Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Chinese Rocks *

According to an article in the latest Monthly Review, there is a resurgence of the Chinese left. The Chinese Communist Party has sought to impose a vicious and barbaric capitalism upon a people who up till then were steeped in egalitarian and class struggle ideology. Justifying the destruction of social services, the lack of trade unions, lousy wages and working conditions, environmental degradation and a level of economic inequality that makes the USA look anarcho-communist by comparison, has become an ever more difficult problem for the Chinese ruling class. Millions of Chinese compare the official ideology – which is still Maoism – with the actual daily practice. In the same way that American radicals compare the decentralist and anti-imperialist American Revolution with the present hyper-imperialist corporate state, so too the Chinese with their Revolution. Millions went through the Cultural Revolution, and while much was xenophobic and anti-cultural, some students and workers took Maoist rhetoric as a reality and tried to introduce self-management. 1. (Maoism had a rhetoric borrowed from populism and anarchism, which is why so many Western New Leftists were attracted to it ) Thus, a re-birth of Maoism is occurring, both inside the CPC and outside it. The horrors of present capitalist development should make these neo-Maoists intransigent about equality and class struggle

However, neo-Maoism is not the only ball game. There is also a middle class liberal left and a Chinese new left influenced by currents other than Marxist-Leninism. 2 For any successful anti-capitalist revolution the three groups will have to work together in some manner, even if not officially. Hard-line “Gang of Four” type Maoism will simply not do. For the Chinese left to be successful it will have to move in the same direction the rest of the worlds social movements are going, toward a non-sectarian, populist and decentralist politics.

A Third Revolution in China 3 would have devastating effects upon corporatism, perhaps even heralding the end of this modern form of feudalism. The Chinese hold a huge part of US debt and by cashing in their US dollars they could devastate the US economy. Nationalization, or better yet, socialization, of foreign corporate assets would be a terrible blow to the corporate capital which saw China as a safe place to invest. A Chinese Revolution that wasn't stridently old-fashioned Maoist would be a major ally of, and impetus for, the European social movements and the similar movements and revolutionary governments of Latin America

For more information see: http://www.monthlyreview.org/0606weil.htm

* A song by the New York Dolls. “Chinese rocks” referring to smack - a good metaphor for US dependence upon Chinese cheap labor made goods.

1. At this point, Mao shut down the Cultural Revolution.

2 Including anarchism. According to Wikipedia, “Libertarian socialist and Anarchist communist currents have been particularly strong in the anti-dictatorship movement and in China's underground Labor Movement. The best known of these in the Western world is the Autonomous Beijing group, one of several groups responsible for organizing the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. More recently, the Associated press has reported the emergence of a distinctly anarchist labor movement in China's old industrial rust-belt...” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_anarchism

3. The first revolution that of 1911, when the Manchu Dynasty was overthrown, the second was the Maoist Revolution of 1949.


Blogger Werner said...

This sure beats the "Nine Commentaries".

7:16 PM  

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