China's "Communist" Status

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Tue Oct 5 22:12:19 MDT 1999

>   true Communism

The phrase "true X" belongs in a Platonic dialogue, not in a discussion
of historical materialism. I don't believe marxism can beapproached
in pre-primer style. A person has to make up his/her mind whether
they want to say No to capitalism. Then it's a matter getting a bit
here, a bit there, fighting over this, exploring that. Marxism is not
elementary algebra, and it can't be taught as though it were.
Discussing whether China or any other nation is "true communism"
is to reduce social systems to brands of kidney beans on a super
market shelf.

Most of the people on this list, I should imagine, came to communism
through finding themselves caught up in actual struggles, then looking
around to make sense of those struggles. Marxism does that at various
levels of involvement, but it is not a set of answers in the back of
a math text book.

Along with many other former admirers of the PRC I suspect it is no
longer on the socialist road -- but there are a billion or so people
there and it may be quite a bit more complicated up close than
it appears from here.


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