Friday, June 28, 2019

Do Americans Know How Close They Are To Dictatorship?

After 9/11, the balance between liberty and despotism in America took an unprecedented turn in favor of the latter. America had been put under presidential dictatorship and experienced attacks on constitutional liberties before-like with Lincoln’s imposition of martial law during the Civil War or with Wilson’s imprisonments of dissenters during World War I-but with the advent of the War on Terror, the possibility emerged for a much less easily reversible state of tyranny.
In this case, America had entered into a war with the assumption that the war wouldn’t ever be able to end. A war against “terror” would be a war against an enemy that could never be decisively defeated, and that would be portrayed by the government as an overwhelming threat no matter what the reality was. Echoing Herman Goering’s rhetoric after the Reichstag fire, Americans were told after 9/11 that they were now on a “war footing.” Nazi-esque language about defending the “homeland” became normalized, giving a nationalistic sense of legitimacy to the illegal wars, unconstitutional state surveillance, for-profit security apparatus expansions, torture, extrajudicial arrests, and persecution of Muslims within law enforcement that would happen in the next few years.
Since the initial post-9/11 hysteria went away, America has settled into a new normal, one where a constant state of war goes unquestioned and where we live with less and less of the freedoms we once took for granted. No one has digital privacy from government surveillance. Whistleblowers are now regularly prosecuted, and if Julian Assange is extradited to the U.S, both leakers and their publishers will become subject to arrest. With the passage of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, the president gained the ability to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens at any time. Since the start of America’s longest war, our freedoms have been almost consistently stripped away, and under our current administration the authoritarian takeover could go much further.
In her 2007 book The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, Naomi Wolf wrote that “America is not driven by pure ideologies the way that fascist Italy and Nazi Germany were. In America, profit drives events where ideology does not: Within days of the 9/11 attacks, security companies were lobbying airport and government officials to invest in new technologies of surveillance. Six years later, the surveillance industry is huge business…Lockheed Martin, Acxiom, ChoicePoint, and other companies have sharply increased their investment in lobbying for a piece of this profit.”
This corporate-centered American fascism, Wolf observed, had by that point thoroughly revealed itself as a threat. The historical signs of a transition towards dictatorship-leaders invoking an exaggerated threat, a crackdown on dissent, the loss of rights like privacy and due process-had appeared in those first six years after 9/11. And Wolf judged that since the war would go on indefinitely, the country would only continue on its path towards despotism unless an uprising took place.
The last twelve years have proven Wolf right. Obama used the Espionage Act to go after whistleblowers more than all previous presidents combined did. The Obama years also saw the completion of the NSA’s universal online surveillance apparatus, the continued use of excess war equipment to militarize police, the escalation of immigrant deportations, the normalizationof extrajudicial drone assassinations of American citizens, and the implementation of the 2012 NDAA, which both gave Obama unlimited indefinite detention powers and granted him the authority to use the army as a domestic police force. Since these authoritarian tools were turned over to Trump, the decline of liberty has further accelerated, as well as the project from the surveillance, private prison, and weapons industries to profit from the takeover.
Trump has used the Espionage Act to prosecute three whistleblowers so far, with Assange likely being the next one; Trump’s FBI has been persecutingblack activists like Rakem Balogun using the new label of “black identity extremist;” ICE has been empowered to conduct raids more aggressively than ever. The biggest causes of alarm are the instances where the Trump White House has used its manufactured “crisis” at the border to justify measures that endanger not just undocumented poor people and workers, but the entire American lower class. When Trump has sent troops to the border to attackmigrant families with chemical weapons, or vastly expanded the migrant detention centers, or conducted military-style raids to round up millions of undocumented people, he’s set a precedent for treating political dissidents and the poor in general with the same brutality.
Trump’s base has been made comfortable with this the same way that past fascist regimes have gotten a section of the populace on their side: by making the favored groups detached from the horrors that others are experiencing. In our situation of corporatized fascism, where wealthy executives are directly involved in White House policy-making and private prison companies are profiting from Trump’s detention camps, this effort to get many people to consent to the fascist takeover is tied in with the corporate fascist ideology that dominates the American right.
The rhetoric from proto-fascist groups like Turning Point USA, which glorifies “free markets” and “limited government” while posting codedly racist memesdesigned to inflame resentment against welfare users, provides ideological justification for the profit-driven atrocities that are being carried out against poor and nonwhite people. As part of neoliberalism’s dark path to fascism, an authoritarian populist ideology has been fused with the corporate totalitarianism which drives events in America.
For Trump and his base, cruelty against the groups they demonize is in fact the entire point of why they advance this fascistic ideology. “The cruelty of the Trump administration’s policies, and the ritual rhetorical flaying of his targets before his supporters, are intimately connected,” The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer has written. The latest news story about the Trump White House’s crimes against humanity, wherein the administration has claimed that it shouldn’t be obligated to provide imprisoned migrant children with items like soap, toothbrushes and sleeping accommodations, represents one more level at which Trump’s supporters have come to accept the evil they’re complicit in.

It’s these ideological foundations behind American fascism-the manufactured fear and hatred of Muslims and immigrants, the white nationalist rhetoric about protecting the “homeland,” the scapegoating of poor people and “degeneracy” for society’s decay-that’s being used by Trump to try to bring America to a state of dictatorship. Trump’s endless escalations of human rights abuses, defiance of legal procedures, and efforts to provoke war with Iran serve the purpose of provoking outraged protest from his detractors, which he can use to solidify dictatorial control.
This clarifies the meaning of Stephen Miller’s February 2017 proclamation that the president’s authority “will not be questioned;” Trump recently tweeted that his heavily-armed supporters should “demand that I stay longer” than his official term, hinting that he’ll use violence to stay in power. As Yoav Litvin writes about Trump’s “authoritarian endgame” for 2020:
Trump seeks to foment maximal unrest, rage and violence among his adversaries at home by engaging in blatantly outrageous miscarriages of justice, and breaking well-established societal taboos. Starting a war under false pretenses would serve to inflame an already polarized and dissatisfied American public, pitting Trump’s growing opposition against his most loyal white supremacist, nationalist and heavily-armed base…Trump would manipulate any public forms of defensive aggression, real or manufactured, to stoke offensive aggression from his hard-core base, which would stick with him regardless. Under the pretext of a “rebellion”, Trump could suspend the writ of habeas corpus to detain opposition, including immigrants without trial, and potentially, cancel the 2020 election.
Thus, if Trump’s warmongering efforts succeed, his opposition faces an impossible catch leading up to the 2020 Presidential race: protest and he may use it as a pretext to fortify his dominance by suspending habeas corpus, or remain indifferent and enable war crimes and crimes against humanity, as well as the further erosion of the moral fabric of American society.
Our best option is clear: to carry out massive and sustained civil disobedience with the goal of overthrowing the capitalist and imperialist systems of oppression. The United States government has drifted towards despotism to an irrecoverable extent, and it’s time for the left to get organized and militantwith the goal of creating a new socialist power structure. It’s a given that this will provoke attacks from the government; our focus needs to be on how we’ll ultimately overpower Trump’s fascist regime.
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If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here:

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Marxist-Leninism Is History’s Single Most Effective Tool For Fighting Imperialism & Inequality

In socialist countries like Cuba, China, and the DPRK, people inhabit a very different political reality from the one that those in the capitalist countries
struggle through. They don’t have to go through life while being constantly manipulated by capitalist propaganda. They don’t have to fight against their own government to get human rights like healthcare, or contend with politicians who are controlled by corporate money. Despite their constant struggles against imperialism, they don’t have to beg their leaders to protect them from the evils of capitalism. This is because they live in countries where Marxist-Leninism has triumphed.
Three years ago, during the 2016 Democratic convention, Bernie Sanders supporters experienced the rigged nature of “democracy” under capitalism. They’d just seen the Democratic Party apparatus systemically undermine their candidate throughout the primaries; voter registrations had been broken into and switched by Clinton’s team, the results in numerous states had been digitally tampered with as evidenced by the statistically impossible exit poll discrepancies, and the DNC had been manipulating the primary debate schedule and colluding with the media to tip the race in Clinton’s favor. And when Sanders’ supporters poured in from around the country to protest outside the convention center, they were kept out by the tall fence that had been built around it while the candidate who’d cheated was installed as the nominee.
Many Sanders supporters haven’t forgotten the immense sense of injustice and disillusionment that this moment carried for them. They found out that America’s democracy is a sham, and that if they again tried to use the electoral process to win their economic rights, they’d hit up against the same wall. As the 2020 primary race shapes up to be a repeat of 2016, the American left should recognize that a different system of governance exists-one that would never allow the capitalist class to steal an election.
This is because under a Marxist-Leninist government, capital itself is never allowed to become politically dominant. The difference between bourgeois democracy and worker’s democracy, as Lenin said, is one where the power that the people have over their government is authentic rather than illusory. “Democracy” under capitalism, stated Lenin, “is bound to remain restricted, truncated, false and hypocritical, a paradise for the rich and a snare and deception for the exploited, for the poor.”
The path to worker’s democracy requires an unwillingness to let the capitalist class bargain their way into a continuation of their rule. It requires not an attempt to reform the government that the capitalists control, but a movement to smash the state and replace it with a socialist governmental apparatus. This isn’t what Bernie Sanders and the other social democrats want to do; they want to enact social reforms that won’t dismantle capitalism or imperialism, and that ultimately work to stop people from demanding an end to the current system. We need to reject their historically failed solution, and pursue the Marxist-Leninist model that’s been actually shown to combat imperialism and inequality.
At its peak during the mid-20th century, Marxist-Leninism was able to keep most of Asia, much of Europe, some of Africa, and some of Central America free from capitalism and imperialism. Private ownership over businesses persisted within parts of the socialist countries, and these countries were of course still the targets of imperialism, but these countries’ governments upheld worker ownership and anti-poverty programs as much as was possible for them to do under the circumstances.
Living standards in Soviet RussiaMao’s ChinaCastro’s Cuba, and the other socialist states had all been raised massively, and the capitalists could no longer control vast swathes of the planet. The world’s communist movement has since freed poor and oppressed people on a scale that the social democrats haven’t ever come anywhere near close to doing.
Even after the counter-revolutions of the late 20th century, Marxism is now making a comeback. China has retained its socialist governing model, and it’s using its economic and military strength to protect the other existing socialist states from U.S./NATO aggressions. Neoliberalism and capitalist globalization have been discredited amid the Great Recession and widespread inequality, and the capitalist countries are ready to see the rise of a new predominant political ideology. If we build the Marxist-Leninist movement, new worker revolutions could very well soon happen throughout the globe.
Accomplishing this movement-building is largely a matter of bringing socialist ideas to the forefront of economic populist language. Right now the main solution to inequality that’s being discussed in the mainstream is social democracy, and that needs to change. By popularizing socialism within the anti-corporatist, anti-war, social justice, and environmental movements, we’ll be able to set society on the right track.
One way to do this is by showing ordinary left-leaning people that Marxist-Leninist strains exist within these movements, and that those within these strains are crucial players in the fight for justice. Within the black power movement, for example, the Marxist faction is represented by groups like TheBlackInternationalist, a YouTube channel which presents a perspective that ties in the struggle for black liberation with the anti-imperialist struggle of socialist nations like the DPRK.
“White supremacy manifests itself on a large scale in the relationship between core and peripheral countries that forms the basis of the capitalist imperialist world system,” the channel’s narrator states in a recent video titled Black Like Kim: Black Power, Juche Korea, & Internationalism. “Perhaps the most obvious example of this can be seen in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s relationship with the United States. The DPRK is always under threat of destruction at the hands of the global policeman that is America. U.S. news stations always misrepresent the country as a barbaric rogue state. Its economy is always under siege from the imperialists, who seek to impoverish its populace. And despite the fact that the Worker’s Party of the country has never done anything but try to improve the lives of the country’s people, the party leadership must constantly fear this attempted CIA overthrow of the government they lead while simultaneously being labeled bloodthirsty utopians by the U.S. government and media.”
This awareness that the struggle of America’s oppressed people is one and the same as the struggle of the foreign victims of imperialism is crucial for the success of socialism. “The reason why those parallels [between the anti-imperialist and black power struggles] exist is because the struggle against imperialism waged by the DPRK and the struggle against national oppression waged by black people are actually part of one struggle,” the video continues. “That is the global class struggle between exploited classes and nations against exploiter classes and nations, in which both the socialist revolutionaries in the DPRK and their black counterparts in the USA spearhead the struggle of the masses against capitalism and imperialism, so that they may strike down their oppressors and advance toward a future free from racism, imperialism, and class alike.”
In America, those who articulate truths like these may be on the margins, but they’re still a danger to the power of the capitalist class. The revolution they hope to bring has precedent in numerous anti-colonial and socialist uprisings throughout recent history, and if they get adequately organized while widely spreading their message, they can emerge victorious. They should redouble their movement-building efforts, because history is on their side.
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If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here:

Monday, June 24, 2019

The U.S. Spreads Lies About China Because China Threatens Global Capitalism & Imperialism

It’s remarkable how much of the propaganda that America creates about China feels like projection. The United States, which frequently censors dissenting voices, persecutes Muslims and disfavored ethnic groups, is controlled by an oligarchic corporate regime that keeps half of its own people in poverty, and perpetuates the largest empire in history, is accusing China of all the atrocities that it’s committed itself.
This “accuse your enemy of that which you are guilty” strategy is useful for America’s goal with China, which is to destroy a power that’s threatening to ruin its quest for imperial hegemony. Communist China has been an obstacle to the American empire right from the start, with China having fought on the side of the DPRK amid America’s genocidal invasion of Korea. It’s now continuing its role as a bulwark against imperialism by working to protect Venezuela from a potential invasion, by backing Syria in its fight against U.S.-backed terrorists, and by remaining loyal to north Korea as the capitalist world wages war against the DPRK. So as China continues to move towards becoming the world’s dominant economic and military power, America has every reason to sabotage China.
The propaganda aspect of this sabotage effort, ironically, depends on painting China as the exact kind of imperialist menace that the U.S. is. I debunkedmany of the lies that make up this false image of China in one of my articles from last month, but that essay requires a second volume. Here I’ll cover the fraudulence of the major concepts about China that are instilled into Westerners.
Big lie #1: “China is imperialist”
Once again, the irony of America’s propaganda about China is absurd. The U.S. constantly wages wars of imperialist aggression under the false pretense of “liberating” its victim nations, and when China actually intervenes in another country in order to free it, the U.S. characterizes China’s actions as “imperialist.”
China’s 1951 intervention in Tibet wasn’t just supported by a wide range of Tibetans and motivated by a desire to free the country from the horrors of its former feudal system. It was followed by a series of U.S. actions in Tibet that were truly imperialist and unjustifiable. In response to the revolution that China brought to Tibet, the CIA began a campaign of agitation, funding and arms for the anti-Chinese Tibetan factions, and dirty political tricks which led to a U.S.-manufactured 1959 uprising within Tibet against the country’s new government. This uprising failed to gain popular support, especially among those who had been abused under the feudal order.
To justify this sabotage of the Tibetan liberation struggle that Mao helped lead, the U.S. and its sepatatist partners within Tibet have tried to paint China 

as the villain. But as is explained in this assessment from East Asia Forum’s Barry Sautman, neither the claims of Chinese imperialism nor the ones of unjustified Chinese social repression in Tibet have merit:
The point to stress is that there is no repression of Tibetans simply for being Tibetan. Nor does the Chinese government repress religion per se. Instead, Tibetans receive a range of preferential policies, and authorised religions in China receive state support. Where religious organisations pose no political threat, they are regulated by the state and can generally function openly, especially among ethnic minorities. The relation between religious organisations and the state is informed by longstanding Chinese traditions; separatism is another story. Under international law, states may make separatism illegal. The Chinese government, based on China’s history of cycles of territorial unity and disunity, makes use of that right.
The U.S. has used the charge of imperialism to delegitimize essentially all of China’s additional projects to involve itself abroad. This is particularly true when it comes to China’s role in Africa, which has been distorted by numerous myths. One of these myths is that China has followed the “neo-colonial” patterns in Africa, which is refuted by an honest examination of what China has been doing; unlike is the case for a neo-colonialist project, wherein a country is put under the authority of another nation and/or has had its economic autonomy taken away from it, there’s not one African country that’s politically directed by China, China controls no African banking system, and no African country is obliged to exclude non-Chinese products.
There are many other facets to the myth about Chinese “imperialism” in Africa, from the demonstrably false claim that Chinese enterprises only employ Chinese workers (a survey of 1000 African companies has shown that 89 percent of their employees are African) to the one that China has been engaged in massive land grabs (a Johns Hopkins University study has found that the largest Chinese farms in Africa aren’t even growing food for export to China) to the one about how China is trapping African nations in debt (the debts that African nations owe to China make up less than 2 percent of Africa’s foreign debt, and all indications show that China is giving these nations money so they can make up gaps in their infrastructure financing). And these claims all omit the fact that the U.S. has actually been exploiting countries in such ways.
Americans aren’t supposed to think about how their government invaded Iraq so that it could let American corporations profit from Iraq’s destruction, or how the U.S. has been installing puppet governments into sovereign countries for the last century, or how the U.S. uses the IMF to trap nations into debt so that it can impose destructive neoliberal reforms onto them. Our country’s transgressions need to be projected onto China, whose foreign policy model been misrepresented not just in the case of Africa but in the context of the country’s entire relationship to the world.
The loans that China has given out have in many cases worked towards freeing other countries from Western imperialism; in 2013, China gave Laos the equivalent of $32 million in interest free credits so that Laos could help free itself from the debt slavery that it’s suffered at the hands of the World Bank. This reflects the overall nature of the foreign investments that China makes, which is one of socialist economic development rather than capitalist imperialism. The vast majority of the foreign loans that China makes are socialist state investments rather than private capitalist investments, and they’re done for the purpose of helping improve the livelihoods of both the Chinese people and those in the countries that China works with. China, as well as its ally Russia, have been made out to be menacing pillagers in a world where the U.S./NATO empire is by far the biggest perpetrator of exploitation and violent conquest.
Big lie #2: “China is totalitarian”
The degree of social repression that China’s government carries out has been slanderously and hyperbolically exaggerated by Western imperialist narratives. These narratives have been deeply ingrained into the American psyche over the course of the last generation, which is the era in which we’ve often heard about the so-called Tiananmen Square Massacre.
The hoax surrounding the events in Tiananmen Square started with a series of false accounts of what happened when the Chinese government cleared the square of the “pro-democracy” protesters on June 4, 1989. According to China, about 300 had died in clashes, many of whom were part of the People’s Liberation Army. By the most well documented accounts, these altercations were instigated when the protesters set fire to unarmed soldiers and lynched them with their corpses hung on nooses. But according to sources from the Western media which were less reliable to say the least, the soldiers were actually the ones who’d carried out the mass slaughter.
The New York Times, in a prelude to its famous fraudulent story about WMDs in Iraq, said that “thousands” of protesters had been killed in Tiananmen Square. The casualty figures claimed throughout the U.S. media ranged from 2,600 to 8,000 to “tens of thousands,” but these ridiculous inconsistencies in 

the lies that Americans were being told didn’t shatter the emotionally powerful new Western perception that an oppressive government had brutally slaughtered its people for wanting freedom. To help buttress this fragile lie that they were trying to sell, America’s anti-Chinese propagandists presented additional outrageous accounts of what had taken place; eight days after the confrontation in the square, the New York Times published an “eyewitness” report about Tiananmen from the student Wen Wei Po which was so clearly fabricated that the Times’ correspondent in Beijing Nicholas Kristof took exception to the main points in the article.
Predictably, the incident that these fabricated reports were based off of was instigated by American destabilization efforts within China, with the U.S. having been actively involved in efforts to promote the “pro-democracy” protests through a well-funded propaganda machine within China. The strategic disinformation which was put out by the U.S.-backed radio station Voice of America (which falsely claimed that some PLA members were firing against others and that China’s Prime Minister Li Peng had been shot) greatly contributed to the unrest of that time and therefore to the horrific anti-PLA violence that ensued.
All of this makes it no surprise that cables released by WikiLeaks have since shown that no bloodshed among protesters took place when China put down the protests in Tiananmen Square.
A similar incident of U.S.-manufactured outrage against China has been carried out in this past month, conveniently coinciding with the anti-Chinese media propaganda blitz that’s accompanied the thirty year anniversary of the fictitious “Tiananmen Square Massacre.” This latest spectacle has come in the form of the recent Hong Kong protests, which have been heavily covered throughout the American media with the same theme about how the Chinese people are simply standing up for “democracy.” But as China Daily’s Ian Goodrum has assessed in an interview with MintPress News, the extradition law that the protests are centered around doesn’t justify such characterizations:
It’s unfortunate there’s been all this hullabaloo over what is a fairly routine and reasonable adjustment to the law. As the law reads right now, there’s no legal way to prevent criminals in other parts of China from escaping charges by fleeing to Hong Kong. It would be like Louisiana — which, you’ll remember, has a unique justice system — refusing to send fugitives to Texas or California for crimes committed in those states.
Honestly, this is something that should have been part of the agreement made in advance of the 1997 handover. Back then bad actors used irrational fear of the mainland to kick the can down the road and we’re seeing the consequences today.
So why have these protests happened? Well we know that the American NGO-industrial complex has been doing all it can to help the protesters and spread their anti-China narratives, and that most of the protesters are emphatically supportive of British colonialism despite its brutally repressive and undemocratic nature in comparison to that of the Chinese authorities (elections didn’t even exist in Hong Kong until 1986). And since most of Hong Kong’s population stands on the side of the People’s Republic of China and its just policy to combat sex tourism and unlawful asylum-seeking in Hong Kong, the imperialist agenda behind these protests is extremely apparent. As MintPress News’ Alex Rubinstein has observed,
“Something about the Hong Kong protests’ messaging seems tailor-made for Western audiences. Most signs [from the protests] I am seeing also happen to be in English.”
These kinds of artificially created street dramas are a standard American regime change agitation tactic, paralleled by this year’s right-wing anti-Maduro demonstrations in Venezuela. And they reflect upon the deeply suspicious, U.S.-tainted undercurrents behind all of the other stories we hear about China’s supposed totalitarianism.
Another fishy media narrative about China is the one which involves Ai Weiwei. No doubt Weiwei has been mistreated by Chinese authorities, such as when he was beaten by Chinese police in 2009. But the facts surrounding his legal case have been presented with consistent bias among Western media outlets, and the “humanitarian” U.S. regime change network has done everything possible to exploit Weiwei to further its agenda.
When Weiwei was arrested in 2011 on charges of tax fraud, the Western media reflexively condemned China and claimed that Weiwei’s detention was motivated by his political views. As China Daily’s Mo Nong has written, this display from the media was the symptom of an “ideological bias” which Western reporters look to China through. “Ideological confrontation is the default mode for some Westerners and Western media when it comes to issues of human rights,” lamented Nong in a 2011 column. “For these people, it has become an intuitive reaction to point their fingers at China when anyone they consider a dissident is detained or arrested on legal grounds…With such a mentality, they consider anyone who criticizes the political system of China and the Chinese authorities as they do, heroes or heroines, regardless of what these people have done, or how they behave, or what effect their activities will have on the future of this country and its people.’
Weiwei has since been characterized by the American media as an innocent victim of political repression, and has been aided by organizations which seek to manufacture consent for America’s destabilization efforts in China. In 2016, Weiwei spoke at a New York City event for the Council on Foreign Relations, a notoriously pro-imperialist Washington think tank. Weiwei has also collaborated with Amnesty International, a group that’s deliberately misled Americans about Syria, Venezuela, and other Washington regime change target countries. And in 2013, Weiwei received the Human Rights Foundation’s Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent-an award that the HRF has also been politically biased enough to give to Park Sang-hak, a man who’s been known to plan violent protests against the DPRK and collaborate with American intelligence.
You only need to look a little bit beneath the surface to see how frequently the anti-China stories we see in our media are connected to the American regime change complex. And in addition to this propaganda network’s role in the narratives I’ve mentioned so far, it regularly makes up outrageous atrocity stories to influence public opinion about China.
In my last China article, I detailed how the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders has used the money it receives from Western governments to spread baseless claims which reinforce the completely fabricated narrative that China is holding millions of Muslims in concentration camps. I’ve since learned that another Chinese opposition group, called “China Tribunal,” has propagated similarly suspect claims about the Chinese government harvesting organs from prisoners. Even as they’ve released their “Final Judgement & Report” about this allegation, they apparently haven’t even been able to publish the “full report” on their findings, which supposedly contains all of the evidence they need to support their assertions. And buried deep in their report was this telling paragraph:
Representatives of both the Transplantation Society and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have spoken out on behalf of recent changes in human transplant systems in the PRC, particularly the development of COTRS (see above) and the voluntary donor scheme. They argue that changes are being made and external criticism is not warranted. They have supported a transition for the sourcing of organs from death-row prisoners and suggested that executed prisoners are no longer used.
All of these charges against China, along with the misleadingly presentedWestern portrayals of China’s “Orwellian” social credit system, make up the main arguments for why China is “totalitarian.” The purpose of these hoaxes is to give basis to an extremely dark and sinister view of China’s government which isn’t supported by the facts.
Despite instances of Chinese police brutality-like the one that Weiwei has experienced-the Chinese government is overall far more tolerant of dissent than the U.S. government is. Unlike is the case in America, political social media posts in China aren’t especially likely to be censored. And as Nong’s column also stated, China doesn’t take political prisoners like the U.S. does: “Ai’s political discrepancy with the Chinese government is one thing; his alleged involvement in illegal economic activities is another. China has established its socialist legal system after decades of progress. Everybody, including Ai, is equal in the eye of the Chinese law.”
Big lie #3: “China isn’t on the side of the world’s poor and working people”
It’s always been a strategy of the capitalist class to make poor and working people hate the socialist political leaders and movements which are actually fighting for their interests. The myth that the Soviet Union and Mao’s China weren’t “really socialist” has worked as a way to stop people from trying to emulate the Marxist social development of these countries. The same deceptive practice is now being applied to modern China.
Headlines like “China’s Leaders Confront an Unlikely Foe: Ardent Young Communists” and “Is China’s Version of Capitalism Winning?” are representative of the perspective about China’s economic system that’s always presented in today’s American media. The old red-baiting propaganda approach isn’t what’s now used to demonize China, but rather the narrative that China is a plutocratic dystopia where workers are oppressed by a fraudulently socialist regime. (Irony is again found in the fact that America is ruled by such a plutocracy.)
My last essay about China refutes the talking points that claim China is capitalist, including the one which involves China’s treatment of the Marxist students. The reason why these talking points hold such prominence in Western capitalist-influenced media outlets and academic circles is clear: the capitalist class wants to break international worker solidarity with the Chinese Communist Party. This theory is supported by the fact that China holds a gargantuan amount of national resources and wields vast propaganda power, which it’s using to advance the worldwide anti-capitalist movement.
China is using its military and economic strength to support and defend the revolutionary governments in Cuba, Venezuela, and the DPRK; during his visit to Pyongyang this month, Xi Jinping said that “We strongly support DPRK’s socialist construction,” a statement which reflects the major pivot towards Chinese anti-American resistance that’s signified in this latest summit between Xi and Kim Jong Un. China is also using its massive online propaganda presence to spread Xi Jinping’s socialist teachings to people both within China and around the world, which has predictably provoked alarmist headlines from the Western media about the need to beware of China’s messaging campaign. This additional effort to vilify China ties in with the economic warfare and military threats that the U.S. is directing against China and its allies (which are justified through the bogus narrative that China poses any kind of threat to the wellbeing of the American people).
As the U.S. and China fight out their current cold war, the global left must stand in solidarity with China, both for the sake of peace and for the sake of the worldwide socialist movement. In a 1994 interview, Fidel Castro himself urged socialists not to abandon China’s revolution, stating:
If you want to talk about socialism, let us not forget what socialism achieved in China. At one time it was the land of hunger, poverty, disasters. Today there is none of that. Today China can feed, dress, educate, and care for the health of 1.2 billion people. I think China is a socialist country, and Vietnam is a socialist nation as well. And they insist that they have introduced all the necessary reforms in order to motivate national development and to continue seeking the objectives of socialism. There are no fully pure regimes or systems. In Cuba, for instance, we have many forms of private property. We have hundreds of thousands of farm owners. In some cases they own up to 110 acres. In Europe they would be considered large landholders. Practically all Cubans own their own home and, what is more, we welcome foreign investment. But that does not mean that Cuba has stopped being socialist.
The global left must ignore the nay-sayings about China’s socialist project and recognize the point that Castro was making, which is that socialists need to function on the basis of dialectical materialism (the philosophy which states that revolutionaries have to work through the obstacles they’ll inevitably face and deal with capitalist opposition through pragmatism and realism).
What does dialectical materialism say we need to do while we go forward in this moment? It says that like the CCP, the global left has to overcome a vast amount of capitalist and imperialist opposition. It also says that if we can build a strong and unified global socialist movement, and keep away from false capitalist solutions like social democracy, we’ll be able to win out against a capitalist power structure which is at an unprecedentedly vulnerable point. Amid rising discontent with global inequality, the ongoing collapse of the American empire, the climate crisis, and a looming global financial crash, capitalism is collapsing right now. By the 2030s, which is when the U.S. empire will no doubt have come to an end, capitalism will have experienced a momentous series of shocks.
And largely thanks to China, socialism will be in an immensely strong state by that point. The socialist columnist Saikat Bhattacharya recently wrote that “By 2035, the Communist Party of China has assessed that China will outcompete the USA not only in production but also in finance and military. It is then that socialism will be popular across the globe again. Following China, as different Third World countries will narrow per capita income gap and wage rate gap with imperialist countries, the capital’s bargaining power will reduce and working class bargaining power will rise considerably. Then working class revolutions will spring across the globe again. Belt Road Initiative is one way to develop the Third World quickly…Third World development will be followed by an increase in the power of the working class throughout the globe. Neoliberal globalization is already dying out and there is no strong political ideology strong enough to take the opportunity. Global communists must grasp the opportunity.”
Is it a coincidence that some of the promoters of Chinese regime change are roughly putting the 2030s as the time frame for when they hope to see communism defeated in China? Last year, the warmonger Bill Kristol tweetedthat “regime change in China” should be “an important U.S. foreign policy goal of the next couple of decades,” a despicable statement which sadly reflects the ideal end goal of Washington’s project for great-power competition with China. Headlines like “Could There Be Another Chinese Revolution?” (which appropriately came from the New York Times last year) are conditioning Americans for this Soviet breakup 2.0 that our government hopes will soon happen in China.
Despite all of this, China is shaping up to be a far more formidable rival to the U.S. than the Soviet Union ever was, with China having the ability to undermine America’s economy and technological dominance in the same way that the U.S. did to the USSR. As an American who’s lived under the austerity politics, censorship regime, propaganda paradigm, and surveillance state of my country’s current capitalist government, I’m glad to see the socialist state of China get this upper hand. I welcome China’s coming era of hegemony, and I’ll always be grateful to the CCP for how it’s helped my cause of socialist revolution.
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