#1
It doesn't seem to be all that classless, worker run, republican, or in any way progressive

Edited by shriekingviolet ()

#2
Did they go on that junket to Athens a few months ago or not I can't remember
#3

TerraTorment posted:

It doesn't seem to be all that classless, worker run, republican, or in any way progressive

no investigation etc

#4
i don't think there is anyone here who would argue that the peoples republic of china is communist, because while we don't actually know what a communist arrangement would look like it would, by requirement, have to include an abolition of gender as a whole. if it doesn't meet even that basic requirement, its not communist. i look at a photo of the top of the ccp and go, that's all men in suits, which is... a bunch of men telling everyone what to do, same as always.

there are people who will say that china is socialist, that's fine for them, i don't really agree, it seems to be one of the main differences between the "marxist-leninist" posters and the "maoist" posters, who might say that china is just social democracy and a demonstration of what can be achieved when not a neo-colony. There are lots of points that can be argued back and forth; as an aside red_dread wrote an excellent post about the absurdity of "dengism" amoung western "leftists" here if you are genuine: https://rhizzone.net/forum/topic/14698/?page=1

i have no idea what progressive means in this context, but there are lots of very good legacy stuff in china which are far more "progressive" i.e. much more democratic than anything in the west.I read parts of xi jinpings governance of china and it reads like you might imagine a social democratic leader sitting on a legacy of maoism and threatened by amerikkka to write
#5

TerraTorment posted:

It doesn't seem to be all that classless, worker run, republican, or in any way progressive

What country do you live in

#6

swampman posted:

TerraTorment posted:

It doesn't seem to be all that classless, worker run, republican, or in any way progressive

What country do you live in

people's socialist republic of albania

#7
China probably has a higher level of culture than the USA if you consider that millions of people read about Marxism-Leninism and believe they are supporting it on some level. I mean the DSA has like 60,000 members. If even 5% of CCP members are actually hardcore socialist then that would be millions of socialists. And a lot more probably believe in socialism as much or more than the average DSA member, who think that socialism means a public library with one of those Coke Free machines. Let's have some basic respect here.
#8
yeah, i agree with getfiscal (catchphrase). it's not outwardly communist at all, but couldn't that be argued as a good position to hold in a capitalist dominated world?
as it is, they have an extremely beneficial relationship with countries that otherwise would be embargoing or waging war on them, allowing them to invest worldwide without resulting in brushfire wars all over the place. even if the leadership has betrayed the working class, the history of the country and even just the name of the governing party will make it far easier to overthrow from the left than a western country.

i've got a crackpot theory that both russia and china have decided upon a conciliatory approach while awaiting either the contradictions of climate change to damage the facade of capitalist dominance or a revolutionary wave. i mean, putin was kgb, he must have been a committed communist for some part of his life. even with the actions russia has taken recently, the push back is greatly reduced to what it would have been if russia was still the soviet union.
#9
China is a directional economy with strong market elements in hopes of drawing in capital while guarding against the evils that international capital brings. I imagine the leadership is communist and hopefully immune to jeans which gives them a leg up on Brezhnevites.
#10
#11
Anyways, I'm not Chinese and don't know much about the country, but one thing I do understand is that people there by and large do not give a damn what people like me think about it. I found it interesting what Eric Li, this Shanghai venture capitalist, said in that China is not capitalist because "capital does not rise above political authority. Capital does not have enshrined rights." Makes me think of that part in Deus Ex where the Hong Kong bartender goes on a tear about financial power devouring the U.S. government. China is the 21st-century synthesis of the 20th century's dialectical struggle and it's why the United States is in decline -- its system is now incapable of undertaking the necessary political and economic reforms to meet new challenges. It's still mainlining Cold War ideology.

I'm more interested in what Chinese officials think about the United States. (Politburo member) Wang Huning's book on the contradictions of American society as far as I know has never been translated into English -- I've only read summaries. I'm also annoyed by my government sheltering these self-exiled billionaires in Manhattan penthouses instead of leaving them to face Xi Jinping's music. Look up Guo Wengui a.k.a. "Miles Kwok." There are further stories out there noting he hangs out at the Mar-a-Lago Club, and videos on his YouTube channel show him shooting fully-automatic machine guns with mercenary-looking guys in Texas. It looks like bots are also amplifying his anti-CPC positions on Twitter.

And I'm sick and tired of these Shen Yun ads everywhere. I'm sure everyone here is aware the Falun Gong's newspaper also publishes a kiwi fascist who compiles dossiers on left-wing activists in the United States. The same guy is a proponent of the ZAP cult that apparently combines Scientology, Eastern mysticism and the politics of the John Birch Society.

#12
I used to live in Chinatown and the Falun Gong people were handing out propaganda every day but it is such shitty quality, worse than trot newspapers. The Shen Yun ads are much more polished, seem to be targetting labor aristocrats.

I wonder what their organizational structure is like that they have such a disparity in the quality of their propaganda.
#13
a pyramid scheme
#14
org structure is

CIA --$$--> Falun Gong leadership <--$$-- Falun Gong membership
#15
China has the ability to achieve the good things that it wants to do, and the potential to evolve in a better direction. It has its very real problems regarding gender and family relations, national and ethnic groups, actions in the international sphere, etc. and there can be debate about those things, (even from us in the imperial core if done in good faith and with the right understanding of our position), but writing off China is just unthinkable to me.

"China isn't communist." What does this mean? What does it matter? China is forging a different path forward that has positive and negative aspects, but overall is much more beneficial to human development than possibly any other entity on the same scale at this time. We can trust the Chinese to develop their country, their theory, and their practice in a positive way, and to minimize and correct their mistakes. What else can we do for Chinese society? Nothing. The debates we can have about China are for our own benefit. We can find what we believe to be good and bad in China, discuss the pros and cons of those things, and find ways to implement similar ideas in our own contexts, or decide that those ideas have no place in our contexts.
#16
#17
[account deactivated]
#18
I don't want to say much at this time because I feel I have only begun learning about China, and I say that having recently returned (as longtime listeners will know) from a study trip there, during which I learned just enough about Chinese society, law and politics to know how much I have yet to learn. However, I would like to make the point that when I hear western leftists say things like "China isn't communist", I can only assume they are comparing what they think they know about China with some utopian ideal communist state they have in their heads, and unsurprisingly the actually existing state comes up short. It is a meaningless exercise and, I think, the opposite of material analysis. If the aim is good faith critique of current Chinese reality and policy from the left, surely historical context is vital? It's funny to me, because forums posters generally can't share even the most mundane of personal anecdotes without 'a little backstory'... Anyway,

colddays posted:

We can trust the Chinese to develop their country, their theory, and their practice in a positive way, and to minimize and correct their mistakes.

#19
[account deactivated]
#20

Caesura109 posted:

Yeah, and one of those critiques can be "China is capitalist and I'm against capitalism"

This is an assertion, it is very far from a critique.

#21
i think we can all agree that the people's republic of china is chinese and has people in it.
#22

Caesura109 posted:

I don't think they're asking "what can we do for the Chinese people" and "are the Chinese doing something better than us", they are talking about the question of whether China is communist or committed to communism at all.

But what does it even mean to ask if China is communist or not? Are we asking if they meet some list of criteria that communist states meet? That can be useful to evaluate aspects of China, sure, as long as we're in agreement on which criteria are on the list but there's no agreement on that even here on the Rhizzone. So we pick a list, put big checks and x's next to each item, and at the end we can say if China is communist and committed to communism, based on that. Fair enough I guess, but what's the point? The only use I can think of is to decide which flag emojis to put in your instagram bio.

The important part is in asking why China doesn't meet those criteria, why, and how things might be different if they did meet them. Would they actually be better, or is it just to check it off the list? Unfortunately, I see a lot of people (not on this website so much) applying criteria in this very mechanical way without really considering what the benefits of the criteria they put forward are. They're just "communist" so they're better. Everyone knows it's better when things are "communist"!

#23
To uphold socialism we must eliminate badness. Being bad is not socialism, neither is getting less bad too slowly.
#24
if we all bet our retirement fund on Chinese ETF's, perhaps we can help the country. red salute!
#25

Petrol posted:

However, I would like to make the point that when I hear western leftists say things like "China isn't communist", I can only assume they are comparing what they think they know about China with some utopian ideal communist state they have in their heads, and unsurprisingly the actually existing state comes up short.

Alternatively, they're simply being consistent in applying marxism-leninism to a particular context. There's no chauvinist idealism in holding china to the principles of a revolutionary tradition that is itself derived from the chinese political experience.

This is a tradition which specifically recognises and incorporates the diversity and pluralism of political experience because it is specifically derived from experiences of this plurality. We already know that anti-revisionist marxism-leninism is appropriate to the conditions of china because it was developed through the conditions of a world-historic revolutionary movement there. There's no motivated reasoning in applying the principles of this tradition to the character of any particular national context, they're conclusions that will necessarily emerge from working through the principles and methodology of revolutionary thought. The idea that a consistent, general and universal tradition of revolutionary theory would need any external impetus to be applicable to any particular local context is bizarre.

In general i think the vague appeals to the cultural novelty of national cultures is generally more chauvinistic than actually taking their historical theoretical contributions seriously as generalisable and universalisable contributions. I think the fact that arguments in defence of the prc engage exclusively in these kinds of appeals to heterodoxy rather than actually engaging with the thought of the marxist-leninist tradition is good evidence of revisionist character in itself. That others demand from some utilitarian perspective that there must be some additional purpose in simply applying marxism-leninism as a universal theoretical contribution is evidence of an abandonment of its principles. Universal character is an integral and necessary component of marxism as a revolutionary science.

#26

Petrol posted:

However, I would like to make the point that when I hear western leftists say things like "China isn't communist", I can only assume they are comparing what they think they know about China with some utopian ideal communist state they have in their heads, and unsurprisingly the actually existing state comes up short.

Alternatively, they're simply being consistent in applying marxism-leninism to a particular context. There's no chauvinist idealism in holding china to the principles of a revolutionary tradition that is itself derived from the chinese political experience.

Indeed and I was not trying to criticise any such principled critique. My objection is to dismissive declarations such as the OP (no offense OP) that are not accompanied by any such analysis.

I think the fact that arguments in defence of the prc engage exclusively in these kinds of appeals to heterodoxy rather than actually engaging with the thought of the marxist-leninist tradition is good evidence of revisionist character in itself.

I certainly think that the mantra of "socialism with Chinese characteristics" needs to be taken with a grain of salt. But - and I preface this by once again pointing out that I am one of the least well-read members of this forum - I wonder what is to be gained by simply declaring China, or its defenders, to be revisionist. I mean, of course! Deng Xiaoping thought is revisionist by definition. But revisionism is applied as a black-and-white label, like a moral judgment, final, no correspondence to be entered into. Surely there are degrees of revisionism? Can revisionist developments not be reversed? Could China not simply be on a rather unorthodox path to communism?

#27

Petrol posted:

But - and I preface this by once again pointing out that I am one of the least well-read members of this forum - I wonder what is to be gained by simply declaring China, or its defenders, to be revisionist. I mean, of course! Deng Xiaoping thought is revisionist by definition. But revisionism is applied as a black-and-white label, like a moral judgment, final, no correspondence to be entered into. Surely there are degrees of revisionism? Can revisionist developments not be reversed? Could China not simply be on a rather unorthodox path to communism?

I mean in general i just assume engagement within marxism-leninism. You could argue any of these points but i think by doing so you're simply clearly abandoning marxist-leninist principles. I don't think there should be a law against that or anything, people can forward some kind of heterodox national third worldist social democracy if they like. But i value marxism-leninism uniquely as a theoretical tradition born of the practical experience of revolutionary struggle, i'm entirely uninterested in perspectives outside of that.

I dislike people forwarding heterodox positions much less than i do those who argue these are somehow consistent with marxism-leninism, though. These arguments are almost always trivially shallow motivated reasoning in pursuit of some grand imaginary geopolitical struggle, in my experience. Again people can look at the red_dead post tears recommended on the revisionist currents in the western marxist parties to see what a complete farce this attempt has been

#28
wait but it says in their constitution that they are
#29
Nationalities policy is my soft interest in the history of the USSR; I think effective nationalities policy was one of the most useful and powerful ingredients in the successes that the Soviet Union was able to achieve. So while I've read precious little about Chinese nationalities policy, I bring that framework with me when I look at the People's Republic today, particularly through the lens of the current Xianjing controversy.

Early Soviet nationalities policy emphasized nation building, which came out of a tradition of thought that nations are not necessarily primordial but can be invented. Despite some of the catastrophes that accompanied this project, moreso in Kazakhstan and the Central Asian republics with the effective extirpation of nomadic culture, the principle that animated this was, I believe, correct. Lenin's dictum in Proletarian Internationalism against Great Power Russian chauvinism was important in creating the unique Imperial relations that characterized the state and did so much good in development of, in particular, the Eurasian section of the union. If Empire is based on the formalization of ethnic difference and the right to rule of the "superior" ethnicity, then the USSR often inverted these relations; a common complaint among Russian chauvinists in the USSR was that Russia was not "allowed" to exist as a Nation.

Because the People's Republic of China isn't the same sort of political union (though I know that it does recognize the multi-ethnic character of its geographic territory, and forms of autonomy; this is a place where I suffer more from a lack of knowledge, if anybody knows details here I'd be interested in them), particularly now and with Xianjing, I think what we're seeing is a slowly, but clearly forward, creeping of Han chauvinism. The Han nation (nation as "a people") is clearly the Great Power, that Lenin referred to when he warned that

the infinitesimal percentage of Soviet and sovietised workers will drown in that tide of chauvinistic Great-Russian riffraff like a fly in milk

if attention isn't paid to confronting it, he was correct.

I wrote in this post a little how these distinctions between nations take on a class role, Lenin again something to the effect of "nations become as classes." Han Chauvinism does seem like a growing problem in China. I don't know the way to avoid that problem because I don't really understand China, and I don't say that in some inscrutable orientalist way. I don't really understand Spanish society either.

Now, it isn't all that communist? Was the Soviet Union not all that communist because of deviations? The Great Power Chauvinism entry from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia(1979) addresses this in a fair way I think:

In the efforts to solve the national question in the USSR during the period of transition to socialism manifestations of great power chauvinist deviations have occurred. Their social base lay in the surviving remnants of the exploiting classes, and in a certain reanimation of capitalist elements during the period of the New Economic Policy. Great power chauvinism was expressed in the lack of attention to special national conditions and features and in the failure to observe the principle of national equality in practice, for example. These deviations were exposed and overcome at the Tenth Party Congress in 1921, the Twelfth Congress in 1923, and the Sixteenth Congress in 1930. The ideology and politics of great power chauvinism are alien to Soviet society. According to article 123 of the Constitution of the USSR any manifestation, open or disguised, of great power chauvinism is punishable by law.

We don't actually know the answer yet. That history is being written right now. I think it's right to have concerns but not rigorous to dismiss Chinese society. Like getfiscal pointed out, there are at the very least millions of genuine committed Marxists in the country. Supposedly there are hundreds of millions of Maoists; the Financial Times once wrote that if the president was elected by popular suffrage the Chinese people would elect a government much more radical than the one they have now. That's a very important factor, and whatever the ruling party is doing now, and I agree that a lot of it is very concerning, those people don't just disappear. And they won't disappear going forward either. The Financial Times worry that could "upend stability" in the country. Well, let them worry.

This can easily sound like mindless flacking for the billionaire Chinese Communist Party, but I think that's a unfair. My concern (as if it matters) is that the creation and integration of a bourgeoisie within the party could lead that segment to overthrow the party leadership from the inside. One vector that could play out would be through a chauvinistic and sustained process of internal colonization distorting the position of the burgeoning dangerous bourgeoisie developing within the party, and those dangerous ideas of difference granting the right to rule spreading further throughout Chinese society.

Great power chauvinism is powerful.

#30
[account deactivated]
#31
maybe new user terratorment made a troll post in order to witness, first-hand, the full magnitude of high-quality, advanced dialectical posting capacity that this forum has to offer. the gang's all here
#32
its anecdotal and just one example, but i talked to [communist man] who went on a trip to meet some student marxist-leninists in [big city in china] and he was somewhat shocked to find they were disappointed that [western party] was not more critical of the PRC government. its a purely anecdotal and 2nd hand story but it has stuck with me ever since, as did his incredulity that they could simultaneously criticise the CPC and oppose imperialism
#33
yes i'll be much happier to lend a charitable ear to these arguments when the cpc is prepared to release every dissident maoist activist arrested on spurious grounds from prison
#34

jansenist_drugstore posted:

maybe new user terratorment made a troll post in order to witness, first-hand, the full magnitude of high-quality, advanced dialectical posting capacity that this forum has to offer. the gang's all here

The quality of the OP is inversely related to the quality of the ensuing discussion,

#35

dimashq posted:

jansenist_drugstore posted:

maybe new user terratorment made a troll post in order to witness, first-hand, the full magnitude of high-quality, advanced dialectical posting capacity that this forum has to offer. the gang's all here

The quality of the OP is inversely related to the quality of the ensuing discussion,

Behold, the graveyard of one page threads with amazing OP effortposts

#36
conjuring the shade of Negarestani the shitposter gives the gift of leper creativity, the vibrant living dynamism of healing and scarring over strife. the effortposter leaves behind a wasteland desiccated by the solar radiance of truth, purified yet sterile.
#37
as a dialetical materialist, my analysis of chinese conditions relies mostly on I Ching divination,

Edited by neckwattle ()

#38

Caesura109 posted:

Lets say im the lay leftist (which i am). i can observe china through the same critical lens i view, say, India, and observe social stratification based upon geography, religion and ethnicity, i.e xinjiang, an increasing GINI, competition with other states in burgeois endeavors, traditionalist policies when i comes to sexual freedoms etc. Even if I come to the conclusion that as a global force and domestically its far and away better than its main rivals, and that its revolution was genuinely communist in practice, how can i observe a news story about CPC member and multi-billionaire real estate developer Wang Jialin bequething 500 million RMB to his son to start a private equity firm while people toil, labor and die making gadgets for the global market for pennies an hour and still imagine that the state is representative of the working class

There is no such thing as a lay leftist anymore, everyone is literate and constantly immersed in the society of the spectacle in which news media is a large part. As you yourself admit, what you mean is that you remain at the level of western media which is passively absorbed. Everyone is doing it, the difference is that leftists twist bourgeois sources to their own purposes: "this story on Uighurs is probably bullshit but there has to be some truth to it" or "China labor watch is run by the CIA but this report is still disturbing and some labor conditions probably are this bad." Recently the reverse is true, where China's own reports about poverty and GDP area taken as the success of socialism. Sometimes this can be done and sometimes it can't but it always has to rely on leftist factual analysis and not merely a leftist theoretical framework since the way facts are reported is too shaped by bourgeois ideology to extract through heurmeneutics. That is why 99% of the time my attitude is colddays's because doing the work required to talk about "great han chauvanism" or "maoist political prisoners" has not been done, instead we're just tailing the focus of the bourgeoisie and reacting.

We don't even have to get to the level of ideology, the biggest problem for me is the lack of Maoists in China. Look at the bannedthought.net section on China

http://bannedthought.net/China/index.htm

It's all bourgeois sources, many of them straight CIA propaganda. The justification is that Chinese censorship prevents Maoist agitation or "free speech" but that never made much sense to me, if every country could prevent communist groups from forming they would, and even the truly fascist states had little success in suppressing the left entirely. The echoes rather are of the USSR, which led to the idea that social democracy was superior to social-fascism (because of free speech or whatever) and that idea was extremely toxic in letting the USSR collapse and eating the western left from the inside. Until the western maoist left is strong enough to not fall prey to our own warped version of the three world's theory (and has connections to a Chinese left which is the workshop of the world) I'll remain very skeptical. I was excited for the Indian Maoist analysis of China but was disappointed. Even the Filipino analysis is for the Philippines, we'll have to do our own heavy lifting.

#39

You could argue any of these points but i think by doing so you're simply clearly abandoning marxist-leninist principles.

#40

colddays posted:

colddays posted:

"China isn't communist." What does this mean? What does it matter? China is forging a different path forward that has positive and negative aspects, but overall is much more beneficial to human development than possibly any other entity on the same scale at this time. We can trust the Chinese to develop their country, their theory, and their practice in a positive way, and to minimize and correct their mistakes. What else can we do for Chinese society? Nothing. The debates we can have about China are for our own benefit. We can find what we believe to be good and bad in China, discuss the pros and cons of those things, and find ways to implement similar ideas in our own contexts, or decide that those ideas have no place in our contexts.

It baffles me that someone could think this way. What does it matter?? Why bother having any principle whatsoever! What is the benefit for human development, strengthening international capital and China's strategic interests? What valuable "theory" or "practice" can we trust "China" to develop, and what possible reason is there to believe that China will correct any mistakes they may have? Why must we assume that "China" exists as a single entity with a united class interest when the bourgeoisie there hold significant influence? Do you sincerely believe that the CCP has a real interest in developing socialism of any sort?