Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Democratic Socialism is Capitalism Pt. 11

The penultimate section!!! Thankfully, it was a relatively short piece to translate. Links to earlier sections of Wu Bin's refutation of the pro-capitalist line of Xie Tao are at the bottom.

11. Confusing black and white and reversing the verdict on new and old revisionism

In his “Preface”, Mr Xie Tao goes so far as to make no secret of reversing the verdict on revisionism, wantonly confusing right and wrong. He says things like “‘opposing and guarding against revisionism’ is an ultra-left theory”. He says things like “In the past we confined ourselves to the narrow experience of violent revolution, and accused others of ‘revisionism’, and it seems like we should now restore the reputation of revisionism. Because its not that the social democrats didn’t struggle against the bourgeoisie, they didn’t make unilateral concessions, and they not only ‘revised’ socialism but also ‘revised’ capitalism”. “Thus it can be seen that it’s not that Bernstein ‘revised’ the Marxist theory of violent revolution and put forward the theory of peaceful transition, but that Bernstein only repeated the words of Engels, that he inherited and developed the change in thinking and the revision that Engels directed at the revolutionary theory he and Marx established.”

According to these absurd arguments of Mr Xie Tao, the October Revolution led by Lenin is “revisionism” and the Chinese revolution led by Mao Zedong is also “revisionism” because in Mr Xie Tao’s view, those who stand up to the bourgeoisie at the same time oppose revolution, destroy the revolution, so who is a Marxist? According to the point of view of Mr Xie Tao, are all the victories of the socialist revolution in more than ten countries during the 20th Century anti-Marxist? Did Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong all became “revisionists” and were they, moreover, the “biggest revisionists”? And did those traitors in the international communist movement who surrendered to imperialism, such as Bernstein and others, become genuine “Marxists”? This is really peculiar! Really strange! In order to coordinate such propaganda and influence for Mr Xie Tao, the editorial department of “Yanhuang Chunqiu” specially laid out Bernstein’s portrait on the magazine’s front page. Isn’t this nonsense? Isn’t this being blinded by one’s desires? Isn’t this the ravings of a madman? Isn’t this shameless? Aren’t they demons and monsters? Cow demons and snake spirits? I don’t know with what words to express indignation towards and to flog Mr Xie Tao for this type of despicable behaviour!

Engels warned us: “And to-day, the very people who, from the “impartiality” of their superior standpoint, preach to the workers a Socialism soaring high above their class interests and class struggles, and tending to reconcile in a higher humanity the interests of both the contending classes — these people are either neophytes, who have still to learn a great deal, or they are the worst enemies of the workers — wolves in sheep’s clothing (Preface to the English edition, The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1892). Are these people not wolves in sheep’s clothing?!

Lenin also warned us: “The bourgeoisie needs hirelings who enjoy the trust of a section of the working class, whitewash and prettify the bourgeoisie with talk about the reformist path being possible, throw dust in the eyes of the people by such talk, and divert the people from revolution…” (Collected Works, Vol 29, The Tasks of the Third International). Are these people not just such hirelings in the pay of the bourgeoisie?

Lenin also taught us: “the opportunists’ formal membership in workers’ parties by no means disproves their objectively being a political detachment of the bourgeoisie, conductors of its influence, and its agents in the labour movement…It is generally agreed that opportunism is no chance occurrence, sin, slip, or treachery on the part of individuals, but a social product of an entire period of history’ (Collected Works Vol 21 The Collapse of the Second International). Indeed, the appearance of these types of phenomena such as opportunism and revisionism is a product of the struggle of social classes. Seeing the problem from this grand field of vision, then, we can not be surprised at the spread of the influence of the bourgeoisie in the “Preface” and at Mr Xie Tao acting as a spokesman for the bourgeoisie.

A unique phenomenon exists inside China today, namely, that whenever the right opportunist wind starts to blow, the anti-Left clamour lingers on. The majority of the anti-Leftists are not clean around the buttocks, they’re not the Rightists of old, but are new-born running dogs of imperialism.; they are not revisionists, they are unrepentant capitalist-roaders; they are not new rich upstarts, they are the worthy progeny of the landlords, rich people, reactionaries and evil gentry overthrown by the people. So they oppose the Left, oppose Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought, oppose taking the socialist road, oppose public ownership and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Information taken from the Internet shows that during the anti-Rightist struggle Mr Xie Tao was a Rightist and was once arrested because of the “Hu Feng Incident”; from this we can see that his all-out “anti-Leftism” has an historical basis. In his “Preface” he uses very long passages to oppose the Left, and apart from attacking the leftism of Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong, he also attacks those contemporary comrades of the Left who support Marxism. Mr Xie Tao uses very long passages to attack an article by Comrade Zhang Qinde [head of the poicy and research department of the Central Committee - Trans.] (hereinafter referred to as “the Zhang essay”) and carry out large-scale suppression. There are three main points. (1) He says: “The ‘Zhang essay’ criticises by name several ‘mainstream scholars’ who offered advice and suggestions on, and made contributions to, the reform and opening up, and said their position on promoting a market economy was ‘bourgeois liberalisation’; it divides cadres at all levels in charge of leading the reform and opening into being bourgeois liberalisation reformists and ‘socialist reformists’, and advocated launching a big struggle inside and outside of the Party to seize power from and overthrow the ‘bourgeois liberalisation reformists’. They express themselves towards the domestic political situation thus: ‘In the coming decisive battle, the essence is whether to take the capitalist road or the socialist road, whether it will be the bourgeois liberalisation reformists or the socialist reformists that hold power, whether it will be a future as a dependency of US imperialism or a future in which national independence and state sovereignty are safeguarded, a struggle of life and death between these two destinies’.”

We want to ask Mr Xie Tao, including yourself within the ranks of those “mainstream scholars” who advocate privatisation and capitalist constitutional democracy, are you not “bourgeois liberalisation reformists”? Is this not bourgeois liberalisation reformism? Which class are you “offering advice and suggestions” and “making contributions to”? If the “advice and suggestions” of these people continues, it is hard to believe that it is not going to be “a future as a dependency of US imperialism”, and if not, what is it? Looking at your “Preface”, at what you advocate, Mr Xie Tao, isn’t it hard to believe that it’s not “bourgeois liberalisation reformism”? Isn’t it a question of the struggle between taking the capitalist road or the socialist road?

(2) In relation to the proposal on foreign affairs advanced by the “Zhang essay” to take the socialist countries and the Third World countries “as the core”, to form to some extent “the broadest anti-hegemonic united front”, “to carry out the inevitable struggle against hegemonism”, you feel “shocked”! This is strange, for as a China with a Communist Party and as a socialist country, how can it be “shocking” to take the socialist countries as the core, uniting widely with the Third World to develop a united front to oppose hegemonism? If our foreign affairs were not like this, but rather to the contrary, would we still be the Communist Party and a socialist country? Now that would be “shocking”!

(3) You said: “They think that the present reform and opening is a change in the direction of socialism, that it’s peaceful transition. ‘It’s being influenced by old revisionism’s ‘capitalism can peacefully evolve into socialism’ and present-day revisionism’s fallacy of the category of ‘new thinking’.” These colloquialisms should not utter forth from your gentleman’s mouth, because it is precisely you and your accomplices who are trying to “change the direction of socialism” and “peacefully transform” China! Isn’t this a fact? Your “Preface” and Xin Ziling’s “Mao Zedong: A Century of Merits and Faults” are the hard evidence!

As an ancient saying goes, “there is no point in people taking counsel together who follow different ways”. Marxism and revisionism are “different ways”! Socialism and capitalism are “different ways”! The “Zhang essay” and the “Preface” are obviously also “different ways”! The “way” of the “Zhang essay” is Marxism, socialism and patriotism, while the “way” of the “Preface” is revisionism, capitalism and selling out the country. With such diametrically opposed and completely incompatible “ways”, it is unlikely that you will be able to “take counsel together” and impossible that you will share a common language, common standpoint or common ideals. So, Mr Xie Tao and Comrade Zhang Qinde, or leftists like the present writer, can only speak their own language!


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Pt 2:

Pt 3:

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Pt 9:

Pt. 10:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your very valuable translation work.

Some speculation from by an observer from afar on china :

As series this is mainly about the need to re-socialise the means of production ,INDUSTRY for the people.
But,It is well to remember the main thing the central need is
for a workers alliance with with the peasantry ,the vast MAJORITY IN CHINA .

This alliance was originaly based on consolidating the division and then the revolutionary SOCIALISATION of land into the hands of the peasantry as a class.

Engels, observing the flows of surplus value , wrote in the preface to the 1871 housing industry:
'And here is seen in all its glory the “blessing” of house- and land-ownership for the modern worker. Nowhere, hardly excepting even the Irish domestic industries, are such infamously low wages paid as in the German domestic industries. Competition permits the capitalist to deduct from the price of labour power that which the family earns from its own little garden or field; the workers are compelled to accept any piece wages offered to them, because otherwise they would get nothing at all, and they could not live from the products of their small-scale agriculture alone, and because, on the other hand, it is just this agriculture and landownership which chains them to the spot and prevents them from looking around for other employment.

This is the basis which upholds Germany’s capacity to compete on the world market in a whole series of small articles. The whole capital profit is derived from a deduction from normal wages and the whole surplus value can be presented to the purchaser. That is the secret of the extraordinary cheapness of most of the German export articles.

It is this circumstance more than any other which keeps the wages and the living conditions of the German workers on other industrial fields also below the level of the Western European countries. The dead weight of such prices for labour, kept traditionally far below the value of labour power, depresses the wages of the urban workers also, even of the workers in the big towns, below the value of labour power; and this is all the more the case because poorly-paid domestic industry has taken the place of the old handicrafts in the towns also, and here, too, depresses the general level of wages.

Here we see clearly: that which at an earlier historical stage was the basis of relative well-being for the workers, namely, the combination of agriculture and industry, the ownership of house, garden and field, and security of tenure in the dwelling-place, is becoming today, under the rule of large-scale industry, not only the worst hindrance to the worker, but the greatest misfortune for the whole working class, the basis for an unexampled depression of wages below their normal level, and that not only for individual districts and branches of enterprise, but for the whole country. No wonder that the big bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie who live and grow rich from these abnormal deductions from wages are enthusiastic over rural industry and the workers owning their own houses, and that they regard the introduction of new domestic industries as the sole remedy for all rural distress."

A similar but of course different situation may have existed With the re-privatisation of the land in china into "rental " of family plots in the eighties in China ,
some under- employment of the peasantry( winter) was converted into a privatised ,or family enterprise labour assett .

Subsistance level land owning farmers were now able to sell the products originaly created in their spare time .but when valued as abstract social

labour products perhaps sold at below the level of the value of the working class labour employed in the socialist state industries ,that is those workers still having
the benifit of pensions, health care ,housing etc.

Pehaps the commodities were not necessarily sold at a "profit" on the market as surplus value could be foregone in these supplementary incomes ,as Engels says was common in pre monopoly capitalist Germany amongst the small peasantry.

In China .The Peasant produced commodities could then be sold at their labour based value + some initial subsidies, favorable contracts for grain etc
that were provided by the Dengist state.

Thus the privatisation of the land helped to create or expand property based capitalist relations of production throughout China.
Just as commodity production and trade originaly developed on the fringes, on the basis of trade between different tribal societies.
So too Capitalism developed initialy in Europe outside of the chartered towns and the towns guild labour relations of production.

In the short term these subsidies may have increased the prosperity of the peasantry generaly for a time and allowed those with better family plots or
party/social connections to develope the initialy small local capitalist industrial enterprises now based on wage labour and rents(disguised as contracts) where obtainable

Thus the bourgeios/revisionist 'four freedoms" of capitalism were first re-established in the countryside on the base of the cheapest labour
products priced on the market competitively and therefore some even sold below their real value.
surplius value seized on the cheap.

One could even say that the potentialy of the forces of production ,for more labour producing wealth were liberated in the countryside short term by
capitalism ,IN A BOURGEIOS counter REVOLUTION of egalitarian "land reform ",but only at the cost of the eventual long term enslavment of the peasantry as
capitalisms FREE LABOURERS.

It was very difficult for the state run smaller enterprises to compete with those cheap waged labour enterprises only the most nimble could survive ,
particularly those once socialy owned enterprises.many were converted to privatised ,or profit in command enterprises,run eventualy with

entepreanual managers demanding a personal cut in any suplus value/profits ,as they do in the more openly capitalist west.

Just as if the formerly state enterprises built up on the re-invested or accumalated value produced by the working people were now their own

personal property to be exploited in partnership with even foreign capitalist/imperialist investors.

The vast peasantry,its initial prosperity in this restoration of private property in the land developed on the basis of bourgeios absolute egalitarianism in land ownership is now been converted on the basis of capitalist competition into the poverty stricken free labourer of capitalism.

And now many peasants are alienated from a land that is suffering from massive environmental attack for the short term interest of its effectevly now private owners.

The peasantry now function too ,as a huge cheap labour workers reserve army at the beck and call of these "managerial" capitalists as a "free" labour
force ,some without town residency rights, depressing in the competition for a living ,the wages of the town workers who have no security in land of
their own to fall back on.
And nothing to lose but their chains.

Thus the interests of the peasantry and the working classes are more and more identical.

Only socialism based not only on the working class but on the worker peasant alliance can save China and provide a good secure income and a decent way of living for aLL.