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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

 

Once were Maoists ...

A regular Fabian Hammer listing of prominent or otherwise interesting individuals who were once members (or claimed to be ‘associated with’) Maoist-oriented Marxist-Leninist communist parties and organisations outside of the Peoples Republic of China. Contributions are welcome. Please email confessions and/or published links to Fabian.

(XML001) José Manuel Durrao Barroso: New president of the European Commission, former Prime Minister of Portugal. "As a young man, he was an activist in the extreme left-wing Maoist Party, the Movement for the Reorganisation of the Party of the Proletariat. It used the Lisbon University Law Faculty as its base. Of all the radical groups which sprang up in the Portuguese revolution of 1974, the MRPP was the most radical – and Mr. Barroso was one of its most radical members." (Mail on Sunday, 3 Oct 04). Mr Barroso "grew up and left Chairman Mao’s fold in 1977 at the ripe old age of 21. Three years later he joined Social-Democratic Party (PSD), where he remains to the present day." (more at Fabian's Archive).

(XML002) Jose Pedro Simoes Ferreira: Retired brother of Teresa Heinz Kerry. In a November 1974 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story on her thoughts on the political unrest transpiring at the time in her native Mozambique she said "she did not mind Maoists in the government, and she mentioned that Ferreira had been a Maoist when he was younger." (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 31 Oct 04).

(XML003) Bernard-Henri Lévy, ex-Maoist, ex-journalist ... a moralist in philosophy, a nominalist in world view, and an anti-totalitarian in politics. He discovered, in a mood of "the darkest and most tragic pessimism," that the Marxism he once believed in is a lie: "No socialism without camps, no classless society without its terrorist truth." (New York Review of Books, 24 Jan 80). Lévy is a bestselling writer, philosopher, political campaigner, pundit and luscious-locked superstud in France (The Observer, 16 June 03).

(XML004) CK Yu, the son of a Taiwanese general, ran a Maoist bookshop in California during the 1970s. Staffed by 15 young women dressed up in fake ears, fluffy bottomed skirts and fishnet stockings, Mr Yu has opened the Buck and Bunny bar in Sanlitun, Beijing's diplomatic district. Apart from the police and cultural ministry officials who dropped in to warn that the skimpy uniforms were unacceptable, the bar has been almost empty. Customers say it is hard to tell whether the club is behind or ahead of the times. (The Guardian, 10 May 04).

(XML005) Yemane (Jamaica) Kidane, former Maoist fighter against the Ethiopian military junta with the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front. His poems from the 1970s were published this year in English in "Soaring Spirits" (Commercial Information Agency). He is now a retired civil servant who believes in an evolutionary process rather than a revolutionary one. “‘I am rather sobered by the experience of life. In hindsight, Haile Selassie’s continuation with a peaceful transition would have been much better than what we have now. Had the violent period of the Derg been avoided, we could have brought about economic development through a peaceful struggle. I was an idealist then, I am a realist now. A realist and pragmatist." (Walta, Sep 04)

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