[Marxism] Moderator's note

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Jun 17 16:30:03 MDT 2004

Xenon Zi-Neng Yuan wrote:
> its own complicity on the matter.  i found it damn-near insensitive that 
> you would use the example of wealthy exchange students at an ivy league 
> college as somehow proof that sinophobia is nonexistent.  just because 
> black students go to harvard doesn't mean the national oppression 
> against them is over.

You don't seem to have understood my point. These students were learning 
how to become capitalist managers. This was not the case in the 1950s. 
At that time the People's Republic of China was a powerful revolutionary 
symbol. It is no longer. There is anti-Asian prejudice in the USA but it 
has nothing to do with China representing a threat to US imperialism. 
People hate Chinese people for the same reason they hate Indians or 
Philippinos. It is xenophobia.

> i tried to be diplomatic, and you came out calling my comments 
> horsesh_t.  you admitted your misquote of trotsky, yet no comment about 
> your incorrect assessment on the existence of an anti-china current 
> permeating the metropolitan discourse.

What is metropolitan discourse? Is this an example:

Speech on Rural Development and Environmental Protection
—Presented at the 1st Green China Forum (Oct. 25, 2003)

Wen Tiejun

City people talk non-stop about environmental protection, but do you 
know how many disabled children are born each year in the Beijing 
Children's Hospital? And the numbers go up each year. Why? Because of 
the excessive application of pesticides and fertilizers in the fields. 
Our use of chemical fertilizers per mu is 2 to 3 times that of the US. 
So, those in the know often say that they dare not buy the lush, 
alluringly green vegetables in the markets because of the nitrous acid, 
a carcinogen, contained in them. City people must not believe that 
farming has nothing to do with them. The excessive use of pesticides and 
chemical fertilizers ruins your lives as well. The lady from Hong Kong 
who spoke this morning said that being a new mother, she is worried 
about her child's future. Her child may still be relatively healthy, but 
so many of us are all eating agricultural products with residues of 
pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Why is the pharmaceutical industry 
prospering? Because we fall ill too easily and too often! The disabled 
population has grown to 60 hundred million. The damage to resources 
environment is one of the causes.

Therefore, in their pursuit of greater development, city people should 
pay more attention to how the 900 million farmers are doing. Farmers in 
most developing countries constitute the most vulnerable group. If they 
are driven desperate, city people will have to suffer the consequences. 
And cities will be places where things start to go wrong!

Rural Development and Environmental Protection.

I told you these stories and their morals in order to get at what I plan 
to do. I am now doing research in rural development, hence the title of 
my speech today-Rural Development and Environmental Protection. In fact, 
I also wish to emphasize that environmental protection must be 
integrated with rural culture.

The mainstream theories, culture, and public opinion of our society tell 
farmers to get rich. Those who get rich are heroes, those who don't are 
losers. But I want to alert farmers to the fact that what the so-called 
modernization and globalization ideology can offer them is only a 
pancake painted on a wall. It is out of their reach, and if they try to 
sink their teeth into it, they'll only end up getting themselves laughed at.

The problem facing us is basically the same as 25 years ago: how to be 
realistic and truthful. What we have now are 900 million peasants, 230 
million of whom are small farmers, and 0.5 hectare on average per 
family. These are facts that we should base ourselves on. When we 
emphasize environmental protection and environmental culture, what does 
all this mean to the farmers?

The environmental culture in the global context is a non-mainstream 
"culture" in the first place, something probably hard to understand for 
the wealthy who deal in stocks. I get involved in this culture in order 
to tell our Chinese farmers that Western-style modernization is not for 
us. That is a trend that we can ill afford to follow. Our country being 
a super-populous country with a deplorable lack of resources, we would 
do well to be realistic. Bureau Director Xie's speech this morning put 
it clearly: We import one third of the oil and more than a half of the 
nonferrous metal we use. And let me take up his point and say that such 
an approach will lead to excessively intensified coastal 
industrialization and heavy pollution, which means that if you don't get 
SARS today, you'll get some other kind of disease tomorrow. That's for 
sure, and future generations will have to pay for it, too.

full: http://www.chinastudygroup.org/index.php?type=article&id=66

> it is yet further distressing that two buddies, whom i assume are 
> "white" marxists, defend each other against one of the few prominent 
> african-american participant's grievances, on a topic involving my 
> people and myself, one of the few participants here of east-asian descent.

I refuse to patronize people of color in this fashion. Ideas have to 
stand on their own merit, whoever is advancing them.

> my experience in left politics comes almost entirely out of the 
> descendants of groups described in elbaum's "revolution in the air".  it 
> is a milieu which in my experience is much less white-dominated, and 
> that has always had an aversion to trotskyist groups, not just because 
> of politics, but because of the national factor.  i feel part of the 
> reason why so many non-white left groupings of today have yet to embrace 
> marxism comes from our direct experience with arrogant and chauvinistic 
> sparticists/WV, SWP-ers, and ISO-ers who think they know better.

And all of these groups in Elbaum's book are dead. They died because 
they had a toxic internal political culture in which people were 
perpetually being denounced either as objectively pro-imperialist, 
racist, sexist, male chauvinist or petty-bourgeois. Please excuse me if 
I insist on keeping Marxmail free of such methods.

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