this is progressive/ China

Charles Brown CharlesB at
Tue Apr 18 10:13:28 PDT 2000


Here's what someone else said on China today.


>>> 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.

It was a pleasure to read Mao*s tribute to Dr. Bethune and some of the recent positive comments about the Chinese revolution on this list, particularly at a time when China-on-the-capitalist-road is coming under fire from the some of the same anti-communist forces which excoriated China-on-the-revolutionary-road.

Despite its obvious shortcomings, I still happen to view China as a socialist country, though just hanging on, and retain the perspective that it remains possible for China to once again reverse direction to the left*only this time on the basis of a considerably more advanced economy and a much larger proportion of the population in the working class.

The current AFL-CIO campaign against normal trade relations and WTO membership for China resembles the old Yellow Peril racism, modern nationalism and reactionary anti-communism wrapped into a new opportunist political package. Unfortunately, this campaign is gaining adherents in the developing new movement in the U.S. in opposition to the IMF, World Bank and WTO and can retard its progressive political development. While revolutionary Marxists must help to build this new movement, they must likewise strongly oppose the trend to deny China entry into the WTO and defend China against imperialist schemes in general because it remains a workers state. As Mao argued, it is reprehensible to "hear incorrect views without rebutting them..., but instead to take them calmly as if nothing had happened."

In a related regard, the February 2000 Monthly Review contains an article worth reading, titled, *The Necessity of Gangster Capitalism: Primitive Accumulation in Russia and China,* by Nancy Holmstrom and Richard Smith. It*s on the web at The article goes into the differences between Russia and China in their movement toward capitalism and their respective methods of primitive accumulation.

They write: *The emergence of gangster capitalism and wholesale corruption in the former Soviet bloc and China should have been entirely predictable to anyone familiar with the historical origins of capitalism...and to anyone with a passing familiarity with Marx*s account of primitive accumulation.* The authors suggest that Yeltsin*s U.S. advisers blundered in their guidance, resulting in the de-modernization of that once advanced society, but I suspect that was Washington*s intention all along. It no more wanted a capitalist rival with Russia*s potential than it did a communist rival of the USSR*s potential. In general, their analysis of why the Russian economy crumbled is quite good.

The article declares that *China*s increasingly restless and combative labor force has yet to find its voice, but when it does, this could throw a large wrench into the World Bank-comprador bureaucrat plans for a transition to capitalism.* We may have seen a vision of the future in the recent three-day street battle to protest the closing of an *unprofitable* mine in Liaoning. Clearly, WTO membership (as much of the U.S. ruling class understands) will undoubtedly accelerate Beijing*s passage down the capitalist road, causing still further hardship for the masses. I oppose the theory that *the worse it gets, the better it gets,* since this conveys the impression that the increasing misery of the working class can ever be positive*but one must recognize the possibility that further movement toward capitalism may finally result in a serious radical turn from below that will strongly impact on the CCP*s left wing and lead to one more great reversal in the direction of the Chinese revolution. (end)

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