this is progressive?

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Tue Apr 18 09:08:26 PDT 2000

>>> Rob Schaap <rws at> 04/18/00 11:34AM >>>
Sigh, we're back to disagreeing again, Charles ...

>Only a very tiny, tiny group of people criticize China as being an
>aggressively >capitalizing nation. This is an sectarian and not widely
>held idea about China. >Only a few, I mean tiny number of Americans think
>this. The vast majority of >people in the U.S. have been thoroughly
>convinced that China is a Communist >nation.

We can wear 'not widely held', but 'sectarian'? Since when is the demonstrable truth sectarian?


CB: Most people think of China as Communist in the U.S. It is a very , very small group of people who think of it as not-Communist. "Sectarian" means a view held by a very small number of people.

"Sectarian" does not necessarily mean that the view held is false. Darwin's views on evolution were first held by a very small number of people, but were true. So, at some point, Darwin's view were sectarian. Most people didn't believe them. In fact, right now in the U.S., it may be a minority , even small minority of people who believe ( and understand) the truths of Darwin's views.

However , I don't myself agree with the truth of Carrol's description of China.


Sure, don't make a point of it in the publicity - but ain't it just a tad sectarian to accuse us of sectarianism?


CB: How's that ? If you took a poll in the U.S. probably less than .001% of the people would say that China is not Communist. The vast majority of people in the U.S. have an extremely shallow understanding of communism. If the media says someplace is communist, they will take the media's word for it.


And I also think it is quite okay to criticise revolutions of which one approves on balance.


CB: That is not exactly at issue here. The question is whether the AFL-CIO is taking advantage of the fact that most people in the U.S. think of China as a communist country, and so they are pushing subtle anti-communism by focussing on that particular developing country to attack. This demonstrates the unique role of anti-communism. Their national chauvinism would apply to a lot of countries, all 130 of the Group of 77 could be a target because of national chauvinism/racism. But the AFL is focussed on the "communist" ( quotes for you and Carrol, arguendo) nation for special punishment. Cuba too. Why not Indonesia or Korea, if it is just racism ? _________

I don't know what Carrol means when he says (because 'argues' ain't the word) it is anticommunist (or empirically and theoretically false) to criticise things happening today in terms of what happened in the past. They are related, are they not? Mao was demonstrably a military strategist of great standing and the sort of leader you need to win necessarily violent revolutions against a powerful, aggressive, corrupt, tyrannical and desperate ruling class. Good on him. 'Twould have been nice if he actually had let some of those flowers bloom later on, though ...

Idly making mischief,


CB: Uhhuh

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