The China Syndrome - meltdown in the movement (fwd)

D.L. boddhisatva at
Mon Apr 3 20:42:46 PDT 2000


You recast my little political argument:

"> I don't understand how anybody
>>can think of support for the PRC regime as a radical act."

in your own terms:

" Do you it is radical to support
>majority foreign ownership in insurance, termination of foreign exchange
>requirements or local content laws for joint ventures, strict intellectual
>property rights, elimination of tariffs for high employment industries,
>full proprietary control over high technology."

and ask a a loaded question:

"Are you saying that PMFN or
>WTO membership should not be granted so that the US (on the basis of EPI
>research) can threaten the PRC regime every year to give ever more on above
>fronts if it's to be granted access to US market."

But okay, I'll give you a simple answer: "Yes."

It's perfectly fine with me that a more dialectically advanced capitalist state should extort concessions from a less dialectically advanced one. I would much rather live under U.S. capitalist-dominated rules than the caprices of the Red Mandarins who rule the PRC. Low-wage, one-party oligarchies like Mexico and China have only one real export and that is oppression. Whether they got the technology from us and developed it themselves or whether they are simply foreign subsidiaries of the capitalist oppression industry makes no difference to me. They are the world manufacturers of industrial wage-slavery.

The hard facts are that the first world is ruled by regimes that reflect *some* political intolerance for capitalist oppression while the regimes of the third world, including China, reflect a complete embrace of exploitation. As for the supposed protections from the capitalist system you denote, U.S. capitalists are simply demanding a portion of the powers now enjoyed solely by the sultans of Chinese Communist Party. (Make no mistake, you can easily protect your copyright in China so long as you grease the right Red palm.) The U.S. system may not be any bargain for working people but if bourgeois democracy is political usury, one-party oligarchy is simple criminality.

It's a very ugly state of affairs, I grant you, but you, I and the correspondents on this list are living in a workers' paradise compared to the rest of the world. First-world capitalism may be the engine of world oppression but at least we're riding up front, where they take your ticket politely. You don't even want to think about what goes on in the caboose. If you mess with the system here you get three hots and a cot in a nice, clean, well-lit prison where your lawyer can visit you. If you mess with the Chinese machine your get two bullets in the head that your family has to pay for. Of course even that fate is humane, publicly-sanctioned and fair compared with what you get somewhere like Indonesia or Guatemala.

We have to put as much humanizing pressure as possible on regimes like the Chinese, even if that pressure is imperfect. Otherwise, they will go right down the Russian road to complete degradation. Worst-case scenario: Who would you rather controlled Chinese assets, U.S. corporate-types or people like the Russian cleptocrats? It's an unpleasant choice but a clear one.



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