The recent discovery of three women living in slavery in a home in Brixton caused understandable shock when reported across the media. The main priority of the authorities has been quite rightly to attend to the welfare of the individuals concerned, but there has been some speculation about the circumstances surrounding their imprisonment.
The police referred to "invisible chains" which suggested a strong psychological hold over these women by the alleged perpetrators. Hints began to arise that not just a cult, but a "Marxist collective" may have been involved at some stage. Earlier today the blogger Andrew Coates suggested that the organisation involved was the Workers Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought.
This Brixton based group was certainly active in Brixton in the 1980's and were generally avoided by shoppers on a Saturday lunchtime as they peddled their wares to passers by which included a leaflet that claimed we were being "controlled by satellites beaming counter revolutionary thoughts direct into our brains". Of course we all laughed then, but not so much now that suspicion has been placed on the remnants of their organisation for being involved in this disgusting affair.
The BBC reports:
A married couple suspected of holding three women as slaves for more than 30 years are former Maoist activists Aravindan Balakrishnan and his wife Chanda, the BBC understands.
According to Marxist archives they were leading figures at the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre based in Acre Lane, Brixton, south London, in the 1970s.
It was raided by police and five people, including the pair, were held.
Mr Balakrishnan, 73, and his 67-year-old wife were arrested on Thursday.
Three women were rescued from their home in Brixton a month earlier.
The couple has been linked to 13 addresses across London, the Met has confirmed. The force would not confirm or deny their names.So just what was this group? It is believed that at most there may have only been a couple of dozen members or so but their politics can be seen in this excerpt from a document published in 1977 following their split from another group:
Repudiating the “gang of four”, Birch-Bains-Reakes-Evans, it affirmed that the world has entered a new stage where the principal contradiction between the people of the world, including the people in the imperialist heartlands such as Britain, and the two hegemonic superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, is on the verge of being resolved. The principal aspect of this contradiction is the people of the world, in particular the people of the Third World, led by Socialist China. The method to resolve this contradiction, which influences every other contradiction, is through world people’s revolution, the victory of which will result in the establishment of the INTERNATIONAL DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT i.e. the transformation of the dictatorship of the proletariat in China from national into an international one. Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line, which embodies the historic mission of the proletariat to liberate the whole of mankind, shows us that at this stage the two hegemonic superpowers which protect themselves with the military blocs, NATO and WARSAW PACT, must be dismantled so that the SOCIALIST NEW WORLD can be born and mankind can march onward to Communism. For this purpose beloved Chairman Mao has painstakingly built the three magic weapons: the great, glorious and correct Communist Party of China, the heroic and invincible proletarian internationalist army under its absolute leadership, the People’s Liberation Army of China, and, the International United Front of the people of the whole world led by Socialist China. Party building in Britain can be correctly done only by upholding the authority of the Communist Party of China – the Party leading world revolution to victory.
Phew! Well done if you got through that garbage.
They were considered bizarre even by the standards of the rest of the far-left back in the day. Can't see even Professor Callincos wanting to refer to "magic weapons". Maoists have seemingly disappeared off the political scene in recent years. The nearest groups to that tradition like the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist Leninist) and the New Communist Party have become cheerleaders for the equally bizarre and very brutal regime in North Korea.
The far-left has produced some strange organisations and characters over the years. The avowedly trotskyist organisation the Workers Revolutionary Party was notorious for heavy handed internal behaviour back in their heyday and eventually collapsed after news broke about their leaders sexual abuse of their "youth" members.
Lessons remain unlearned as we have seen over the past year as the Socialist Workers Party has fallen apart publicly over not just the well documented "delta" affair, but other alleged rapes and instances of sexual harassment that has left them pariahs even within the myopic world of British Trotskyism
There will no doubt be more to come on this story over the coming weeks. The cult of Marxism will be under public scruitny once more.