[Marxism] China-bashing, Marxist Anti-Zinovievist Sub-variant

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Aug 10 11:30:22 MDT 2005


Walter wrote:
>China also uses the forces of the capitalist market in
>its national interests, evoking resentment by those who
>cannot stand up to the competition. This can properly
>be called "Sinophobia", an irrational hatred, fear
>and jealousy against the People's Republic of China...

Comrades should realize that Walter speaks only for himself, some 
ideologically-driven market socialists and a handful of people who were 
once around outfits like the China Friendship Committee. With these 
exceptions, there is very little leftist sympathy for the Chinese ruling party.

Perhaps the most respected friend of the Chinese government in the USA was 
the late William Hinton, author of the landmark "Fanshen", a study of how 
peasants related to the Chinese revolution, and who died in May 2004. 
Here's what he had to say in a posthumous article on Mao in the September 
2004 Monthly Review:

 >>Today, after 20 years of Deng's "reforms" we can clearly see which way 
China is going and what the result will be. Surely Mao's diagnosis still 
stands. Mao's diagnosis for the whole of China's revolution was that the 
capitalist road was not open to the people of China. In a world dominated 
by powerful imperialists and multinational corporations with enormous 
strength and global reach, any third world country taking the capitalist 
road is taking a road that leads to neocolonization. Today, with capitalist 
methods, one can't build an independent, self-reliant economy and country, 
but only a subsidiary economy and country at the mercy of these huge 
multinational corporations at the top of the heap that set the rules and 
rule the roost. The Deng (now Zhang) regime is, in essence, already a 
comprador regime, ready to sell out to the highest bidder China's most 
precious land, material, and human resources.<<

full: http://www.monthlyreview.org/0904hinton.htm

I should mention that I wonder if Walter ever reads Marxist material such 
as this. It is out there. His readings seem to consist mainly of Prensa 
Latina and The Wall Street Journal. There's nothing wrong with that, but 
I'd be happy to talk my friend Michael Yates into sending Walter a gift 
subscription to Walter just as he did for some needy youths a while back.

Speaking of MR and China, here's something I wrote a while back summarizing 
an article on China that appeared there written by Paul Burkett and Martin 
Hart-Landsberg.

If any confirmation of the correctness of Marty Hart-Landsberg and Paul 
Burkett's "China and Socialism" (a book-length article in the July-August 
2004 Monthly Review) was needed, you can look at the heartrending Aug. 1, 
2004 NY Times article on the suicide of Zheng Qingming. This 18 year old 
peasant youth threw himself into the path of an onrushing locomotive 
because he lacked the $80 in fees to continue with college. It is the first 
in a series of NY Times articles dealing with class divisions in China, a 
country in which 85 million people earn less than $75 per year.

I strongly urge everybody to get a copy of the current MR since it is high 
time that the left come to terms with what is happening in China. In this 
post, I am recapitulating some of their main arguments for the benefit of 
Marxmail subscribers outside the USA who may have difficulty purchasing a copy.

Not only do Marty and Paul put the nail into the coffin of Chinese 
"socialism"; they pose broader questions about how to understand problems 
of development. I can think of nothing since Robert Brenner's NLR article 
on the world financial crisis that makes as big a statement as their 
article and hope that it opens up some dialog on the left about the issues 
it poses. This post is a first step in that direction.

In part one, Marty and Paul discuss "China's Rise to Model Status." 
Obviously, one would expect people like Stephen Roach of Morgan-Stanley to 
hail China's "unwavering commitment to reform." However, China has also 
ingratiated itself as a model to so-called progressives like Joseph 
Stiglitz who was profiled in the Nation Magazine of May 23, 2002 titled 
"Rebel With a Cause". Referring to Stiglitz, Eyal Press tells us that:

"He also believes the spread of global capitalism has enormous potential to 
benefit the poor. As an example of a country that has successfully 
integrated into the global marketplace--but in a manner that defies the 
conventional wisdom of the Washington Consensus--Stiglitz points to China. 
China has adopted privatization and lowered trade barriers, he argues, but 
in a gradual manner that has prevented the social fabric from being torn 
apart in the process."

Full: http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020610&c=4&s=press

I guess throwing oneself into the path of an onrushing train does not 
constitute a rift in the social fabric.

When Stiglitz was in Beijing in July, 1998, he "called China by far the 
most successful of the low-income countries' in moving to a market 
economy." With 85 million people making less than $75 per year, one would 
dread less "successful" examples.

full: 
http://www.columbia.edu/~lnp3/mydocs/state_and_revolution/SocialismChina.htm

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