#16201
I read the CPI(M) analysis of China, there's a lot of good stuff but there are a lot of flaws.

1. They've been hoodwinked by bourgeois statistics. One of the major arguments is that foreign capital does not dominate China because foreign investment from the West is not only not large relative to the Chinese economy, it is much smaller than "foreign investment" from Hong Kong, the justification being this is a kind of legal workaround to work with foreign capital rather than true foreign investment. This is paired with an argument about "foreign ownership" decreasing in importance and the presence of "Chinese" companies in the fortune 500. Anyone who has read John Smith knows this is a fundamentally flawed argument based on the bourgeoisie's own statistical tricks to disguise value extraction through outsourcing, arm's length production, and value chain restructuring. Not only does the phenomenon of giving nominal control of production to third world managerial companies which race to the bottom against each other characterize imperialism today, it was the Taiwan-China relationship that innovated it in the first place.

2. Two phrases are commonly used interchangeably and it leads to problems. The first is "imperialism." This is used to refer to a Leninist concept of national imperialism in which countries compete for the spoils of the third world. The second is a world system of imperialism which traces back to the very origins of capitalism and evolved from primitive accumulation/trade with China -> imperialism and underdevelopment -> outsourcing and super-exploitation.

The first is extremely useful for Maoists in the Philippines, Nepal and India since they are subject to both the pull of global financial institutions backed by American dollar hegemony and the regional pressures of Chinese and Indian capital. From the perspective of global production, India is clearly at the bottom, even more underdeveloped than China. But from Nepal's perspective, Indian imperialism (even if it is a kind of backwards imperialism as existed in semi-feudal Russia during WWI) has an overwhelming and immediate presence. For politics, it is quite possible to imagine Indian imperialism being primary for Nepal's maoists, although there are dangers in underestimating the power of the global system. The arguments about Chinese actions in Africa and Southeast Asia do show a kind of regional imperialism based on Chinese overaccumulation.

But the second I think characterizes imperialism proper since it comes out of the structural nature of capitalism itself, particularly the concept of imperialism as a "phase" of capitalism and not just a new word for colonial exploitation and possibly even pre-capitalist warmaking. I think the CPI(M) want to have their cake and eat it too by arguing that China's regional imperialism allows it to compete with America's global imperialism, when in fact it is China's subordinate status in global production that allows the American world order to exist in the first place.

The second phrase is "state capitalism" which is closely related to these problems. The first definition is "developmental state" capitalism, which unified all of the semi-peripheral states from Spain and Portugal to South Korea and Argentina with a Fordist "welfare state" in the first world. I think this is a useful definition to understanding how the state developed in the era of monopoly capital (a similar confused phrase which both designates the rise of mega-corporations that intensify competition and the rise of monopolies which control prices and markets and stagnate) and both the rise and subsequent collapse of a particular kind of labor aristocracy. The second definition is the state-as-capitalist, basically doing the work of exploitation on behalf of the bourgeoisie, in order to give some kind of economic foundation to the concept of "the restoration of capitalism" in what appear to be centrally planned economies. Some valuable work has been done in showing how the profit motive became increasingly important in the USSR and now China and how the new bourgeoisie rose from within that sector of the economy (managers given autonomy to be profitable) but overall I think it's a very confused and very dangerous concept. Logically, it leads to Zizek's idea of China as a superior form of capitalism since it does not need bourgeois democracy (which is really just a copy of Max Shachtman) and always leads to "three worlds" defense of bourgeois democracy against "social fascism" and collaboration with the CIA. The CPI(M) as a revolutionary organization is closer to Mao's policies in 1968 of criticism of "social imperialism" while equally criticizing regular old liberal imperialism (and ultimately working with social imperialism in Vietnam) but the line is very thin. Much more work would need to be done to really explain the economic basis of state capitalism or else abandon it as an economic concept entirely for a political definition of revisionism and bourgeois counterrevolution against the dictatorship of the proletariat. The workaround is to say socialism not a stable mode of production and therefore can have both the profit motive and central planning, but this is a lot like saying "it's dialectical" when confronted with a logical contradiction, something I've noticed is still common among ML/MLM parties without naming names.

3. The third problem is that Lenin's work is not really an economic work, it's more of a commentary on Hilferding. While he gives 5 categories in which to evaluate imperialism, it's never clearly stated which is the ultimately determining one based on the laws of capitalism. The structure is very different than Capital for example where the seed of capitalism in the commodity leads to all other phenomena. John Smith even goes further to say that Marx's Capital and Lenin's Imperialism were never unified, although his attempt leaves a lot to be desired. The CPI(M) inherits this and lists all 5 and how they apply to China. This leads to certain features being vastly overinflated, like the size of China's military or the size of its banks, and others being vastly underinflated, like capital export or the nature and wealth of the labor aristocracy (Chinese trade unionists and CCP members are equivocated with white first world labor aristocrats which debases the richness of the concept). This goes back to the previous problem, and the translator is clearly uncomforable with putting China in the category of "oppressor nation."

Ultimately, it's too early for this analysis, since the great coup is supposed to be China going from a link in global production to a capital intensive producer for a domestic market and a global hegemon to rival the American post-war system. This will lead to the next great inter-imperialist war and either a great shift to China as leader of a new phase of capitalism or the end of capitalism entirely. The analysis is valuable because China clearly aspires to reach that point and is already setting up institutions for that purpose, but the actual economic analysis which attempts to justify it occurring right now is extremely weak and theoretically confused imo. For the CPI(M) or the CPP that possible future might be a bit closer. Who knows that another Sino-Indian war would do to capitalism as whole. And it's essential for communists to differentiate between the political tasks of WWI in opposing all imperialist states and WWII in defending the USSR and socialism for the next war. On this count the CPI(M) may even be right, a victorious China would quickly abandon any pretense of self-determination and "win-win" economic cooperation (except in rhetoric). But we're not there yet and it's not clear how we will get there, China remains a third world nation which has basically robbed its own socialist legacy for wealth and to me appears no closer to competing with the American companies at the forefront of global imperialism. The analysis of the CPI(M) substitutes what it wishes were true for reality using capitalism's own self-delusion.

Edited by babyhueypnewton ()

#16202
i went out for a drink a few weeks ago with the daughter of a chinese senior administrative functionary (cant remember what she actually said he did, but something to do with running a city) studying here, she didnt like communism and chose margaret thatcher when i asked if there was anyone she really admired. took alot of restraint not to denounce the CPC then and there to all the other people in the wetherspoons
#16203
wetherspoons ftw
#16204

damoj posted:

i get pissed off when people reduce author intentionality to "sincere vs ironic" especially in regards to Machiavelli

here at tHE rHizzonE that sense of liminality is palpable

I’ve been readings lots of Althusser lately, and in Machiavelli and Us, he discusses how this dichotomy between sincerity and irony in interpretations of Machiavelli derive from a one sided view of either a cynical manual for retaining power or as a Voltaire-esque satire written for the “people”, rather than seeing it as a politically conscious manifesto written from a class perspective (that of the nascent bourgeoisie), discussing the practical political problematic of seizing power in order to construct a nation state in the fractured Italian peninsula during the Italian Wars.

Also if anyone has any opinions on aleatory materialism I’d be interested to read it. Is it simply historical materialism with no teleology and ontology of progress? Was Althusser right or was he crazy? Etc

#16205

tears posted:

i went out for a drink a few weeks ago with the daughter of a chinese senior administrative functionary (cant remember what she actually said he did, but something to do with running a city) studying here, she didnt like communism and chose margaret thatcher when i asked if there was anyone she really admired. took alot of restraint not to denounce the CPC then and there to all the other people in the wetherspoons

i wonder why a chinese person on a student visa might be more inclined to say things like that in the country where they're studying. must be the long arm of the CPC puppeteers.

#16206
anyway... goondolences on the stress of restraining your urge to denounce someone else's country's Communist Party in public, in an attempt to own the foreigner at a bar... Sounds rough.
#16207
Ive been reading Marxism and the Philosophy of Science by Helena Sheehan and its sort of interesting but it seems to be mostly a historical recap of various debates, which gets sort of tedious when the participants are totally forgettable academics or socdem politicos
#16208

cars posted:

anyway... goondolences on the stress of restraining your urge to denounce someone else's country's Communist Party in public, in an attempt to own the foreigner at a bar... Sounds rough.

dont be a dick

#16209
like im glad u were listening in on the conversation on my date cars and felt the need to make some snide comments but seriously fuck off asshole
#16210
Instead of listening in on your conversation, I responded to your post on this forum, which is a Web site for posts and replies to those posts.
#16211
did that make u feel good?
#16212
the Communist Party talk on a Web site about the topic? it passed the time, no complaints from my end.
#16213
no, the smugness that drips off your posts, does it make u feel good?
#16214
I think I was feeling less smug than I was annoyed, mad in the ass so to speak, at the idea of denouncing the CPC because a visiting Chinese student said they didn’t like Communism after they signed a document saying that if they were here to promote Communism it would be grounds to deport them.
#16215
you cant explain yourself out of your unpleasant attitude
#16216
half-earned smugness, and substance abuse, are the very lifebloods of our forum
#16217

cars posted:

tears posted:
i went out for a drink a few weeks ago with the daughter of a chinese senior administrative functionary (cant remember what she actually said he did, but something to do with running a city) studying here, she didnt like communism and chose margaret thatcher when i asked if there was anyone she really admired. took alot of restraint not to denounce the CPC then and there to all the other people in the wetherspoons

i wonder why a chinese person on a student visa might be more inclined to say things like that in the country where they're studying. must be the long arm of the CPC puppeteers.

i agree that it’s unfair to take that students’ words at face-value in that somewhat compromised context, and to then take them as at all representative of the views of the CPC is absurd. if she was intending to say something representative of the CPC she would have said that she does like communism, and that a person she greatly admires is the little man in the top hat on the Monopoly box.

#16218

tears posted:

you cant explain yourself out of your unpleasant attitude

I was trying to explain why I didn’t feel like being pleasant.

#16219
which is exactly the problem since u didnt even understand the original post; this is the second time youve done this
#16220
#16221

tears posted:

which is exactly the problem since u didnt even understand the original post; this is the second time youve done this

Okay.

#16222
i dont really want to watch two of my favourite posters fight over a misunderstanding. please stop
#16223
I don’t have a lot of interest in digging for ways to make other posters’ jokes work in hindsight so sure.
#16224

cars posted:

I don’t have a lot of interest in digging for ways to make other posters’ jokes work in hindsight so sure.

16223 is a prime number

#16225
Even though we’re miles apart, a computer screen connects our hearts
#16226

toyotathon posted:

16223 is a prime number

The palindromic prime number 1000000000000066600000000000001 is known as Belphegor's Prime, due to the significance of containing the number 666, on both sides enclosed by thirteen zeroes and a one.

#16227
Students say dumb shit all the time, I'm surprised how few of you have jumped down my throat. Anyways we're all friends here, tell me what you guys are reading.
#16228
machinery's handbook
#16229

Constantignoble posted:

toyotathon posted:
16223 is a prime number

The palindromic prime number 1000000000000066600000000000001 is known as Belphegor's Prime, due to the significance of containing the number 666, on both sides enclosed by thirteen zeroes and a one.

Hell yeah

#16230
Creationism aside, Islam Between East and West is somewhat deeper than I thought it would be.
#16231

Caesura109 posted:

Students say dumb shit all the time, I'm surprised how few of you have jumped down my throat. Anyways we're all friends here, tell me what you guys are reading.

i read the mieville book, october. i kind of wish i didnt know he was a trot before i read it, because his trot-ness seems readily apparent but i cant tell if it was confirmation bias or not. still, i enjoyed it quite a bit. it filled me with both a revolutionary desire and depression about the impossibility of something like that happening in the untied $nake$ of amerikkka today

now i am reading the three body problem, by cixin liu, at the recommendation of someone on here. good stuff so far. i was worried it would be too technical for my dumb ass but the first half is not, at least

#16232
cars posts like a youth minister. he sits at his computer with his chair backwards
#16233
lol
#16234

TG posted:

Caesura109 posted:
Students say dumb shit all the time, I'm surprised how few of you have jumped down my throat. Anyways we're all friends here, tell me what you guys are reading.

i read the mieville book, october. i kind of wish i didnt know he was a trot before i read it, because his trot-ness seems readily apparent but i cant tell if it was confirmation bias or not. still, i enjoyed it quite a bit. it filled me with both a revolutionary desire and depression about the impossibility of something like that happening in the untied $nake$ of amerikkka today

now i am reading the three body problem, by cixin liu, at the recommendation of someone on here. good stuff so far. i was worried it would be too technical for my dumb ass but the first half is not, at least

Read and enjoyed it as well, didn't get the feeling he was a Trot, probably because I don't know what Trotskyism is except that all of them seem to have terrible geopolitical views

#16235

Caesura109 posted:

Read and enjoyed it as well, didn't get the feeling he was a Trot, probably because I don't know what Trotskyism is except that all of them seem to have terrible geopolitical views

#16236
i'll post more about it when im finished but i started reading 'red brotherhood at war' by grant evans and kelvin rowley and it seems cool. i am about to start the chapter on laos and im excited because i dont know anything about laos
#16237

Caesura109 posted:

because I don't know what Trotskyism is except that all of them seem to have terrible geopolitical views

congratulations you understand trotskyism. but don't take my word for it, let's ask the man himself,

#16238

c_man posted:

cars posts like a youth minister. he sits at his computer with his chair backwards

#16239
ilmdge already posted this in YEAR ONE but holy shit, must read

https://www.thecanary.co/exclusive/2018/10/04/longtime-friend-of-deported-guardian-reporter-speaks-out-on-their-work-inhabiting-the-role-of-a-foreign-agent-of-imperialism/

#16240

shriekingviolet posted:

Caesura109 posted:
because I don't know what Trotskyism is except that all of them seem to have terrible geopolitical views

congratulations you understand trotskyism. but don't take my word for it, let's ask the man himself,

loving me some wilsonian nayionalism and white man's burden, have no clue why trots and neocons are so alike