BNC Text F8R

[Leigh Community Centre: lecture on China]. Sample containing about 15816 words speech recorded in educational context

3 speakers recorded by respondent number C57

PS1PR Ag2 m (Neil, age 30, lecturer) unspecified
F8RPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
F8RPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 082201 recorded on 1992-11-12. LocationEssex: Leigh ( Leigh community centre ) Activity: Lecture contemporary history of China

Undivided text

Neil (PS1PR) [1] Right ... [...] coming in?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...] [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...] ... [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [2] Thanks very much.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [laugh] ...
Neil (PS1PR) [3] Okay, we looked last time at the development of the Kuomintang and nationalist China after the nineteen twenty five twenty seven revolution and I said then that the defeat of that revolution had a profound affect on the character of the Kuomintang and the character of the nationalist China over which it presided.
[4] Exactly the same is true of the Chinese Communist Party.
[5] The Chinese Communist Party is totally transformed, I think transformed out of all recognition, and becomes a completely different kind of political organization as a result of what happens in nineteen twenty five to seven.
[6] And to understand that change I want to go back to the beginning and just to trace what has happened to the Chinese Communist Party since it was formed in nineteen twenty one ... when it had a mere ... I hope everybody can see that, it's not very ... large today ... and I don't think I can [...] any better than that ... In nineteen twenty one when it was first founded, it had a mere fifty seven members and it didn't grow very much for a number of years.
[7] By the middle of nineteen twenty three there were only three hundred members of the Party.
[8] By the middle of nineteen twenty five ... only a thousand members.
[9] Then, of course, the revolution bro broke out, originally in Shanghai with the main and thirtieth movement, subsequently spreading to Canton and Hong Kong and other major er cities in the south and east of China.
[10] And then the Communist Party began to grow very dramatically.
[11] By the end of the first year of revolution they had ten thousand members, so they erm increased in size ten times in the space of about six months.
[12] By the middle of nineteen twenty six they had thirty thousand members and then they peaked in the early part of nineteen twenty seven with sixty thousand members.
[13] Now that is actually a very large organization indeed given th the size of the Chinese working class.
[14] Something like, think I've got it here, yes, something like ... fifty percent class of
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [cough]
Neil (PS1PR) [15] the members are actually industrial workers.
[16] The rest of the members are intellectuals er and students primarily.
[17] Now that means that at the peak, the Communist Party has a working class membership of something like thirty thousand plus, which is one in every hundred industrial workers in China at this time.
[18] That is a pretty substantial er party given that the Communist Party is essentially a party of working class militants, of shop stewards, of trade union organizers and so on.
[19] That means it has really very substantial influence indeed inside the Chinese working class.
[20] It controls many trade unions including some of the big confederations, most notably the Shanghai General Labour Union, a sort of T U C really, erm for, don't know whether it would bear much relation to the modern T U C in Britain, the erm, the sort of confederation uniting all of the unions in Shanghai, controlled by the Communist Party.
[21] And so were many other major unions and union confederations.
[22] This Party is then very substantially er destroyed, not completely, but very largely destroyed by the nineteen twenty seven coup and the repression which follows it.
[23] There are large numbers of executions, lots of people are er taken off to prison, many people in fear and despair and demoralization drop out of the Communist Party, it's particularly dangerous to be a Communist Party member in the major cities where the repression is most intense and where the security forces er are most numerous.
[24] But ... the destruction of the old Communist Party is completed by two policies that are adopted by the Communists themselves, both a response to the defeat they have suffered in nineteen twenty seven.
[25] ... First of all ... there is the adoption by the Communist Party in the years nineteen twenty seven to nineteen thirty ... of an ultra-left policy.
[26] A policy which consists essentially of insisting that no major setback has been suffered, that the revolutionary movement is still going forward, that there will be new major revolutionary outbreaks in the immediate future.
[27] And in pursuit of that perspective, that outlook ... the Communist Party launched a series of what can only be described as ad adventurist er attacks on the new Kuomintang authorities.
[28] The autumn harvest uprisings, for example, in the autumn of nineteen twenty seven which consisted of attempts to lead peasant risings erm in various parts of the countryside, particularly in the area er around here er Kiang See and so on where the peasant associations had been particularly strong.
[29] Such as the Canton commune where down here in er Canton, perhaps the second major industrial city in China, the communists rose in revolt erm and attempted to establish erm a kind of red base in the city of Canton.
[30] But they rose on their own with virtually no support at all amongst ordinary workers, it was essentially a rising carried out exclusively by the Communist Party members themselves.
[31] Such as the attack which they mounted from the countryside of the city of Chang Sha which is also in this er in the same sort of area where the old er where the Communist Party had had its main strength.
[32] All of these military adventures are crushed very very quickly, usually in a matter of days.
[33] Large numbers of the Communist Party members who have risen ... almost in complete isolation against overwhelming odds, large numbers of them are actually killed in the fighting, many more of them are arrested and executed ... and in this way, the destruction of the Communist Party, particularly in the major cities, is to a very large extent completed by their own mistakes.
[34] Instead of retreating ... instead of going underground ... instead of accepting that the situation had become extremely difficult and it was necessary to try and rebuild their organization and their influence gradually over a period of time, they committed their shattered forces to further battles and more or less completed er their destruction.
[35] Why?
[36] ... Well for two reasons.
[37] ... One, I think, because the Communist Party in China itself was completely disorientated by defeat.
[38] Right up until the coup in nineteen twenty seven they had been following a policy ... dictated by Moscow, dictated by Stalin ... which told them form alliances with the Kuomintang, work with the Kuomintang, first of all trust Chiang Kai-shek, then when Chiang Kai-shek turned on them they were told to trust the left Kuomintang leaders who were based in Wo Han in the middle Yangtze valleys, and then they turned on them ... a policy, in other words, that had proved absolutely disastrous.
[39] Then confronted with the enormity of the defeat which the Party had suffered, many members were completely i incapable of understanding er what had gone on, were disoriented by the defeat they had suffered and were open to the argument ... the strategy was right all along, the revolution is still going forward, there are going to be new uprisings by the masses and so on and so forth.
[40] A complete disorientation among the ordinary membership.
[41] But into this situation there is the intervention again of Moscow, of Stalin.
[42] Stalin's policy has changed dramatically.
[43] Up until nineteen twenty seven he's been saying ... work with the Kuomintang, work with the bourgeois nationalists, work with the parties to your right.
[44] At the end of the nineteen twenties the policy from Moscow, not just to the Chinese Communist Party but actually to communist parties all over the world ... swings dramatically to the left and Stalin is arguing that there's, there are going to be revolutionary explosions all over the world ... the Communist Party must forge its own path, it must put itself at the head of these struggles, it must give a lead to the masses by launching insurrections and so on and so forth.
[45] Why has the policy changed?
[46] It's changed partly ... because Stalin's er strategy in China has been shown to be a disaster ... and Stalin is trying to cover his tracks ... and most effective way of protecting himself against the criticism and the unpopularity which is likely to come from the failure is by insisting that the strategy was right all along and the revolution is about to triumph.
[47] He's also changing tack because in nineteen twenty nine, in Russia, they begin the collectivization of agriculture, the destruction of the Kulaks, the rich peasants, the adoption of the policy of forced industrialization.
[48] To justify this ... and Stalin presents it as a revolutionary me measure, as a shift to the left, as the creation of socialism, to justify it er Stalin presents the argument that the whole world is moving forward to a new stage on the road to socialism, it's all a lot of ... nonsense but the ideological needs of the regime in Russia are determining the advice which is being given to er various communist parties.
[49] ... The second er factor which really, by the communists' own decision, completed the destruction of their organization in the cities and towns of er south and east China was the decision in the early nineteen thirties by large numbers of surviving communist militants to leave the cover, to er ... leave the cities and the towns where the repression was severe, where it was very difficult to avoid being picked up er by the police [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [cough]
Neil (PS1PR) [50] to escape that, by fleeing into the countryside, very often into particularly backward and inaccessible areas of the countryside, where they would be safe from the security forces and where they hoped they could begin to create a new base among the peasantry.
[51] So not only do we see a physical flight to the countryside but also a change in political outlook.
[52] An orientation now among many of these displaced militants ... no longer on the working class but on the peasantry and on developing the struggle of the peasantry as a way of creating a base, a new base, er for the Communist Party in the countryside.
[53] ... Now at this point I want to sort of take a break from looking at the development of the Communist Party ... to looking briefly at the peasantry because although the peasantry have been in the background for much of the time, we haven't actually looked in any detail, so far, at the condition of the peasantry in China.
[54] And their role is now absolutely crucial, crucial to the development of a new strategy by the communists and to the revolution of nineteen forty six to forty nine.
[55] ... The poverty of the Chinese peasantry was, I mean really for us i it's, it's very difficult to imagine how appalling conditions were.
[56] There had been, for one thing, enormous population growth ... I'll put the figures up for you ... The population had roughly trebled er between seventeen hundred and eighteen fifty and then, in the period we're primarily concerned with here, the hundred years from eighteen fifty to nineteen fifty have increased from four hundred and thirty million up to five hundred and eighty million.
[57] Now that meant that there was massively increasing pressure on China's land, and there was growing parcelization of the land and what was happening was that peasant families would of very often er produce two or three sons
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [58] Could I just ask a question about that?
[59] What was the reason for the growth between eighteen hundred and eighteen fifty because they hadn't had sort of mass industrialization industrialization which had caused population growth in other countries so was there any particular reason why there's should have trebled in that time?
Neil (PS1PR) [60] I think that's a good question. ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [61] And what's the answer?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [laugh]
Neil (PS1PR) [62] Yes, I mean I don't think anybody really knows.
[63] Erm there are various er theories to explain it erm and I mean usually, if there is a significant population increase, and that is a very very dramatic increase indeed, it is associated with increases in productivity.
[64] And yet quite clearly there have been no significant increases in the productivity of Chinese agriculture and certainly no large scale industrialization.
[65] So why the population should have been growing on this scale I think is er a question that we can't answer very easily.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [66] Could it be that the statistics in seventeen hundred were wrong?
[67] ... That er ... well the kind of census [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [68] I suspect not
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [69] in seventeen hundred.
Neil (PS1PR) [70] erm and what makes me suspect not is that ... Chine Chinese record keeping for many many centuries had been very thorough of course because it's the basis of the imperial taxation system, so my guess is that the figures are probably fairly reliable. ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [71] Were they receiving er more produce from their outlying ... parts of empire?
[72] You know,w was there more ... agricultural er produce coming in to make er their food supply better?
Neil (PS1PR) [73] Well t I mean to the extent that that is happening, that there is a development of trade on the sort of, you know, with the periphery of the empire and with erm areas outside the empire, and that was certainly happening in this period, I don't see why it should have a significant impact on the peasant population because there isn't really any evidence that it's, in a sense, trickling down and enriching the peasantry.
[74] There's no er evidence of a significant increase in the peasants' standard of living ... quite the reverse ... in this period.
[75] So, again, it may be a factor but it's probably not the most significant [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [76] So by, by the peasantry we, they, they represent purely the people in the outlying agricultural areas?
[77] The peasantry are excluded from ... the cities?
Neil (PS1PR) [78] Mm.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [79] Er and that was just ... primarily to the growth of the peasantry?
Neil (PS1PR) [80] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [81] Mm.
Neil (PS1PR) [82] Yes. ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [83] You would expect i i if it was because of an improvement in their standard of living, however ... slight, you would actually of expected the population from eighteen fifty to nineteen fifty to have increased even more wouldn't you?
[84] If, if, if you could explain it by that because presumably their standard of living did change between eighteen fifty
Neil (PS1PR) [85] Yes
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [86] and nineteen fifty so you would've expected to see the same ... sort of increase.
Neil (PS1PR) [87] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [88] Cos I mean presumably they weren't ... between eighteen fifty and nineteen fifty they weren't practising excessive birth [laughing] control to []
Neil (PS1PR) [89] Yes
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [90] to keep it under.
Neil (PS1PR) [91] Yeah that's right.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [92] Is this roughly over the same area?
[93] ... Is this
Neil (PS1PR) [94] Yes
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [95] roughly over the same area?
Neil (PS1PR) [96] yes, yes yes, the area's not changed.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [97] I was [laughing] [...] this [] this contradicts now, I was wondering whether more areas became accessible between seventeen hundred and eighteen fifty for some reason or other, therefore they could ... you know er enrol more people, and count more people.
Neil (PS1PR) [98] Well I mean not, not in the sense that
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [99] the Chi the Chinese empire is, is actually growing but possibly in the sense that within Chinese territory marginal land that hasn't previously been used for agriculture is being brought into use.
[100] But that in itself er certainly won't increase
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [101] No [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [102] erm productivity, quite the opposite.
[103] I mean marginal land tends to be brought into use, the less productive land, precisely when there is a pre the pressure
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [104] Yes but there could
Neil (PS1PR) [105] of population.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [106] but there could be more people.
Neil (PS1PR) [107] It could support more people,
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [108] yes
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [109] yes, absolutely but the, but the level at which those people
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [110] will exist will be that much lower, presumably, than the level of people who are in the more productive, the more fertile er parts of the countryside which are already in use. ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [111] Could it have been the age old story of having more children to keep you when you get old?
[112] If life was becoming harder.
[113] [...] what they say now
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [114] they have a lot of children
Neil (PS1PR) [115] Yes
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [116] to look after them when they get old.
Neil (PS1PR) [117] Yes.
[118] I, I think that's again going to be part of it because that is certainly I mean a major reason why er a lot of peasant societies have large families, but we'd still have to try and explain why it was that in this period, presumably so very much more of those children were surviving than had been the case earlier.
[119] Now usually we would explain that sort of things in terms of improved sanitation, improvements in the standard of living and so on, but that's not really happening, there's no evidence for that in the Chinese countryside in this period. ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [120] Would the flight from the towns to the countryside in the early thirties of made any difference?
[121] You did say that er the communists
Neil (PS1PR) [122] Yeah it's very small numbers of people.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [123] Pardon?
Neil (PS1PR) [124] It's very small numbers of people.
[125] I mean given the size of China I mean th there'd be
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [126] No I wondered how they sustained, were sustained in the countryside if vast numbers were moving from the towns into the impoverished countryside.
Neil (PS1PR) [127] We're talking about tens of thousands, really. ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [128] It's a problem isn't it?
Neil (PS1PR) [129] Yes.
[130] I mean it is, I mean how you explain it is erm by no means straightforward.
[131] But what we, what is, is unquestionably true is that it does mean that there is growing parceliza parcelization of ple of peasant plots which means that the average peasant now has a much smaller plot of land in which to try and support himself and his family than was the case earlier in Chinese history.
[132] There is also a continuing technological backwardness ... I think I, I probably mentioned right at the outset that in nineteen fifty India had six times as many tractors per acre in cultivation as China did.
[133] Now India was an extremely poor country in nineteen fifty and still is, yet it had six times as many tractors per agricultural acre as China.
[134] Britain incidentally had two thousand times as, as many but I mean that's the sort of contrast which perhaps you would expect.
[135] It's even the case that the iron plough, apparently, was comparatively rare in peasant China at this time.
[136] Most people were still using wooden ploughs er which, not only di is it much more difficult to cut the sod with a er wooden plough, but it also cuts only in to about half the depth of an iron plough so you can't sort of turn the soil over to anything like the same extent.
[137] There are of course virtually no chemical fertilizers.
[138] There aren't even animal fertilizers through most of the Chinese countryside because er animals haven't replaced human labour power, human labour power being so cheap and numerous, generally speaking.
[139] Human e excrement, believe it or not, was the most common form of fertilizer in the Chinese countryside.
[140] So the technological backwardness means that, and the over population, means that the soil is, is losing its richness and there's absolutely no way of restoring it artificially by ploughing deeply and turning up er new soil or by re-enriching it as it were by the use of artificial or natural fertilizers.
[141] ... And then, on top of this, there are major natural disasters.
[142] Again a reflection of technological backwardness because natural disasters can be controlled with a sufficient investment of resources ... China isn't able to do that, there are plagues of locusts, there is widespread flooding ... er there are also, by contrast, periods of severe drought, particularly up in the North China Plain which is at the best of times erm a semi-arid region.
[143] ... And then there's the class structure.
[144] ... Here's the peasants ... The gentry made up three percent of the population in the countryside.
[145] The rich peasants made up another seven percent ... I have to check to see I've got the figure's right ... the middle peasants, twenty percent ... the poor peasants ... seventy percent.
[146] A rich peasant is a peasant who works his own land but will employ some wage labour as well because he has a large enough plot to be able to, to need to do that.
[147] A middle peasant is somebody who is more or less entirely self sufficient, he doesn't hire any labour but nor does he have to work for anybody else, his plot is big enough for him to be able to support himself and his family.
[148] A poor peasant, who made up seventy percent of the population, is a peasant who doesn't have a plot big enough to support himself and his family.
[149] He may be completely landless, or it may be that his plot isn't big enough and he has to spend part of his time, or part of his family has to spend part of their time, working for somebody else to get in some extra money or possibly renting land from somebody else.
[150] ... Now the distribution of land ... was that these two groups ... making up ten percent of the Chinese countryside owned fifty percent of the land.
[151] The middle peasants owned twenty five percent which meant that the, the poor peasants, making up seventy percent ... owned just twenty five percent of the land.
[152] So on top of the appalling poverty of Chinese rural life there is a very unequal distribution of land which means that some people are desperately poor compared with others.
[153] ... And then in addition to that ... if you were a poor peasant who had to hire land from somebody else, you would of course pay rent and in the nineteen thirties it's been estimated that the average rent paid by a poor peasant farming somebody else's land was forty five percent of the harvest.
[154] So virtually half of what you produced would go to the landlord.
[155] And then everybody would also pay taxes.
[156] Taxes to the government, taxes which were particularly high in this period, because it's the period of the war lords, the period of the civil wars, the period of the war between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party, high levels of war taxation throughout this period.
[157] Unsurprisingly very many peasants got into debt.
[158] It's been estimated again that almost half of all Chinese peasants were in debt to the money lenders.
[159] The money lenders would very often be the gentry, or the rich peasants, but there were also merchants who specialized in lending money, loan sharks.
[160] So er many would have, in addition to paying their rent and their tax, also regular interest payments to be made.
[161] And finally, people er were subject to various forms of forced labour, most obviously of course conscription into the armed forces ... but other kinds of forced labour as well repairing the irrigation streams, digging dykes and, and so on and so forth.
[162] ... I just want to read ... three anecdotes which, and I mean I've given you sort of odd statistics and the advantage of anecdotes is that they actually put flesh on the bones I think, and they really give you a sense of what it meant to be er a peasant in China in the nineteen thirties.
[163] ... [reading] A poor middle aged peasant couple of Cum Sien in Honan province were dependent for their subsistence on the wages of their only son who worked in a coal mine.
[164] When the couple, who were in their forties,unexpecte unexpectedly had a second son, the conscription officers informed them that their older son would have to serve in the army since the law exempted only one son per family.
[165] The wife pleaded with them, explained that they'd starve to death if the older boy left.
[166] When the local authorities dismissed her pleas she went home and beat her baby on the ground until it was dead [] .
[167] Another one ... [reading] The peasants up and down the valley lived and died in their special fashion.
[168] The father of one family died.
[169] Since his wife had been failing and the family was very poor, they decided not to bury him right away.
[170] Perhaps the old woman would die too before really warm weather came and the old man began to smell ... when they could save by burying both with one funeral.
[171] The old lady agreed.
[172] So they stored the coffin in their darkest, coldest room, the old woman's sick room, and piled stones on its lid to keep the dogs out [] .
[173] Last one ... this is the these are reports incidentally by er European doctors working in China at the time ... [reading] Another desperate case that we treated for nothing was that of a young man who looked like a skeleton.
[174] One would have said there was nothing but skin on his bones.
[175] His family was so poor that they'd been obliged to sell him.
[176] He was accordingly sent to a family that had no sons.
[177] When six years later a son was finally born, his new family simply threw him out and the poverty is so great in the region that one month spent begging and homeless brought him to death's door [] .
[178] The extent of the poverty I think is very very difficult for us to imagine.
[179] Now this ... had already resulted, between nineteen twenty five and twenty seven, in a spontaneous explosion across much of the Chinese countryside.
[180] Essentially what we will see between nineteen forty six and nineteen forty nine is a controlled explosion when the Chinese Communist Party quite systematically and deliberately harnesses this vast pool of discontented humanity and uses it to sweep away the Kuomintang regime.
[181] That's essentially what we see happen.
[182] Which brings us back to the Communist Party itself.
[183] ... What I've called the Maoist turn, the turn in, in programme, the turn in strategy which is lead by er Mao Tse-tung, and we have finally got erm to the stage in Chinese history where Mao Tse-tung's role becomes crucially important.
[184] The s he is one of these numerous Communist Party militants who makes the move from the cities and the towns into the countryside in the late nineteen twenties early nineteen thirties.
[185] The strategy which he argues for in the early nineteen thirties, and it subsequently becomes the dominant strategy of the Party and Mao becomes the er recognized leader of the Communist Party er really at the beginning of the second half of the nineteen thirties, nineteen thirty five nineteen thirty six, around that time it has become the dominant position.
[186] His strategy consists of essentially three things.
[187] ... Reliance first of all, not on a working class mass base but on a peasant mass base.
[188] Secondly ... further to that, the reliance on a strategy of guerilla warfare in place of the strategy er of strikes, mass strikes, armed insurrection in the cities and the towns.
[189] And thirdly increasing emphasis, not on the socialist politics of the Communist Party in the nineteen twenties, but on the development of a nationalist ideology which could appeal to all classes in Chinese society who were interested in getting the Japanese out and who were angered by the Kuomintang government's inability to stand up to the Japanese.
[190] These were the three crucial elements ... which gives rise to this central question in all discussions really of the Chinese revolution ... which is was this Marxism?
[191] ... Was this a Chinese adaptation of er the doctrine of Karl Marx, a signification of it, if you like, a Chinese version with the essential ideas, principles, programme and so on of Marxism retained ... or ... was it in effect an abandonment of Marxism?
[192] Whatever the Chinese leaders said, whatever Mao Tse-Tung said, did it amount to a complete abandonment of what Karl Marx had been arguing for, what er position which Lenin claimed to stand in in Russia and so on.
[193] The answer to that question I think is that it was not Marxism.
[194] And it was not Marxism for a number of reasons and this is almost certainly going to be very controversial so I hope that it will feed discussion in the, in the second half.
[195] It's not Marxism ... because what we actually have now ... in a Maoist Communist Party, as it emerges in the course of the nineteen thirties, is a leadership composed not of socialist working class militants but of intellectuals whose prime motivation is that they are modernizing nationalists.
[196] People who want to see a strong, unified, modern, industrial China created which is able to defend its territorial integrity, its independence and stand up for itself er in the world.
[197] That's the prime motivation of the people who constitute the leadership of the Party.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [198] Come on, hello, ready?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [199] Oh about
Neil (PS1PR) [200] Right, well
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [201] ten minutes.
Neil (PS1PR) [202] erm we don't want to not get our tea and coffee [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [203] No but I mean he hasn't supposed to come and [...] , you know ... not really.
Neil (PS1PR) [204] Do you want, I mean
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [205] No but they do go at half past
Neil (PS1PR) [206] Yes
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [207] three I think.
[208] I think
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [209] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [210] that's when their time's up you see.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [211] Ah
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [212] I've got about, you see I've about ten minutes
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [213] Well ...
Neil (PS1PR) [214] five to ten minutes, I mean we might actually miss our tea and coffee so
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [215] shall I finish off
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [216] I wouldn't mind
Neil (PS1PR) [217] shall I finish off after the break?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [218] Yes. [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [219] Mm well we'll have to we'll have to start ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [220] Right.
[221] When, when shall we start again?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [222] Ten minutes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [223] Ten minutes.
Neil (PS1PR) [224] Right, ten past then.
[225] Ten past.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [226] Well we don't, we have our tea before we come ... and when we go home.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [227] [...] it's a better cup of tea.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [228] Yes it's [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [229] I certainly need one [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [230] Oh yes [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [231] [laugh] Yes [...] ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [232] Sorry?
Neil (PS1PR) [233] You've got an easy day then?
[234] If it's been cancelled.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [235] Well er [...] very easy [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [236] You [...] ?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [237] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [238] Right.
[239] What I was erm doing was trying to identify ... the three er characteristics of the er Maoist Communist Party as it emerged towards the end of the nineteen thirties which really ... disqualifies it, I think, from the label Marxist, means that it's a completely different type of organization to what the Chinese Communist Party had been in the nineteen twenties.
[240] I talked about the leadership being essentially a leadership of modernizing nationalist intellectuals.
[241] The rank and file, by contrast, is composed of peasants, a mass membership is composed of peasants.
[242] Primarily peasant guerilla fighters, people who were fighting in the Red Army, and it draws its mass support, the Party members draw their mass support, er from the peasants in the areas where they establish their authority.
[243] And this rank and file membership and the wider group of supporters are subject to leadership from above, there is no real inner party democracy in the Maoist Communist Party.
[244] Policy is decided by the leadership and there are various er mechanisms for passing erm the leadership's ideas on to the rank and file, various systems of, of education, some might say indoctrination and so on, but no real inner party er democracy, no real er involvement in the decision making processes by this mass membership of ordinary peasants.
[245] And ... thirdly ... the objective was no longer what Marx had acclaimed the objective of ... er a party following his leadership should be, no longer the objective which Lenin, in the Russian Revolution, claimed was the objective for the Russian Bolshevik Party ... not a workers' revolution which would then spread and become international, worldwide.
[246] Quite clearly the objective and ... you can ... reading between the lines of the propaganda which pours out er of the Chinese Communist Party for the late thirties onwards, reading between the lines you can see it ... the objective is essentially Chinese state power, achieving power and using power to build er a national er unified, modern state.
[247] So the impact ... of nineteen twenty five to seven on the Communist Party and on the revolution which it made in nineteen forty nine is just as great as the impact had been on the Kuomintang and nationalist China.
[248] Let me just sum it up.
[249] ... What had been essentially a workers' party, fifty percent of the membership workers based predominantly in the big cities and towns becomes a party of intellectuals and peasants.
[250] Intellectuals er and professional revolutionaries in the leadership, a mass membership of peasants.
[251] A party which had been essentially urban becomes a party of the rural hinterland and not just erm the, the countryside as a whole but particularly, in the nineteen thirties at any rate, the most backward parts of the Chinese countryside, the most inaccessible parts, the least developed parts of the countryside.
[252] A party that had based er its strategy on strikes and urban armed insurrections becomes a party of rural guerilla insurgency, a completely different kind of strategy for winning power.
[253] A party whose main base of support had been the, the unions and the er union confederations which grew up in industrial cities like Shanghai becomes a party whose main power base is its own Red Army, its own army of peasant guerillas which it itself has created.
[254] And, finally, a party which had seen itself as being part of a process of international socialist revolution, linked with the Russian revolution of nineteen seventeen, becomes a party which is primarily a party of Chinese nationalism.
[255] Now if ... th this side, the list on this side erm represents the ... sort of essential characteristics of a Marxist political party, and if that's a reasonable er summary, and people might want to take issue with it [...] argue that these aren't the essential characteristics, that there are other essential characteristics or one other important er characteristic which I've ignored, but if these are, down this side, the essential characteristics of a Marxist party then Mao's Communist Party in the late nineteen thirties cannot, it seems to me, by any stretch of the imagination qualify.
[256] The Chinese Communist Party of the late nineteen thirties is a completely different kind of political organization to what had existed in mid nineteen twenties. ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [257] Is that a good thing? ...
Neil (PS1PR) [258] Good question.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [laugh] ...
Neil (PS1PR) [259] Perhaps we can talk about that.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [260] Would you call Mao himself one of the intellectuals?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [261] Yes ... in the sense that ... although he comes from a peasant background originally, it's a rich peasant background and he himself had er a reasonable education and subsequently erm built on the education that he was given becoming in part self-taught.
[262] I would certainly classify Mao as an intellectual.
[263] Yes.
[264] ... Shall we arrange ourselves [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [265] Yes.
Neil (PS1PR) [266] [...] Finished? ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [267] Well how long was the er the Russian revolution a Marxist revolution?
Neil (PS1PR) [268] It's another good question.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [269] I mean the Marxism was the motivation just as it was for the Chinese but er I don't think the Russian revolution remained ... Marxist revolution for very long [...] ... But the achievement of revolution did make it possible for the success of revolution to be seen by the Chinese ... because it had already been achieved.
[270] ... That's what gave them their
Neil (PS1PR) [271] I, I, yes I mean I, I
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [272] their drive you know
Neil (PS1PR) [273] I don't want to sort of wade in in response to that, I want other people to er [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [274] Are you going to sit in the centre? ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [275] Are you going to sit in the centre [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...] [laugh]
Neil (PS1PR) [276] Everybody finished with this? ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [277] [...] this part of a general truism that erm Marx banned communism [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [278] Yes, yes that's alright.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [279] [...] of the industrial countries.
[280] Countries which actually adopted it were found to er [...] in this way. ...
Neil (PS1PR) [281] As I say I'm not going to [laugh] respond immediately cos I think other people ought to.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [282] Well I'd like to say to that that er no Marx didn't specifically erm ... erm look to Britain or er Germany, only in the sense that they, at the time [...] most advanced ... and he, he reckoned that er ideas of communism would spread only in the most advanced countries ... who in course of time would influence other countries.
[283] But initially there had to be a real, genuine erm working class revolution and therefore Marx looked first to England because we were the most advanced and we'd been in the business of running capitalism for s so much longer than any other country in the world. ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [284] What we need is a definition of Marxism of course.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [285] I know.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [286] [laughing] Oh dear []
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [287] Well [...] one that we can at least discuss as to whether this was Marxism or not.
Neil (PS1PR) [288] But that's precisely the problem because erm the definition which I would give to it is necessarily a definition which would preclude ... er regarding Mao's party as a Marxist party but then other people would say that my definition ... was er itself controversial.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [289] Yes well if you tell us what your definition [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [290] I would s I would, I would say it is that i it is the theory and the practise of international working class revolution.
[291] And I would say that all of those elements have to be there.
[292] It is a political theory but it's also an attempt to act on that political theory so it's practise as well.
[293] It's the idea that you can't have socialism in one country, it has to be international ... it's the idea that it has to be based on the working class because the working class is the agent of socialism and it has to be by revolution because the ruling class won't give up its power and wealth voluntarily.
[294] I would say all of those five elements have to be in a definition of what Marx meant by Marxism.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [295] I would agree with that but I'll take it further to say that, and if you read Marx you'd find this very clear, what he meant ultimately that the working class would achieve is a kind of a society where there was a common ownership of the means of life.
[296] No ruling class, no working class, just people producing wealth ... as they produced it, consuming it ... that would be an efficient society where nobody would go hungry, there would be no unemployment, no poverty and er it's the ultimate objective of er the human race.
[297] But that isn't, if we want to survive, that is what we must achieve, the common ownership of the means to survive.
[298] And it also means er er obviously no classes, therefore no wages or salaries, no money, no banks ... just people and the material resources of the earth.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [299] But you've got [...] you've got to have leaders haven't you?
[300] And here they had the intellectuals as the leaders which they had got to have.
[301] I mean after all, the working class wouldn't [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [302] on their own would they?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [303] Yes
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [304] If they had
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [305] if they had the ... well because nobody came forward from the working class through it, it was the intellectuals that started it ... and gathered the ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [306] You're wrong you see
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [307] [...] not even working class.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [308] No
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [309] Surely once you have leaders then the whole things fall down
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [310] Of course it does.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [311] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [312] be because leaders want power and they get power and so they want more power.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [313] That's it, absolutely right.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [314] But then i i nothing will work without leaders.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [315] Mm see
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...] [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [316] Marx, Marx didn't Marx did not anticipate leaders.
[317] What he did say to the working class is this that the emancipation of working class must be the work of the working class itself.
[318] That means an educated working class, understanding the needs of socialism or communism and setting about the task of achieving it by getting rid of capitalism and introducing socialism, or communism.
[319] Which means the same thing to me.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [320] What happened what happened really in, in Russia and China is er that they had a sort of captive lower class who'd been used to a very authoritarian kind of rule so they were able to impose communism from above.
[321] Because there doesn't seem to have been ever any er revolution that was initiated by working classes.
[322] ... Victor Hugo says there will be no revolution until the middle classes man the barricades er which they're beginning to do [...] now.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [323] But who are the middle classes?
[324] Who are they?
[325] You see
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [326] Pass.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [327] here again here again you see in Marx, Marx says that more and more, and he said this in his day, more and more is society spreading into two classes ... on the one hand the ruling class, the owners of the means of life, on the other hand the r vast majority of people today, it's ninety percent of the population, who don't own the means of l of life ... but ten percent do.
[328] And more and more said Marx, society's splitting into these two groups.
[329] There can be no middle class with ... even those who are highly paid, they are highly paid members of the working class, they're not middle class.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [330] But after all Marx himself was ma er middle class.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [331] No he wasn't.
[332] No he wasn't.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [333] Yes but working class aspire to be middle class, and very frequently represent themselves as middle class
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [334] Well, yeah
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [335] and, and middle class ... er wish to achieve upper class.
[336] It's the lower class that tends to stay where it is because it doesn't get the representation.
[337] Because middle class will push the lower class down ... and be supported by the upper class.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [338] Sounds [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [339] So they have to have
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [340] It sounds like [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [341] It sounds like sounds, it sounds
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [342] Yeah well it is Ronnie [...] .
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [343] a nonsense to me for this reason, that there is in society the payers of wages and the receivers of wages.
[344] That's how society's divided.
[345] We, you know, there are buyers and sellers and that's how you divide it.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [346] Mm.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [347] You can't get away from that.
[348] That's capitalism and you, so long as you've got buyers and sellers you get this antagonism of interest between buyers and sellers.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [349] What would you have then? [...] ?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [350] Obviously the interests of buyers and sellers are diametrically opposed to one another.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [351] Mm well how do you get away from that then?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [352] That's this society.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [353] I ... I think that when we discuss Marxism erm we tend, I mean [...] looked at the [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [354] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [355] philosophical side of Marxism which is very interesting and ... there's a lot of very deep thoughts ... but what we've been given ... your definition, is what I'd say is the political strategy that Marx said er was necessary to achieve the philosophical ends.
[356] Now you've er, you've defined what you think is, what you consider to be Marxism which is the political aim, the strategy and of course within your definition er it's so easy to er make a definition which suits your premise that er the Chinese Party was not [...] Marxist.
[357] I agree with you but it's ... it's very easily done isn't it?
Neil (PS1PR) [358] Mm.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [359] If you want to prove a point, well you give the answer first and say this is what erm what's it all about.
[360] However I, I er ... I can't see that er what happened with the C C P falls within either Harold's definition or your definition of Marxism.
[361] Perhaps you're both wrong, I don't know.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [362] You did say that the Communist Party [...] to state power.
[363] Erm weren't they then following Stalin's [...] ?
[364] You see he moved away from communism as [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [365] That's right yeah, yeah.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [366] what we, you know, [...] pure communism and just er adopted state power.
[367] And it seems to me that China was just doing the same as St Stalin did.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [368] In, in fact Mao himself said it
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [369] I've got it here in, in, in black and white, Mao said what we are after is the abolition of feudal ties, to get rid of feudalism.
[370] Not, not getting rid of capitalism, get rid of feudalism.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [371] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [372] [...] the Chinese Communist Pa the, the new Chinese Community Party, did it declare itself to be Marxist?
Neil (PS1PR) [373] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [374] Mm.
Neil (PS1PR) [375] You see I mean er er and this ... generally, I mean ju just as when Stalin claimed to be communist, that claim has been accepted by the great majority of people writing about what was happening in Russia in the West ... and in just the same way the Chinese leadership er after nineteen forty nine claimed to be communist, claimed to be standing in the tradition of Marx and that claim, generally speaking, has been accepted.
[376] But there are all sorts of other claims that people make that we are very much more critical of.
[377] When Margaret Thatcher says the N H S is safe in her hands
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [laugh]
Neil (PS1PR) [378] we
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [laugh]
Neil (PS1PR) [379] we, well at least we, we give that some thought, we don't just accept it because she said it
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [380] No
Neil (PS1PR) [381] and I mean there hasn't been, I think, that kind of critical investigation of the claims that have been made by successive leaderships in Russia and China and other states claiming to be communist
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [382] Mm.
[383] That's right.
Neil (PS1PR) [384] which we would normally subject the claims of political leaders to.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [385] Mm.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [386] See it's, it's the question of a big lie isn't it?
[387] If you keep on saying a thing long enough [laughing] communist [] [...] , everybody believes you even though it's the biggest lie on earth.
[388] It's a complete myth.
[389] There's never been any communism in Russia ... [...] communism in China.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [390] No but it, it, it
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [391] What, what has happened is
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [392] partially worked in Russia [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [393] No it didn't [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [394] they'd introduced capitalism into China
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [395] Into it, yeah.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [396] they'd introduced capitalism into Russia
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [397] Yes.
[398] Yes.
[399] But they at least did a half [...] half of it.
[400] [...] good.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [401] I mean don't forget ... don't forget don't forget when everybody was wearing their sickles and hammers in this country they had millionaires in Russia.
[402] Now can you
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [403] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [404] credit millionaires in a co so-called communist country?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [405] That's right.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [406] Because it's human nature [...] people want to get better things.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [407] But aren't, aren't changes aren't these changes er in Russia and in China forced upon them to a degree by circumstances, by the fact that the outside world immediately withdraws and opposes a rising of the people as a whole against the established government er ... I mean we've seen in recent times with Iran and so on haven't we?
[408] Er public opinion didn't welcome the overthrow of ... of the Shah, it was immediately horrified and everyone gathered together to ... er ... try and bring about a re- establishment of the Shah.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [409] That's right.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [410] Er ... I mean they had a family in er Russia didn't they?
[411] I mean that must have what it c er ... millions died in that and er the same thing happened in China.
[412] And all of that makes it easier for those who are leading or in control to change the policies and get acceptance.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [413] Yes, but not to achieve communism
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [414] No oh no
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [415] because the cry of the Soviets was at the time, in nineteen seventeen, the cry of the Soviets was not for communism or socialism but their cry, and they had it inscribed on their banners, peace ... land and bread, that's what they had there, peace, land and bread, not communism.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [416] But er communism and politics are like religion ... they don't necessarily deliver the goods.
[417] They [...] an interpretation don't they?
[418] Which, which they
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [419] Well [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [420] sell to the public.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [421] you see to put it back to Marx it's the working class that have got to deliver the goods.
[422] It's in, within their power now, look at the working class ruling now.
[423] They're on erm local councils and members of the working class sit on their local councils.
[424] The working class can take over at any time ... when they wish, when they have the knowledge, when they are in the majority. ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [425] Well they're always in the majority aren't they?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [426] Well of course
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [427] And [...] Southend returns a Tory council [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [428] Yeah
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [429] year a well
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [430] But they don't have to do that do they?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [431] They don't have [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [432] But it's them they do it
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [433] Because if one stands out then they lose what they've got, they lose their job.
[434] ... Once they ever reach that position
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [435] I don't see that at all.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [436] and the it's perfectly it's all about it
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [437] er er on television at the moment isn't it?
[438] I mean lunch time we were hearing how, because they stood up for what was right, it was over the killing of soldiers and that, this man [...] job and actually he more or less said that he was ... something wrong with his head didn't he?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [439] Yes he was put into a mental institution.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [440] [...] mental institution and ... having to give up his job because once they get that position ... if they speak out, in any way, for instance the Civil Service you can't speak out at all even if you can see something that you know is wrong
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [441] Well
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [442] there is nothing that you can do about it
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [443] well
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [444] and even if you want to
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [445] erm
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [446] you have to side with [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [447] I think that's entirely wrong.
[448] Entirely wrong
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [449] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [450] because I've known civil servants who've been er members of my organization, I belong to the Socialist Party of Great Britain, the only socialist party in this country.
[451] We stand for
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [452] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [453] communism as propagated by Marx in his day
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [454] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [455] and we have had in our ranks civil servants.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [456] Yes but then they're but nevertheless they couldn't
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [457] I mean they're university professors.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [458] publish anything however [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [459] But they do publish things.
[460] I can bring along the statements of these people ... who've said all sorts of things, you can [...] you know ... [...] put down at once but they're not put down.
[461] There's a man, Steve , stands up in Hyde Park every Sunday er talking about communism and socialism.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [462] Mm.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [463] Erm I w I was going to say, going back to China, erm they're a bit frightened of China now in, in what was the Soviet Union I heard the other day, were th were they a little bit anti China's type of communism before er the Soviet Union fell or were they all, all pals together?
Neil (PS1PR) [464] In the nineteen fifties
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [465] They recognized the difference in their types of communism.
Neil (PS1PR) [466] Well ... it's certainly true that there were ideological differences but whether those were the reason for the split or not is a ... er is a, is a moot question and I suspect not.
[467] I suspect that ... ideological differences with the Russians and the Chinese denouncing each other as counter- revolutionaries were sort of a cover really for the fact there were, there were real conflicts of interest between the Chinese and the Russians which we will, will, we will look at.
[468] But I, I mean through the nineteen fifties there is a reasonable measure of co-operation between the Russians and the Chinese and then from the beginning of the nineteen sixties and onwards there is conflict between Russia and China.
[469] And I mean there has been up until fairly recently, it's only in the last few years that relations have tended to get a bit better.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [470] Mm.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [471] You were saying about erm ... the West not, not questioning ... Russian and China and, you know, accepting that they were communist.
[472] Di did that not ... because ... erm as capitalist countries we would perceive anything communist as being the enemy and so it, it's actually in our interests to, to, to lump them all together rather than question because [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [473] That's right.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [474] if you question you might actually find that there's some good thing ... or, or at least the people might find that there's some good things in it so it's then er it becomes more of a threat then to the capitalist world
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [475] That's that's right.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [476] than by just dumping them all together and
Neil (PS1PR) [477] Right.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [478] accepting it.
Neil (PS1PR) [479] Or you could say erm that if communism can be equated with secret police and the Gulag Archipelago
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [480] That's right.
Neil (PS1PR) [481] and forced labour schemes and so on and so forth, then you've destroyed, or you've very seriously undermined the appeal
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [482] Mm
Neil (PS1PR) [483] of radical ideas in the West.
[484] Now I would suggest that that is the prime motivation ... [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [485] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [486] But the communists in Russia were er th all this er Gulag Arli Archipelago and secret police have been in existence in Russia ... for hundreds of years before the com er communists came in.
[487] It was because the people were used to that kind of society with a secret police and er government inspectors ... and sending people out to Siberia and putting
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [488] Oh yes.
[489] Under the Tsar [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [490] your intellectuals in prison haven't they?
[491] I mean the society's didn't change all that much as far as the ordinary people were concerned.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [492] But we've changed too here, we've changed since the, the last century haven't we?
[493] Look at the way they treated people years ago. [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [494] Yes but in Russia they ... they had this kind of framework before communism began
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [495] Well that's true
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [496] Mm mm
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [497] but it wasn't exclusive to Russia of course in the land
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [498] Oh no I [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [499] of the Tsars the Tsars dominated, of course they did.
[500] They sent
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [501] Yes I know, I don't dis
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [502] people to prison, they sent them into exile.
[503] We know they ill treated them, but so they did here.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [504] But I mean in Russia [...] they, they were use yes I know but
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [505] Mm
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [506] they weren't, didn't do this in this century so much here [...] peasants did they?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [507] Well eighteen twenty four
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [508] Yes but that's not this century.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [509] But, but I think er you know in, in Russia er they always had this kind of ... authoritarian regime.
[510] People always were sent to Siberia, before the communists came in.
[511] So it, it didn't really
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [512] Well that's right
Neil (PS1PR) [513] Yeah alright
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [514] make much change to the ordinary people.
Neil (PS1PR) [515] What do others think about that?
[516] I mean do, do people think that if, if
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [517] That's a point
Neil (PS1PR) [518] if there is a sort authoritarian political tradition
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [519] Mm
Neil (PS1PR) [520] that that could be something which is quite difficult to, to break.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [521] Yes China was
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [522] even more so in China where
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [523] Yeah
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [524] they were used to an authoritarian er regime.
[525] I think it would be very relevant in China.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [526] And that's why I think erm the West is making an enormous mistake in thinking that eastern European countries can suddenly become [...] cos they never have been and I can't see any ... [...] democratic now.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [527] I think
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [528] [...] demo democracy [...] .
[529] Is there any de democracy anywhere?
Neil (PS1PR) [530] Anywhere?
[531] Well
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [532] There are some places were you, I mean all democracy means is that you, you have a vote [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [533] Yes
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [534] anything else.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [535] Yes, yes, but you would pro ... see what they do after [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [536] Yes mm.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [537] Have they taken any notice of you?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [538] But at least you've got the chance haven't you?
[539] At least
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [540] That's, that's right [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [541] you've got the chance whereas in these countries they haven't, if you haven't got a democracy.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [542] You haven't got political democracy and you can't have democracy er er er as long as er some people have the control of other [...] other people.
[543] Some, some people possess the means of [...] product production and, and can do what they like to many other people, they're the people [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [544] But isn't it the ignorance of the people ... because the people are ignorant and they actually don't know what they're voting for
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [545] Ah that's it, yeah yes that's it, yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [546] which is the main thing.
[547] They don't know what they're voting for.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [548] Yeah yeah that's right.
[549] [...] but still, it still comes to my point, there is no democracy
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [550] Well yes no but [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [551] But we, we can ... we can differentiate between two, the two different sides still I think.
[552] I mean they they're all ... er some, some countries which we call demo democracies erm aren't the same as we are, they're [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [553] Yes well it's [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [554] And there, there are shades of democracy, I mean Sweden's far more democratic than Italy and so on.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [555] Yeah.
[556] Mm.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [557] Er but they're still different from countries like Rumania and Russia and so on
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [558] Yes mm
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [559] which have never had a an inkling of democracy [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [560] Yes that's right.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [561] there's no likelihood of getting ... the same sort of regime that we've got which I know isn't democratic in that sense [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [562] But when we want to teach a democracy to er to er to a different er the countries of the east, when it's ... it's a big humbug I think ... you can't teach them
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [563] Yes [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [564] we can't teach them much.
[565] Er what are we teaching them now?
[566] Market forces.
[567] Er er er market forces everywhere er ... you ... you'll see now it's all for the market forces and if you have market forces [...] a few on the top and all the rest at the bottom.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [568] Mm it's happened already.
[569] [...] mansions being built in Russia now.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [570] Yes, yes it is er
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [571] Doesn't it take a long time to change [...] people's attitude against authority.
[572] I mean I go back to [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [573] Mm
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [574] I mean that was ... horrible police state
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [575] Mm.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [576] but now [...] and they have dispensed with that a hundred years later and more than a hundred years.
[577] So it takes a long time [...] ... think more egalitarian.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [578] [...] cos it'd have to take a long time.
[579] [...] no no
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [580] Yes most probably
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [581] no it's up to us.
[582] It doesn't have to take a long time, it's up to us here and now.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [583] yes but I mean people don't give up what they have, that's human nature.
Neil (PS1PR) [584] I'm [...] actually very dubious about this idea indeed because I, I don't think that anybody actually likes being in a situation where they simply have to do what they're told
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [585] No [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [586] and they're not allowed to question anything
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [587] That's right.
Neil (PS1PR) [588] and they're not allowed to disagree and answer back and argue as, I don't think anybody likes
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [589] Nobody likes [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [590] being in that situation.
[591] People don't think great, this is the, this is the ideal sort of government
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [laugh]
Neil (PS1PR) [592] a really strong ruler who can tell me what to do so I know where I stand and so on.
[593] And there are moments in history when
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [laugh] [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [594] when
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [laugh]
Neil (PS1PR) [595] when, when that sort of system suddenly gets blown away.
[596] I mean I think that's really what we've seen in eastern Europe
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [597] Yes
Neil (PS1PR) [598] in sort of
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [599] Mm.
Neil (PS1PR) [600] the revolutions of nineteen eighty nine.
[601] And I don't think everybody's going around in eastern Europe thinking oh what we need is to get back to the old Stalinist system where you, you know, you had someone telling you what to do all the time.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [602] Far from it.
Neil (PS1PR) [603] I think we do have to explain the, the re-establishment of authoritarian forms of government more carefully, we can't just assume that there's a kind of almost instinctive hankering after it among the mass of the population because I'm just not convinced by that at all.
[604] There have to be, there are particular reasons why er after revolutionary upheavals you very often get authoritarian forms of government and I would say in Russia ... and i i in a sense it's linked with Harold's question as well about erm ... the Chinese following a Stalinist model of economic reconstruction ... think what you've actually got in Russia is not this sort of mass hankering after authoritarianism but you've got a situation where the bureaucracy that controls a completely devastated, backward economy, which is what they've actually got in the early nineteen twenties, where the working class democracy has just disappeared really with, with the, with the economic collapse, with the factories shutting down, with all of the old communist party militants going into the Red Army or getting sucked into the state bureaucracy ... with that sort of complete collapse really, economically and socially and politically, you've got a situation where the central priority of the leadership is to build up Russian industry as quickly as possible so that Russia has got the armed forces it needs
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [605] Mm.
Neil (PS1PR) [606] to defend itself against foreign
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [607] That's right.
Neil (PS1PR) [608] foreign aggression.
[609] And that's the central politic so the i ideas of socialism and, you know, international working class revolution ... goes out of the window
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [610] That's right.
Neil (PS1PR) [611] because there's er there's an absolute desperate er anxiety that Russia's not gonna be able to defend itself unless it industrializes very very quickly, it's [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [612] But surely
Neil (PS1PR) [613] that gives rise to the authoritarianism.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [614] surely that also suits the, the people at the bottom because i be because the, the government is, is ... producing work in effect it means that the people at the bottom have jobs and, and can earn money and, and so they're, they're lot actually improves.
[615] I mean th they, they might ... don't necessarily see why it's improving and what's behind it, but their lot must improve if there's industrialization and weapons and things to be made, that they ... they have jobs and presumably have more money than they had before when they were just sort of not doing very much.
Neil (PS1PR) [616] In the long term there must be improvement ... as Russia industrializes, but in the short term ... erm ... presumably we see the development of, of a, of a sort of Stalinist totalitarianism precisely because the screws are really being turned on people ... as much work is being got out of them as possible ... in order to accumulate capital and to build up basic industries and, and, and to divert, I mean not just into heavy industries, but to divert er resources into arms production as well.
[617] But what they're not doing is spending loads of money on hospitals and houses and schools and raising the general living standards, they're spending it all on heavy industry ... and armaments.
[618] Which is why I think the government is authoritarian, why you have secret police and gulags and so on, because they can't afford to tolerate ... large numbers of people saying this isn't what the revolution was supposed to be about.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [619] Mm.
[620] But
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [621] Is it because of the interference with one country to another then?
[622] If they were perhaps left on their own ... to sort out their own problems
Neil (PS1PR) [623] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [624] wouldn't they do it better?
[625] They may look
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [626] if they looked inward instead of outward.
[627] But then they've always got the threat of ... er er er I mean at the moment there really isn't that threat is there?
[628] Unless you'd er think of America, but they've got so much problems there that they've got to look within themselves now haven't they?
[629] Otherwise there's going to be ... chaos there if they don't stop now and look within themselves instead of all of this interfering in other countries ... which they've done in the past.
[630] ... America has got to do that, Russia is broken up ... so it's ... lesser than it is, in fact it's going down, if only they'd look, but you see they can't do it now without outside help.
[631] ... Without the outside help they can't build up there country.
[632] ... So it seems everybody's got their head against a brick wall at the moment because of in fact the whole world seems worse than it's ever been.
[633] I don't suppose it is, but it seems like that to us ... because we know more about it now, we see it on television.
[634] Maybe we, we're all more
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [635] Well it ought to be said that the world today, in this year nineteen ninety two, is a different place from what it was a hundred years ago.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [636] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [637] Compared with then we're now a village, not a worldwide [...] any more.
[638] We can lift the telephone and speak to people in Australia.
[639] The communications are such that it's like living in a village.
[640] So therefore we've got to look at it that way.
[641] We want to be a big village, we want to be human beings living in a human society
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [642] Yes, yes of course.
[643] Well of course I do know that the, the only answer to it, of course, is for the christian way ... but it's not what it, that's going to happen.
[644] But that is the only answer, the christian way.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [645] That is not the only, if it's not gonna happen it's not the only answer is it?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [646] But it is er there's not going to be any other answer.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [647] That's, that is a con that is a contradiction.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [648] But there isn't going to be any other answer because that is the only answer.
Neil (PS1PR) [649] But, but it isn't in, in, in that ... people have never lived er according to er christian philosophy or indeed
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [650] No
Neil (PS1PR) [651] any other religious philosophy, or even any secular philosophy.
[652] I mean
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [653] No, no.
Neil (PS1PR) [654] I mean any of us really could sit down and draw up a list of er of things where, if we, you know, a list of rules if e war for a very small subscription ... ornot many groups other and if everybody stuck by them, everything would be wonderful
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [655] Mm
Neil (PS1PR) [656] but then of course the reality is that that
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [657] No
Neil (PS1PR) [658] has never happened and isn't happening now and it's
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [659] No
Neil (PS1PR) [660] it's never going to happen.
[661] We have to
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [662] Mm
Neil (PS1PR) [663] actually look at the real social forces that cause people to act er in violation of all of those very desirable ... philosophical principles.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [664] I'd like to take up your point about [cough] is it that erm ... after revolution and so on and break downs, governments er countries, say like Russian, China er some of these eastern European countries, they're ... motivation goes to building their country up to resist occupation.
[665] Erm ... that seems to be the main motivation but ... I don't think it is, personally, er ... it might be what is suggested to them ... because if they look like going socialist again, then it is not what the majority of the capitalist wants, or the major powers want.
[666] They haven't been fighting all these years to get rid of communism to see it re-emerge again so ... you, the confusion continues, as it is in Russia, and then you insinuate the idea that, with the breakdown of social order and so on, you must have a strong man, you must have strong arms and that's where your Hitlers and your Mussolinis and all these people come through in that little vacuum in between of disorder.
[667] It's a dangerous time.
[668] But I don't think it's the will of the people, it's sold to them.
[669] ... Whereas the revolution usually comes from the straw that broke the camel's back.
[670] They've been revolting for years under the surface and then some thing happens that make it possible ... course the continued revolutions have gone on through the world and because they've seen the success of a revolution in Russia ... although we didn't know the full facts of it in the West, it was, it did establish a huge area in the wake of a revolution.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [671] How could it, how could it be a success when it collapsed, how could it be a success?
[672] I mean communism [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [673] Ooh no no no I said the success of the revolution which swept away
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [674] See communism, communism
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [675] the existing force that was there.
[676] I'm not saying that it achieved er a great victory
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [677] Well it wasn't a success was it?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [678] but it, it completely changed the scene and established an entirely different system.
[679] Not a good one, but it established it.
Neil (PS1PR) [680] Can, can I go back to er a question which [...] , you asked was it a good thing
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [681] Mm
Neil (PS1PR) [682] that there was this change of policy in the Chinese Communist Party. ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [683] Mm.
Neil (PS1PR) [684] What do people think about it? ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [685] [...] Chinese Communist Party.
Neil (PS1PR) [686] That they,th they
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [687] Yes that you said it er Pat thought it seemed a good thing, the way you were saying it [...] [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [688] I wasn't meaning to suggest it was either good or bad I was [...] to report it.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [689] Well no, no I know but I thought well that doesn't seem to well that's better than what they had.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [690] There was no change in policy [cough] Mao himself said he was there to do away with feudalism.
[691] I've got it here in black and white
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [692] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [693] that was his object, to do away with feud not to introduce socialism [...] do away with feudalism.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [694] Do away with, yes of course.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [695] Which is what they done.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [696] Mm. ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [697] Well it was a good idea in as much as it returned to the people's wishes didn't it?
[698] People had been staging revolutions without a great deal of success over the years and it was seventy percent of the people who were disadvantaged wasn't it?
[699] Well if they weren't represented in the Kuomintang were they?
Neil (PS1PR) [700] But didn't the er the new Communist Party leadership simply canalize the, the discontent and use it to achieve their own political objectives rather than that discontent itself forming the basis of revolutionary change.
[701] I mean I, I rather suspect it was the, the former it wasn't th the driving force was not to be the needs of the mass of the population, but the needs of the mass of the population could be used, could be harnessed to build the Red Army
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [702] Mm
Neil (PS1PR) [703] which would be capable of sweeping away the Kuomintang and putting into power the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [704] Yeah.
Neil (PS1PR) [705] And I suppose, I mean if I was to answer the question was it a good thing I would have to say no.
[706] I mean I would have to say that that, that turn by the Chinese Communist Party meant that it was a turn away from the idea that it was the, the ordinary people themselves who, who should shape their own destiny.
[707] I think the Communist Party actually adhered to that idea in the nineteen twenties.
[708] [...] nineteen twenties
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [709] Didn't it have to survive first though?
[710] It had to first of all survive ... which is why it went on the long march wasn't it?
[711] And unless
Neil (PS1PR) [712] Yes
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [713] it could ... expand, unless it could gather strength and produce an army er it was on the road to annihilation which was ... their ... the course of erm Chiang Kai-Shek's [...] wasn't it?
[714] Which persisted even through the march and so on.
[715] They had to first of all get a base from which to achieve, unfortunately of course gaining the power and the growth of the power no doubt the ideals were corrupted ... and it became what you are su suggesting it did, it no longer represented the people.
[716] ... Became ideological. ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [717] Yes well I ... I, I mean you erm you posed the question whether it was a good or bad thing, this change ... erm ... I can only ... [...] the results of the change and what would have happened if the change had not taken place or ... try to er ... see what the change, it would seem to me that the alternative er would have been a continuance of er ... possibly erm ... a kind of Kuomintang erm ... type of policy which encouraged erm other nationalities to develop China as ... beginning to happen now.
[718] Whether that would have been, at that time, for the benefit of the mass of the Chinese people we're talking about erm ... I don't think I, I rather think that the er turn that Mao took probably in the long run, in the long term, was to the benefit of the mass of people ... erm the peasantry, the workers in China ... because I think the alternative would have been erm international exploitation.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [719] Which is what we've got now.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [720] You're ge you're beginning to get it now, yes.
[721] Erm
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [722] No we've had it all the time.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [723] Well I, I'm not sure of, here again he's making another turn isn't he and er you're going back to ... as I say, what would probably have been the lesser of two evils.
[724] Erm but erm ... er I, I mean there's been a double turn in, in fact.
[725] And what you're suggesting Harold is that er he's going back now to er ... er the erm ... er the idea of the, I'd suggest that o w w what would have been the alternative was erm international exploitation.
[726] I'm more interested in the, the kind of s so called philosophical erm ideas that have been raised, as whether this, you know, these kind of ideas of a, a kind of ideal state ... are just possible.
[727] I have my doubts erm in, in that erm ... certainly not within one nation ... erm I, I agree with you entirely that ... it's contradictory to Marxism in that erm what happened in erm with Mao was that erm he turned away from any internationalist socialist concept.
[728] But erm ... and that presumably one could say that in the same way as Stalin did but that erm Trotsky's idea was much nearer to Marx.
[729] But erm it's all very easy to say you can't have socialism or this ideal state, whatever you might like to call it, unless it's all er er you know kind of international ... er it's got to be, happen all over the world or it never will happen at all but erm first of all it's got to happen in your own country and it seems to me that we imagine that everybody, the mass of the people [...] that we, we do ... that er we want this ideal state.
[730] And I doubt, as a result of the last general election, whether people want that kind of state.
[731] I think that the mass of the people, as far as I can see, want the state where they can er ... well ... economic climate ... in which they can make money for themselves and get on top.
[732] And I think this has been proved you know that ask ... when people have changed their minds and said I don't know, that this is what has happened in the last er ten to fifteen years ... erm and which makes me feel that once again I think that advances can only be evolutionary ... erm ... I think that erm, I don't know if you, anybody saw Joseph Conrad's ... erm spy story on the television?
[733] It finished up with one erm very relevant, relevant to this class, quotation erm ... can't remember the last part of it though, he was talking about the Indian, that he had a [...] , talking about it and saying voodism ... catholism and then the next stage erm ... which I can't remember the word but in effect it meant co-operation ... and you can't get that it seems to me unless you have a, a change of vision, change in erm ... not just in society but in people because this is where it starts.
[734] And whether the erm the kind of ideology or the ideas are christian or Marxist erm you've got to wait till the overwhelming mass of the people see that truth before er it can be effective.
[735] ... Which is why
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [736] But you don't [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [737] I think that, unfortunately, with China erm you know the, the whole idea is going to collapse.
[738] It's not on the path to a utopia at all.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [739] Mm.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [740] Well you don't even get co-operation like that within a single family unit do you?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [741] No, no.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [742] So I think you're right, it's got to be a massive change for people.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [743] I think it'll come but, well, we're rather impatient I think [...] when you look back over the past hundred years you see some massive erm ... changes which are quite unprecedented.
[744] Nobody could dream that, you know, things that are in existence today, a hundred years ago, you know it was, it seemed impossible.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [745] But people will probably only all co-operate when they are all threatened by the same external
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [746] Yes.
[747] Yes
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [748] so, so that everybody's threatened by the same thing so that
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [749] [...] lot of green, little green men landing somewhere
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [laugh] [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [750] The whole, the whole world today whole world is threatened with pollution.
[751] Don't you know that this planet is, don't you
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [752] Yes but people shut their eyes to it.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [753] don't you know that this planet is running down, that time is short.
[754] We've gotta do something about it.
[755] We've got to, we've got to do something about it.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [756] Well that may be the answer [...] That may be the answer.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [757] But at the moment people shut their eyes to it because [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [758] You see there's every, every, there's every evidence to show there's every evidence to show that those who live by profits will never cure pollution.
[759] They will never er produce a healthy environment.
[760] But we've got to do it, us, people.
[761] We've got to see the damage
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [762] and then do something about it.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [763] Yes but then you see Greenpeace is going, trying to do it and
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [764] You're always [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [765] there's very few of you here belong to it, I can't see your badges on, we haven't got ours on at the moment ... and a lot of people don't even believe in Greenpeace.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [766] If we put, all put our badges on we'd be weighed down.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [767] Because it's not practical.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [768] So it, it's not until something really happens
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [769] Why don't they believe in it? ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [770] Well maybe they're ignorant about, we've heard people say I don't believe
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [771] in al any all of that, maybe they are the saviours of the world for all we know, the Greenpeace people.
[772] Maybe.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [773] We have advanced for a price
Neil (PS1PR) [774] What, what
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [775] and we will not give up the good things in life for Greenpeace and for a clean environment [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [776] But, but you won't you w I will, you won't
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [777] because ah no [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...] [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [778] What is, I mean what is being discussed it seems to me is, is a, is a dilemma that has been debated ever since people became interested in social change,
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [779] Yeah
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [780] Mm
Neil (PS1PR) [781] the possibility of deliberate, purposeful social improvement and I think it's much more straightforward than people generally suggest.
[782] The
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [783] So do I.
Neil (PS1PR) [784] the, the, the implication is always erm that you've got to make some sort of choice between ... do we get the social change first, which gives rise to a different kind of people, better people, or do we first of all change the people so that they're capable of making a better world and of course it's a catch twenty two, isn't it?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [785] Mm
Neil (PS1PR) [786] The reality is
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [787] the, the reality is both change together.
[788] That is actually what happens if you look at processes of social change in history
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [789] That's right.
Neil (PS1PR) [790] that as peop that as a social crisis develops, people become interested in radical critical ideas and they start talking about how things can be improved.
[791] And the, the pressure for change builds up and as the changes begin to happen, new values, new attitudes become dominant which in turn affects how people see things so they become interested in yet greater changes.
[792] Now that's what actually happens, there's a ... there's a dialectical interaction between people's ideas about what society should be like and the changes that are actually going on around them.
[793] It's not chicken and egg ... it's two things interacting, that's how history actually operates.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [794] That's right.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [795] [...] yo you're suggesting is what is happening now and so many of us ... he no he not just here but in ... population generally belong to all sorts of pressure groups ... erm whatever they may be like Greenpeace and many others ... erm ... really it's, it's a jolly hard slog, the point is that erm it ... the lid is on the kettle the whole time and it's only, the only way that people can get anything done is by joining these organizations erm but it's a very slow business erm ... but there's no other way of doing anything because you can't change what happens at the top.
[796] Everything is, is [...] , whether it's pollution or anything else erm ... you can't, you can't change it [...] .
[797] Er n nothing ever happens up there that's why people are so disillusioned with politics altogether.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [798] I think er everything is in the people's hands really, but people are so varied and so different aren't they?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [799] You speak to a person about one thing and they've got a totally opposite point of view from you and you think well I am surprised, with all that they've gone through and yet they [...] you know, they don't see, people don't s think along the same lines.
[800] They think ... so totally different ... and there's got to be a reason for that.
[801] Is it to do with education?
[802] ... Is it to do with ... the newspapers?
[803] A lot of it's to do with newspapers.
[804] A lot of people don't care ... one way or the other as long as they're alright.
[805] Most people are quite happy if everything is fair, if things are fair they think well it's fair.
[806] But there's so much that isn't fair.
[807] And really everything is in the people's hands ... if only they knew it.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [808] But people are different and want different things out of life.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [809] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [810] Yes, but then there's got to be ... there's got to be
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...] [laugh]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [811] But I mean people are very kind on the whole.
[812] Aren't they?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [813] [...] Greenpeace have a meeting somewhere I'm sure everyone goes there by car.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [814] Yeah, exactly that is what I'm sort of
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [815] Yes, yes, yes of course.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [816] Maybe there's no other way they can get there.
[817] If there was a proper, a bus system that you could nip on easily ... they would do that but all those
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [818] That's right.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [819] things are taken away.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [820] I mean, yes
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [821] Yes
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [822] I mean there used to be a tram, trams running along the Southchurch Road [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [823] Yes [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [824] you could nip on there for a [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [825] All of that's taken away from you.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [826] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [827] These things have been taken away from you.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [828] That's right.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [829] And people have to have cars
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [830] By the, by the same token, you know ... [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [831] I mean I, I never went in a car when I was a child.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [832] I was going to say that everyo ebs absolutely everyone is against war but not many people actually joined the United Nations after the war for a very small subscription ... or not many groups of people have many members in it, and of course because there were so few members in it, they a they went one particular way which a lot of people that had joined didn't agree with and so they came out of it.
[833] I it it's oh no, we don't want war, we're all against war, but nobody is prepared to bother actually to go to a meeting or, or pay a small subscription and, and then you w you could of had a very strong United Nations now the same as after the first world war, but it's the people that didn't do it.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [834] Isn't it the government rather than the people?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [835] The, the amount of money put into the United Nations by the governments
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [836] Yes but it
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [837] not by the people.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [838] it's also the individual isn't it?
[839] I mean if the
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [840] if the individual sort of carried out UNICEF things and, and that sort of thing, they rely on the individual [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [841] [...] you've got a
Neil (PS1PR) [842] But there's there's, there's another pr sorry [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [843] It's alright I was only gonna say I think you've got a er erm strong battle to wage against the sort of natural freedom of people
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [844] Mm.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [845] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [846] and the fear of people for each other that ... that lot might take away what I've got sort of thing.
[847] And also I think, which is very strong and I think it does come out in, in the Chinese Communist Party, is the lust of power which can be even more dangerous when you convince yourself I'll do all you lot ... good but I can make you all members of the Communist Party, whether you want to be or not doesn't really matter, you know, it's gonna be for the good of the country so ... you fall in with this trap of assuming that you want is for their good so ... it's sort of a, a dangerous thing.
[848] I think it does happen in China, I think it happened in the early part of the Russian revolution before Stalin was [...] and we had communism with [...] .
[849] And I think these are very dangerous erm ... threads that run through the society of ... er you know, the, the international community [...] where we, we live on this fear almost.
[850] We're frightened of what will happen ... and sometimes we have need to be frightened, you know, they are going to do very different things because they disagree violently with us.
[851] And that's why [...] your idea that I think it does have to be a very gradual process where we learn to trust each other, we learn to live by our decisions that we make together rather than separate decisions.
[852] But I think there's a very strong argument [...] ... Chinese revolution ... And, to a certain extent you can understand that people have to identify with something and the easiest thing to identify with is a [...] king and a queen ... erm Chinese communist leaders of various sorts, Stalin ... even Karl Marx, you know, you can convince yourself that he had all the answers when of course, really, you must see these things as developing.
[853] And I think this is a very strong [...] I think has to be taken into account whenever you're talking about history.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [854] Can I just say, do you think that erm ... there's a er within the last twenty years there's such a terrific change in society, like people who know other coun er other countries know each more through television
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [855] That's right.
[856] That's right.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [857] and within the last say twenty five years there's been a dramatic change in the young people's way of thinking, maybe more of them have gone to university than they did the previous twenty five years ... and that there is such a difference now than there was that I mean for instance if there was a war there wouldn't, there would be far more conscientious objectors than there ever was before ... far more ... than erm young man saying no I'm going to fight for my country, be patriotic ... I don't think you would find, for instance, the youth of this country so patriotic as they was in the last war, your country needs you.
[858] And they would be [...] a coward for not going to war.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [859] Well they wouldn't need them anyway.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [860] No.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [861] They wouldn't need them because of the, this technology and that that's [...] but nevertheless they do ha they would be conscripted ... because they do have to have the ground troops of
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [862] That's right.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [863] [...] prove that this technology wasn't so great as ... one would have thought it was without the ground troops.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [864] But that, that's just one little part of it but ... and because there's been a lot of quite worldwide travel ... of young people, not perhaps on a massive scale, but at least the young people of each country are more thinking ... more of them
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [865] Not only the young
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [866] more of them, not only the young people, of course not, but I mean more of them, I know there always were some of ... more than there was before ... it has changed ... every value, even moral values and everything like that, have changed a lot the last twenty to thirty years.
[867] That's, that is
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [868] But that's not sorry
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [869] an element that could come into it.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [870] I was going to say that, that, John's point about evolution, it comes slowly because
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [871] Yes
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [872] in nineteen, nineteen forty
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [873] Mm.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [874] they said exactly what you're saying, it wasn't the last twenty years it was
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [875] No
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [876] it was continuous through the century.
[877] I mean
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [878] Yes.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [879] in nineteen forty older people were saying ... don't, don't go and, and volunteer and, and think what you're doing
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [880] Well
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [881] more so than they did in, in nineteen fourteen, it's
Neil (PS1PR) [882] Yes
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [883] a gradual evolution.
[884] The world gets smaller.
Neil (PS1PR) [885] but I, you see mm now see I'm not, I'm really not convinced by that at all, I ... because ... I mean it's quite clear that right across Europe in nineteen thirty nine, nineteen forty, er there was a real sense of oh no, not again
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [886] Yes.
Neil (PS1PR) [887] and it was because the generation whose sons were being sent to be slaughtered
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [888] In the first world
Neil (PS1PR) [889] had gone through it themselves.
[890] And I'm, I'm sure that was the reason, there, I mean there are all sorts of er accounts of you know how people poured onto the streets waving their bloody flags in nineteen fourteen and [...] die in the trenches
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [891] and it didn't happen in thirty nine because [...] remember how monstrous it was
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [892] No that's that's what I'm saying
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [893] I think that's the key thing in thirty nine forty and
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [894] But now it's forty years
Neil (PS1PR) [895] yeah, exactly, and
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [896] Give it another twenty years and there won't be people left who remember.
Neil (PS1PR) [897] er that's, and I and I'm thinking about the response to the Falklands and the Gulf.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [898] Yeah mm
Neil (PS1PR) [899] These, these were, these were ... comparatively small er wars, I mean the Falklands was an absolute ... I mean farce really, it wasn't a serious
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [900] complicated ... and yet
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [901] I, I've never heard anyone saying a word about the Gulf war.
Neil (PS1PR) [902] What a approv approving?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [903] I have ne
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [904] I have never heard anybody saying that it was er not the right thing to do.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [905] Well I have.
[906] I stood amongst twenty thousand [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [907] Ah but so did I and I did nothing but write during that time but I've never known ... and everything I've said about that is true, has turned out to be true.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [908] [...] I stood amongst twenty thousand people [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [909] It wasn't a war [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [910] It wasn't a war, it was an attack.
Neil (PS1PR) [911] Yes and
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [912] And it was a wicked cowardice thing that ever happened
Neil (PS1PR) [913] at the time virtually everybody [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [914] and eventually it will all have to come out.
Neil (PS1PR) [915] at the time virtually everybody supported it, I mean [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [916] Yes, they did.
[917] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [918] Everybody supported it.
[919] I wrote to everybody going, in fact ev all over the world I should think ... all, everybody in this country ... because that is how I felt about it.
[920] I knew that it was the most wrong and wicked thing to do
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [921] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [922] and the last massacre that happened, which has never come out yet, will eventually have to come out, because there are soldiers now that are talking about it.
[923] The most coward and yet everybody you spoke to ... s s thought that was a good thing, because they believed everything they saw on television ... right until the girl that was the actress that cried on television and said ... he pulled the plugs out of the incubators for the babies, and she was an actress ... and yet that was head headline news.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [924] Yeah it was [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [925] Headline news.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [926] So have you, have you have you now persuaded yourself that perhaps you're over optimistic about ... I mean cos you were suggesting that attitudes had changed
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [927] Yes
Neil (PS1PR) [928] fundamentally I mean I
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [929] No, I am appalled at people, I can't believe that people behave the w er take the attitude the way er
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [930] but they do.
[931] I can't believe that people would take this attitude. ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [932] I have gone through it
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [933] Mm
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [934] I have ... experienced
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [935] That's right
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [936] how people can behave.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [937] Mm.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [938] My husband was Jewish
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [939] Yeah
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [940] and suddenly I mean people lived for centuries there
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [941] Mm
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [942] [...] suddenly I mean they were outcasts
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [943] Yeah
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [944] of every ... everybody threw them out, concentration camps and all that sort of thing, no?
[945] Although the majority of the people didn't know ... I [...] believe that came out after the war, but people who were affected, they knew exactly that their son or husband was in Dachau [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [946] Mm
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [947] And people [...] believe [...] they would believe [...] this country, although [laughing] I'm very grateful to be here [] .
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [948] Mm.
[949] We've just gone through Armistice Day and I was ... and it's always made, made me feel ... there's something a little bit wrong about Armistice, it seemed more of a glorification in the way
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [950] Yeah
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [951] it was presented.
[952] [...] the first
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [953] Yes [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [954] time we've had men who have been in war talking about the horror of war
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [955] Mm.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [956] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [957] precede it and I thought that was a significant step forward.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [958] But we can see the horror now, we only need to look at television and Yugoslavia.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [959] Ah yes
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [960] We see horror now.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [961] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [962] Mm.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [963] We see it but we see it again and we see it again and it becomes less and less of an impact.
[964] But at a time like that when ... i it's ... devoted to the fallen in a war and men who were the heroes of the war say it was disgusting, you know, and ... and how they, they expressed themselves I thought was ... was a very very significant thing, it made a very very strong impression.
[965] And I think that people who will be watching those services and the preambles to it, I think it will make an impression.
[966] I don't know whether any young people would have been watching because I don't know
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [967] There's
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [968] whether they, they focus to it.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [969] Well I think
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [970] yeah there's a muse th th there's a museum at Carne in Normandy, I don't know if anyone's been there, we went there last year, and it, it's a new museum, a memorial museum and that's the most moving place I've ever been because it's actually designed to show how awful war is and that it shouldn't happen again, it's not a museum glorifying ... war, it's a museum showing that, that it shouldn't happen, we shouldn't let it happen and there's a erm ... there's a great big case as you go in which has er a statement from every country that took part in the war, including Germany, and they're all there, they're all there together saying that you shouldn't ... you shouldn't let it happen ... and, and ... and I, I thought that was the sort o you know i i it was very impressive because i it wasn't glorifying anybody, it wasn't saying we won the war, you lost the war it was ... it was a, a coming together to say that it shouldn't happen.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [971] But you see er [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [972] Mm don't think that's a new idea, I think we were all brought up on that idea.
Neil (PS1PR) [973] And sure I, I'm sure that the, the ... I mean th th the sentiment is more or less universal, I mean virtually everybody is opposed to war and yet again and again and again the leaders, who pay lip service
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [974] to these ideas, launch another war but it's always a just war, this time it's always justified
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [975] Mm yeah
Neil (PS1PR) [976] and they've got no alternative, otherwise we're gonna get walked all over.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [977] But it's only, it's only a few people that do it
Neil (PS1PR) [978] Oh yes it is.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [979] I mean are we all er er
Neil (PS1PR) [980] yes it is
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [981] something wrong with all the people that allow a few people to do this?
[982] I mean it's such a very small people isn't it?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [983] Yeah yeah
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [984] Why don't they put all the leaders of all the countries up in the air [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [985] Yes, yes [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...] [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [986] I always used to think that, why can't, why can't they push Mrs Thatcher [...]
Neil (PS1PR) [987] John I think this, this is wh , I think this ought to be the last contribution.
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...] [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [988] I'm trying to sort out in my mind what is the difference between these national wars er with er the use of violence and the kind of civil wars for social change er you can call it, or revolution, er involves er a civil war involves violence.
[989] Now you see I don't think that you can ... say I'm all against national war but, but you're in favour of a violent revolution
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [990] Mm
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [991] [...] to [laughing] [...] [] change things for the good.
[992] Er I can't, you know, there seems to be an inconsistency in so many people who are against national wars but er would say that what we need is a revolutionary situation in order to change things for the better within society.
[993] Is there a difference?
Neil (PS1PR) [994] Well I think
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [995] Not so violent as war surely?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [996] Oh I don't know.
Neil (PS1PR) [997] I was going to suggest that this is er, I mean I've made a note of this question, that we ought to return to it next time [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [998] Yeah
Neil (PS1PR) [999] ready to go. ...
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [1000] [...] this one's been brought back if anyone wanted to
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [1001] this is the book he was talking about that's been brought back if anyone wants it [...] .
[1002] No?
Unknown speaker (F8RPSUNK) [...]