Eyes on the DPRK: Samples from the People’s Daily Series

*Note: People’s Daily Online, a Chinese newspaper, has a series called Eyes on the DPRK. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea, is a socialist state that tolerates no interference from the outside world, and as such heavily controls what the West can access in their country.

The DPRK has friendly relations with China, however, and therefore Chinese media has access to North Korea that the West does not. The Red Hammer is giving readers a sample of some of the photos that People’s Daily has provided of life in the DPRK. We hope it will serve to challenge some of the worst, most ridiculous myths about socialist Korea.

Night-time photo of Pyongyang, capital of North Korea. Anti-DPRK propaganda states that this city shuts down entirely at night, turning off all of their lights and plunging the city into darkness.

Ignoring that energy conservation is not a bad thing, we can see in this photo that indeed the city stays lit after the sun falls. Apartment buildings, like the ones on the lower left of the photo, clearly show rooms where people have their lights on. Continue reading

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People’s Democracy in China

by Joseph Stalin

People illiterate in terms of economics do not distinguish between the People’s Republic of China and the People’s Democracies of the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe, let us say the People’s Democratic Republic of Poland. These are different things.

Assorted art from the Chinese Revolution

What is People’s Democracy? It contains at least such features as: 1) Political power being in the hands of the proletariat; 2) nationalisation of the industry; 3) the guiding role of the Communist and Working Peoples’ Parties; 4) the construction of Socialism not only in the towns but also in the countryside.

In China we cannot even talk about the building of Socialism either in the towns or in the countryside. Some enterprises have been nationalised but this is a drop in the ocean. The main mass of industrial commodities for the population is produced by artisans. There are about 30 million artisans in China. Continue reading

From the Media Committee of YCL Hamilton

Dear comrades and readers,

The Media Committee of YCL Hamilton, which is also the editorial staff of the Red Hammer, would like to issue a sincere apology for the Red Hammer’s inactivity since the end of May.

Due to increasing demands at work for most of the staff, we the Red Hammer’s regular, daily posting were put on a temporary hiatus. Although at the end of May we foresaw daily, or near-daily, posts being a possibility, this proved to be very difficult to achieve.

However, during our absence from the blogosphere, members of YCL Hamilton, in conjunction with YCL members across the province, have been preparing for bold actions and a strong presence on campus and in the community.

To this end, YCL Hamilton has called a General Meeting for Sunday, August 19, 2012. Comrade Organizer Ahmad al-Amad and comrade Secretary Charles Yin are currently figuring out details and will be in touch with the Media Committee with the location, time and agenda very shortly. Continue reading

The Caucasians, the Conference of the Liquidators: Marxism and the National Question

by Joseph Stalin

We spoke above of the waverings of one section of the Caucasian Social-Democrats who were unable to withstand the nationalist “epidemic.” These waverings were revealed in the fact that, strange as it may seem, the above-mentioned Social-Democrats followed in the footsteps of the Bund and proclaimed cultural-national autonomy.

Regional autonomy for the Caucasus as a whole and cultural-national autonomy for the nations forming the Caucasus – that is the way these Social-Democrats, who, incidentally, are linked with the Russian Liquidators, formulate their demand.

Listen to their acknowledged leader, the not unknown N.

“Everybody knows that the Caucasus differs profoundly from the central gubernias, both as regards the racial composition of its population and as regards its territory and agricultural development. The exploitation and material development of such a region require local workers acquainted with local peculiarities and accustomed to the local climate and culture. All laws designed to further the exploitation of the local territory should be issued locally and put into effect by local forces. Consequently, the jurisdiction of the central organ of Caucasian self-government should extend to legislation on local questions…. Hence, the functions of the Caucasian centre should consist in the passing of laws designed to further the economic exploitation of the local territory and the material prosperity of the region.”

Thus – regional autonomy for the Caucasus. Continue reading

The Economic Basis of the Withering Away of the State: The State and Revolution

by Vladimir Lenin

Marx explains this question most thoroughly in his Critique of the Gotha Programme (letter to Bracke, May 5, 1875, which was not published until 1891 when it was printed in Neue Zeit, vol. IX, 1, and which has appeared in Russian in a special edition). The polemical part of this remarkable work, which contains a criticism of Lassalleanism, has, so to speak, overshadowed its positive part, namely, the analysis of the connection between the development of communism and the withering away of the state.

1. Presentation of the Question by Marx

From a superficial comparison of Marx’s letter to Bracke of May 5, 1875, with Engels’ letter to Bebel of March 28, 1875, which we examined above, it might appear that Marx was much more of a “champion of the state” than Engels, and that the difference of opinion between the two writers on the question of the state was very considerable.

Engels suggested to Bebel that all chatter about the state be dropped altogether, that the word “state” be eliminated from the programme altogether and the word “community” substituted for it. Engels even declared that the Commune was long a state in the proper sense of the word. Yet Marx even spoke of the “future state in communist society”, i.e., he would seem to recognize the need for the state even under communism.

But such a view would be fundamentally wrong. A closer examination shows that Marx’s and Engels’ views on the state and its withering away were completely identical, and that Marx’s expression quoted above refers to the state in the process of withering away. Continue reading

Supplementary Explanations by Engels: The State and Revolution

by Vladimir Lenin

Marx gave the fundamentals concerning the significance of the experience of the Commune. Engels returned to the same subject time and again, and explained Marx’s analysis and conclusions, sometimes elucidating other aspects of the question with such power and vividness that it is necessary to deal with his explanations specially.

1. The Housing Question

In his work, The Housing Question (1872), Engels already took into account the experience of the Commune, and dealt several times with the tasks of the revolution in relation to the state. It is interesting to note that the treatment of this specific subject clearly revealed, on the one hand, points of similarity between the proletarian state and the present state–points that warrant speaking of the state in both cases–and, on the other hand, points of difference between them, or the transition to the destruction of the state.

“How is the housing question to be settled then? In present-day society, it is settled just as any other social question: by the gradual economic levelling of demand and supply, a settlement which reproduces the question itself again and again and therefore is no settlement. How a social revolution would settle this question not only depends on the circumstances in each particular case, but is also connected with much more far-reaching questions, one of the most fundamental of which is the abolition of the antithesis between town and country. As it is not our task to create utopian systems for the organization of the future society, it would be more than idle to go into the question here. But one thing is certain: there is already a sufficient quantity of houses in the big cities to remedy immediately all real ‘housing shortage’, provided they are used judiciously. This can naturally only occur through the expropriation of the present owners and by quartering in their houses homeless workers or workers overcrowded in their present homes. As soon as the proletariat has won political power, such a measure prompted by concern for the common good will be just as easy to carry out as are other expropriations and billetings by the present-day state.” (German edition, 1887, p. 22) Continue reading

Effect of Capitalist Competition on the Capitalist Class, the Middle Class and the Working Class: Wage Labour and Capital

by Karl Marx

We thus see how the method of production and the means of production are constantly enlarged, revolutionized, how division of labour necessarily draws after it greater division of labour, the employment of machinery greater employment of machinery, work upon a large scale work upon a still greater scale. This is the law that continually throws capitalist production out of its old ruts and compels capital to strain ever more the productive forces of labour for the very reason that it has already strained them – the law that grants it no respite, and constantly shouts in its ear: March! march! This is no other law than that which, within the periodical fluctuations of commerce, necessarily adjusts the price of a commodity to its cost of production.

No matter how powerful the means of production which a capitalist may bring into the field, competition will make their adoption general; and from the moment that they have been generally adopted, the sole result of the greater productiveness of his capital will be that he must furnish at the same price, 10, 20, 100 times as much as before. But since he must find a market for, perhaps, 1,000 times as much, in order to outweigh the lower selling price by the greater quantity of the sale; since now a more extensive sale is necessary not only to gain a greater profit, but also in order to replace the cost of production (the instrument of production itself grows always more costly, as we have seen), and since this more extensive sale has become a question of life and death not only for him, but also for his rivals, the old struggle must begin again, and it is all the more violent the more powerful the means of production already invented are. The division of labour and the application of machinery will therefore take a fresh start, and upon an even greater scale. Continue reading