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
this is exactly what i'm talking about. olesha does this pretty well, but the master of soviet time is daniil kharms. the reason it made me think of deleuze and guattari in the first place is because olesha stacks contradicting events on top of another, creating a tendril plot structure rather than a linear structure. everything stretched through everything else which is an impressive feat for a book written in first-person.
its called frame-dragging, its when masses experiencing revolution "drag along" the theoretical positions around them
thank u for the upvote swampman this is a real fuckn good joke
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
Disclaimer: i'm not very good with theory so if the following post is bad, sorry
the argument i see the most common from supporters of the CCP is that the economic opening-up was necessary to survive in a world of global capitalism, otherwise they would have had the same fate as the USSR. considering every existing socialist country has done some form of SEZ i can kind of see their point of view. maybe the question should be what level of revisionism is acceptable in the current climate? is it about the percentage of privatization? the existence of billionaires? when does the line get crossed?
So to answer the question of when the line is/was crossed, it's a question of the ideology in leadership in the CCP, which obviously didn't change instantly on the day Mao died, or that the Gang of Four was arrested, but we can point to those points (especially the latter) where it was clear that the capitalist road had won after years of intense struggle. Since then there have been obvious reversals of socialist relations of production and advances in culture.
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these arguments are identical to any of those made by 80s cato institute or cia factbook reports, down to purely being able to conceptualise the efficacy of development in terms of statistics solely applicable to market exchange and commodity production
Sure it's great that China eliminated extreme poverty in 2020, but how much faster would that milestone be reached if they hadn't abandoned the countryside in the 80s? Would they still be doing it by resettling entire villages? A common criticism I hear is that being against the current Chinese model means you fetishize poverty, want Chinese people to stay poor together forever, but that's ignoring how much the cultural revolution really lifted people up and overvaluing the wealth of the few.
China is a world player now, but on capitalist terms. In the 60s and 70s the GPCR had a worldwide effect too. French students rebelled, Black people in the usa were selling copies of the little red book to finance their national struggle, and decolonization ended European empires to give the African continent a new form. Surely that kind of power is just as important to anti-imperialists as China's current position to counter the amerikan empire?
On the other side of things, obviously the cultural revolution did not achieve its goals. How can a bunch of capitalists in government positions put the country on a capitalist path if the whole people are activated against counter-revolutionaries?
simply recentralising this to urban centres and adopting the organisational capitalist firm model would inevitably reach heights of accelerated growth in commodity production. if you believe such an expanded productive foundation the deng era inhereted could not be leveraged instead to a dispersed and communal productive model, what image of socialism are you even working with?
this is even without identifying how much of this supposed miracle is a simple accounting trick. the benefits and access of socialist infrastructure simply are not easily captured in the bourgeois metrics of economic growth and development. simply transitioning this infrastructure to the organisational model of joint-stock firms and market exchange results in an enormous gain in such metrics purely on paper
Edited by blinkandwheeze ()
Edited by dizastar ()
Reading Hundred Day War by William Hinton, it is an analysis of the impact on young people leaving their familial homes to forge new identities. There’s lots of crazy hijinks and pranks pulled by the college kids, but the end result was that the real education was the experiences they had along the way. I feel like I missed out by not having a typical college experience but I was able to live vicariously through the stories of the different frat houses at Tsinghua University.
William Hinton.. very good
that book by gottwald is available on it as well
reading MIM theory 9, the psychology issue and its really reshaping my opinion on mental illness, psychiatry and so on. i admit i had quite a reactionary view on that matter before. its an insanely good read just like their theory book on feminism & gender and it hasnt aged a bit despite the almost three decade span. its insane how advanced mim were in their theorical output
i read the letter and response on anorexia nervosa (p5-6) and it has some interesting bits but also i feel some less good bits. this isnt aimed at you, but its a nice jumping off point since u prompted me to revisit this.
The letter writer's theory - longing for power - i feel is key to understanding the mindset of anorexia, and you can really see that she has been a sufferer - though once an anorexic you're never really going back to how you were before. In my experience, just like for her it is about power. there's nothing that makes you feel so good as exerting your iron willpower over your body, denying something that everyone else has to do. its almost like magic - will over matter. it makes you feel good. watching people eat, then saying no--thats a great feeling. watching the numbers on the scales go down, thats nice. of course you're ravenous, starving, you think of nothing but food, eating, hunger, cooking, baking, meals, calories, your every thought is consumed with thoughts of food, you dream of food, its a mental hunger - ive read that its because after a while of heavy calorie restriction your body dials back the physical symptoms of hunger because they're too taxing, too energy intensive. instead you get this mental hunger - food obsession. anorexic people fucking love food and everything about it, because they are so hungry. but while all the people around you are compelled to eat when they feel the slightest rumble, your every moment, awake and asleep is consumed with thoughts food, and yet tell your stupid body no. i will not. thats the power. sometimes you feel like you could live on nothing but water.
of course its not power, its anything but, because it feels like its your control, but in truth you have no control over the control. you literally must not eat more than your arbitrary intake. your starving, hunger gnawing, but you literally cant eat, because you already had 500cals today - and when you do it makes you feel terrible, like you've lost, failed, worthless. you start avoiding anything that tastes nice through fear that you'll eat too much. you only have one days food in the house to stop yourself eating. the whole things takes over your life. What makes anorexia so interesting, even among mental illness, if you can use such a word to describe a disease, is that it is one of very few diseases in which the sufferer does not want to be treated. people with anorexia hide their illness, not through shame, but because they don't want others to interfere. This is not the same as not wanting to be "better" - most people with anorexia i know would wish that they were not, but they don't want to be treated. imagine that, where the treatment is worse than the disease itself - and yet, baring the interventions required to prevent re-feeding syndrome the immediate, life saving treatment is just, literally eating, gaining weight, a normal diet. "Curing" the mental element--well who knows, no one has had any luck yet - there's a reason why its the most deadly mental disorder.
but to get back to the point, Firstly, i strongly resist they idea that anorexia is about beauty, and most anorexic people i have spoken to do the same. Since the desires of people with anorexia don't line up with modern beauty standards, except superficially: lose weight. no anorexic every got to their ludicrously low UGW and thought "cool, i look good" even if they do - you can look fucking great and still its not even close, you still think you look like shit. its a very specific type of body dysmorphia that goes well beyond "beauty standards". And very often you do look like shit, anorexia makes you ugly - your arms and legs turn to twigs, your skin ages, turns thin, your hair literally starts to fall out and then your bones break and your heart fails. As far as bulimia goes, you stink of vomit and your teeth dissolve and you die, too much purging fucks with your electrolyte balance and your heart fails, or else you rupture something inside. eating disorders are ugly and disgusting.
it is far closer to self harm than i think people really realize - the pleasure and sense of control of starving yourself is similar to the pleasure and sense of control that comes from self harm. they are both forms of self-destructive self-control, childhood trauma, neglect, abuse etc etc are "risk factors" for both eating disorders and self harm, though plenty of people with perfectly "normal" lives end up with anorexia too. And so just as "stop cutting yourself you'll feel better" is meaningless to the self-harmer, "stop starving yourself and eat, it tastes good" is meaningless to the anorexic - we know it tastes good, hell, not eating gives you a sublime appreciation of the food you do eat.
Secondly i also contest the idea that anorexia nervosa is an "upper middle class" (white?) disease, as Fasting Girls puts it. ED communities are filled with people who don't fit that mold, and i feel that this does a big disservice to people who are not white with EDs. ive read a lot of stories from people who's struggle with their ED is compounded by people around them, family and medical, who dismiss them by basically saying: "black people cant be anorexic, its for whites only." Perhaps it's a "western" disease, perhaps not, but at the risk of being overly general - it just seems like one of those horrible things that capitalism generates, and claiming that it is a white middle class female disease makes it a lot harder for those who are not that to get any sort of help, support or even a diagnosis
Eating disorders are very complex diseases - of course i believe that at its root, capitalism is at fault, but MIM in this instance, and i guess this was 25 years ago now, are putting too much weight on what they learned from reading Fasting Girls, and not enough time doing their own investigation.
(if tears says it's ok though then me or anyone else with The Power can click the frontpage button.)