[Marxism] Discussing China
LouPaulsen at comcast.net
Sat Jun 19 10:48:09 MDT 2004
----- Original Message -----
From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at panix.com>
> LouPaulsen wrote:
> > A workers' state attempting to achieve development
> > with a 'caged bourgeoisie' is a peculiar phenomenon, and there is no end
> > the evils that come of it, but it's not the same as a bourgeois state.
> You're right. A bourgeois state exists in Taiwan. But give China some
> time. With the entrance of the bourgeoisie into the CP, that's the next
All right, then, Louis, we have AGREED that a bourgeois state has not YET
been created in China. Any remaining differences between us are about
emphasis, strategy, and tactics. I'm not certain we actually differ "all
that much" about the actual state of affairs. Earlier you quoted a summary
of a talk by WW editor Deirdre Griswold as a presentation of WWP's "line".
Here are a couple considerably more complete and polished presentations of
Deirdre's views on the PRC today.
> I am far more concerned about class relations in China
> than in whether a Communist Party holds power. You have a stunning
> dichotomy between the two. This is not a NEP we are talking about. It is
> rather a process described as a kind of "primitive accumulation" in the
> MR article I cited the other day. China is in the early stages of
I agree that there is a "stunning dichotomy". Of course I am also
"concerned" with class relations within China, to put it mildly.
But, realistically speaking, what is the next thing that we are likely to be
faced with that we can actually do something about? I would say that an
upcoming order of business, and something that we might have seen already if
it weren't for the Iraqi resistance, is a U.S.-backed "Chinese Solidarnosc"
and/or a "Chinese AIFLD" and/or a "Chinese version" of the "Free Trade
Unions (tm)" in Serbia - that is, an attempt to overthrow the CCP government
and establish a flat-out bourgeois state, using "human rights" and "workers'
rights" as the pretext. Is this certain to happen? No, a lot of different
things could happen. The US may hesitate to do that sort of thing because
the Chinese government successfully maneuvers between the US and Japan and
Europe. Or it may hesitate because it is afraid that the resulting
bourgeois state will solidify the position of its capitalist rivals too
much. Or it may cut a deal of some kind with the government of the PRC. Or
the US capitalists investing in China may conclude that the gradual process
of erosion and infiltration will get them further in the long run. Or the
anti-US resistance in Iraq and elsewhere in the oil belt may make the US
bourgeoisie wary of opening up a "China front".
But, one way or another, the class struggle within China, between the new
proletariat and the new bourgeoisie, is bound to escalate. The CCP has not
thus far positioned itself as the ally of the proletariat in that struggle.
This opens the door for imperialist stooges (media, NGOs, State Dept., etc.)
to position themselves as the allies of the proletariat. We don't have to
worry, I don't think, that there will be too little sympathy here for the
suffering, underpaid, exploited Chinese workers (I am not being ironic
here). The bourgeois media will take care of that, just as they took care
of making sure there was plenty of sympathy for the suffering Iraqi people
(barring some sort of international alliance that shuts down their attacks).
So who is going to take care of explaining to the workers here in the US
that the bourgeois overthrow of the Chinese state would be a bad thing, as
in the USSR, Poland, et al., and not a good thing? Frankly, I don't expect
that we of WWP will get much help with this from the rest of the left. So
if I seem to be a trifle one-sided in my emphasis, Louis, it's largely
because I believe that we had better concentrate on making the point that
nobody else is going to make.
Two concluding notes: (1) I am really supposed to be packing boxes so we can
move to a new place, so I am going to really try to stop writing things
until July 1 or so. Feel free to take the last shot though :-) ; (2) I
haven't read Comninel, and I respectfully decline to take your word that he
has settled the issues of class relations in Europe in the period of
1600-1800, but it would probably be prudent for me to read Comninel before
arguing with you about such matters.
In the struggle,
member, WWP, Chicago
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