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 Back in November I wrote an article for Countercurrents about how The People’s Republic of China, a Socialist (as defined by its own constitution) country, has turned on its own citizens because they are Marxists.   On the 6th of this month I wrote (https://countercurrents.org/2019/01/06/considerations-on-chandra-muzaffars-the-uighur-question-a-civil-society-solution/)  about China’s attempt to “reeducate” the Muslim Uighur minority so that they were no longer religious.  As a Marxist myself, I support this effort to convert the Uighurs to Marxist Secularism, noting the fact that there is an inherent contradiction between faith and reason, metaphysics and materialism.  I also pointed out that throughout most of history religion has always struggled for power over and against secular powers.  Finally, I noted that Marx’s reformulation of Hegel entailed chipping away Hegel’s notion of a Creator.  Hence, Marxism is inherently nonreligious.  I argued that therefore, China was clearly within its rights as a Socialist country, to prohibit the practice of religion.

My position regarding the necessity for the re-education of the religious has not changed over the years.  Religion wherever it has existed has struggled for power either over and against the state or in union with the state, or, as in the case of theocracies, as the state.   And what is power but the ability to get people to do what one wants?  This is the definition of power, and this is the kind of power religion wants – control over the thoughts and actions, the sex lives, the pleasure and joys of what people feel.  Moreover, religion is indeed, as Marx notes, a drug which numbs those who suffer and renders them unable to perceive the world clearly.  It is the enemy of science, of reason, of logic, of materialism, and of clear thinking. I would no more wish to see people under its influence than I would wish to see them high on drugs or drunk on alcohol; both substances which in the end are harmful to them and the sources of much of their degradation and dehumanization.

Having ranted more than enough about the need to try to enlighten those whose lives are governed by faith, let me move onto the other issue I want to address in this piece: the issue of China’s treatment of its native-born Marxists.  Front and center in a recent edition of “Global Voices” is an article entitled “ China persecutes independent leftists in the name of Marxism” – in much greater detail it addresses the same issue that I dealt with in November (https://countercurrents.org/2018/11/22/when-snakes-eat-their-tails-marxist-self-consumption-in-china/), which is the Marxist nation’s perspecution of Marxists.    “On December 28, Beijing police arrested a group of Peking University students for protesting against the takeover of the campus’ Marxist society in yet another testament of the chasm between Marxism and Marxism “with Chinese characteristics.” (https://globalvoices.org/2019/01/02/china-persecutes-independent-leftists-in-the-name-of-marxism/?utm_source=Global+Voices&utm_campaign=bd010105e8-Jan3_2019_Daily_Digest_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_633e82444a-bd010105e8-290617301&ct=t(Jan3_2019_Daily_Digest_COPY_01).  The article goes on to list even more transgressions against China’s “independent Marxists” particularly those who have supported workers strikes.  So what position does a Marxist like me take  when the Marxist snake begins to consume Marxists?

Well, one must always struggle to view things dialectically.   This quite obviously is the result of the historical external contradiction between capitalism and its defining other – whether one cares to label that other as communism, or socialism, or Marxism.  The struggle between capitalism and its negation has been vicious and unrelenting.  In this struggle capitalism has had the advantage of great wealth which is in turn, the result of a highly developed, extremely productive and technologically superior mode of production.   The nations who have made Marxist revolutions did not, and so they were placed at a disadvantage that was difficult to overcome.  Resultantly, the goal of Socialism or Communism was never fully or actually realized.

As anyone with more than a passing familiarity with Marx’s ideas understands, a well-developed capitalist mode of production is necessary for a successful socialist revolution.  Marx sees Capitalism and competition as both necessary and destructive. He understands the “development of productive forces is fueled by competition” and that it “is an absolutely necessary practical premise [of communism], because without it privation, want is merely made general, and with want the struggle for necessities would begin again, and all the old filthy business would necessarily be restored.” (Marx and Engels, The German Ideology, 49.).  He also understands that this same competition, embraced in a system of private ownership directed towards the accumulation of ever more profits, distorts both nature and human nature.  For further elaboration see my article in Countercurrents 12/28/ (nobel-laureates-nordhaus-and-romer-and-karl-marx-on-man-nature-and-technology/).

Faced with the powerful forces of production and great wealth of advanced Capitalism, nations such as China and The Soviet Union were forced to capitulate.  “This capitulation took place in Russia, with the multi-pronged direct support of the United States, under Yeltsin in the 1990s and also, at nearly the same time, in China under former Chinese President Deng Xiaoping, who ushered in a class society with these words: “Poverty is not socialism, socialism is to eradicate poverty; the egalitarian big pot is not socialism, to encourage some people, part of the region first get rich, through the first rich after the rich, and ultimately achieve common prosperity…” Thus, the China which had embraced rigid egalitarianism under Mao, reintroduced classes and economic inequality.  Meanwhile in Russia, during Perestroika and its “shock therapy” economics, the emergence of “class society” occurred nearly instantaneously as the hated Oligarchs became ridiculously wealthy, while the vast masses sunk into fearsome poverty.   But the Chinese people did not sink into a long term poverty, in fact their economic circumstances improved as the nation became the productive powerhouse of the Capitalist world; and while in Russia, particularly under Putin, Communism and atheism were replaced by nationalism and a state religion heralded as the salvation of humanity’s morality, in China, Communism(sic) remained the official ideology of the state and atheism held sway.” (see Metzger : https://countercurrents.org/2018/11/22/when-snakes-eat-their-tails-marxist-self-consumption-in-china/).

In embracing capitalism and Marxism, China embraced a great contradiction and sought to bring it into unity in order to save Socialism.  It became Capitalist because it was allowed, even demanded to do so by the American Capitalist State, which, in effort to defeat its own workers and increase profits, began to globalize.  However today, the Wolfowitz Doctrine which proclaimed that no country would ever be allowed to subsume American hegemony, has seen a new birth in Trump’s “America First” policies.  Even as this is occurring, a young generation of Chinese are demanding a purer version of “Marxism” which does not permit the exploitation of workers by the State.

The leadership of China, facing external challenges by the United States aimed at limiting and reversing its economic growth, and internal challenges by its own people – the people they themselves have indoctrinated into Marxism who now demand that China become Marxist in practice as well as in theory, stands at a great crossroad.  It will have to decide whether it will fight and push forward to become the first nation of the capitalist world, or whether it will take a look at the world, and seeing the great struggles of people in all nations to overthrow corrupt leaders and capitalist practices, make the decision to lead a revolutionary struggle in the name of the peoples and workers of the world.   Have the productive and military forces of China developed to the point where they are ready for revolution?

Quo Vadis Mr. Xi?  Quo Vadis China?

Mary Metzger is a 72 year old retired teacher who has lived in Moscow for the past ten years. She studied Women’s Studies under Barbara Eherenreich and Deidre English at S.U.N.Y. Old Westerbury. She did her graduate work at New York University under Bertell Ollman where she studied Marx, Hegel and the Dialectic. She went on to teach at Kean University, Rutgers University, N.Y.U., and most recenly, at The Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology where she taught the Philosophy of Science. Her particular area of interest is the dialectic of nature, and she is currently working on a history of the dialectic. She is the mother of three, the gradmother of five, and the great grandmother of 2.

 

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