[Marxism] Discussing China, and the national question (was: Re: white chauvinism

LouPaulsen LouPaulsen at comcast.net
Fri Jun 18 13:36:08 MDT 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at panix.com>

> It is really too bad that WWP members and ex'es seem to prefer
> discussing white chauvinism than explain why they see no qualitative
> difference between Cuba and China.

Speaking for myself, for two reasons:

(a) because I think that, in terms of our work here in the USA in building
class unity, winning people over to socialism, fighting racism, making links
between the anti-war movement and the movements of the workers and
oppressed - in short, in the practical tasks of the day and the period -
dealing correctly with the national question and showing sensitivity toward
the needs of the oppressed is about 20 times as important as determining
whether there is a qualitative difference between China and Cuba.  If we get
the second one wrong, we will make bad predictions about world events and
have incorrect input into the affairs of the world communist movement.  If
we get the first one wrong, we screw up our work, set ourselves back, ruin
our organizations, and become unable to do anything that we really want to
do.  Actually, make that 50 times.

(b) in order to adequately respond on the China issue I would need to do
more study than I have time to do right at the moment.  Really I would need
to go back and read over the articles that people have referred to and so

However, I can tell you right now that saying that WWP "doesn't think there
is a qualitative difference between China and Cuba" seriously oversimplifies
our position.  The leadership in the Cuban party has been an example to the
world since the revolution.  We have quoted Fidel's speeches innumerable
times in our paper.  We respect their leadership role in the world communist
movement.  On the other hand we have been pointing out the problems with the
Chinese Communist Party's "market socialism" strategy for 30 years now.  Of
course it is true that the Cuban government and party's policy has been to
restrain capitalism and build socialist enterprises, and of course it is
true that the Chinese government and party's policy has been to encourage
the dramatic growth of capitalist enterprises.  Of course these are
"qualitatively different" policies.

Rather than pose it that way, it would be more correct to say, for example,
that we DO think there is a qualitative difference between the political
economy of China on the one hand, and those of India, Indonesia, South
Korea, etc., or for that matter Japan, on the other hand, namely that
China -did- have a revolution which destroyed the state apparatus of class
society.  If you want to point out that the Chinese state has created a
Chinese bourgeoisie, of course it has.  If you want to contend that this
Chinese bourgeoisie has created a Chinese bourgeois state, that's another

> In any case, here's their party line on China. I think it is atrocious
> but worth debating even though the likelihood that they can be persuaded
> that they are wrong is less than zero.
> http://www.workers.org/ww/2004/chinamtg0122.php
> Those who want to aid China's socialist development should build the
> struggle here against U.S. imperialism, Griswold said. "When the workers
> in the developed, actually rotten ripe, imperialist countries fight for
> social change, the biggest burden will be lifted from the oppressed
> countries, too."

And you disagree with this "atrocious" point how exactly?

Lou Paulsen
member, WWP, Chicago

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