The Relevance of the Western Left

Henry C.K. Liu hliu at SPAMmindspring.com
Wed Feb 14 21:14:35 MST 2001


Chatterjee is totally unprincipled.  He argues for a Moaist campaign
against revisionism, and then uses Hinton's misguided view on the June 4
incident to condamn Deng.  If Deng were a revisionist, he would not have
put down the June 4 protests and China would have gone the way of Russia
in 1989.  You cannot have it both ways.  Hinton, like many old friends
of China, was confused about June 4.  Chinese socialism has a history of
fighting against the extreme left as well as the extreme right.  June
4th saved China from revisionism.  Washington turned anti-China after
June 4, 1989 because it woke up to the realization that China will
remain socialist.

As for Xxxx offering comrade hugs to me, she has been doing it for years
to all comrades who deserve them.

Henry C.K. Liu


S Chatterjee wrote:

> --- Xxxx Xxxxxx <xxxxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxx.xxx> wrote:
> >
> > Henry! thanks for this highly informative post on
> > China. You put together a lot of things I could not
> >acknowledge before (especially the  pragmatic nature
> >of Chinese socialism to survive in the face of
> >imperialism; Deng's anti-right campaign under Mao,
> etc..)
>
> Ah, so Henry, who is erudite and intelligent, writes a
> few elegant paragraphs whitewashing and defending the
> 'socialist' nature of China and her leadership, and
> you jump! And even send him hugs! Whereas I gave you 3
> solid references on China and you did not say a word
> on them. It is sad. Anyway, you are, of course, free
> to believe in whatever you wish to. About Deng, who
> supposedly participated in anti-rightist campaigns
> under Mao, Deng was like a chameleon. Below is William
> Hinton (great friend of China according to Henry) on
> Deng.
>
> Sid
> --------------------------------------------------
> Preface to "The Great Reversal - The Privatization of
> China. 1978-1989" by William Hinton, Monthly Review
> Press, NY, 1990
>
> "June 4, 1989, stands as a stark watershed in China's
> modern history The slaughter of unarmed civilians by
> units of the Peoples Liberation Army as they blasted
> their way to Tiananmen Square illuminated the
> "reform" era as nothing else could. It lit up like a
> bolt of cosmic lightning the reactionary essence of
> China's current leading group.
>
> This essence was known to many in China and to some
> abroad long before the lightning struck in June 1989
> but most members of the Western media and academic
> world were too mesmerized by China's reform rhetoric
> and market progress to apprehend the reality of the
> events unfolding before their eyes. Since
> privatization matched their prejudices and a
> consumption boom confirmed its validity they preferred
> not to look too closely at the underlying currents of
> economic dislocation, infrastructural decay,
> environmental
> degradation, social disintegration, cultural malaise,
> and rising class antagonisms that threatened to
> unravel the fabric of Chinese society.
>
> Mao Zedong was far more astute. More than twenty years
> ago during the Cultural Revolution he exposed Deng
> Xiaoping, Yang Shangkun and most of their "hard line"
> colleagues as capitalist roaders. He accurately
> predicted that if such persons ever came to power they
> would transform the Communist Party into a revisionist
> party and finally into a fascist party and then the
> whole of China would change color.
>
> The surprising thing is not how accurate Mao's
> prediction turned out to be but rather how quickly it
> materialized in history. The Third Plenary Session of
> the Eleventh Central Committee, dominated by Deng,
> set out to "reform" China only eleven years ago. Big
> changes, such as family contracts for farmers and the
> exploitation of wage labor by private entrepreneurs,
> large and small, surfaced in a major way only
> five years ago. Yet in this short span unforeseen
> afflictions have so alienated the Chinese people,
> especially the urban dwellers most favored by reform,
> that in May and June 1989 they filled the streets
> with protesters from one end of China to the other.
>
> Deng responded with guns and tanks that churned up the
> pavement of Changan Avenue, leaving thousands of dead
> and wounded in their wake. The moral bankruptcy of
> this ferocious military repression coupled with a
> revengeful nationwide hunt for culprits demonstrated
> to all who
> cared to see what the color of the reform really was
> and had been all along.
>
> Make no mistake. The leaders in Beijing are not
> motivated by communist ideals; they are not
> revolutionary planners or socialist builders.
> They are newly constituted bureaucratic capitalists,
> busy carving the economy into gigantic family fiefs,
> ready, in true comprador style, to sell China out to
> the highest bidder. Their armed assault on the
> square was not an aberration but rather the
> culmination of a process that began when they first
> assumed leading posts after the death of Mao. They set
> out then to dismantle whatever socialist institutions,
> culture, customs, and habits the Chinese people had so
> painstakingly built up in the course of postliberation
> reconstruction. In doing so they put in motion a chain
> of events that led inexorably to confrontation with
> the whole Chinese people.
>
> How, in so short a span of time, did Deng go from the
> status of admired hero, defiant yet irrepressible
> victim of the hated gang of four; to that of corrupt
> autocrat and bloodstained oppressor?
>
> Part of the answer may be found in the reforms
> currently sweeping China. These essays chronicle and
> analyze the course of those reforms since the
> beginning, with the break-up of cooperative farming in
> the countryside. The collection makes a strong case
> for doubting the viability of any capitalist road
> strategy for China and asks whether China's reform
> leaders, having chosen just such a road, do not
> already
> show signs of degenerating into a group of
> bureaucratic capitalists similar to the Chiang Kaishek
> clique - the foul family junta that dominated China
> both politically and economically prior to liberation.
>
> The events of June 3 and 4 point toward a conclusion
> that Deng and his colleagues have matured into just
> such a group. They used reform, particularly the
> openings provided by privatization and free-market
> trading, to parlay bureaucratic power into economic
> dominance at home, leading to comprador-type
> profit-sharing partnerships with multinationals
> abroad. This helps explain why, when faced with
> student
> demands for dialogue, for free speech, for truthful
> reporting, and for exposure of high cadres' personal
> assets Deng firmly rejected any and all concessions.
> At Tiananmen, it was not the future of the revolution
> that was at stake, it was the credibility of the
> dominant clique, its very mandate to rule. Any breach
> in the wall of secrecy surrounding wheeling and
> dealing by high cadres spelled "red alert" to Deng and
> his new emerging gang of four.
>
> "It doesn't matter whether the cat is black or white,
> just so long as it can catch mice," Deng said in the
> early 1960s. This phrase, more than any other, made
> him famous. By the 1980s many people, observing
> the great man's social practice, came up with a phrase
> more apt: "It doesn't matter whether the cat is black
> or white, it doesn't even matter whether the cat can
> catch mice. What matters is that the cat not get
> caught. "
>
> With the students and the people of China hot on the
> track of the cat, the hunter became the hunted.
> Disdainful of consequences, he struck back."
>
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