#41
goddamn there are a lot of words in this thread. someone just explain to me how a communist country has all these billionaires and shit. what the fuck
#42

RBC posted:

goddamn there are a lot of words in this thread. someone just explain to me how a communist country has all these billionaires and shit. what the fuck

ve... very....

#43
When will the number of chinese billionaires surpass the united $tate$? Right now it's 476 vs 585. I give it probably a year or two. COmmunism rules!
#44

pescalune posted:

Why must we assume that "China" exists as a single entity with a united class interest when the bourgeoisie there hold significant influence?

The question underlying your snark is a good one, namely, to what extent do the bourgeoisie hold influence in China, what effects can we see from this influence, and is it possible to identify a trend in terms of that influence growing or shrinking? But this once again is a matter for analysis, not bald assertion. It is disappointing to see so many comrades blithely dismissing China in these ways without even a tenth of a percent of the material analysis afforded the amerikkkan empire.

#45

pescalune posted:

Why bother having any principle whatsoever!

I have principles, but they don't involve purposelessly labeling things communist or not communist. I don't see any point in proclaiming it either way. How will deciding that China is or isn't communist change my actions and thoughts? I think China is communist today so I say "yes it's great that China has so many billionaires it's very communist of them". Tomorrow I think a bit more and realize that no, China capitalist actually so I say "Screw China's electrification of the countryside, their poverty relief efforts, and their environmental regulation overhauls, it's all just capitalist bullshit!"

I'm only saying that it's not useful to have this argument in this way, and even less useful to make posts like OP. Maybe within China it's useful but here all it sounds like to me is the same argument anarchists and trotskyists still have about Spain every single day.

pescalune posted:

Why must we assume that "China" exists as a single entity with a united class interest when the bourgeoisie there hold significant influence?

I'm not assuming that at all. Playing the "is it communist or not" game is much closer to doing that than what I've said.

#46

RBC posted:

When will the number of chinese billionaires surpass the united $tate$? Right now it's 476 vs 585. I give it probably a year or two. COmmunism rules!

i also believe that the chinese state is more or less led by the bourgeoisie but i think this is exactly the form of critique colddays was rightly warning against

#47

babyhueypnewton posted:

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.

this is an insanely stupid point imo. obviously the dearth of easily accessible translated english sources on maoist perspectives in china available is not evidence of the lack of these perspectives. it's just evidence of the difficulty of dissidents writing in foreign languages being able to issue international communiques when their access to communication networks are heavily constrained.

i don't think anyone has ever at any point argued that chinese censorship prevents maoist agitation in itself, you're entirely making up these charges. what it does do is prevent direct access to the materials and communications directly, instead forcing us to extract an understanding from second hand reports that, in an era of blackest reaction, remain monopolised by the bourgeois press. obviously we should never accept such accounts blindly but if you deny our ability to use a critical hermeneutics in sieving through such accounts and extracting any facts then we're left blind on almost any international issue

which frankly i don't think is something you or anyone upvoting your post actually believes, because you're almost certainly going to be forced to cite the bourgeois press the moment it's useful to your analysis on some other issue. our long running threads on any current issue would be devoid of the vast majority of their content if we were to so blithely accept the impossibility of extracting any undistorted facts such sources

it's also disappointing to see what is effectively complete denial of uighur mistreatment being upvoted here considering the far more nuanced conclusions reached in the other thread

#48
oops double post.
#49

babyhueypnewton posted:

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.

this is an insanely stupid point imo. obviously the dearth of easily accessible translated english sources on maoist perspectives in china available is not evidence of the lack of these perspectives. it's just evidence of the difficulty of dissidents writing in foreign languages being able to issue international communiques when their access to communication networks are heavily constrained.

i don't think anyone has ever at any point argued that chinese censorship prevents maoist agitation in itself, you're entirely making up these charges. what it does do is prevent direct access to the materials and communications directly, instead forcing us to extract an understanding from second hand reports that, in an era of blackest reaction, remain monopolised by the bourgeois press. obviously we should never accept such accounts blindly but if you deny our ability to use a critical hermeneutics in sieving through such accounts and extracting any facts then we're left blind on almost any international issue

I find this hard to believe, sorry. The internet censorship system in China is easy to get around, it's mostly meant to have a mass effect on the large majority who don't care to use a VPN, not organizations which would go out of their way to make international connections. If your point is that this is inaccessible if you don't speak Chinese, that may be true but in itself says something rather important about the amount of attention that is paid to China. In fact, there are a ton of ultraleftist Chinese writings which get translated into English or disseminated, I leave analysis of that to a purely discursive level rather than a measure of forces. Regardless, look at the difference with the section on the DPRK

http://bannedthought.net/Korea-DPRK/index.htm

Which starts from the same criticism and yet is able to refrain from turning into the New York Times. I mean, we're talking about "Radio Free Asia" as a source we can extract from.

If you can present a methodology for critical heurmeneutics then maybe there is something, all I have seen is what I highlighted earlier: sure this is bourgeois reporting but something has to be factual. There's nothing critical in that, just self-confidence based on "common sense." Does anyone think they are not critical? Ironically, Chinese sources are never used in this way, they are always immediately dismissed as pure propaganda which again replicates the defense of bourgeois liberalism as at least somewhat free against social fascism.

#50

it's also disappointing to see what is effectively complete denial of uighur mistreatment being upvoted here considering the far more nuanced conclusions reached in the other thread

as one of the upvoters i'd like to clarify my interpretation of bhpn's remark on that particular topic

babyhueypnewton posted:

...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" ... 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.

what I take from that, and agree with, is the critique of that western leftist intellectual laziness that is unfortunately so common, that says "sure, this article on Uyghur oppression was published by Radio Free Asia which is literally the CIA, but everyone knows the Uyghurs really are being oppressed", trailing off into a shrug, no further investigation undertaken. the point is not that there is no such oppression or chauvinism and if that's what bhpn meant then i disagree. the point as i see it is that so-called western leftists very quickly reveals themselves to be thoroughly liberal and uninterested in real critical engagement when it comes to e.g. human rights issues.

#51

RBC posted:

goddamn there are a lot of words in this thread. someone just explain to me how a communist country has all these billionaires and shit. what the fuck

yeah, these chinese sure are inscrutable

#52

colddays posted:

pescalune posted:

Why bother having any principle whatsoever!

I have principles, but they don't involve purposelessly labeling things communist or not communist. I don't see any point in proclaiming it either way. How will deciding that China is or isn't communist change my actions and thoughts? I think China is communist today so I say "yes it's great that China has so many billionaires it's very communist of them". Tomorrow I think a bit more and realize that no, China capitalist actually so I say "Screw China's electrification of the countryside, their poverty relief efforts, and their environmental regulation overhauls, it's all just capitalist bullshit!"

I'm only saying that it's not useful to have this argument in this way, and even less useful to make posts like OP. Maybe within China it's useful but here all it sounds like to me is the same argument anarchists and trotskyists still have about Spain every single day.

pescalune posted:

Why must we assume that "China" exists as a single entity with a united class interest when the bourgeoisie there hold significant influence?

I'm not assuming that at all. Playing the "is it communist or not" game is much closer to doing that than what I've said.

yeah agreed it's really metaphysical... the most we could say is whether those billionaires are becoming millionaires, or vice versa, and if they're reversing the rate of growth of the labor parasitizing class, or not, and like you're also saying i think, these questions are good practice for maybe someday but they aren't actionable b/c we're not talking inside of a political instrument which can forge + benefit from an internationalist alliance w/ china, anyway.

#53
I am not saying Maoists (who believe the CCP must be overthrown) don't exist in China, I'm sure they do and they do attempt to make international connections. I am saying leftists in the West are not interested in them because bourgeois propaganda is easier and suits our preconceived notions about revisionist China. Why do we even have an opinion on the Uighurs? It's not because it's a pressing issue for the left, but rather that the bourgeois media has made it an issue and we've decided we have to have our own leftist "spin." That seriously underestimates the power of ideology to shape how information is collected and presented (and straight up made up), as if we have the power to deconstruct this simply through the text rather than access to the facts prior to their presentation.

No one had an opinion 5 years ago, we were to busy having opinions on Libya's acquiesce to neoliberalism (which similarly provoked a minor internet reaction celebration of Gaddafi's green book as a work of genius). I completely agree with the points made in that other thread about Dengism and the inhuman speed of internet consensus building though I would go further and say the left has to construct its own history entirely in a Badiouian sense. We are failing to do that with China and just reacting.
#54

babyhueypnewton posted:

I find this hard to believe, sorry.

this entire post revolves around the inadequacy of a single western site that's a small pet project attempting to digitise materials from dozens of different nations in dozens of different languages. it's often extremely valuable but it has no particular authority regarding anything, the undue importance you're placing on this resource as somehow definitive evidence in any sense of an absence of maoist dissent within china is absurd

we already know the absolute inadequacy and minute scale of maoist organisations in the west. clearly they are incapable of directly investigating and translating dissident materials related to china on a wide and systemic scale when they're barely capable of organising meetings relating to their local issues. again, using the inadequacies of tiny irrelevant western pet projects as evidence of anything actually going on in china is ridiculous

babyhueypnewton posted:

If you can present a methodology for critical heurmeneutics then maybe there is something, all I have seen is what I highlighted earlier: sure this is bourgeois reporting but something has to be factual. There's nothing critical in that, just self-confidence based on "common sense." Does anyone think they are not critical?

again i don't believe this impossibility of finding any undistorted facts whatsoever from bourgeois accounts is even worth arguing. we already all clearly believe this is possible, owing to the huge number of long lived threads over the years where we all collectively engage in doing exactly that regarding current events. i don't believe that you even believe this because you've been perfectly happy to cite accounts of the bourgeois press in the past and i'm certain you'll be happy to do it again when it suits your argument in the future

#55

babyhueypnewton posted:

Why do we even have an opinion on the Uighurs? It's not because it's a pressing issue for the left, but rather that the bourgeois media has made it an issue and we've decided we have to have our own leftist "spin."

before i went to china i might have agreed with this. now i would suggest that it is lazy and dishonest to diasvow the uyghur cause.

#56

Petrol posted:

what I take from that, and agree with, is the critique of that western leftist intellectual laziness that is unfortunately so common, that says "sure, this article on Uyghur oppression was published by Radio Free Asia which is literally the CIA, but everyone knows the Uyghurs really are being oppressed", trailing off into a shrug, no further investigation undertaken. the point is not that there is no such oppression or chauvinism and if that's what bhpn meant then i disagree. the point as i see it is that so-called western leftists very quickly reveals themselves to be thoroughly liberal and uninterested in real critical engagement when it comes to e.g. human rights issues.

i don't think this intellectual laziness is evident on this forum at all. the previous thread on the uighur issue was a clearly nuanced and critical discussion. obviously the wider western left is braindead and inadequate on these issues but that's true of basically every issue, who cares. huey's point is outlining a total impossibility of retrieving any undistorted facts from bourgeois reporting, if we accept that then the conclusion is certainly that there is no such national oppression or chauvinism occurring. his latest post denies that we can take a critical perspective on this issue at all without simply being passive adherents to bourgeois propagandists

babyhueypnewton posted:

I am not saying Maoists (who believe the CCP must be overthrown) don't exist in China, I'm sure they do and they do attempt to make international connections. I am saying leftists in the West are not interested in them because bourgeois propaganda is easier and suits our preconceived notions about revisionist China.

You directly stated that the issue for you is the lack of maoists in china. you heavily insinuated that there is no substantial communist dissent within china with your further posts regarding chinese censorship. this is just naked goalpost shifting.

#57
But we now have the worst of both worlds, where western communists no longer believe in the older type of communist organization with a heirarchy of party intellectuals, a strict party line, and a division of intellectual labor decided by democratic centralism but we have lost the ability to think collectively and in organizations entirely as the result of our suspicion. It's simply not possible for an individual to do the work a party used to do and I am highlighting some of those limitations, though clearly all of us are aware of that and pretty careful on our tiny dead forum. Unfortunately the rise of online Dengism is the mirror inverse of Gonzalite maoism which was the normal response to China a few years ago on"leftbook" and such.

I won't claim a "strong" orientalism like Edward Said where it is impossible to know anything about the orient, not only does that end up in liberal relativism which tails bourgeois ideology in its own way but like everyone else, it applied to everyone except Said. But I will stress two things: critical heurmeneutics become more difficult the closer we get to the core of liberal ideology and clearly the nature of China is closer to this core than many other issues, meaning we have to be more critical; and such heurmeneutics are never applied to Chinese sources like I said, it does not even appear to interest anyone how China "manufactures consent" and the complexity of this task, in our approach to Chinese sources it is common to simply take the totalitarian thesis as an excuse for ignorance.
#58

Petrol posted:

what I take from that, and agree with, is the critique of that western leftist intellectual laziness that is unfortunately so common, that says "sure, this article on Uyghur oppression was published by Radio Free Asia which is literally the CIA, but everyone knows the Uyghurs really are being oppressed", trailing off into a shrug, no further investigation undertaken. the point is not that there is no such oppression or chauvinism and if that's what bhpn meant then i disagree. the point as i see it is that so-called western leftists very quickly reveals themselves to be thoroughly liberal and uninterested in real critical engagement when it comes to e.g. human rights issues.

i don't think this intellectual laziness is evident on this forum at all. the previous thread on the uighur issue was a clearly nuanced and critical discussion. obviously the wider western left is braindead and inadequate on these issues but that's true of basically every issue, who cares. huey's point is outlining a total impossibility of retrieving any undistorted facts from bourgeois reporting, if we accept that then the conclusion is certainly that there is no such national oppression or chauvinism occurring. his latest post denies that we can take a critical perspective on this issue at all without simply being passive adherents to bourgeois propagandists

babyhueypnewton posted:

I am not saying Maoists (who believe the CCP must be overthrown) don't exist in China, I'm sure they do and they do attempt to make international connections. I am saying leftists in the West are not interested in them because bourgeois propaganda is easier and suits our preconceived notions about revisionist China.

You directly stated that the issue for you is the lack of maoists in china. you heavily insinuated that there is no substantial communist dissent within china with your further posts regarding chinese censorship. this is just naked goalpost shifting.

You're right that I implied that and shouldn't since we're mostly talking about discourse and that's an entirely separate discussion. But you're doing that thing where you dismiss western maoism when it suits your purposes but embrace it when no one is watching. All of this is in the context of a polemic about Dengism as an internet phenomenon made real where the Red Guards were seen as something more vital. I said I was disappointed with the Indian analysis of China but I believe it suits their needs and not ours, but you are staying at the level of seeing western maoists as a tiny shadow of that rather than an actively counter-revolutionary force in their analysis of China. This forum is fine but it's an abberation, and after years of actual leftist politics we've all experienced by this point we can talk about wider trends. I think it's fair to be skeptical of the possibility of knowledge when the only place on the internet where nuance is even possible is a tiny forum that is closed to registration and even then has half the posters just trolling.

RGA and others are reactionary and are the main force behind western "maoist" analysis of China, I fully agree with crow on that. The "who cares" is the maneuver that allows you to avoid talking about ideology, since western leftists have an important role to play for imperialism and are not just buffoons.

#59
[account deactivated]
#60
[account deactivated]
#61

Caesura109 posted:

Why do we even have an opinion on the Uighurs? It's not because it's a pressing issue for the left, but rather that the bourgeois media has made it an issue and we've decided we have to have our own leftist "spin."

How can on have a position on China, but not the Uyghurs? Choosing not to share it is another thing. The fact that the bourgois media has made it into an issue is itself something to be interested in and analyse. In fact, our initial conversations on it were about the very fact that the bourgois media was fixated on it, which the morphed into an attempt to discern the facts of it, and now a discussion on the implications it has regarding the Chinese state.

PSL is currently in the bad graces of this forum but at least they attempt to send party members to actually existing states and places that are under imperialist threat. This is not itself a superior form of knowledge but gives a model of what a superior of knowledge would look like it relations were more reciprocal and the PSL capable of deeper analysis. We do not even get left-liberals like Edgar Snow anymore to make our work easier. Think about how much our ability to find facts has degraded since the collapse of the USSR and yet you don't even hesitate to come up with an opinion which aligns perfectly with the state department's.

#62

babyhueypnewton posted:

You're right that I implied that and shouldn't since we're mostly talking about discourse and that's an entirely separate discussion. But you're doing that thing where you dismiss western maoism when it suits your purposes but embrace it when no one is watching.

when have i ever embraced western maoism? i've consistently been critical about the emptiness and inadequacy of the microsect cults that represent maoism in the west. i have no idea where this assertion is coming from, one of the most fundamental points i have harped on constantly over years of posting here is that people should actually read maoist representatives of the third world rather than observing this thought through the distorted lenses of western sects. if you're alleging i'm somehow tailing the RGA, a group i have never read a single communique from, in my embrace of the thought of revolutionary currents in india and peru then you're just wrong

babyhueypnewton posted:

I said I was disappointed with the Indian analysis of China but I believe it suits their needs and not ours, but you are staying at the level of seeing western maoists as a tiny shadow of that rather than an actively counter-revolutionary force in their analysis of China.

Again, like i broached in my first posts in this thread, I'm completely uninterested in seeing analysis of anything as something that exists to suit "needs" rather than being an emergent conclusion of a system and methodology of revolutionary thought. i think international revolutionary maoism is consistently and faithfully developed within the tradition of revolutionary thought and i'm interested in the conclusions that this approach produces, i'm entirely uninterested in motivated reasoning that would diminish or modify them for some external rhetorical purpose

i have nothing to do with western maoists and i would think the years i have spent posting with you is evidence of my obsessive direct interest in these national struggles. the Red Guard currents might have introduced any number of people in the west to gonzalo but i was discussing all of this long before any of us had heard of any of these obnoxious parties

#63

Petrol posted:

the critique of that western leftist intellectual laziness that is unfortunately so common,

i don't think this intellectual laziness is evident on this forum at all.

generally not, but we have just had an influx of new posters (including the OP) and i think it's worth pointing these things out as general trends to be guarded against.

babyhueypnewton posted:

you don't even hesitate to come up with an opinion which aligns perfectly with the state department's.

i am generally in favour of robust discussion but i don't think this tone is helpful when discussing an issue which is so understandably emotive, especially for our posting comrades from the middle east.

#64
By "needs" I only mean that in the dialectic between imperialism as monopoly capital's alignment with the nation state and imperialism as a global system of surplus value extraction and financial mechanisms they stress the former because of their proximity to China and the relative power of China vis-a-vis Filipino politics. Of course things are true but dialectical materialism necessarily has to raise one aspect to the primary contradiction in the process of abstraction, my disappointment was on the lack of a final move back to the totality of imperialism where China remains a third world country that acts on behalf of financial imperialism rather than taking at face value its claims to be moving up the vaue chain. When it first came out I said it was an analysis of what China will become (or what the predominant CCP clique wishes China to become) rather than what it is, perhaps the Philippines is merely in the future compared to America where the dying labor aristocracy remains the primary political issue. If forced to my politics haven't changed really, I've merely become suspicious of everyone after exposure to the bad part of the internet and seeing it leak into real life. Guess that's why I came back.
#65

Petrol posted:

Petrol posted:

the critique of that western leftist intellectual laziness that is unfortunately so common,

i don't think this intellectual laziness is evident on this forum at all.

generally not, but we have just had an influx of new posters (including the OP) and i think it's worth pointing these things out as general trends to be guarded against.

babyhueypnewton posted:

you don't even hesitate to come up with an opinion which aligns perfectly with the state department's.

i am generally in favour of robust discussion but i don't think this tone is helpful when discussing an issue which is so understandably emotive, especially for our posting comrades from the middle east.

Perhaps but think about another issue no one cares about which is identical: Koreans in Jilin province. Or rather, no one cares except North Korean refugees who are weaponized by the South Korean right, academics who have learned well to put issues in terms of human rights and "weapons of the weak," and Chinese-Koreans themselves who have seen a similar phenomenon of deindustrialization, migration of Han Chinese and slow degradation of affirmative action and cultural protection, and decay of communist internationalism which created a Korean diaspora in North Korea, China, and Japan. I think putting Xinjiang in terms of a culture war related to Islam shows we're already trapped in bourgeois propaganda, I've seen little evidence that this is anything other than an acceleration of what's been happening for decades to all ethnic minorities and I see this as part of the general decline of the Chinese countryside rather than a targeted policy. But if North Korea gets on our bad side people will have an opinion on this as well and many liberals who have a personal investment in the issue will emerge to police what is acceptable and what is "gross."

The stuff about surveillance is just spectacle, I experienced the same thing in Tiananmen and at Beijing's airport and the only difference between it and what is normal in Manila or Nairobi it's that the task is privatized there. It shock us because the regular surveillance that minorities in America have been under is either invisible or made "not ours" by virtue of being leftists. Surveillance is like weaponry, it has no ideology and merely changes the terrain of class struggle.

#66

this forum is fine but it's an abberation

#67

babyhueypnewton posted:

I think putting Xinjiang in terms of a culture war related to Islam shows we're already trapped in bourgeois propaganda,

You miss my point, which is that Xinjiang will naturally resonate in a certain way for those who find themselves on the pointy end of western Islamophobia, and insulting comrades who may find themselves in that position doesn't help anybody.

#68

babyhueypnewton posted:

PSL is currently in the bad graces of this forum

What do you expect, for people to look into it themselves? Someone made a really long post about it!

#69
I thought it was a humorous roast of psl, and it made me want to join more.
#70
i wouldn't recognize this forum anymore if it didn't express at least a slight preference for the Red Guards, a Fraktion winning the people's war street by street through griefing Communist meetings with dismembered livestock.
#71

babyhueypnewton posted:

Why do we even have an opinion on the Uighurs?

because ethnic cleansing and the possible prelude to genocide is a moral crime

#72
when will this forum address the plight of the half-uighurs, a group trapped between two worlds, subject to full THAC0 penalties against gnomes and without even limited infravision to make up the difference
#73

Parenti posted:

babyhueypnewton posted:

Why do we even have an opinion on the Uighurs?

because ethnic cleansing and the possible prelude to genocide is a moral crime

Ethnic cleaning and genocide are the normal state of affairs for capitalism and what sustains your life. The Chinese know that better than most, they don't need to be reminded of the crimes of imperialism, unlike Americans who make clothes sewn by the Afrikan nation occupied and thrown into concentration camps every day. China is in fact the best hope of breaking that state of affairs, as even in the worst case scenario of Chinese monopoly capitalism, they actually respect international law and the right of self-determination and the Chinese century will be far more progressive and democratic than the American one was.

#74
highlighting the PRCs commitment to principles of self-determination in the context of repressive policies against a national minority is making my head spin.
#75
If you truly think there's not really a purpose for a US Marxist to have a position on the uighurs then it seems to me there's no reason to post on this issue.

Edited by JohnBeige ()

#76
The point is that it's absurd to call it genocide and offensive coming from a citizen of the first world. If those are the kind of opinions that get uncommented on except by me then my instinct was right and we really just shouldn't have opinions. That line should have come from the Trump administration, not a so-called communist.
#77
Any discussion of revisionism has to start from the point that revisionist China is nevertheless more democratic, more educated, more humane, more egalitarian, and more historically progressive than any bourgeois dictatorship in the West sustained by racism, imperialism, and unfettered capitalism. Same for every other example of "actually existing" socialism past and present. Otherwise you're just a stooge for imperialism who was too late for FBI sponsorship. Getfiscal said as much but he put it in jokey terms which prevented real ideological confrontation.
#78
demands for these kinds of endless rhetorical concessions before we can have a serious discussion about anything, on an irrelevant stalinist irony message board, are insufferable. it goes without saying that people here are inclined to think the prc is generally more humane and socially invested than any representatives of the vast Nazi empire we live under. that we need to explicitly declare and confess this every time we engage in any kind of critical discussion, lest we betray our hidden allegiance to imperialism, is f*cking absurd. this message board has no impact on the wider world whatsoever, there is no need to pretend we are engaging on some grand political battlefield at every moment here