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“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
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“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
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“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
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Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail

Chinese Cultural Revolution: After Fifty Years: The Significance of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution



Check out videos of this event here!



October 1 & 2, 2016

Sonoma State University

Student Union Building Ballroom B

Admission: Free


Sponsors: SSU School of Social Science, Sociology Department,

Sociology Social Justice and Activism Club,

Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored

This conference offers a critical evaluation of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution after fifty years. The presenters bring their own direct experience and/or knowledge of the Cultural Revolution, which will advance our understanding of its positive value for the workers and peasants in China, as well as around the world. The discussions will inform a new generation of radicals and critical thinkers on the importance of this period in world history.

Conference Schedule

Saturday October 1

9:30 – 10:00 AM   Registration (Coffee and Tea)

10:00 AM                 Opening remarks by sponsor—Opening remarks by Ann Tompkins

10:15 – 12:45 PM  Panel One: Socialist Change and its Agents during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

Thomas Lutze, “The Radical, Utopian Workplace: Western Economists’ Observations of Socialist China during the Cultural Revolution”

Li Huaiyin, “Everyday Power Relations in State Firms in Socialist China: A Reexamination”

Han Dongping, “Understanding the Violence of the Cultural Revolution and the Function It Served”

Cole Huther, “Productive Exclusivity and The Cultural Revolution”

12:45 – 2:30 PM  Lunch

2:30 – 5:00 PM   Panel Two – Reversal and the Legacy of the Cultural Revolution

Richard David, “The Cultural Revolution and Its Reversal: Implications for Population Health”

Abraham Zamcheck, “Rejecting Class by Accepting Revisionist Understandings of Class: The Case of Shengwulian”

Pao-yu Ching, “What did the Cultural Revolution accomplish?”

Tang Liqun, “The Altered Historic Memory: The Case of Ding Ling’s Experience During the Cultural Revolution”

David Pugh, “The Struggle from 1969 to 1976 of Mao Zedong and his Political Allies against the Attempts of the Revisionist Forces in the CCP and PLA to Reverse the Socialist New Things and the Revolutionary Internationalist Foreign Policy brought forward by the First Stage of the Cultural Revolution.” (Paper delivered by Ryan Costello.)

5:00 – 6:00 PM       Films

Sunday October 2  10:00 AM Open Discussion Meetings for all participants at the same location.

Conference Papers

“The Radical, Utopian Workplace: Western Economists’ Observations of Socialist China during the Cultural Revolution”

by Thomas Lutze

Abstract: A number of Western economists visited China during the Cultural Revolution and wrote about their observations of the workplace; others studied first-hand reports emanating from China, and wrote about their findings on the changing relations of production.  This paper assesses the writings of John Kenneth Galbraith, Paul Sweezy, Joan Robinson, Charles Bettelheim, and E. L. Wheelwright and Bruce McFarlane about Maoist socialism during this period.  Common themes in these works included observations of a radical break in China from both Western capitalist and Soviet models of development; of a new system of incentives (moral, as opposed to material); and of increasing empowerment of the producers (workers) as part of the narrowing of the distinction between mental and manual labor.  These practices were hailed as genuinely socialist, and they embodied, as historian Maurice Meisner has suggested, a Marxian utopian vision of what humanity can achieve.

Brief bio:  Thomas Lutze is Professor of History at Illinois Wesleyan University, where he teaches courses on China, Japan, South Asia and Southeast Asia, focusing on the history of imperialism, war, and revolution. Having completed graduate studies at Cornell University, Peking University, and the University of Wisconsin (Ph.D. 1996), Tom is author of China’s Inevitable Revolution; Rethinking America’s Loss to the Communists, 1946-1949 (2007) and a major contributor to Radicalism, Revolution, and Reform in Modern China: Essays in Honor of Maurice Meisner (2011). After his first trip to China in 1973, Tom has returned more than a dozen times since, most recently in November, 2013, as an invited keynote speaker for the historical conference in Xiangtan, Hunan, marking the 120th anniversary of Mao’s birth.

“Everyday Power Relations in State Firms in Socialist China: A Reexamination”

by Huaiyin Li

Drawing on interviews with 97 retirees from different cities, this article reinterprets power relations in state-owned enterprises during the Mao era, centering on an analysis of day-to-day interactions between factory cadres and workers and between the elites and the ordinary among the workers.  The main issues addressed in this study include how the cadres exercised their discretion in administrative activities that directly affected workers’ material and non-material interests, such as wage raises, housing allocation, Party membership, promotions, and political awards, to what extent the workers developed personal dependence on their supervisors, and whether or not the workers were split into two antagonistic groups of activists and non-activists.  Without denying the instances of favoritism and personal dependence in cadre-worker relations under certain circumstances, which became increasingly noticeable in the early reform years, this study underscores the constraints of formal and informal institutions on the cadres and questions the validity of the clientelist model in explaining micropolitical realities on the factory floor in Chinese industry prior to the reform era.

Two chapters of a book manuscript that examine the Cultural Revolution in factories

by Joel Andres

The first covers the initial period from the spring of 1966 to the fall of 1968, while the second covers the remainder of the Cultural Revolution decade, until Mao’s death in 1976.

“Rejecting Class by Accepting Revisionist Understandings of Class: The Case of Shengwulian”

by Abraham Zamcheck

In 1968, the ultra-left group Shengwulian stated, “contemporary China is the focus of world contradictions and the center of the storm of world revolution.” Today in defining the contours of study of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Shengwulian’s politics is at the center of a battle to reject China’s revolutionary past. The group’s effective renouncing of the dictatorship of the proletariat is aligned to many scholars today who profess belief in a supposed “alternative modernity” but one which effectively upholds capitalist relations. In this paper I will focus on the relationship of Shengwulian’s politics to scholarship on the GPCR. The role of progressive academics from the 1960s to the present reflected a shift away from engagement with the communist project towards a yielding of turf to departmental politics and the bourgeois ideological apparatus.  In the 1960s, many academics were either sympathetic to the Chinese Revolution, or they took the political trajectory of the movement and its premises seriously, even if they disagreed. They saw that the revolutionary struggles of the GPCR were not simply “discursive” or “performative” practices. This was not accidental. Their focus was result of a strong contingent of leftists in academia. These people were often directly involved in the national liberation struggle of the Vietnamese people against US imperialism. Even those who were unabashedly “part of the establishment” had to take the political contours of the Sino-Soviet split seriously, following the interests of the US state. Others had direct ties with revolutionaries in China dating to the anti-Japanese period, or to the Chinese civil war. This proximity forced those more conservative scholars, (i.e. Benjamin Schwartz/John Fairbanks) to be rigorous in their analysis and tograpple with actual lines on the ground.  Post 1976, academics have largely abandoned rigorous investigation of the contours of the Chinese Revolution. They have largely disregarded the politics of the GPCR and the revolutionary politics that have continued in the world since (i.e. India, Turkey, Peru, Nepal as the most prominent examples). A few today uphold the aims of the GPCR, but state that it could not have succeeded. Many support the rightist academic trend that questions 1976 or 1978 as “dividing lines.” This is related to the supposed innovative academic “blurring” of 1949 as a dividing line, i.e. CCP/KMT are said to represent efforts at “state-building as such.” There is a cross-over between the right wing of academia/official CCP narrative/Chinese mainstream academics’ narrative of the “ten lost years” / “ten years of horror” and so-called progressives who view the GPCR as a failure, but a failure that possibly contains some kernels of truth, i.e. the “salvage project” approach.  In support of this framework, an ultra-left line has been used to negate the principle of the need for a DoP and for a revolutionary organization to support this development. Many in this camp claim to retain revolutionary credentials in the process by highlighting support for Shengwulian, a group the Maoist center during the GPCR opposed. The implication of Shengwulian’s argument that the party in 1967 constituted a red bureaucratic class—rather than constituting an organization whose leadership could be seized in favor of such an emerging formation—is intimately connected to the rejection of the necessary dialectic between revolutionary organizations and mass political participation. Those who reject this necessity often advocate for “horizontalist” approaches today. The paper and presentation will highlight the inter-relation between these political and academic approaches, and point to areas for further research and exchange.

Understanding the Violence of the Cultural Revolution and the Function It Served

by Dongping Han

Analysing Developments in Chinese Foreign Policy 1970-76

by David Pugh


The Cultural Revolution and Its Reversal: Implications for Population Health

by Richard David

The attempts during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976 to extend social equality to levels never previously achieved in any society, and the subsequent reversal of political direction in China leading to extremes of inequality, are among the 20th century’s most important events. Viewed from a health perspective, they have had – and continue to have – profound effects on population health, both in China and in other countries. It is acknowledged by Western experts that the period 1949 to 1976, characterized by socialist policies and mass mobilizations in China, saw the most dramatic increases in life expectancy ever recorded in any large population. A significant component of this increase was the remarkable reduction in infant mortality, which was closely associated with expanded rural education. In the decades since the mid-1970s Chinese health statistics have continued to improve, but at a slower rate. The slowed trajectory of improvement has occurred despite huge expenditures that have increased access to advanced techniques for much (but not all) of the country’s population. These overall trends in health improvement, during the socialist period and the subsequent “reform and opening up” period, will be discussed in light of recent research on income inequality in developed countries and the impact of social stress on chronic diseases.

The Altered Historic Memory:  The Case of Ding Ling’s Experience During the Cultural Revolution

by Tang Liqun

What did the Cultural Revolution accomplish?

by Pao-yu Ching

Productive Exclusivity and the Cultural Revolution

by Cole Huther

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