Archive for Chinese Revolution

The East Is still Red

Posted in On Foreign Affairs, Playthell on politics with tags , , on October 3, 2009 by playthell

Mao Tse Tung: The Great Helmsman !


Mao Literally Wrote The Book On Guerilla Warfare

Although the Chinese people are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the great revolution that transformed China from a semi-feudal nation of peasants that was a plaything for the British and a foot stool of the western world, many people in this country still attempt to belittle the magnificent accomplishments of that social transformation and dismiss it’s leader as a petty tyrant who plunged the country into chaos and communist slavery. But the Chinese revolution was the greatest transformative mass movement of the twentieth century – a century marked by war and revolution – and the history of China since the triumph of their revolution under the leadership of the Communist Party will absolve Chairman Mao of his mistakes and justify the strict discipline the party imposed upon the Chinese people.

Yet in spite of the undeniable achievements of the revolution even American leaders who are bright and progressive are inclined to view China with an air of holier-than-thou self-righteousness.  A classic case in point is the recent pronouncement of Congressman Anthony Weiner from Brooklyn, who got his knickers in a twitter because the lights on the Empire State Building were decorated in the colors of the Chinese flag as a salute to the People’s Republic Of China’s Anniversary.  Congressman Weiner, whom I was prepared to nominate for the first Jewish president after hearing his magnificent defense of single payer health insurance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe – where he demolished Joe Scarborough’s silly defense of the need for “private enterprise” in providing health insurance – argued that we should not celebrate the Chinese revolution because the Chinese were not free!  An argument that makes him sound really silly.

It would be a silly argument solely on the basis of the fact that no nation has lifted so many people from poverty and empowered their nation in the same span of time as the Chinese have done it by virtue of the leadership of the Communist Party – a fact which is beyond question.  But it is especially silly when we consider the fact that the Chinese treasury now holds more American dollars and treasury notes than the US treasury.  In a little over half a century China has gone from one of the world’s poorest countries to the central banker of the United States, the most powerful nation of the past century.  Furthermore they have done it without colonizing and raping other nations of their resources; which is how the European and American nations modernized.

Furthermore, when China is compared to the United States sixty years after our revolution when the nation was struggling to modernize and develop our economy, they come of very well indeed.  Sixty years after our revolution, America was a rigid caste society based on white supremacy where the dominant Euro-American race held millions of their fellow citizens in chattel slavery – a system where Black men “had no rights that white men were bound to respect” in the opinion of the US Supreme Court!   It was a system in which a black man’s wife and children could be sold at auction like live stock.  The great abolitionist orator and newspaper editor Frederick Douglass, arguably the most brilliant, insightful and prescient American commentator of the era, who had himself been a slave, called: “a practice that would disgrace a nation of savages!”

Douglass went on to say that no European despotism could began to match the evils of American slavery, “one minute of which is worse” than years of the tyranny white Americans rose up in arms against their British brothers to abolish.   And contrary to the fashionable claim that African slavery is America’s “original sin,” the dispossession and genocide committed against the Native Americans has claim to that title.  Furthermore, neither of these massive crimes against humanity has ever been properly addressed or compensated for.  It is interesting that the quotes I have cited by Douglass are excerpted from a 4th of July speech given in his adopted home town of Rochester New York, in which Douglass was pointing out the blatant hypocrisy of white America’s claims of standing unequivocally for freedom, justice and equality for all men.  In fact he called such pretensions “brass fronted impudence” and “hollow mockery.”

Viewing the USA from the vantage of historical hindsight, I have similar feelings when I hear white Americans blowing their horn about singing about how America has always been the “land of the free and home of the brave.”  It requires a very special species of  hubris and hypocrisy, based on historical amnesia, to simply dismiss America’s shameful past and present our society as squeaky clean, free of the crimes against humanity committed by other governments.  If you matched the slavery and genocide that stained our national character 60 years after the revolution, with the policies of the People’s Republic of China  over the same period of time, China would come away the winner, hands down!   My purpose here is not to discuss the relative evils of China versus the US, but to point out that both societies adopted the methods they required to develop a modern  economy.   Hence all the self-righteous name calling on the part of some pompous Americans is nothing more than self serving rhetoric and simple minded sophistry!

The Red Army On the March

Red Army Missiles

 China’s Awesome Display Of military Might is A Warning to Aggressors

 When viewed through a more objective lens, the Chinese Communist Party  must be seen as a modernizing elite.  The role of the revolution was to lift the Chinese people from the wretched conditions that the industrialized western  countries has placed them under. As Chairman said upon the victory of the Red Army: “The Chinese people stood up!” Given the vast hordes that make up the Chinese people, a billion and  a half by one count,  their economic ascendancy is nothing short of a miracle!   Under the able and brilliant leadership of the Communist Party in the revolutionary and post revolutionary periods, China is clearly  making all the right moves.  Every where one looks there is the spectacle of gigantic cranes  and the clang of sledge hammers; this is a nation that is clearly on the move, and all their moves has increased.  In fact one Chinese scholar has calculated that the Chinese economy is the only one in the world that has experience a 77% growth in GNP Since 1948!

 The Skyline Of Shanghai

 The Skyline of shanghai

 Hence the Chinese Communist Party has every right to celebrate their magnificent  leadership in the modernizing the Chinese economy, because as one British scholar has put it in a recent book “When China Rules The World,” it’s just a matter of time before China emerges as the most powerful nation earth.  And recent opinion polls querying the Chinese people points out: “Most Chinese are proud of their country.” That view is reverberated in the opinions from my random and informal  interrogations of Chinese students during graduate work in the country; I have met several MBA and finance majors who think it absurd question when I ask them if they will be returning home.  After all, Shanghai has four times as many skyscrapers as New York, they graduate ten times as many engineers as we do each year, and their students routinely out perform American students in math and science!  And they accomplished all this in a nation of a billion and a half people.   Now that’s something worth celebrating indeed.