submit that a workers’ state must have been created by workers (eg the Russian revolution that created the USSR): if it wasn’t, then it’s not a workers’ state: A-B-C.

    You know about the crashed car, don’t you?

  18. Faster Pussycat Miaow! Miaow! Miaow! said,

    James, lots of things are not what people claim them to be: workers’ states, socialism; etc. So you abhor the expression ‘actually existing socialism’ as well then?

  19. Jim Denham said,

    “So you abhor the expression ‘actually existing socialism’ as well then?”

    Yes.

    Read this:
    http://www.marxists.org/archive/shachtma/1948/10/fi.htm

  20. Faster Pussycat Miaow! Miaow! Miaow! said,

  21. Jim Denham said,

    Oh dear: Ted Grant’s version the “workers’ state” theory (in reality a “new class” theory, but less coherent than Shachtman’s) still has at least one adherent (today’s “Socialist Party” members wouldn’t even understand it). Even after 1989…

  22. comradeNosaj said,

    “I submit that a workers’ state must have been created by workers (eg the Russian revolution that created the USSR)”

    Just as a curio, Jim, what is your theory/explanation for what China became after the revolution? Who was it who took power? Who made up the ranks for followed Mao and fought Kai-shek? If not a workers state of any form, what was it?

  23. bler4egHH omceonmretatry said,

    The Great Leap Famines were appalling but pointing that out with fifty years hindsight whilst being safely ensconced in a liberal imperialist democracy is hardly at the cutting edge of critique is it? We live a world where nearly a billion people don’t have enough food and where a child dies every 3 seconds from starvation. Whilst the causes of global hunger are complex and multifarious, the evidence is undeniable that neo-liberal capitalism is deeply implicated in this silent genocide: from asymmetric trade agreements, to the mandates of structural adjustment, from the exclusionary intellectual property regimes to the reckless speculation on the world food markets; from the dispossession of peasants, rural workers and indigenous peoples to the obscene use of ‘terminator seeds’ by TNCs like Monsanto etc.

    Surely if you purport to be a revolutionary socialist your critique should be directed toward the extant relations and structures of power in the world you live in; of demystifying and de-reifying them; and in attempting to understand and explain the patterns of suffering and oppression in a systemic and systematic fashion. Retrospective condemnation of “Mao’s” famines combined with a tacit silence about the ongoing systemic production of hunger and starvation under global capitalism does not bode well for such a critical project. In fact I’d argue that it’s symptomatic of a wider trend of ‘realist’ apologism for ‘the way things are’ that is so neatly captured in this quote from Badiou:

    “To justify their conservatism, the partisans of the established order cannot really call it ideal or wonderful. So instead, they have decided to say that all the rest is horrible. Sure, they say, we may not live in a condition of perfect Goodness. But we’re lucky that we don’t live in a condition of Evil. Our democracy is not perfect. But it’s better than the bloody dictatorships. Capitalism is unjust. But it’s not criminal like Stalinism. We let millions of Africans die of AIDS, but we don’t make racist nationalist declarations like Milosevic. We kill Iraqis with our airplanes, but we don’t cut their throats with machetes like they do in Rwanda, etc.”

  24. Jim Denham said,

    “So instead, they have decided to say that all the rest is horrible. Sure, they say, we may not live in a condition of perfect Goodness. But we’re lucky that we don’t live in a condition of Evil. Our democracy is not perfect. But it’s better than the bloody dictatorships. Capitalism is unjust. But it’s not criminal like Stalinism”: this sounds like that pillock Žižek at his most banal. And his most banal *is* bloody banal.

    Dress it up as you will, modern sub-Stalinism of the Žižek variety is crass stupidity dressed up in post-modern pretentiousness.

  25. bler4egHH omceonmretatry said,

    It might be more fruitful to engage with the substance of the quote – and the context in which I raised it – rather than attack it on the basis that it might sound a bit like somebody else you think is a pillock. And whether or not you think it is “crass stupidity” how on earth you could describe such a plainly made and rather simple point as being “dressed up in post-modern pretentiousness” is quite beyond me. Do you not see how the relativising narratives that Badiou alludes to shore up the status quo by suggesting that the only alternatives will be even worse? The fact that you’re prepared to bring our attention to a famine that happened half a century ago, in an entirely different cultural and socio-political context but are entirely silent on the systematic production of hunger, malnutrition and starvation under contempary global capitalism just shows how utterly complacement you’ve become Jim. Badiou’s got your balls nailed to the wall with that quote.

  26. Jim Denham said,

    “Badiou’s got your balls nailed to the wall with that quote”: I think not. And if sub-Stalinist banality like that was worth engaging with, I would. But it isn’t.

    • bler4egHH omceonmretatry said,

      I suppose the fact that around a sixth of the world’s population is on the brink of starvation is another ‘sub-Stalinist banality’ you don’t care to engage with. Keep calm and carry on dying kids.

  27. Jim Denham said,

    “I suppose the fact tha a sixth of the world’s population is on the brink of starvation is another ‘sub-Stalinist banality’ : no. But I concentrate upon what can be done about it.Like strengthening the workers’ movement. Playing down the crimes of Stalinism with “whataboutery” is to miseducate the working class and thus betray humanity.Especially as the greatest man-made starvation in recorded history occured in China under Mao.

  28. Faster Pussycat Miaow! Miaow! Miaow! said,

    Especially as the greatest man-made starvation in recorded history occured in China under Mao

    That is simply not true! 11 million children alone die every year from man-made starvation under capitalism.

    Do the maths.

    Cast off your blinkers Jim. See beyond the propaganda and lies rammed down our throats every damned minute of our existence. Capitalism has a ‘Great Leap Forward’ every year, and yet it is not classed as a crime, merely the natural order of things.

    I blame the Thermidorian Reaction myself, but that is another story.

    • bler4egHH omceonmretatry said,

      Word.

  29. Jim Denham said,

    “That is simply not true! 11 million children alone die every year from man-made starvation under capitalism”

    You are engaging in what I would call “wrong catagory analysis.”

    Millions would die under *any* system not geared to human need. Capitalism, is indeed, a vile system that needs to be overthrown and replaced by something better: socialism.

    But Maoist Stalinism was *directly* responsible for more deaths from starvation in China alone during the so-called Great Leap Forward, than was capitalism during the same period, in the rest of the world.

    There is simply no getting away from that.

    If we’re to persuade the working class of the necessity of overthrowing capitalism, then we have to acknowledge the dead-end of Stalinism and persuade them that someting better is on offer. Denying the crimes of Stalin and Mao will most certainly not do that, and will only convince workers (who are not fools) that they should stick to capitalism.

    I’m frankly amased at how you and Will have regressed into a sort of ultra-left/anarchistic Stalinism. Too much Žižek and Badiou: not enough Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Shachtman and Draper.

    • comradeNosaj said,

      Wtf are you banging on about man? How have cat and Will regressed to Stalinism? Are you mental? Oh nose!!! People bring up the crimes of capitalism and therefore they’re “denying the crimes of Stalin and Mao”??? Yes that totally makes sense!!! Yes totally!!! That’s exactly what they did, they denied the crimes of Stalin and Mao!! They said how great the GLF was didn’t they?! Oh I forgot, they also said how the Stalin famines and show trials and Katyn were all made up and only a few 100 died!!

      Idiot.

    • comradeNosaj said,

      Oh and btw “not enough Lenin and Trotsky” would that be the same Lenin:

      In a polemic against the Menshevik’s critics of the Bolshevik power in 1920, Lenin answered the claim of one of the critics – “So, gentlemen Bolsheviks, since, before the Revolution and your seizure of power, you pleaded for democracy and freedom, be so kind as to permit us now to publish a critique of your measures!” – with the acerbic: “Of course, gentlemen, you have all the freedom to publish this critique – but, then, gentlemen, be so kind as to allow us to line you up against the wall and shoot you!”

      Trotsky wired Zinoviev re the Kronstadt sailors, in revolt for the fulfillment of the promises of the Revolution, “Shoot them like partridges.”

  30. bler4egHH omceonmretatry said,

    Jim Wrote

    “Millions would die under *any* system not geared to human need. Capitalism, is indeed, a vile system that needs to be overthrown and replaced by something better: socialism.

    “But Maoist Stalinism was *directly* responsible for more deaths from starvation in China alone during the so-called Great Leap Forward, than was capitalism during the same period, in the rest of the world.”

    Unbelievable. So when the IMF and World Bank impose ‘structural adjustment programs’ on debt-ridden third world countries that prevent them from subsidising food, capitalism has not directly caused the deaths of those who can’t afford to eat? When speculation on the futures markets in grains causes a rapid spike in commodity prices that places basic food stuffs out of the affordable reach of a 100 million people – capitalism is not directly responsible for those hunger related deaths? When farming communites that sustain local populations are forcibly evicted from their lands to make room for export orientated activity to western countries – capitalism is not directly responsible? Capitalism is also presumably not directly responsible for Shell Petroleum destroying and contaminating food sources in Nigeria, or for Texaco for contaminating water and soil in Equador or for Bechtel privatising rain water in Bolivia? Presumably capitalism is also not responsible for the mass poverty that provides the material basis for hunger?

    By treating hunger, malnutrition and famine under capitalism as somehow incidental phenomena rather than as part of the fundamental structure and logic of capital accumulation, you are the only one who is an apologist around here Jim.

    • comradeNosaj said,

      I like how Jim’s idea to persuade the working class that there is a better form of social organisation than capitalism is….to lecture them on a famine from over 50 years ago!! In China!! That’ll show all the wage slaves in their consumer society the horrors of the system that exploits them and millions around the world.

  31. Faster Pussycat Miaow! Miaow! Miaow! said,

    Blergggy, email me felinestringtheory at gmail.com

  32. Jim Denham said,

    “like how Jim’s idea to persuade the working class that there is a better form of social organisation than capitalism is….to lecture them on a famine from over 50 years ago!! In China!! ”

    Have you ever worked industry, comrade? Ever been a member of a union in which you’re asked, “well what is your alternative?” I ask this not in order to pull rank on some ludicrous sort of “prolier-than-thou” basis, but because I suspect you really have no knowledge of how to argue and fight for socialism within the working class.

    If all we’ve got to offer is the USSR or China (or some half-assed apology for them as produced by the born-again Stalinists Will and Cat) then the working class will say – quite rightly – “no thanks.”

    • comradeNosaj said,

      And I doubt you have any knowledge or success at all with the working class that don’t already agree with you. So you go up to a regular worker at Tesco and say:

      “Comrade! Good news! The capitalist system is unjust and should be replaced!”
      “Oh really? Tell me more, Jim”
      “Well in 1958…..”
      “*snore*”

      Seriously how do you honestly think you will ever engage with any of the working class if you don’t explain to them the inherent horror of the current system?

    • blergHhhhhhhhhhhh commemetayraryer said,

      I am not Will. i am blergHhhhhhhhhhhh commemetayraryer.

  33. Jim Denham said,

    “Seriously how do you honestly think you will ever engage with any of the working class if you don’t explain to them the inherent horror of the current system?”

    Will, I do that as a matter of course most days of my life.

    Now, just remind me: your position on the Iraq war, please? I seem to have forgotten. I’ve no doubt you will now remind me.

  34. Jim Denham said,

    OK blergHhhhhhhhhhhh commemetayraryer: tell us about your position on Iraq. Please.

    • blergHhhhhhhhhhhh commemetayraryer said,

      It wouldn’t be my first choice of holiday destination.

  35. Jim Denham said,

    You’re fucked, pal, and you know it.

    • blergHhhhhhhhhhhh commemetayraryer said,

      Please elaborate.

  36. Jim Denham said,

    No need: just answer where you stand on the Iraq war.

    If you don’t answer it just confirms that…you’re fucked, pal.

    • blergHhhhhhhhhhhh commemetayraryer said,

      I opposed it. Now some questions for you: where do you stand on the deregulation in important derivatives markets begining in 2000? Where do you stand on the impact of the WTO TRIPS agreement on bio-diversity? Where do you stand on the corporate monopolisation of the food chain?

  37. Jim Denham said,

    “I opposed it.”: so you’re not the Will, who supported the invasion of Iraq so outspokenly?

    Intersting: all the evidence seems to suggest that you are.

    But I’ll tell you what: we can agree a team of experts to to look into this matter.

    In the meanwhile, you put your questions to me in a coherent form and I’ll do my best to answer, Will.

    Will: you’re fucked.

    And you’re a liar.

  38. blergHhhhhhhhhhhh commemetayraryer said,

    “so you’re not the Will, who supported the invasion of Iraq so outspokenly?”

    Nope.

    “Intersting: all the evidence seems to suggest that you are.”

    Yeah? Like what?

    I don’t see why the questions weren’t coherent – they’re more relevent to the thread than your weird Iraq tangent. How about another: where do you stand on the EU common agricultural policy?

  39. Jim Denham said,

    WIll: I used to humour you because you made me laugh.

    You were never of any serious political interest. Now that you’ve become a dishonest, Stalinist idiot, I see no reason to entertain you any longer. Just fuck off, please, and don’t come back.

  40. Faster Pussycat Miaow! Miaow! Miaow! said,

    What evidence? The evidence — ‘digital DNA’ — is easy and quick enough to check, but Jim continues to rely on hearsay. Because the testimony of HP Sauce scum is worth more than the hard evidence which is directly in front of him if he would only bother to look*. And still he accuses *others* of Stalinism?

    Will: you’re fucked.
    And you’re a liar.

    I’ve got a big runny omelette ready.

    *Unless he doesn’t know how to login to his own website.

  41. Sandra said,

    So, just to recap what’s happened on this thread

    1. A number of posters want to highlight the way that contemporary global capitalism is producing catastrophic famines, malnourishment and hunger.
    2. Jim reacts to this with fury and makes unfounded accusations of ‘sub-Stalinism’ and then just ‘Stalinism’ without any basis.
    3. Jim then demands that one poster explains his/her position on Iraq – again, for no apparent reason.
    4. When the poster responds with the opposite answer to the one Jim thought he/she was going to give he subjects him/her to a torrent of abuse, accuses him/her of lying and of being another poster.
    5. Jim is unable to provide any evidence for his assertions that the poster is using multiple aliases, even though as a Webmaster he can check for himself to see if ‘blergHhhhhhhhhhhh commemetayraryer’ and ‘Mr Jelly’ have the same IP addresses.

    I suggest that Jim should check this for himself and if he finds that in fact he had made a mistake he should apologize to both BC and Will.

  42. Jim Denham said,

    Fact: Will supported the Iraq war

    Question: is Will the same person as blergHhhhhhhhhhhh commemetayraryer?

    I have every reason to believe he is.

    But I don’t know for sure, and have no way of knowing as this particular poster uses muliple IP addresses.

    My allegation of (sub-) Stalinism is surely justified against any supporter of Žižek and/or (even worse) Badiou.

    If Will / Mr Jelly now want to ge in touch to deny that he is blergHhhhhhhhhhhh commemetayraryer?
    I’ll be very interested to hear from him.

    Btw, Sandra: when have I ever denied that “contemporary” (surely that word “contemporary” is superflous) “global capitalism is producing catastrophic famines, malnourishment and hunger?”

    • comradeNosaj said,

      Oh I don’t know, how about…this whole useless thread? How about ANY of the comments left by blerg… to which you have replied with the following:
      “Stalinist!!”
      “Sub-Stalinism!”
      “Fuck off”

      So, yeah….great way to engage with the systemic crimes of capitalism there chief

    • Tech Support said,

      At the very least you might check where the various parties are located (http://tools.whois.net/whoisbyip/ or even http://www.iplocation.net/index.php).

  43. Boleyn Ali said,

    Jim went well Voltairs Priest on this one

  44. Sandra said,

    @ Jim

    “I have every reason to believe he is.”

    Do you? BC says (s)he’s not Will and they evidently don’t have an IP match. What’s more, BC’s posting style isn’t really that similar to Will’s is it? Also, why would Will ever want to deny that he supported the Iraq war? From anything I’ve ever read of him he’s very proud of the stance he took on that. It seems more plausible to me that BC and Mr Jelly are separate posters.

    “My allegation of (sub-) Stalinism is surely justified against any supporter of Žižek and/or (even worse) Badiou.”

    Well, actually no it isn’t – on a number of levels. Firstly, Zizek was a political dissident under an actual Stalinist Regime and his writings are suffused with critiques of Stalinism. The only people who think Zizek is a Stalinist are those who haven’t actually read any of his works but instead rely on out of context quotes from them in the liberal press. Secondly, what do you mean by ‘supporter’? It’s possible to find a writer interesting, agree with much of what they write or at least just find them engaging or entertaining, without endorsing their entire world view. Marx approvingly cited Clausewitz – that didn’t make Marx a Prussian nationalist. Thirdly, the very act of dismissing somebody on the basis of them citing somebody (zizek, badiou etc) who is not on some pre-approved ideological list absolutely wreaks of Stalinism and is the opposite of the healthy inquiring and open mind that should guide democratic socialist thought.

    “have I ever denied that “contemporary” (surely that word “contemporary” is superflous) “global capitalism is producing catastrophic famines, malnourishment and hunger?””

    No, ‘contemporary’ is not superfluous, it’s the very crux of the matter here, the heart of where your detractors think you’ve gone wrong. *Right now* the managers and owners of transnational capital, with the help of their political sockpuppets, are enforcing a regime of hunger on the world’s poor. Whether or not you deny that is beside the point – you have nothing to say about it. To you its so part of the normal state of affairs that it doesn’t even need to be addressed. All you can do is hue and cry about a famine that took place half a century ago under a different political system. To use a simile, it’s like somebody in Pinochet era Chile bemoaning the holocaust whilst remaining silent about the political prisoners being rounded up in football stadiums.

  45. Jim Denham said,

    If I have maligned Will, I apologise to him.

    • bler4egHH omceonmretatry said,

      et moi?

  46. hossenpfeffer said,

    Jim on November 5th: – WIll: I used to humour you because you made me laugh. You were never of any serious political interest. Now that you’ve become a dishonest, Stalinist idiot, I see no reason to entertain you any longer. Just fuck off, please, and don’t come back.

    —–

    Jim on November 7th: If I have maligned Will, I apologise to him.

    —–

    I think the ‘If’ in your last comment is surplus to requirements.

  47. Faster Pussycat Miaow! Miaow! Miaow! said,

    Oh you have maligned plenty of people Jim, not just Will, most if not all of whom have confined their disputes with you to politics and not the nasty personal abuse which is dished out to you and AWL all the time.

    But whatever you have said, Will has no automatic right of reply as his comments all go into pre-moderation (ie he is semi-banned).

  48. Pinkie said,

    Good grief.

    “blergHhhhhhhhhhhh commemetayraryer is not the same person as Will Rubbish?”

    That’s hard to believe, what, there’s more than one of them?

    Is this a ‘good cop, bad cop’ thing? One of them makes the occasional very worthwhile post, when the other is a loopy misanthrope?

  49. Rosie said,

    Will has no automatic right of reply

    To clarify. Will has no automatic right to fill up threads with obscenities and puerile threats of violence against other commenters.

    I always assumed BC & Will were the same person. Rather depressing to think there are two piss-artists of that kind existing.

    Similarly I assume Faster Pussyshat and Hak Mao are the same person as the thought that two commenters have the same default setting of jeering and self-righteous belligerence is grim as well.

    • Faster Pussycat Miaow! Miaow! Miaow! said,

      I think you will find that ‘Hak Mao’ doesn’t actually exist. There is a real faster pussycat (me) and I wear the tshirt to prove it.

      • Faster Pussycat Miaow! Miaow! Miaow! said,

        PS ‘jeering and self-righteous belligerence’ my arse, The correct expression is ‘full of hell’.

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