Thursday, January 24, 2008

China will find its own way to ideological struggle

by Erwin Marquit

In his January 7 blog, "The Great Electronic Wall of China,” Joe Sims criticizes the attempts of the Chinese authorities to influence the content of views expressed in various forms on the Internet and to restrict access to certain sites. I don't think it is our duty to give lessons to the Chinese on this matter. One should not forget that China is still a third world country, suffering from underdevelopment. This includes its information technology, despite its advances in this and fields. The imperialist countries have over two hundred years of experience in fighting against socialist ideology and they have used their informational-technological resources quiet effectively in this battle, successfully preventing the working classes of their countries from adequately recognizing their own class interests.

The socialist forces in China face the additional obstacle of the presence a strong capitalist sector that constantly breeds its ideological defenders.

Cuba has found it necessary to jam Radio Marti and its corresponding TV broadcasts as the cheapest way of combating its lies. The Chinese authorities will use a variety of resources at their disposal for the ideological defense of their chosen course of development. Some will be fruitful and some will not. Some will be to our liking and some not, but it is up to them to determine the most effective way for engaging in ideological struggle. Mistakes will be made, but it is not our task to correct them by throwing stones at them.

[Note from PA: See Marquit's recent article, "Ideological Struggle and the Socialist Market Economy," in the latest issue of Political Affairs.]

2 comments:

normandmarkowitz said...

Erwin,
Criticism isn't stone throwing and proletarian international solidarity and general internationalism isn't all for one and one for one. The Communist Party of China leads a society which represents around 1/5 of the human race. It represents in Chinese terms a theory and world view which is and has been since its inception internationalist and inclusionary in the broadest sense of those words. We who are Marxists and partisans of socialism have much to learn from the Chinese and they also have much to learn from our global movement. Engaging criticism, from all points of view, including criticism that is pro capitalist from the right or anti-socialist market economy from the left is necessary for the development of a socialism that will create both a high level of social security and equality and individual freedom(both of which are interdependant goals of socialism). Joe's original article raised important questions that can't be so easily dismissed, in my opinion, although, given the monstrous history of imperialism's crimes against the Chinese people, from the Opium Wars to the gunboat military interventions to the sponsoring of war lords and the fomenting of internal wars and also famines that claimed millions of lives, to the support for Chiang Kai-shek's regime and postwar U.S. policy of intervention in the Chinese Civil War, attempts to isolate China in the world economy, support for Taiwan provocations against China, and non recognition(including blocking China's taking its UN seat for 22 years) we have always got to be clear that our criticisms in no way reflect any acceptance of "Western" ideology or any conception of "democracy" with capitalism, since the "West" and those who have claimed to be champions of "freedom " and in the cold war era "democracy" committed these crimes against the Chinese people and were always willing to support feudal Manchus, war lords, and Chiang's KMT reactionary dictatorship, not to mention split up China into spheres of influence among themselves, as long as it served capitalist global interest, which means the freedom of capitalist to eliminate all restrictions on their abilities to exploit all resource, labor, and consumer markets

Thomas Riggins said...

It's because we didn't criticize the Soviets and virtually supported everything they did (until the end) that we both lost credit with those who knew what was really going on and failed in our duty to give our comrades the best possible feedback. I know that that feedback was given behind closed doors, but real democratic movements have to operate in the sunshine.