Henry Liu and China

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Thu Dec 21 06:50:50 MST 2000

>Neither pen-l nor LBO ever cnsored my post, I must say. I felt like was
>personifying China: when you retaliate, you are demonized.

I have made this point before but it seems worth making it again.

When Henry first appeared on various left forums on the Internet 3 years
ago, he created an enormous sensation. At the time when hype about
"capitalist China" was at its most extreme, here was a guy who not only
denied that the country was no longer socialist, but who strongly
identified with Maoism. For most people, including myself, Maoism meant
crazed defenders of the Shining Path and aging North American radicals
grouped around even older cult figures.

As soon as I took notice of what Henry was trying to say, I dug into my
files and began posting the most damning evidence I could find about the
capitalist proclivities of the top ranks of the CCP. I also recited
formulas about the Chinese Communist Party in the 1920s that I had learned
in the Trotskyist movement. What I never took into account was that the
newspaper articles did not really address the question of the class nature
of Chinese society and the state, despite all the deals with
multinationals. Neither did I take into account that the CCP went through a
radical change after Mao assumed the leadership. From that period on, the
Trotskyist movement actually had little to say.

Only two people in cyberspace continued to argue that China was socialist.
One was Henry and the other was Charles Brown. It turned out that they were
right and I was wrong. This, of course, does not mean that China can not
change but only that it is necessary to look at the country free of
ideological preconceptions.

Henry has written many interesting posts on China that are in the list
archives. I do want to single out one in particular that included Michael
Hoover, Sam Pawlett and Henry himself:


Louis Proyect
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