China’s call for austerity: an analysis

16 Apr

The following is a satirical piece written several months ago in relation to statements made by the Chinese government and the response of their apologists from the left.

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Recently, it has been brought to our attention that the Chinese government has requested that the US ramp up austerity programs. This announcement displays an important aspect of the modern Chinese state, and hence must be investigated further. Through this analysis, we shall come to understand the modern Chinese situation both on the domestic and international stage, and hence clarify our position on the matter.

Now, in the first place, it is clear that the Chinese state has implemented some measures aimed towards providing social welfare, and this in fact constitutes its progressive character. It must also be taken into account that China is an anti-imperialist nation, as opposed to the blatantly imperialist condition of the US. These two empirically evident axioms shall form the basis for our further analysis. Given these facts by themselves, however, it may be asserted by some that China is simply exploiting the red colours towards promoting a particular, interventionist form of capitalism, or ‘progressivism’, and hence neither promoting socialism nor Caesarian rule; in other words, that the Chinese state is resting satisfied with what it has rather than engaging in proletarian internationalism and social-proletocratic revolutionism.

However, this statement reveals this to clearly not be the case. In actual fact, the Chinese state has clearly identified that its aim is not the liberal dream of a universalized welfare state adopted by countries of their own good will, and hence shows that it does not conceive of its own progressive tendencies as the alpha and omega of social evolution. For, after all, if one were to support socialism, while also identifying it with a welfare state and class collaboration, one would necessarily be forced to support this in the United States of America, and indeed especially there, whereas China have given the death knell to any claims of their left-reformism with this announcement. Such claims from the ultra-left are no longer tenable, and must be abandoned.

Nonetheless, if it is established that China is not in fact caught up in dead-end ‘progressivism’ and ‘tred-iunionizm’, this still leaves the question of what the Chinese state in fact advocates. Now, while on the part of Republicans the support of austerity measures is broadly compatible with a support for highly deregulated capitalism in the express interests of the rich and with low state intervention, this cannot be the case with China, as its own practice would not ultimately be compatible with such a conclusion. Their statements cannot be taken, as ultra-lefts tend to do, out of context, but rather must be seen within the remarkable context of the progressive tendencies of the Chinese state, which indeed makes this declaration seem more surprising to those caught up in a one-sided view of socialist progression, infused with the tinges of liberal progressivism. In actual fact, these two reactions, namely seeing the statement out of context on the one hand, and being surprised due to seeing the context as incongruous with the action on the other, form the two main prongs of the leftist opposition to this declaration, and nonetheless may be swept away by a simple analysis of the situation at hand.

While the first view may disregard or fabricate the context, and hence treat the Chinese government as if it were Sarah Palin, the second nonetheless, in its quick outrage and tendency towards shock before rational comprehension, forgets to note that what is actual is rational, and what is rational is actual. It is clear that the Chinese government is not against state intervention in the economy, and the employment of a welfare state, both of which have formed pillars of the progressive Chinese government since its inception. This would clearly be incompatible with a Republican conservatism, and rather place the Chinese government in the camp of progressivism. This progressive nature of the Chinese state is one side of the equation, and forms an important part of why they must form a vanguard for other anti-imperialist nations in the struggle against Western dominance. However, on the other side of things, it is clear that their call is also for the dismantling and down-scaling of the welfare state of the USA, which in fact contradicts progressivism, and hence establishes the ostensibly ‘objectionable’ features of the announcement, while at the same time freeing the Chinese state from the fetters of unfettered ‘progressivism’, as we have already explained. As this demand constitutes a demand for the scaling back of progressive aspects of the state, it is clear that it has a regressive aspect. As such, this regressive aspect of the demand must form the second aspect of the debate.

Hence, we are met with on the one side progressivism, and on the other side regressivism (we do not say conservatism, which would be the call to maintain the US as it is, and is clearly what would be preferred by most leftists attacking the Chinese government for their position). This conflict seems indissoluble. However, we have already seen one aspect of its resolution, namely that the regressivism removes the fetters that bound progressivism within its capitalist boundaries; no matter how much one may reform a capitalist economy in a progressive direction, it nonetheless remains a capitalist economy. To see the other, we must return to the analysis of imperialism and anti-imperialism. In the first place, it is clear that the USA is quite blatantly an imperialist state, while, as we have said, the Chinese state is an anti-imperialist state (we shall not argue this case in full in the present article, but will rather refer you to the PSL’s numerous conclusive arguments as to the anti-imperialist nature of the Chinese state.) This gives the USA an inherently reactionary character, while China has a progressive character due to the proletarian nature of its state. Of course, it has made the occasional mistake, just like the US government when invading Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Vietnam, Cuba, Korea and so on, but this does not dent its manifest proletarian destiny.

Now, how is it that the United States is able to maintain its imperialist domination, hence holding back the anti-imperialist forces of the downtrodden and revolutionary Third-World poor? It is clear that this ability is deeply tied in with its status as an advanced capitalist nation, established by the progressive characters of the American Revolution, the American Civil War and the American dub of Dragon Ball Z. This limited progressive character has been maintained throughout its existence, and hence helped it survive to be the strongest imperialist power of the modern day, although it must be noted that the far more progressive Soviet Union was able to challenge this status in a matter of decades, despite its establishment in the USA taking centuries; likewise, it has often been speculated that the rise of the Asian economies, and especially China, would be a threat to US hegemony. However, that aside, let us settle with the proposition that the US was able to maintain its status as an imperialist power through its status as an advanced capitalist nation. Let us further purport that China, with the alliance of several South and Latin American states, forms at once the strongest force of the anti-imperialist nations, one which the rest must follow if they are to ever successfully throw off their imperialist yokes, and at the same time the most progressive.

In this light, the whole equation comes to make sense, and harmony is restored where conflict seemed to reign. It has already been admitted that the demands of the Chinese government to the US government have a regressive character. However, on the other side of the coin, the US is able to maintain its power only through its progressive character. By performing these austerity cuts, the US regresses further towards the creation of on the one side an unaccountable nobility, on the other poor, undereducated peasants able only to work the land, and on the third side a leader with absolute power, surrounded by their advisers in the Super Congress and reams of courtiers in the Congress and Senate. Now, we have already seen and admitted that the power of the USA originates from the advanced level of its capitalism, which allows it not only military might but also economic power. However, it is just as clear, therefore, that the task facing any anti-imperialist nation if success is to be assured is to remove this advanced status of the US over the rest of the world, without which war against it will ultimately be futile and have to end in compromise if not defeat, and an absolute demoralization of the world’s anti-imperialist working class.

Now, one way of doing this would be, theoretically, to outstrip the pace of the US’s development, which may seem quite possible given the current progress of the Chinese economy. However, in actual fact this overlooks the fact that the US’s strength is self-perpetuating, and that if other nations, especially those with an anti-imperialist character, begin to even threaten its power, it will wield both its military and economic might to eliminate this potential threat before its threat becomes an entelechy. Further, the US’s current state of development in fact widens the range of facilities which it possesses in order to facilitate and accelerate growth, and hence gives it a head-start which takes on an exponential character, confirming the self-perpetuating nature of its power.

However, this leaves only one way forward for the anti-imperialist struggle, namely the regression of the United States itself to the point where, if it wages war, its own strength will sap from it nevertheless and leave it helpless to the powers of anti-imperialist invasion. This is where the progressive character of the Chinese demand is clearly illustrated, and at the same time shows that in fact the path forward for socialism and liberation is not through liberal progressivism, but rather, just as Paul Tillich saw salvation only in the God above God, so may we only through the ‘progressivism above progressivism’, elevated thus through regressivism itself. In actual fact, as we have seen, the Chinese demand is a demand for regression, and regression ultimately to the point of a feudal system, where ultimately the USA’s power will necessarily collapse due to the collapse of its developed capitalist infrastructure and economy. This will open up a window which the anti-imperialist nations of the world will inevitably take, not content to allow themselves ruled over by a clown, and hence lead to the strengthening of anti-imperialist forces. Further, as against the regressivism of the United States on one pole, on the other will stand the relentless progressivism of China, along with its smaller allies such as the Latin American nations and North Korea. China will therefore form the beacon to the Third-World proletariat in its invasion of the US and negation of imperialism with its own power. In its feudal state, the US will be helpless to resist the relentless onslaught of the Third-World, lead by the Red Ant Liberation Army, and shall ultimately be subjected to its own medicine. This shall allow for the widespread deportation of US citizens for re-education, which we may discuss at a later date.

Now, through this we see that in actual fact the Chinese government’s position hides a position neither limited to empty progressivism, nor without subversive intent, but rather one which is deeply subversive to the ruling capitalist order. If it should succeed in this agenda, we shall end up with the polarity of on the one hand progressive forces of anti-imperialism, grouped around China, and on the other hand the regressive and weak forces of imperialism, represented primarily by the now-weakened USA. This identity of progressivism and anti-imperialism shall supercede the common objection made that anti-imperialist regimes such as Iran have a reactionary character, which, while possessing a limited truth, fails to see the forest for the trees; it is only in progressive anti-imperialist struggle that this gap is bridged, and the Third World comes to possess consciousness of its inherently progressive nature. On the other side of things, however, it also constitutes another possible objection, namely that the progressivism of anti-imperialistic nations such as China and North Korea is of an essentially liberal and reformist character, precisely because it in fact constitutes the declaration that progressivism is not enough, but rather what must be obtained is freedom from exploitation through the undermining of capitalism and imperialism; indeed, this rejection of all chains and fetters is the principle of the coming revolution. Given this, we fully support the Chinese government in its attempts to implement socialism in the 21st Century situation, and condemn those who complain that it is taking too long for ignoring both the realities of the imperialist system of the 21st Century, and the clear self-superceding progressivism of the Chinese state.

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