#17841

toyot posted:

the big prize is class control over the content of labor.



This is a crucial point and I would add that capitalism survived and continues to survive not by integrating non-capitalist modes of production but by subjugating them. For the vast majority of humans 'production' is an abstraction, there is only transformation and waste of resources they would prefer not to grow in or dig out of the pieces of earth they occupy and use; or sell them for a price that isn't profitable (because it's fair). They are a revolutionary class not just because they labour but do so in a way that capitalism cannot accommodate precisely because it needs such labour to survive.

All earthly processes produce entropy, a topic conveniently absent from mainstream economics. The real, physical sum-total of all sector inputs is always greater than the sum of outputs. Regardless of what we do, including nothing, there are losses. The opposite of this is a myth created for the benefit of a small minority, enabled by the purposeful mischaracterisation and underpricing of the resources, land and labour of everyone else.

Because industrial enterprise is fundamentally unprofitable, debt/money is required to 'fake it'. Debt is ubiquitous, it is a 'factor in production' along with land and labor. A gigantic finance sector is needed to create and manage it. Cash paid in hand is a loan made by a bank somewhere to someone which may have subsequently changed hands hundreds of times. There is no 'investment' that did not begin its existence as a loan. Loans are possible so long as third parties are available to service and retire them, hence why the British empire was able to create the world's first successful central bank. The technical term for that process is 'theft': I buy the house, you pay for, build and maintain the house, I'll live in the house, you canโ€™t, OK maybe once in a while you can explain to me why you should be allowed to live in the house like me, now I feel sorry for you, you still can't live in the house, I think one day everyone can live in the house anyway maybe sleep on the porch or smth bye.

On a related note, around 25-50 farmers (that the media knows of) have died in the Delhi protests. And a 22 yo whose family was 8 lakh rupees in debt committed suicide earlier this week after returning to his village from the protest. All the articles I've read about it say the causes of suicide are 'yet to be ascertained by police' and none of them mention that 87% of Indian farmers own 2 acres or less of land and Indian farmers are on average 47000 rupees/1 month of US coronabucks in debt which is 25 to more than 100% (depending on state) of their average annual incomes.

I won't say 'solidarity' because it's meaningless in this context. There are thousands like that 22 year old sitting out there in the cold right now and they can speak for themselves, through their newspaper the Trolley Times that they started publishing last Friday. This is my translation of a poem 'Hamare lahu ka aadat hai' (blood has certain characteristics) from yesterday's edition:

Blood, by its nature, tends to get around
Doesn't much care for the right moment to do it
By its nature, can't help but get involved
Flow around and spill all over stuff

Words, well, they make a lot of noise
When they crash against rocks
Blood is more musical but it cannot speak
The laws are covered in our blood
So they sound like music when we say them out loud
How wonderful life must be
For those who've made a habit out of bathing in rivers of our blood.

#17842
perry anderson is doing a deep dive analysis of prussia and this country seems kind of fucked up, i hope it didn't get any worse after the time period covered by the book!
#17843
Interesting arguments from Deng Xiaoping (provided here: http://cpcchina.chinadaily.com.cn/2010-10/20/content_13918219.htm)

This criticism of humanism reminds me of other anti-humanist marxism arguments:



reaction to bourgeois culture being introduced from the west.







#17844
i think the idea that you can have a base of economic opening while taking a "marxist approach" to purely cultural issues that come with it to be completely vacuous and incoherent
#17845
Deng Xiaoping's argument would have been that the "base of economic opening" is itself marxist: http://www.china.org.cn/english/features/dengxiaoping/103388.htm

It is wrong to maintain that a market economy exists only in capitalist society and that there is only "capitalist" market economy. Why can't we develop a market economy under socialism? Developing a market economy does not mean practising capitalism. While maintaining a planned economy as the mainstay of our economic system, we are also introducing a market economy. But it is a socialist market economy. Although a socialist market economy is similar to a capitalist one in method, there are also differences between them. The socialist market economy mainly regulates interrelations between state-owned enterprises, between collectively owned enterprises and even between foreign capitalist enterprises. But in the final analysis, this is all done under socialism in a socialist society. We cannot say that market economy exists only under capitalism.

#17846
although what strikes me as significant in these quotes is that he is advancing criticisms of humanism which didn't get popular in the west until the 60s or so, I believe. Although Deng Xiaoping studied in france in the 20s, I don't know what his line & training in critical theory/philosophy are.
#17847
that excerpt of deng isn't related to the opening of the economy to foreign market forces, it's a defence of internal market mechanisms operating on state-owned enterprises. in the text deng directly identifies the presence of foreign investment as capitalist in character

Although foreign investment, which belongs to the capitalist economy, occupies a place in our economy, it accounts for only a small portion of it and thus will not change China's social system.


the original speech in question you posted is from 83, so i'm not sure what's particularly remarkable about that. marxist humanism was a hotly debated ascendant school of thought in the eastern european socialist world at the time following the prague spring, liberalizations in poland and student movements in yugoslavia

#17848
Deng stresses the fact that economic progress was not sufficient during the period immediately before the reforms; in the article I linked he also writes that it would be impossible to achieve modernization without international cooperation. In combination with the quote I posted I don't see any reason to conclude that the original posts are vacuous or incoherent.
#17849
I think theyre vacuous and incoherent because it's a total abandonment of the material advances of china's revolutionary political organisation, while pretending that they can somehow still align themselves with it on a purely cultural level. as if this exists as a totally autonomous sphere

as is typical of deng it seems like an entirely cynical ploy to appeal superficially to an aesthetic continuation with traditions of the revolution, while undermining and reversing them at the point of their actual practical presence
#17850

blinkandwheeze posted:

total abandonment



In 1978, during the 3rd plenary session of the 11th central committee of the CPC an explanation is provided: http://cpc.people.com.cn/GB/64162/64168/64563/65371/4441902.html

ๆˆ‘ไปฌๅ›ฝๅ†…็Žฐๅœจ่ฟ˜ๅญ˜ๅœจ็€ๆžๅฐ‘ๆ•ฐๆ•Œ่ง†ๅ’Œ็ ดๅๆˆ‘ๅ›ฝ็คพไผšไธปไน‰็ŽฐไปฃๅŒ–ๅปบ่ฎพ็š„ๅ้ฉๅ‘ฝๅˆ†ๅญๅ’Œๅˆ‘ไบ‹็Šฏ็ฝชๅˆ†ๅญ๏ผŒๆˆ‘ไปฌๅ†ณไธ่ƒฝๆ”พๆพๅŒไป–ไปฌ็š„้˜ถ็บงๆ–—ไบ‰๏ผŒๅ†ณไธ่ƒฝๅ‰Šๅผฑๆ— ไบง้˜ถ็บงไธ“ๆ”ฟใ€‚ไฝ†ๆ˜ฏๆญฃๅฆ‚ๆฏ›ๆณฝไธœๅŒๅฟ—ๆ‰€่ฏด๏ผŒๅคง่ง„ๆจก็š„ๆ€ฅ้ฃŽๆšด้›จๅผ็š„็พคไผ—้˜ถ็บงๆ–—ไบ‰ๅทฒ็ปๅŸบๆœฌ็ป“ๆŸ



which translates:

There are a few counter-revolutionaries and criminals in our country who are hostile to and undermining the country's socialist modernization drive. We must not relax the class struggle with them, and must not weaken the dictatorship of the proletariat. But as Comrade Mao Zedong said, the large-scale violent mass class struggle has basically ended.



At this point Deng's perspective was that the proletarian state had achieved victory but the main task was to develop the productive forces. In hindsight these policies were extraordinarily successful. Deng, of course, does not have in mind to develop social democracy: a few months before the aforementioned meeting he writes "We shall not allow a new bourgeoisie to take shape."

blinkandwheeze posted:

cynical ploy to appeal superficially to an aesthetic continuation



I don't really find this accurate after taking into account how severely critical Deng was of the gang of four and cultural revolution.

#17851
yes, you're correct that deng's perspective was totally contrary to mao's revolutionary advances and thought. i don't think explaining what his perspective was demonstrates it as anything but that of a cynical self-interested counterrevolutionary

his severe criticism of the gpcr is exactly what i'm talking about. a cynical appeal to a cloying revolutionary patriotism while ignoring the actual social mobilisation and reconfiguration necessary to develop socialist society
#17852
it's honestly fascinating to me how the revisionist line has been so rapidly consolidated in online circles. a couple of years ago it was at least couched in an appeal to the hopes of a departure from the post-dengist norms with bo xilai & chongqing. now it's commonplace to see full throated defences of dengist revisionism and utter contempt for mao's line and development
#17853
That Deng statement reads like stereotyped gobbledydook in light of the capitalist restoration. Like you could just put some stuff in a Maoist statement generator and come up with that. Of course all the lip service to Mao and Marxism is there because the capitalist roaders could never tell the party or the people literally that they are abandoning Marxism or socialism. So it's not so much incoherent or vacuous as much as cynical as bnw said.

The productive forces certainly were developed successfully, but was socialism? Was the emergence of a new bourgeoisie prevented? Have to agree with bnw. When I first joined this site I think I had a lot less clarity on the nature of these questions but now it's just kind of shocking to see how little the arguments made accord with the reality of China today or the history of the GPCR.

Separate post for comic relief: In inventing his own distorted definitions of socialism, Marxism, and "bourgeois culture" abstract from political economic reality, and mostly to serve his own cynical arguments, Deng Xiaoping was in many ways the first post-leftist. In this essay I will
#17854

Acdtrux posted:

Deng, of course, does not have in mind to develop social democracy: a few months before the aforementioned meeting he writes "We shall not allow a new bourgeoisie to take shape."


he doesn't seem to have done the best job here.. bit of a fail on ol deng's part imo

#17855
it's not even as if these are novel ideas that had somehow never occurred in the maoist era. mao openly identified and criticised the theory of productive forces, at the time most prominently forwarded by liu shiaoqi. acting as if these are just reasonable common sense ideas, and not ideological positions mao explicitly dismissed and criticised as revisionist, is so bizarre
#17856
i come back to "the man without qualities" every now and than but the extended digressions on morality, nobility and idealism makes it feel too much like im reading a blog written by someone i hate
#17857

blinkandwheeze posted:

it's honestly fascinating to me how the revisionist line has been so rapidly consolidated in online circles



What are the consequences of this really?

From a cursory glance, aren't 'Dengists' often the most willing to combat CIA propaganda on China, at a time when even the so-called anti-revisionists can't even commit themselves to this most basic anti-imperialist stance? What are consequences down the road by allowing revisionism here?

#17858
I read Prisoners of Liberation, in which an american couple are imprisoned for spying against the Chinese revolutionary government in the early 1950s and spend a few years undergoing reform before being released back to the usa. They find themselves genuinely repentant and accepting of their situation before the end of their sentences and become peace activists when they return home.

It's a good read for insight into the methods of criticism and self criticism as it was famously practiced in revolutionary China and how humans change or fail to change their attitudes in general. I appreciate how open the authors were about their psychological processes during the whole experience because they're common to all of us when our ways of thinking are challenged.
#17859

marknat posted:

blinkandwheeze posted:

it's honestly fascinating to me how the revisionist line has been so rapidly consolidated in online circles

What are the consequences of this really?


unfunny posts

#17860

colddays posted:

I read Prisoners of Liberation, in which an american couple are imprisoned for spying against the Chinese revolutionary government in the early 1950s and spend a few years undergoing reform before being released back to the usa. They find themselves genuinely repentant and accepting of their situation before the end of their sentences and become peace activists when they return home.

It's a good read for insight into the methods of criticism and self criticism as it was famously practiced in revolutionary China and how humans change or fail to change their attitudes in general. I appreciate how open the authors were about their psychological processes during the whole experience because they're common to all of us when our ways of thinking are challenged.


this sounds really interesting. found this MIM interview of one of the authors while googling the book http://massalijn.nl/new/prisoners-of-liberation/

#17861

marknat posted:

blinkandwheeze posted:

it's honestly fascinating to me how the revisionist line has been so rapidly consolidated in online circles

What are the consequences of this really?

From a cursory glance, aren't 'Dengists' often the most willing to combat CIA propaganda on China, at a time when even the so-called anti-revisionists can't even commit themselves to this most basic anti-imperialist stance? What are consequences down the road by allowing revisionism here?



Thankfully I think the consequences are not great aside from those who chance upon such online circles. I would counter, of what use has been these online (or even offline) methods of combating CIA propaganda on China? What is the actual content of anti-imperialism outside vacuous propaganda and PSL rallies (speaking about US context)?

And why aren't opposing capitalist restoration, or opposing Chinese aggression in the Philippines also seen as basic anti-imperialist stances? I'm not asking that people in the US just go about attacking China publicly, mind you. But even internally, people of that mind aren't even willing to admit that reality--for example, that the Chinese state threatens the sovereignty of the Filipino people through export of loan capital and military maneuvers (obviously, as part of the conflict with US imperialism).

In other news I'm rereading false nationalism false internationalism.

#17862

marknat posted:

so-called anti-revisionists can't even commit themselves to this most basic anti-imperialist stance



This isn't really something I've observed so I wouldn't conclude we need to make room for the "good revisionists".

#17863


been thinking about this phrase I read. been thinking about kentish brishing hooks
#17864

mediumpig posted:

I would counter, of what use has been these online (or even offline) methods of combating CIA propaganda on China?



The whole dichotomy here is false though. Anti-imperialism is good and anti-revisionists aren't pro-imperialism.

#17865

cars posted:

kentish brishing hooks


#17866

Acdtrux posted:

cars posted:

kentish brishing hooks


#17867
perfect for snedding your binders ready for pleaching
#17868

cars posted:

Acdtrux posted:

cars posted:

kentish brishing hooks


#17869

c_man posted:

i come back to "the man without qualities" every now and than but the extended digressions on morality, nobility and idealism makes it feel too much like im reading a blog written by someone i hate


i thought this book would be right up my alley since i usually love big germanic modernist books but i kind of bounced off a lot of it, not sure why. the style didn't impress me as much as i expected it would

#17870

marknat posted:

blinkandwheeze posted:

it's honestly fascinating to me how the revisionist line has been so rapidly consolidated in online circles

What are the consequences of this really?

From a cursory glance, aren't 'Dengists' often the most willing to combat CIA propaganda on China, at a time when even the so-called anti-revisionists can't even commit themselves to this most basic anti-imperialist stance? What are consequences down the road by allowing revisionism here?



Sakai asks there interesting question of why McCarthyism and the "secret speech" were so damaging to the CPUSA, one can ask the same of sympathy with Vietnamese communism after the war was over and humanitarian imperialism turned on communists for the first time (Vietnamese boat people, sanctions over occupation, condemnation of the invasion of Cambodia). Despite the clearest example possible in liberal moral terms of bad American capitalism and good Vietnam communism any identification with Vietnam collapsed as soon as the war ended. And we're not talking about the "defeat" of communism in the USSR, Vietnam won! But the distance between the concerns of the American petty-bourgeois facing economic restructuring and third world peasant-proletarian socialist construction was too vast once the draft no longer artificially brought them together.

Identification with China may be strong now but it has a weak foundation, the minute circumstances change and there is no longer an easy path from liberalism to China (through Trump but also the objective strength of China in confronting the 2008 crisis and coronavirus) I expect a similar exodus of leftists post-56, post-75, and post-91. None of them left much of a legacy, hence China identifying communists coming from nothing so rapidly without even a basic familiarity with historical materialism. Can this ideology survive an economic crash in China or even a political capitulation? I doubt very much these people will bunker down despite all the bluster about how long it will take to "construct socialism." Nor do I think China is the enemy Americans wish it was, the actual content of Xi's denunciations of America are basically that we should restore the norms of the WTO trade regime, they were ready to sign a capitulation to the US but Trump's incompetence and coronavirus ruined it

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-details-factbox/whats-in-the-u-s-china-phase-1-trade-deal-idUSKBN1ZE2IF
https://www.electronicdesign.com/technologies/embedded-revolution/article/21138135/qualcomm-strikes-longterm-licensing-deal-to-end-huawei-dispute

At the moment you get a strange combination of reformism at home, sometimes justified because the Chinese post-Mao "revolution" gives no model and no organization and sometimes because revolution is impossible in the first world entirely, a farcical repetition of Eurocommunism since China has no comintern, no legacy of anti-fascism in Europe, no revolution you can go join or even send money to, and no real PR for international audiences. It doesn't even aspire to a universal theory, there's a lot of energy being used in the West to stand up for building a "moderately prosperous society" in 2045 or whatever. It's notable to me that the longest living party that identifies with this line, the FRSO, has basically done nothing since its creation, with both the fightback split being surpassed by the DSA and the Leninist party being surpassed by the PSL and the Marcyist version of the same thing. Obviously it's very online but there is a practical side which can be observed. Can it survive mass defection when the Democrats come for their due? If, as FRSO believed, ultraleftism was the biggest sin of the new left, pragmatism has its own history to study, Bernie Sanders is not the first social democrat to confront the American left with its own relevance.

There's a lot of right wing male identity chauvanism online (on reddit both r/sino and r/aznidentity are becoming politicized through China as "communist"), even though it is not the major force, since China-aligned communists don't seem to care about the danger it will only grow stronger given it is secure within the class interests of the labor aristocracy whereas communism is not and more generally is an easy first step from liberal identity politics. That part of the China coalition can't last either and it has no particular allegiance to communism, obviously within the American white settler state greater Asian chauvanism is not much of a danger but like the discussion of queerness in another thread brought up, minor issues become major ones within the politics of the left and minority fascisms can be deadly if the left cannot engage with them with confidence on class terms. These young people are completely incapable of doing so, they've been saved by Chinese people speaking for the authentic Chinese voice against NED puppets but it hasn't gotten further than searching for authentic minority voices with access to the direct Truth. Confronted with contradictions within China itself between the new Maoists and the CPC line on the cultural revolution, the right uncritically supports the CPC whereas the more pronising young communists still hide behind an idea that the Chinese people will come to some common truth we have no business interfering in. There is a progressive impulse there since anti-imperialism will always lag behind specific propaganda accusations, you need a temperament of patience to not be a tool of liberal imperialism. But it still takes place in the language of identity, the incoherence of the committment to Mao but repudiation of his entire political career only leads to a lack of committment to ideas in general.

I agree that at the moment it's important there a social media machine that can respond to imperialist propaganda and by virtue of China's lack of interest in foreign sympathizers has a lot of room to extend such discussions to North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and even back to Stalin. There was a time when western leftists used "anti-revisionism" to follow an imperialist line on China, Syria, and even Libya, that is not only dead but even those who uphold it are now forced to be silent as they will get swarmed with pro-China people. But it has its own dangers, let's see if it survives Biden and the end of Coronavirus and then we can speculate about when the Chinese version of the secret speech will kill the latest left. Also we have to admit the writings of Deng and Xi are vacuous, Mao was a great thinker even if the limits of his thought created the ground for Deng. Deng is not, even his imitators in the present do nothing interesting with his ideas, it just gets more and more stuff added at the end.

#17871
thanks bhpn

babyhueypnewton posted:

they've been saved by Chinese people speaking for the authentic Chinese voice against NED puppets but it hasn't gotten further than searching for authentic minority voices with access to the direct Truth. Confronted with contradictions within China itself between the new Maoists and the CPC line on the cultural revolution, the right uncritically supports the CPC whereas the more promising young communists still hide behind an idea that the Chinese people will come to some common truth we have no business interfering in.



I'd assume this is a reference to Qiao Collective. I admire the work they do, and that was the impetus behind my initial question - as they operate based on the idea you point out that Americans should withhold judgement. Since as you point out there is a history of western leftists using anti-revisionism to follow an imperialist line, and a current state of western leftists following an unstable revisionist line that is liable to disintegrate at the slightest chance of trouble, it doesn't seem so unreasonable to take a hands-off approach, acting on the well founded assumption American leftists will find any path to follow the pro-imperialist line.

babyhueypnewton posted:

obviously within the American white settler state greater Asian chauvanism is not much of a danger but like the discussion of queerness in another thread brought up, minor issues become major ones within the politics of the left and minority fascisms can be deadly if the left cannot engage with them with confidence on class terms



I've been chewing on this for a bit - it really rings true, I'm thinking about how totally unprepared we would be if there wasn't a pro-China social media machine ready to respond to the CIA front Lausan Collective - couching pro-Hong Kong fascism in all the garb of the decolonial left. What will happen when it has run its course, will we start seeing more shameless defenses of "uyghur/tibet/taiwan national liberation"?

#17872
the idea that you can simply withhold judgement is untenable. marxism-leninism is not a relativism, it forwards concrete and universal theoretical positions, which will carry with them a critique of existing revisionism internationally whether you want it to or not. the "hands-off" approach is the unstable revisionist line -- refusing to hold to any consistent theoretical positions when it is not convenient to do so

marxism-leninism has its own corrective against its principles being abstracted and appropriated from its revolutionary character. this is that it is actively produced from practical revolutionary struggle. to combat this we should not give up our only theoretical weapon and retreat to a vague pluralist relativism, but instead learn and study from the active revolutionary movements in the periphery. which you might notice, will not present a very flattering portrayal of chinese revisionism
#17873
this is something I read a few months ago, and thought it was a valuable glimpse into the intricacies of chinese left domestic politics. can't honestly tell where the guy falls politically, but its an enlightening and very amusing interview

http://chuangcn.org/journal/two/an-adequate-state/
#17874
The stuff Chuang puts out and this Lao Xie person in particular are so much more sophisticated than the Qiao collective cheerleading. I think bhpn makes a good point when he says the cheerleading types in the anglosphere will not be a durable formation.
#17875

marknat posted:

it doesn't seem so unreasonable to take a hands-off approach,


yeah because anti-imperialism will obviously trickle up-down from marxists from the South to the general left conscious of the North once we have attained global communism, or????

marknat posted:

well founded assumption American leftists will find any path to follow the pro-imperialist line.


what is this assumption founded on? do you have some concrete examples? what about the South embedded within the North that is still 'ameriKKKan'? being from the first world does not necessarily equal political-ideological determinism toward imperialism.

blinkandwheeze posted:

marxism-leninism is not a relativism


fucking catchphrase

#17876
its called frame-dragging, its when masses experiencing revolution "drag along" the theoretical positions around them
#17877

kinch posted:

this is something I read a few months ago, and thought it was a valuable glimpse into the intricacies of chinese left domestic politics. can't honestly tell where the guy falls politically, but its an enlightening and very amusing interview

http://chuangcn.org/journal/two/an-adequate-state/



้—ฏ: What about Trotskyists, anarchists, left-wing social democratsโ€ฆ?

LX: (Laughs)

#17878
reading some shit written by an epic trot

#17879
reading yuri olesha's novella envy. having just read anti-oedipus before, i'm working on a related analysis of the olesha book.

the premise is that the narrator (nikolai) is a middle observer taken off the street to live with an aristocratic glutton (andrei babichev) who has fooled people into thinking he's an outstanding communist engineer when in reality he's a stingy rich bastard. andrei eventually kicks nikolai out, then nikolai meets andrei's brother and enemy ivan babichev. ivan is a sort of insane jules verne type of imaginative scientist that accepts the new, post-revolution social stratification but also mourns the era that mothered him. nikolai is strung between the two in incestual angst (over andrei's daughter), greed and status, innovation and faux-innovation, and ideologies of time.

heavy discussion of time, machinery, social status, and adjusting to industrialization. i think there are numerous parallels between nikolai and the so-called 'body without organs' that is overly saturated with acclimating to two (symbolic) desiring-machines that are antagonistic to one another. more later but it's a good, short read.
#17880

liceo posted:

heavy discussion of time,


this might not be quite the same as you're talking about, but something i've noticed about a few soviet writers is their really skilful use of time and moving seamlessly back and forth between different time periods. i'd be interested to know if there was something about the way they were taught to write that emphasised time