I was looking for an antidote to the waves of Fourth of July jingoism this morning, and found an oldie but goodie. A key takeaway of this speech is that the things we think are unsurmountable now, are shown by the evidence of history to be transient, if we're willing to act and turn the wheels of history ourselves. And for something written in 1956, gotta appreciate that second paragraph. Crossposted from my personal blog, The Cahokian. — ISH
US Imperialism Is A Paper Tiger
Excerpts from a speech by Mao Zedong, 1956
The United States is flaunting the anti-communist banner everywhere in order to perpetrate aggression against other countries.
The United States owes debts everywhere. It owes debts not only to the countries of Latin America, Asia and Africa, but also to the countries of Europe and Oceania. The whole world, Britain included dislikes the United States. The masses of the people dislike it. Japan dislikes the United States because it oppresses her. None of the countries in the East is free from U.S. aggression. The United States has invaded our Taiwan Province. Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam and Pakistan all suffer from U.S. aggression, although some of them are allies of the United States. The people are dissatisfied and in some countries so are the authorities.
All oppressed nations want independence.
Everything is subject to change. The big decadent forces will give way to the small new-born forces. The small forces will change into big forces because the majority of the people demand this change. The U.S. imperialist forces will change from big to small because the American people, too, are dissatisfied with their government.
In my own lifetime I myself have witnessed such changes. Some of us present were born in the Ching Dynasty and others after the 1911 Revolution...
Now U.S. imperialism is quite powerful, but in reality it isn't. It is very weak politically because it is divorced from the masses of the people and is disliked by everybody and by the American people too. In appearance it is very powerful but in reality it is nothing to be afraid of, it is a paper tiger. Outwardly a tiger, it is made of paper, unable to withstand the wind and the rain. I believe the United States is nothing but a paper tiger.
History as a whole, the history of class society for thousands of years, has proved this point: the strong must give way to the weak. This holds true for the Americas as well.
Only when imperialism is eliminated can peace prevail. The day will come when the paper tigers will be wiped out. But they won't become extinct of their own accord, they need to be battered by the wind and the rain.
When we say U.S. imperialism is a paper tiger, we are speaking in terms of strategy. Regarding it as a whole, we must despise it. But regarding each part, we must take it seriously. It has claws and fangs. We have to destroy it piecemeal. For instance, if it has ten fangs, knock off one the first time, and there will be nine left, knock off another, and there will be eight left. When all the fangs are gone, it will still have claws. If we deal with it step by step and in earnest, we will certainly succeed in the end.
Strategically, we must utterly despise U.S. imperialism. Tactically, we must take it seriously. In struggling against it, we must take each battle, each encounter, seriously. At present, the United States is powerful, but when looked at in a broader perspective, as a whole and from a long-term viewpoint, it has no popular support, its policies are disliked by the people, because it oppresses and exploits them. For this reason, the tiger is doomed. Therefore, it is nothing to be afraid of and can be despised. But today the United States still has strength, turning out more than 100 million tons of steel a year and hitting out everywhere. That is why we must continue to wage struggles against it, fight it with all our might and wrest one position after another from it. And that takes time.
It seems that the countries of the Americas, Asia and Africa will have to go on quarrelling with the United States till the very end, till the paper tiger is destroyed by the wind and the rain.
To oppose U.S. imperialism, people of European origin in the Latin-American countries should unite with the indigenous Indians. Perhaps the white immigrants from Europe can be divided into two groups, one composed of rulers and the other of ruled. This should make it easier for the group of oppressed white people to get close to the local people, for their position is the same....
What use is imperialism? The Chinese people will have none of it, nor will the people in the rest of the world. There is no reason for the existence of imperialism.
Also, gotta love The Onion. "US Flag Recalled After Causing 143 Million Deaths."