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Raymond Lotta is a Marxist writer and Communist scholar who is the author of the 1984 book, America in Decline.[1] He has continued to publish and lecture on developments in the world capitalist economy, their global social effects,[2] and how all of this influences what he sees as the possibilities for revolutionary change.[3] Lotta has done extensive work in regard to the socialist revolutions of the 20th century,[4] including on the issues of socialist planning and on what he describes as the restoration of capitalism in the formerly socialist Soviet Union[5] and China.[6] He is a regular contributor to Revolution[7] and has long been associated with Bob Avakian,[8] Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, and "takes as his foundation" Avakian's theoretical work.[9] Contents 1 Political Economy 2 Writings in Relation to Maoist China and Socialist Planning 3 Selected Books and Publications 4 Recent Lectures and Interviews 5 Footnotes Political Economy America in Decline was seen by Lotta as an attempt to extend the theorization of imperialism developed by V.I. Lenin, leader of the Russian revolution in 1917, and in particular to explain the role of world war in restructuring the capitalist world economy and inter-imperialist relations.[10] Lotta has written on conditions in Third World countries and has critiqued what he views as unworkable strategies to change such conditions, such as the "Bolivarian Revolution" advocated by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.[11] He has analyzed the 2008-2009 global economic crisis[12] and the changes taking place in global economic and political relationships,[13] including exploring the emerging competitive blocks of capital, especially now-capitalist China.[14] Writings in Relation to Maoist China and Socialist Planning Lotta has worked to uncover Chinese leader Mao Zedong's actual thinking in guiding the Cultural Revolution in China, taking on what he sees as distortions of Mao's real views, including editing and writing substantial introductory material for And Mao Makes 5, a major collection of primary source documents and speeches from forces associated with Mao.[15] In the 1990s, when there was much academic and public discussion of whether socialism was a failed economic system, Lotta wrote and lectured on the Chinese experience of socialist planning under Mao (1949-1976) – pointing to what he argued were Mao's innovations in planning methodology and the implications of this for a renewed socialist project, while also challenging claims that China's economy had stagnated or collapsed during the Cultural Revolution.[16] Lotta was one of the initiators of the Set the Record Straight project which has the stated aim of refuting what it terms "the lies spread in the media, mass-market books, and mainstream scholarship about the Soviet and Chinese revolutions – upholding the overwhelming achievements [while] pointing to problems and shortcomings."[17] He has lectured on campuses on "Socialism is Much Better Than Capitalism and Communism Will Be a Far Better World"[18] and publicly criticized what he sees as gross distortions of the Chinese experience.[19] In 2008, he was a major organizer of a three-day symposium "Rediscovering China's Cultural Revolution: Art and Politics, Lived Experience, Legacies of Liberation" held at Revolution Books and New York University in December 2008.[20] Selected Books and Publications "Alain Badiou's 'Politics of Emancipation', a Communism Locked Within the Confines of a Bourgeois World", co-authored with Nayi Duniya and K.J.A., Demarcations, a Journal of Communist Theory and Polemic, Issue No. 1, Summer-Fall 2009 "China's Rise in the World Economy", Economic and Political Weekly, February 21, 2009 "Financial Hurricane Batters World Capitalism: System Failure and the Need for Revolution", GlobalResearch.ca, October 15, 2008 "Shifts and Faultlines in the World Economy and Great Power Rivalry: What is Happening and What It Might Mean", CounterCurrents.org, August 2008, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 " 'Now We Know Too Much' … Or Do We? The New Yorker, Mao, and Twisting the Numbers", Revolution, November 18, 2007 "Hugo Chavez Has an Oil Strategy … But Can This Lead to Liberation?", Revolution, July 1, 2007 "Critical Thinking and the Search for the Truth: Today and in Socialist Society", part of a special supplement: "WARNING: The Nazification of the American University", Revolution, March 11, 2007; also excerpted in "Dissent and Protest Necessary for a Socialist Society", Columbia Daily Spectator, April 25, 2007 "Hunger Crisis in Niger: Starvation by the Market", State of Nature 2, Winter 2006 "Learning from Bob Avakian: Understanding the World in Order to Change It", Revolutionary Worker, August 8, 2004 "A Jagged, Unjust, and Obsolete World: A Critique of Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat ", Revolution, September 10, 2006 "Dissecting the Bush Doctrine: The U.S. Quest for One World Empire", Revolutionary Worker, February 16, 2003 "The Chinese Revolution: More Relevant Than Ever", Chicago Defender, October 5, 1999 Maoist Economics and the Revolutionary Road to Communism (editor), Chicago: Banner Press (1994), ISBN 0916650413 "Inequality and Class Conflict: A Political Economist’s Global View", in M. Dobkowski and I. Walliman, eds., Research in Inequality and Social Conflict, Greenwich, Conn: JAI Press (1989), ISBN 0892327456 "The Political Economy of Apartheid and the Strategic Stakes of Imperialism", Race and Class, Autumn 1985, Vol. 27, pp. 17-34 America in Decline, Chicago: Banner Press (1984), ISBN 0916650138 The Soviet Union: Socialist or Social-Imperialist? Part II: The Question is Joined; full text of New York City debate, May 1983, Chicago: RCP Publications (1983), ISBN 0898510678 And Mao Makes Five (editor), Chicago: Banner Press (1978), ISBN 0916650081 Recent Lectures and Interviews "Financial Meltdown And The Madness Of Imperialism", CounterCurrents, 26 September, 2008 "The International Impact and Historical Significance of the Cultural Revolution", panel at symposium "Rediscovering China's Cultural Revolution: Art and Politics, Lived Experience, Legacies of Liberation", New York City, December 2008 "Understanding the Global Economic Crisis: System Failure and the Need for Revolution", Revolution Books, New York, October 2008; audio available here "The Chinese Cultural Revolution: A Maoist Appreciation and Critical Evaluation", University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Department of Asian Studies, March 2008 "A Critical Response to Mao: The Unknown Story – Mao: Fairy Tale Monster, or Greatest Liberator of the Mid-20th Century?", University of Chicago, Sociology Department and Center for East Asian Studies, September 2006 "Socialism is Much Better Than Capitalism, and Communism Will Be a Far Better World", UC Berkeley and UCLA (October 2005), Harvard University (February 2006), Columbia University (April 2006) and Mexico City, Puebla and Oaxaca, Mexico (May 2006) Interview by Russia Today TV Network, Jan. 2010 Footnotes ^ America in Decline, Chicago: Banner Press (1984); see also, "Banking crisis challenges US superpower status", Agence-France Presse, October 13, 2008, where Lotta was interviewed as author of the book. ^ Lotta, "Hunger Crisis in Niger: Starvation by the Market", State of Nature 2, Winter 2006; Lotta, "The Political Economy of Apartheid and the Strategic Stakes of Imperialism", Race and Class, Autumn 1985, Vol. 27, pp. 17-34. ^ "Understanding the Global Economic Crisis: System Failure and the Need for Revolution", a speech by Lotta at Revolution Books, New York, October 2008; audio available here. ^ "Socialist Revolution in the 20th Century – Controversies and Lessons", a three-part interview with Lotta in Revolution, May-June 2009, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. ^ Lotta, The Soviet Union: Socialist or Social-Imperialist? Part II: The Question is Joined; full text of New York City debate, May 1983, Chicago: RCP Publications (1983). ^ "Socialism is Much Better Than Capitalism, and Communism Will Be a Far Better World", Part 15: "The Defeat of Socialism in China and Lessons for the Future". ^ Revolution (formerly Revolutionary Worker) is the weekly newspaper of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. ^ Lotta, "Learning from Bob Avakian: Understanding the World in Order to Change It", Revolutionary Worker, August 8, 2004. ^ "Who is Raymond Lotta?", a sidebar article to "The Raymond Lotta Campus Tour: A Very Big Deal Indeed!", Revolution, September 27, 2009. ^ America in Decline, "Preface". ^ Lotta, "Hugo Chavez Has an Oil Strategy … But Can This Lead to Liberation?", Revolution, July 1, 2007. ^ Lotta, "Financial Hurricane Batters World Capitalism: System Failure and the Need for Revolution", GlobalResearch.ca, October 15, 2008. ^ Lotta, "Shifts and Faultlines in the World Economy and Great Power Rivalry: What is Happening and What It Might Mean", CounterCurrents.org, August 2008, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 ^ Lotta, "China's Rise in the World Economy", Economic and Political Weekly, February 21, 2009. ^ Lotta, And Mao Makes 5, Chicago: Banner Press (1978). The title is a play on the pejorative title "Gang of Four" given to top leaders of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) who were arrested after Mao's death and labeled "counter-revolutionaries". Lotta argues in the book that the four actually were the CCP leaders most closely associated with Mao during the Cultural Revolution and that Mao in effect was the fifth member of the "Gang". ^ Lotta, Maoist Economics and the Revolutionary Road to Communism, Chicago: Banner Press (1994). ^ See the Set the Record Straight "Mission Statement" which goes on to say that the project seeks "to open up a two-sided debate about socialism and communism and to promote a conversation about why a radically different and liberating world is possible. In all of this, we are bringing forward Bob Avakian's exciting vision of a vibrant communism for the 21st century. At a time when the world is in great peril, the intellectual landscape needs to change – and a new generation of students and scholars needs to engage the question of communism's past and communism's future in a whole new way." ^ Set the Record Straight Speaking Tour. ^ See, for example, "Vicious Anti-Mao Biography – Mao Zedong: Not Fairytale Monster But Greatest Liberator of Mid-20th Century", Lotta's critical review of Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday. ^ Symposium information here; see also "Report from Groundbreaking NYC Symposium: Rediscovering China's Cultural Revolution – Art and Politics, Lived Experience, Legacies of Liberation", Revolution, December 28, 2008. Persondata Name Lotta, Raymond Alternative names Short description Date of birth Place of birth Date of death Place of death