[Marxism] Is the struggle to unify China an expression of "GreatHan chauvinism" today?

David Walters dave.walters at comcast.net
Sat Mar 5 11:48:44 MST 2005


I appreciate Fred's viewpoint on this issue, which raises two issues: 
the issue "Han chauvinism" and the issue of "capitalist restoration". 
Like H. Kumar, I've been to China (about 2 years ago).

 From an ... empirical and impressionist view, it is hard to see even 
ONE thing that may be seen as "socialist", even broadly defined. Let's 
examine some of them:

# Their currency is freely convertible.
# Prices on all commodities (i.e.: rice) is now determined by the 
market.
# Health care ins increasingly people who can pay. All forms of 
socialist medicine, at least in the country side, has ceased to exist
# Land is being restored *fully* to private ownership; the commune 
system is now fully dismantled.
# ALL capital investment in commodity production is now private. There 
is still a tremendous amount of State support for infrastructure 
development, mostly in electricity distribution, power production, 
highways, etc. but this is par-for-course for any developing 
*capitalist* country like Brazil or India too.
# Massive unemployment (not including the 100 million or so unemployed 
migrant workers)
# Remaining national industries sell services and products at market 
prices, purchasing same on the market
# Virtual free import of capital for investment. Monopoly of foreign 
trade broken (albeit still regulated).

So, as a 'workers state', what exactly is it we're defending vis-a-vis 
property relations? The remaining aspects of the national economy?

Party in power, the CCP, uses state apparatus to defend and expand 
above points. The state is now *the instrument* of capitalist 
restoration. That it is/going to be/already there is the only debate, 
everything else, as the saying goes, is just commentary.

What's it NOT doing? The Chinese state nor neo-bourgeoisie is not 
exporting capital, or at least not in terms of that we associate today 
with countries like the US, UK, South Korea or Tawain. Someone once 
described China as akin to England as described by Engels in "The 
Condition of the Working Class in England". OK, that's what it sure 
LOOKED LIKE! If people can arrange it, I highly recommend a trip to 
China, especially southern China, like Canton. It's very eye opening. 
My final reaction on this: when I visited this area of China the only 
thing that kept running across my mind was "They could sure use a 
socialist revolution here..."

But, in terms of international relations vis-a-vis imperialism, I don't 
disagree with Fred. If it was India trying re-unify a British held 
colony in the Indian Ocean, we are with India 100% and without 
conditions. The "Han Chauvinism" issue is a red-herring or at least 
used by imperialism that way. It doesn't mean, however, the issue of 
internal "Han" settlement isn't a real issue, especially if one is a 
member of the 100 million or so members of national minorities in 
China. I think it is worth examining how China may be, and I emphasize 
*maybe* using an internal form of imperialist investment to "Hanize" 
the rest of the PPC to the detriment of the national minorities. I 
don't know enough about it myself, but it's plausible, and might 
explain, in part, the relative lack of foreign PPC private investment 
overseas.

David Walters





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