[Marxism] Is China imperialist? [was: Communist Party deligates defend socialism]

Rohan Gaiswinkler rohanger at yahoo.com.au
Sat Oct 20 01:04:07 MDT 2007


Joaquin:

Excuse me, but "imperialism" is not about "uneven
development." It is
about the division of the world between a handful of
depraved ecocidal rapist savage nations, mostly
infested by descendants of people too stupid to get
out of Europe when the last ice age came, and a big
majority of oppressed and exploited peoples, nations
and territories.

Me:

Yes, but you're not denying that "uneven development"
is a big part of this picture are you?  The question
is can China effectively extract significant surplus
value, now, or in the future.  As China leaves the
so-called 2nd World, (in ceasing to be "communist")
will it eventually join the 1st World, or not?

Joaquin:

As for "China's goal," dominating the entire globe is
the goal of every
capitalist enterprise, M-C-M', like duh... That is the
way the battle is
waged between the capitalists, as if in the end there
can be only one.

Me:

I guess I'm saying that if China were to transform
itself over time into an imperialist nation then that
would be novel, unique.

Japan managed to join the imperialist club from a late
start.  But, as I understand it, that was because it
had been able to block foreign imperialist
exploitation.  I'm guessing that the so called "opium
war" [wars?] was to do with China's efforts to follow
Japan in blocking the tenticles of imperialism. 
(Admittedly I don't know much of that history.)

Joaquin:

But between that being the nature of capitalist
enterprises and "China's goal" there is the
intermediation of REALITY.

So just how "very massive" is China's direct foreign
investment in Africa?  According to the World Bank, a
colossal ... $1.16 billion as of 2006.  What the U.S.
spends on the Iraq War in four days. 

Me:

OK, you got me there.  However China does have very
large and rather rapidly growing capital reserves -
something they need for the task.

I think everyone here agrees that the USSR played a
counter imperialist role to the US - and that
accusations from anti-socialist quarters that the USSR
was imperialist (East Europe post WWII, Afghanistan)
are plain wrong.  Despite its small base ($1.16
billion) China is doing a lot more in Africa than the
USSR ever did.  The question I'm asking is, can China
go beyond counter-imperialism and strive for
inter-imperialism and be effective in doing so?

Joaquin:

As a yardstick for measuring China's direct investment
in Africa of
over a billion dollars, consider that Mexican Carlos
Slim makes an estimated 27 million a day thanks to the
PRI having given him the telephone monopoly. In 40
days Slim makes as much as China has directly invested
in Africa.

And Slim is Mexican, he lives in Mexico, shouldn't
this make Mexico an
imperialist power? Slim owns CompUSA, was MCI's
largest shareholder for a time, has been on the board
of directors of Phillip Morris (now
Altria), SBC communications, Alcatel and various other
imperialist companies. 

I suspect this ONE Mexican has a lot MORE direct
foreign investments
than ALL the Chinese capitalists do EVERYWHERE if you
were to add them all up.

Me:

I honestly can't work out if, or how, the Slim Carlos
point is relevent or not to what I have been saying /
asking.  And while we are talking about individual
capitalists, I expect that the many ethnically Chinese
capitalists around the world (Hong Kong, Singapore,
US, Canada, ect) are relevant to this subject (in
their capacity to network, support and promote
capitalist development [politically and economically]
in mainland China etc).

I don't think China is an imperialist state right now.
 However, after thinking about this topic for a while
I have drawn the conclusion that for China to achieve
the objective of becoming an imperialist country, it
would have to start behaving in an imperialist [or
quasi-imperialist?] fashion BEFORE this goal is
consolidated.  That would allow for China to act
imperialistically even while it is NOT imperialist as
such.  [Dialectics asks not only "What is A?" but also
"What is A becoming?"]  As I see it the starting point
is the extraction of surplus value (super-profits). 
Sure, China's investments in Africa are a lot about
satisfying its oil thirst, but the RELATIONSHIP
therein is what I am interested in.

Rohan G


P.S.

China clearly lacks an unambiguous national
bourgeoise, I am wondering what significance this has
for these questions.




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