[Marxism] Moderator's note/China

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Mon Nov 20 15:40:42 MST 2006

Louis Proyect 
>CB: So, you are absolutely certain that China could have gotten to
socialism>bypassing capitalism in the world as it actually is and has been
for the last 50 years ?

I have no idea. But that is basically a moot point. 

CB: It's not a moot point at all in that your "blasting" away at the Chinese
Communists and government, Yoshie and those who express any belief that the
Chinese Communists have any valid ideas on what is to be done in China
relies utterly and absolutely on your being very certain that China should
have stayed on the "road" that they were on. You can't dodge this question
for the substance of your position to stand. You must say "yes" or else
there is a gigantic hole in your position on this question. If you don't say
"yes" then a lot more modesty is _logically_ required in your debating this
issue. If you are going to vigorously criticize the Chinese government for
ending "socialist entitlements", for example, a premise is that "socialist
entitlements" as they were in China were leading to a successful fullblown ,
materially rich socialism in its competition with capitalism. You _must_
have this position. This is an absolutely non-moot and live question in this
debate. You can't be uncertain on this question and so emphatic an certain
on your criticism of the Chinese Communists.


I am a defender of 
socialism, not capitalism.

CB: Everybody is a defender of socialism , not capitalism. But a Marxist
takes into account the actual history of socialism , capitalism and their
struggle over the last 90 years. That's historical _materialism_.  If you
don't take account of what has actually happened in the world with actually
existing capitalism and socialism in your defense of socialism, you are not
defending socialism as a Marxist. You can't defend "socialism" in the
abstract, as a Marxist. You have to defend socialism taking into account how
it has actually has been attacked by capitalism, what wounds it suffered.


 In the year-end edition of Swans, there is a good chance that I will deal
with the new forms of TINA I see about me, including some of the things I
have heard in the past couple of days on this list and from Yoshie before
that--as well as an interview that Tariq Ali did with Doug Henwood. In 1990
Victor Tirado wrote an article arguing that the epoch of anti-imperialist
revolution is over. Odd that with the steady decline of the capitalist
system over the past 16 years that we are hearing the same sort of thing.
Even odder to hear it on Marxmail, which is the last place on earth you'd
expect to hear it. Maybe not...

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