[Marxism] Chinese economic growth and global ecology

DLVinvest at cs.com DLVinvest at cs.com
Thu Jun 17 14:48:12 MDT 2004

In a message dated 6/17/04 6:52:23 AM Mountain Daylight Time, 
Waistline2 at aol.com writes: 
> My approach to the revolutionary process in China always begin with taking 
> into account her incredible humiliation and national pride. Other 
> considerations - including class and property relations are secondary because I do not 
> live in China.

As usual I agree with almost everything you say, Melvin, but I disagree with 
your formulation above:  I think we have to start with an analysis of the 
class struggle and the property relations in China -- a multinational state which 
you and I agree is effectively and essentially controlled by bourgeoisie, not 
proletariat -- in order to understand how humiliation of the Chinese (Han and 
other nationalities) by imperialists and national pride fit into the struggle 
against capitalism on a world scale. In doing this, we should be respectful of 
the opinions of Chinese comrades based on their long histiry and vast 
experience. I don't think that this notion of what is primary and what is secondary 
makes me a presumptuous "white chauvinist" trying to tell the Chinese 
proletariat what to do about it; rather, that was Marx's (and Lenin, Stalin and Mao's) 
method in trying to identify the strategies and class alliances that would 
push the revolutionary process to the next step. Maybe this is just a quibble 
because we end up at the same starting point, which is that the best way to show 
solidarity, even critically, is to understand and attack the racist "militant 
bourgeoisie"  that is trying to rule the world from its secure base here in 
US. As the Chinese comrade suggested, much of the "green" concern in the 
imperial centers over the ecological impact of Chinese industrialization is based on 
the same hypocritical and racist fear as the anti-immigrant line of some 
self-styled environmentalists: They want, as Marx put it, "the conditions of 
bourgeois existence without their consequences." But its own nationalist 
proclaimations and aspirations do not let the bourgeoise anywhere off the hook, 
especially when investment decisions are drive by goals of profit in collaboration with 
imperial finance at the expense of evreryone else and under the capitalist 
accounting method of trying to "externalize" every social cost in order to boos 
the bottom line of the enetrprise form in which accumulation proceeds: The 
consequences of capital accumulation and reproduction and expansion in the 
imperial system have been devastating, especially for the peasants in the process of 
their liquidation as a class, and that includes the form of industrial 
development taken by the nominally socialist countires, even in the name of 
self-defense, as the revolutionary-theroist-practitioners mentioned all  recognized, 
even when the law of accumulation was supposedly suspended yet honored in the 
breach. In the critique of bourgeois property relations, or the capitalist mode 
of production, communists should not refrain from recognizing these defects 
and accounting for all these costs (even when they are expressed as necessary 
or desirable in "socialist planning" and self-defense). Working people 
everywhere have a stake in the environmental consequences of industrial development 
under the bourgeoisie, not just as sellers of labor-power or consumers of means 
of subsitsence, but especially to the degree that capital renders the commons 
first as a privatized "free" good to be seized and appropriated by the 
capitalist in primitive accumulation, then as a commodity, including land, water, and 
air, which then become markets for further expansion at the expense of earth 
and humanity. That is perhaps the final "frontier" of capitalist expansion and 
accumulation, and what will make communism the common sense of humanity -- 
the rallying point for an international alliance of workers, led by the most 
exploited propertyless among us,  to take control over production and 
distribution on a communist basis that bursts the fetters of bourgeois property relations 
but recognizes the limits of exploitation of the commons in order to preserve 
the world as a hospitable environment for our species. 

Douglas L. Vaughan, Jr.
for Print, Film & Electronic Media
3140 W. 32nd Ave. 
Denver CO 80211

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