[Marxism] Re: China thread on A-list

Xenon Zi-Neng Yuan wenhuadageming at comcast.net
Fri Mar 12 02:00:10 MST 2004

At 06:43 PM 3/11/2004, John Gulick wrote:
>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.

thank you for repeating this point, which is very important.  it is in sync 
with what henry liu just posted to another list that i have come to follow, 
the "china study group, boston", at 

this also correlates with many of my own interactions during my recent 
year-long stay in china.  although crass consumerism is rampant, not 
everyone has been swept up by this fever.  of the several left-minded 
people i met from the younger generations, only a scant few of them 
advocated opening up the political space to opposition parties.  they (and 
even many common folk with little interest in politics) knew full well that 
this would be pounced upon by the west.  i am grateful to those comrades 
for showing me the meaning of humility, as i had initially (and shamefully) 
approached their situations as an arrogant westerner - having been raised 
in the no.1 imperialist power, after all.  they were patient and tolerant 
of me, even though i had subconsciously thought i was holier than they, and 
that i somehow knew better than they about the dangers china faced in this 
period, and that i could offer advice to them on what they should do.  and 
patient yet again as i came in with my metropolitan frame of mind, 
criticizing them on the policies of their gov't even though i was not 
experiencing their struggle first-hand.  for that infinite patience they 
showed me, i am eternally grateful.

there appears to be a contest brewing as the remainders of the outgoing 
third generation leadership try to maintain their hold on power and 
policy.  it has taken me much time to realize that indeed there is hope to 
be found in china, and even in the party, although the fight will be an 
uphill one.

to better understand the political discourse in china, i could perhaps 
recommend some of the articles with china content from the last 6 or 7 
years of new left review.  despite my being somewhat at odds with NLR's 
trotskyist origins (as i was politicized by those from traditions aligned 
with so-called "maoism"), and with their current infatuation with 
postmodernism or whatever other academic trends, they nonetheless have had 
some interesting content on china - more so, it appears, than the otherwise 
superior monthly review (why this is, i have no idea).  the 
articles/interviews with wang hui, he qinglian, and qin hui stick out in my 
mind.  i think it can be observed that the political and intellectual 
landscape just isn't as simple as some make it out to be.

henry: do you have additional/better recommendations than just NLR?  thanks.


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