[Marxism] Re: China thread on A-list

John Gulick john_gulick at hotmail.com
Thu Mar 11 16:43:30 MST 2004


I just browsed the schedule for the Socialist Scholars Conference and was 
shocked and amazed to discover that not a single session is devoted to 
understanding recent and present developments in the PRC. This is 
breathtakingly appalling -- even the most cement-headed mainstream 
journalists and pundits recognize that every key question of the 21st 
Century (including the slim prospects of the
world left) hinges on the economic, environmental, political, etc. 
trajectory of the PRC. On a related note, few scholars of the so-called 
"Global Justice" movement (World Social Forum, etc.) have ever reflected 
critically on the non-involvement of Chinese peasants and workers (some 1/6 
of humanity)
in the so-called "Global Justice" movement. Their absence is not necessarily 
a bad thing at all (given
the political leanings of the WSF) but you'd think this huge gap would at 
least elicit some commentary. Since I am more or less a student of the Mark 
Jones (RIP, comrade) school, my basic twist on Luxemberg is this: 
"ecological socialism in the PRC or global barbarism" -- not that the
wounded and dangerous US hegemon (and its junior partners) haven't plunged 
much of the globe into barbarism already, mind you. As far as I can tell 
(and I can't tell much), the "human development"/"sustainable development" 
line now being peddled by the top ranks of the CCP is mostly babble 
incoherently plucked from social democratic Third Wayism but it's surely 
important
to recognize that this ideological (and perhaps policy) shift is in direct 
response to the rising tide of
peasant and worker agitation these last few years. And I don't want to give 
short shrift to the notion that there are still many cadres, intellectuals, 
technocrats, and so on in the PRC who steadfastly cling to egalitarian 
ideals and acknowledge that the PRC's current development course
will only deepen cultural nihilism and lead to ecological collapse.

John Gulick
Knoxville, TN

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