Category Archives: Maoism

Filipino NPA Guerrillas in an Alliance with Duterte

TheMaker75: When the NPA was operating in Luzon and the major islands of the Visayas they actually had some power. Being relegated to Mindanao shows how far they have fallen.

Do you know if they clash or are friends with the MILF/MNLF/Abu Sayaf? I wonder if the military is letting them exist to keep the Muslims from spreading out of the ARMM. I have a very close friend from Bukidnon in Mindanao, and she says no NPA there. It’s a very secluded area with lots of coffee and pineapple farming. I’m curious as to exactly where they are.

The NPA used to keep corrupt politicians in check. The only thing to stop these scumbag Filipino politicians was the very real threat of a bullet to the head, and the NPA was very good at assassinations.

The further you get from Manila, the less you count in the Philippines. Mindanao is as far away as you can get, and I’m sure the New People’s Army is using the disconnect as a recruiting tool. In their heyday, the had a lot of control in Bicol and Pampanga. Basically surrounding Manila. They also owned the mountains of Cebu and a few towns along the coast. I’ve hiked straight across Cebu from Tuburan to Cebu City and never saw an NPA. It’s like an urban legend these days. My girl’s family was begging me not to go, as the NPA would surely kidnap me. I actually wanted to meet some, as I’m sure we would have gotten along. I even brought some Tanduay rum and knives I bought in Mandaue City to hand out, but alas, it was an uneventful hike.

In Cebu, at least the coastal towns were not fans of the NPA. The NPA would show up at your house at night and demand food and provisions. Not really the best way to win fans.

The NPA currently has a huge backlog of candidates wanting to sign up as guerrillas and it also has a backlog of people wanting to be candidates. It’s a pretty long process they have to go through to ward off infiltration and ensure loyal and committed cadre.

The NPA have always had an excellent relationship with the Muslim guerrillas down there.

As ceasefire is in effect with the election of Duterte. The NPA has actually formed some sort of an alliance with Duterte believe it or not. They are very pleased that he declared himself a socialist. The NPA’s aboveground organ gave him a list of Leftist suggestions for his Cabinet and he actually appointed a number of them. So the NPA in effect is part of the Cabinet of the Philippines government now. Duterte was apparently a politician of some sort down in Mindanao and he had an excellent relationship with the NPA when he was down there.

However, the NPA is very worried that the army which they call fascist will prevail over Duterte’s pro-NPA sentiments. Also the NPA says that the army has been violating the ceasefire mostly by doing propaganda, intelligence gathering, civic action programs, etc. in NPA areas. However, there has been no armed combat to my knowledge in six months. The NPA is also angry that the army has murdered four peasants in that six month period.

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Filed under Asia, Economics, Islam, Left, Maoism, Marxism, Philippines, Politics, Regional, Religion, SE Asia, Socialism

Chinoys in the Philippines: Oligarchs and Revolutionaries

My association with “Chinoys” in the Philippines was a result of joint ventures. If you are doing any kind of business in the Philippines you will interact with Chinese-Filipinos whether you want to or not.

Fuji Chinese can be incompetent but their economic grip on the Philippines means that even the morons among them who would be homeless in China hold some position in the Philippines.

You realize that the head of the armed Maoist rebels called the NPA which wishes to destroy, overthrow and sweep away Chinoy rule in the Philippines is a Chinoy himself, right? His name is Jose Maria Sison, and he is one of my heroes.

The ruling class in the  Philippines is indeed stone evil, but it also includes some Malays. Aquino, Marcos and Duterte are all Malays. Much of the ruling class is actually landowning Mestizos. There are also a lot of Chinese, but Malays in the ruling class are not unknown. I have had three different psychiatrists and one physician from the Philippines, and all were Malays, albeit with Chinese in three cases or possibly Hispanic blood in one case. That’s a high-paying job. Physicians are part of the elite.

They were all staunch defenders of the Philippines ruling class, although one doctor said he went back to his home village one time, and the whole  place was run by the NPA. From 10 miles away in, it was one rebel checkpoint after another. The village itself was full of NPA walking around in broad daylight in full uniform and armed to the teeth with AK-47’s. Everybody acted like this was completely normal. The army in the area knew about the situation but had apparently simply ceded the area to the guerrilla and had decided not to go in there. Mexican standoff.

He went back and looked up his old school friends and they had all joined the armed revolutionaries. They found out he had an MD, and they asked him to join to them to be a field doctor for the guerrilla. He declined. He did not hate the NPA though. His attitude about them was more, “What do you expect? Of course we have armed revolutionary movement in our country. Why would that surprise you.”

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Filed under Asia, Asians, Chinese (Ethnic), Filipinos, Left, Malays, Maoism, Marxism, Mestizos, Mixed Race, Philippines, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Revolution, SE Asia, SE Asians, Sociology

“Hinduism Versus Confucianism: An Analysis and Comparison,” by Dota

Nice essay from Dota, former commenter here who now blogs at Occident Invicta with Bay Area Guy, another former commenter here.

The societies of India and China have been structured along feudal lines for much of recorded history. Despite both societies placing a premium on hierarchy and authoritarianism, their internal motivations and ethical paradigms are widely divergent. The Chinese mind has been shaped by Confucianism, whereas the Indian mind has been shaped by Hinduism.

Let’s begin by analyzing Confucianism.

Confucianism stresses social order and postulates that no society can attain political stability by precluding social stability. Confucianism views society as a massive collection of interdependent networks that are comprised of relationships on the atomic level.

The genius of the Confucian model is that it recognizes the inherently relative nature of power and how power is also a zero-sum resource. Those that possess power do so because others do not. An emperor may possess power over a subject, but that subject isn’t powerless, only merely so in relationship to his sovereign. This same subject may be a teacher and wield power over his students.

To ensure social stability, Confucius ordained that relationships be guided by the principle of ren or benevolence. This is Confucianism’s highest virtue and arguably the philosophy’s overarching universal ethic. A sovereign treats his subjects benevolently by ensuring that they are fed, protected, and generally want for nothing (materially speaking). The subjects then reciprocate with obedience and loyalty. Those in power must treat those without (in the context of their relationship) with benevolence, while the latter reciprocate with obedience and loyalty.

Benevolence is often strictly interpreted as each party honoring their respective obligations. It would be unjust for a wife to expect her husband’s kindness if she herself were disobedient. Conversely it would be unjust for a husband to demand his wife’s obedience if he himself failed in his husbandly duties. We see a glimmer of this idea even in Western tradition. Plato argued that interdependence was at the heart of justice, and that social order was maintained when members of social classes refrained form crossing lines.

Confucianism’s approach to social justice is not dissimilar to other Eastern philosophies. The primary aim here is to ensure the prevention of abuse rather than empowering the disenfranchised (a preoccupation of modern day social justice). Sumeria’s Ur-Nammu famously proclaimed that: “The orphan was not delivered up to the rich man; the widow was not delivered up to the mighty man; the man of one shekel was not delivered up to the man of one mina.” Not unlike other ancient societies, the Chinese also believed that class structures were an inherent feature of any civilized society, as men of greater talent would naturally rise above their peers. The ancients thus focused their energies on ensuring that men of ability did not use their powers unjustly against those lodged beneath them in the social order.

Before we move on to discussing Hinduism, a few comments are in order pertaining to the success of feudalism in China. It is my opinion that feudalism was wildly successful in China for the same reasons that the Catholic Church was successful in Europe. The Church absorbed some of the most talented men in society by giving them an avenue to express their talents. Such men could not ascend in a strictly feudal order despite their talents and thus gravitated towards the church.

The Chinese state implemented that very approach and absorbed men of resource into its ever growing bureaucracy. This also had another unexpected benefit – it prevented the formation of a class of dissidents that could prove to be a source of agitation. I believe the Communist Party of China absorbs talent in such a manner even today. Men who wish to ascend the rungs of power often choose the political route (via the party) as opposed to the riskier route of commerce.

Hindu society, like its Chinese counterpart, was similarly structured along feudal lines. There is, however, one key difference in their underlying composition – Confucianism stresses the interdependence of relationship networks, whereas the Hindu caste system is the world’s oldest pyramid scheme.

As we are well aware, a pyramid structure is one where every level attempts to profit (by exploitation) off the labor of the level below, and so it goes all the way down until one reaches the base – the most crucial level and also the most exploited. Pyramids are inherently unstable and one way to ensure their longevity is by means of force. Individuals must be coerced to remain at their stations so that the structure may endure. This method leaves the structure vulnerable to rebellions and a constant tension between the levels. This point is obvious from British history alone where Barons often clashed with the monarchy.

In order to allay this source of instability, some pyramids permit upward mobility. But this makes the crucial base unstable by putting it in a constant state of flux as individuals at the lower stations climb up and leave their former stations vacant. This problem is alleviated by constantly recruiting newer members into the base so that there is always a base available for exploitation.

The genius of the Hindu caste system is that it combines both the aforementioned approaches. Hinduism forbids caste mobility in the current life, thereby ensuring the perpetual hegemony of the upper castes. However, in order to prevent tension, Hinduism allows caste mobility but only through rebirth/reincarnation. This system ensures that the lower castes are given some hope of improving their station in the social order so long as they serve the interests of the upper castes in the current lifetime. It is karma, the cosmic recruiter, that ensures that the base will always remain staffed with compliant serfs.

The ultimate difference between Hinduism and Confucianism is that the former is an escapist religion whereas the latter is at its core an ethical philosophy. While many a Westerner would disagree with the ethical rules of Confucianism, it is impossible to deny the ethical focus of this philosophy. Ethics reside within the horizontal space between individuals. Any ideology or mode of thought that attempts to address this space is ethical in nature, even if we may disagree with the rules that regulate this space and by extension the human relationships bound to it.

By contrast, Hinduism addresses a very different space: the gap between man and the universe (cosmic order). The goal of Hinduism is to escape the world and become liberated from karma once and for all. Karma and Dharma are cosmic forces that to the best of my knowledge have no equivalent in Chinese philosophy; the focus of the latter being on social and ethical matters as opposed to metaphysics.

To illustrate this point, consider the life of an ascetic. Hinduism places a great degree of value on the ascetic lifestyle. But the man who renounces the world resides in (to quote Arthur Danto) a space “beyond good and evil.” In such an environment, an agent’s actions have no moral content. A hermit who lives outside society will always act in a morally neutral way. The closest analogy to this in Chinese philosophy is the Taoist wanderer, who is essentially a loner. But the wanderer is not seeking escape from the world, merely freedom from discomfort and anxiety that plague those that haven’t discovered the way (Tao).

Confucianism on the other hand, by its very essence, rejects the ascetic lifestyle. Man’s place is rooted firmly in society, for as Confucius put it: “One cannot herd with the beasts or flock with the birds. If I am not to be a man among men, then what am I to be?” It is this space that Hinduism ultimately seeks release from. Consider the following illustration from India’s Bhakti tradition:

In the basic story, Tiruppan grows up as part of an ‘untouchable’ panar caste of bards and minstrels in a town near the temple of Srirangam, arguably the most revered of all Vaisnava pilgrimage sites and indisputably the single most important temple for Srivaisnava devotees. From the moment he is able to speak, Tiruppan sings beautiful songs praising the qualities of Rangi (or Ranganatha), the form of Visnu worshiped in the temple of Srirangam just across the river from his home town.

Every day he travels to the south bank of the river and sings from a distance to his beloved Rangi. Tiruppan yearns to see the image of his beloved but is unable to enter the temple due to his ‘untouchable’ status. Eventually, the beauty of his songs and the intensity of his devotion awake the compassion of Rangi, who comes in a dream to the Brahmin priest of Srirangam and tells him to bring Tiruppan into the temple on his shoulders.

The priest goes to get Tiruppan, but he refuses to come, saying, “How could you do such a thing with me, your slave, who belongs to the class of untouchables?” In another version, he states, “How can I step with my feet on to the holy temple of Ranga?” And the Brahmin replies, “Never mind! You can go [sitting] on my shoulders.” In yet another version, Tiruppan is so insistent that he cannot come to the temple because of his low birth and sinful life that the priest must physically force him onto his shoulders.

Eventually, Tiruppan enters the temple riding on the shoulders of the Brahmin priest, and gazing at Rangi in devotional ecstasy, he sings ten verses of praise describing the God from foot to head. These are the very verses that are still remembered and recited today in the Srivaisnava community. The story concludes with Tiruppan miraculously uniting with and disappearing into the image of his beloved Rangi.

This story illustrates how a man can close the gap between himself and the divine (Tiruppan and Rangi) whereas leaving the glaring gap between individuals (Tiruppan and the Brahmin priests) unaddressed.

This brings me to the final point of this essay. What is Hinduism’s overarching ethic? Western civilization’s universal ethic is moral universalism, and Confucianism’s is Ren (benevolence). It is my view that Indian civilization is unique precisely because it failed to do something which other advanced civilizations have done: produce a universal ethic. This view was shared by three individuals whom I have listed here in chronological order:

  1. St Francis Xavier
  2. Max Weber
  3. Dr Ambedkar

Francis Xavier, the Spanish missionary, made a series of observations about Indians that are quite illuminating. It is obvious that he did not think too highly of Hinduism, but it is one particular interaction that I wish to draw your attention to – a conversation between Xavier and a group of Brahmins:

When Xavier asked a group of Brahmins to summarize what Hinduism stood for, he was told that their gods “required two duties of those who desired to go to them hereafter, one of which was to abstain from killing cows because under that form the gods were adored; the other was to show kindness to the Brahmins, who were the worshipers of the gods.”

Max Weber arrived at a similar conclusion when he stated:

“There is no universal ethic but only a status and professionally differentiated dharma according to caste”

The Religion of India the Sociology of Hinduism and Buddhism

Dr Ambedkar’s observations in his book The Riddles in Hinduism were identical to Weber’s. The very first chapter, The Difficulty in Knowing Who Is a Hindu, is centered around an attempt to define some common ethic or even creed that binds Hindus together. Ambedkar arrived at the conclusion that one is a Hindu precisely because one is born into the faith and not due to any universal ethic that binds individuals together under a set of agreed-upon moral rules.

Just as it is impossible to practice larceny in a culture that has no concept of private property, similarly it is impossible to practice intolerance in a culture that believes in nothing. I suspect this is the secret of Indian ‘tolerance.’ Tolerance can only be measured in opposition to what one cannot tolerate. The act of enduring what one cannot tolerate is in effect practicing tolerance. It is only in this context that tolerance acquires a moral quality. One however cannot practice tolerance when one subscribes to no real beliefs whose limits can be tested. The Indian approaches the world with extreme apathy and conflates his indifference for tolerance.

In conclusion, the difference between Confucianism and Hinduism can be observed in their differing worldviews despite some overlap in social conventions. Hinduism’s focus is on mystical objectives, as it dismisses reality as we understand it as illusionary. Confucianism’s focus is squarely on this world, and its chief emphasis is social and political harmony.

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The “Taiwan Miracle” Nonsense

The people who ran Taiwan were the same folks who had completely run China into the ground by 1949, resulting in a life expectancy of 1949. Their legacy was repeated famines, foot-binding, murder of female children, epidemic wife-beating and more or less feudal relations in the countryside. Most Chinese peasants were little more than slaves or serfs. They were serfs on a landlord’s feudal estate.

The landlord or his buddies could go visit the serfs at any time and do whatever he wanted to with them? He had the power of life and death over them. He could kill or beat up any serf he wanted to at any time. He could steal any of their property. And especially he could rape the wives and daughters of the peasants, which he did in epidemic form.

When the Communists took over, in the first few years, they did a land reform, dissolved the feudal estates and distributed the landlords’ land to peasants with no compensation. The Communists simply stole the landlords’ land. And in same time  period, the Communists decided to  put the landlords on trial. The trials were held in the villages and towns and the peasants were to serve as judge and jury. These were wild raucous public trials and in most cases, the peasants convicted the landlords of many of the crimes above and sentenced them to death. Up to 3 million landlords were executed by the peasants themselves.

This is what happens in peasant uprisings under feudalism. Study the subject of peasant uprisings down through time, and this is how they always end up. For centuries before feudalism was dismantled, there were peasant uprisings the world over. They even occurred in Peru under Inca rule! Usually they were horrifically bloody and if the peasants won, typically they simply killed all the feudal lords and everyone who helped them. The Chmielnicki Uprising in the 1500’s in Poland resulted in all the landlords and half the Jews because they were tax collectors for the landlords. But it also caused the deaths of 1/3 of the population of the country!

Under the Nationalists, feudalism and warlordism was the way in China. There was almost no state at all. Feudal landlords also served as warlords. Their warlord armies held sway in the countryside.

Go read The Good Earth by Pearl Buck sometime. That is what life was like in China under the Nationalists and that was the same way it had been for centuries. The Nationalists did not give a damn about anyone who was not rich. It was a feudal party of landlords and warlords.

The Taiwan miracle happened because when the Nationalists fled China, they took almost every nickel in the country with them. That’s why Mao had such a hard time at first. He was starting with more or less nothing. Also they completely dismantled the feudal landlord-warlord system under severe pressure from the US. Then they did a land reform under heavy pressure from the US also. Then the US flooded money into Taiwan for decades in an effort to make Taiwan an anti-Communist showcase, sort of a propaganda exhibit to compare it with China.

Sure the Nationalists turned around Taiwan. Taiwan has a population of what? 50 million? Try doing that with 1.3 million. And the only reason Taiwan junked warlordism, landlordism and feudalism and did a land reform was because Mao won the war. If Mao would have lost the war, China would have just continued with their landlordism, warlordism and feudalism because that was how the Nationalists had governed for decades before and how their predecessors had governed for centuries before that.

If Mao wouldn’t have won, why would the Nationalists have dismantled the system? And don’t forget that 4% of the population left the country and took almost every dime in the place with them when they left. If they would have stayed the money would have stayed in China, so the nationalists would have had 96% less money. Show me how they do their miracle now? And if there had been no revolution, why would the Nationalists have made those massive economic changes they did when they went to Taiwan. Getting rid of landlordism, feudalism and warlordism was a response to the threat of Communism. If they would have continued on with the system the Nationalists were running in China on Taiwan, they would have had another Communist uprising on the island for sure.

Oh and one more thing. When the Nationalists fled to Taiwan, one of the first things they did was to kill 300,000 Communists in Taiwan.

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Why Mao Is Still a Hero to So Many Chinese

As for your Central Planning, it led to famine, but of course Russians are basically white so the argument against Communism is universal.

Do you know how many famines China had before Mao or how often they occurred?

“Central planning” didn’t cause those famines. They did the transition to collectivized agriculture too fast and the whole thing was such a mess there was a famine for a few years. And in the USSR, a lot of the famine was due to wheat rust epidemic. Also the kulaks set their fields on fire of harvested the crops and piled them in their fields until they got rained on so they got moldy. Also the kulaks killed 50% of the livestock in the several years before the famine. So they destroyed a lot of their crops on purpose and they killed half the livestock in the country. You wonder why there was a famine?

Do you realize that even during the Great Leap in 1958-1961, the death rate in China was still lower than it was in 1949?

The death rate in China collapsed under Mao. Sure, he killed some people, but he saved way more.

Failure of central planning to feed people? China and India were at the same place in 1949. That’s how screwed up China was before Mao. It was as bad as India! Can you imagine? If it wouldn’t have been for Mao, China would be like India right now? India?! Can you visualize that?

After Mao, the malnutrition rate in China is 7%.
After Indian capitalism, the malnutrition rate in India is 51%.

If you wonder why so many Chinese still revere Mao, it’s because of things like that. Chinese people are not idiots.

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The Gains and Legacy of Maoism and the State Role in the Chinese Economy Today

TRASH: Central Planning has done no favors for the Chinese economy and that is why everyone was making The Great Leap Forward to British Hong Kong or eating their children during the famine. Mao was both an idiot and a sadistic tyrant.

True enough that China has found a form of government binding Soviet-blood Manchurian Eurasians, Uighur Turks and Tibet people into a large infrastructure.

Han Chinese seem to have born the brunt of their leaders incompetent Central Planning, Great Leaps Forward, intellectual purges during the Blue Kite horrors etc.

Do you have any idea what China was like before Mao took over? Believe me, it was way, way, way worse that it was under Mao.

Really? Mao set a world record by doubling life expectancy in in the shortest period of time. Life expectancy was doubled from 32 in 1949 to 65 in 1980. A world record! Think how many lives Mao saved! Sure he killed some people, but he saved so many other lives. This is why so many people who lived under Mao revere him to this very day, though it is admitted that he made mistakes.

Industrial production grew at about 10% per year under Mao. Agricultural production exploded under Mao. Medical care was dramatically expanded to where it served the whole population. There were vast expansions in education and after Mao, every Chinese could go to school. There was a massive expansion in housing under Mao and few Chinese lived in slums anymore. Life in countryside improved dramatically under Mao.

The state still plays a huge role in the economy and to some extent the economic progress of the nation is indeed planned or guided by the state. But the same is done in Japan and South Korea.

You realize that all land in China is owned by the state?

Do you have any idea how much money the Chinese state spends at various levels on public projects of all kinds?

Do you realize that the #2 maker of TV’s in the world is a Chinese state firm?

You realize that all Chinese publically owned firms are officially owned by their workers. This was something that Mao put in and the “reformers” have not been able to get rid of it. The more money the firm makes, the larger the workers’ paycheks are.

You realize that 45% of the economy is still publicly owned, right? The difference is now much of that is owned by municipalities and those cities actually compete against each other. Also state firms are run to make a profit, but the profit goes to the state where it is plowed right back to the people in all sorts of ways.

Even the market is under pretty serious control of the state. Private firms need to go along with the project or risk being shut down and confiscated. Much of the massive Chinese development in China is done by state firms. Many Chinese state firms now compete globally against capitalist enterprises, so it’s sink or swim. Many pro-capitalist rightwingers in the US have been complaining about having to compete with Chinese state firms because they are shored up by the Chinese state so therefore this is somehow unfair competition.

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The Chinese Language: The Wily Tiger That Cannot Be Tamed

Putonghua is the official version of Mandarin which the Communist government determined was to be the official language of the nation. It was created in 1949 and modeled mostly but not entirely on the variety spoken in Beijing.

Although Putonghua seems to be killing off a lot of dialects or even microlanguages, I have a feeling that this is mandatory. Nevertheless the process of accelerated language change in China (Why?) seems to be even catching up with Putonghua. For instance, Putonghua of course was modeled on the Beijing language. However, this was Beijing Mandarin of 1949, and it was also the language of the suburbs, not to the city.

Since then, Putonghua has taken off on its own and so has Beijing Mandarin with the strange result that the hard Beijing Mandarin of hutongs in the center of the city is now often unintelligible to Putonghua speakers! So this is a case of a standard language and the lect it was modeled off taking off via independent evolution such that 70 years later, the original lect is no longer intelligible with the Standard that was modeled on that very lect!

Chinese lects are wildly different, and tones adds another mess into the matter. This has shown up even in Putonghua, where some Putonghua varieties are now unintelligible with the rest of Putonghua due to severe influence of the local lects on the standard and possibly regional evolution of the standard! Hence even Putonghua seems to have split off into several languages itself! Thus Guangdong Putonghua, Anhui Putonghua, Shanghai Putonghua, Jianghuai Putonghua and Zhengcao Putonghua are no longer fully intelligible to Putonghua speakers outside the region!

In addition, Taiwan Mandarin, Tibetan Mandarin and Malay Mandarin have all taken off on their own independent evolutionary tracks such that these are no longer fully intelligible to Standard speakers either! So since 1949, Putonghua has split into at least 8 different languages that lack full intelligibility with each other!

It seems the Chinese tried to lasso that wily creature called the Chinese language to rein it in and domesticate it somehow, but the wily creature keeps slipping away due to its endlessly morphing patter.

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Benefits and Problems of Dengism in China

Well, that was Mao’s view.

I think the Cultural Revolution should just weed out the capitalist and reactionary elements in the party, that’s all. The Chinese Cultural Revolution went way too far and did a lot of bad things.

There haven’t been any cultural revolutions (not really anyway) ever since. I guess Stalin did in 1938 but he also killed all sorts of innocent people.

You don’t need constant cultural revolutions to preserve Communism.

As far as Deng Xiaoping’s model goes, China is still a Communist country in a very many ways. It’s market socialism. I think you need a market even in a Communist society. Otherwise everything goes wrong. The market should be used as a tool for harnessing the productive forces. The market would provide a lot of readily available goods, a pricing mechanism, etc. But the market needs to serve society, not the other way around. If the Party is in control, they could use the market as a tool and if any sector of the market ceased to serve society, the Party could step in and modify that sector, take it over or even shut it down.

But there are all sorts of problems with Dengism. Deng got rid of free health care in China. I believe in China, you need to pay to go to the doctor or get medicine. Millions of people are dying in China from lack of healthcare. This is the move that almost the entire world has cheered wildly for – Dengism. Have you ever heard the Western press say one bad thing about Dengism? How bout millions of people dying from lack of healthcare? Why should we cheer for that? What sort of person are you if you cheer for that? Capitalists cheer for stuff like that. Capitalists see millions of people dying for lack of healthcare, and they stand up and cheer. See why I have such a low opinion of capitalists?

Also sexism came back in a very big way under Deng. Men started treating women a lot worse than they did under Mao. I do not know why that is, but capitalism just seems to bring out the worst in people.

Of course the crime rate absolutely exploded under Deng.

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Problems of Communist or Socialist Democracy

Steve: I think the worst thing about 20th century communism was not the economic system but the totalitarianism, the police state and the spying and prison camps.

Maybe it was the revolutionary origins, the utopianism, the materialism, the fact the government had too much power because it owned and controlled everything BUT if it were possible to have communism with democracy, free speech, freedom of religion, trial by jury etc it really wouldn’t be so bad, you could live with the economic system.

Remember the communist countries had the cold war and sanctions and stuff to contend with too.

They have a certain amount of free speech in China, Vietnam and Cuba, but maybe not as much as you would like. They have anti-government demonstrations in Vietnam, and there are 100 protests every day in China.

There is critical press in Cuba that no one does anything about (check out Havana Times) and dissidents are mostly allowed to publish openly (check out the famous Cuban woman dissident blogger). There is freedom of religion in Cuba, and believers can now join the Party. They have trial by jury in Cuba. I am not sure how fair it is though. But there are some defense attorneys who are taking anti-government cases right now, people accused of criminal charges, police brutality cases, etc. You can read about them in Havana Times. Nobody does much to them.

In Cuba it was supposedly inside the revolution, total freedom of speech, outside of it nothing. But it never really worked out that way, and they went after a lot of loyal opposition types. In Cuba today, you can’t try to overthrow the government and you can’t advocate getting rid of the socialist system. Outside of that, you can supposedly say what you want, but even that may be limited. Check out Havana Times though. There are some very government-critical people there being published all the time, and I think they are mostly left alone.

Every time they try that, the capitalists go berserk, cause chaos and make endless coup and assassination attempts. Also they engage in mass economic sabotage. But this was only tried in places where the economy was still capitalist. The US starts flooding the country with millions of dollars to the dissidents and spends more millions setting up countless “democratic” pressure group that mostly spend every second of their time trying to overthrow the government. You going to let people own newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations. Guess who’s going to buy up all the media? In Venezuela even today, 75% of the media is privately owned. OK you will allow free elections. How about campaign contributions? Guess who’s going to buy the elections?

You can’t have Communist democracy. That’s why Lenin talked about parliamentary cretinism.

You can’t have somewhat socialist democracy in a lot of places. Look what happened in:

  • Brazil (military coup, parliamentary coup)
  • Guatemala (military coup + 200,000 murdered over 40 years)
  • Iran (military coup + 150,000 murdered)
  • The Congo (military coup + assassination)
  • Haiti (military coup + chaos + contras + 3,000 plus murdered)
  • Dominican Republican (US invasion to topple regime)
  • Guyana (regime toppled by British)
  • Honduras (military coup + 1,000 murdered)
  • Syria (military coup)
  • Greece (military coup)
  • Italy (election fraud)
  • Indonesia (military coup + 1 million Communists murdered)
  • Colombia (assassination + death squads)
  • Panama (assassination)
  • Mexico (election fraud)
  • Afghanistan (contras)
  • Nicaragua (contras + sanctions)
  • El Salvador (military coup followed by 75,000 murdered)
  • Chile (economic sabotage, chaos, military coup, 15,000 murdered, defense attorneys tortured to death)
  • Venezuela (military coup, economic coup, constant riots and chaos), endless assassination plots, assassinations and murders, death squads, economic sabotage)
  • Argentina (military coup, 30,000 murdered)
  • Uruguay (military coup, 300 murdered)
  • Peru (military coup, 1.5 million arrested)
  • East Timor (military coup, invasion to topple regime, 300,000 murdered),
  • Paraguay (legislative coup + death squads)
  • Zimbabwe (sanctions)
  • Ukraine (coup)

Mao warned about this. He said there were always capitalist elements in the party trying to restore capitalism. That was the reason for the cultural revolution. Mao thought you would have to have cultural revolutions all the time to keep weeding out the reactionary elements in the party because they would keep springing up again like weeds.

Look what happened when Mao died. The reactionaries in the party around Deng took over and restored capitalism (sort of). Mao was right.

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Have Countries Improved by Moving Away from Social Democracy and Towards Neoliberalism?

HBD investor: Many countries floundered in various socialist schemes and their economies massively improved when they became less socialist.

None of this is true.

Many countries had problems with centrally planned economies with many or all state firms. This is called either state socialism or Communism and the record is not so wonderful. It isn’t so bad either. Been to Eastern Europe? See all that infrastructure? That was all built by the Communists. Go to Russia and see the same thing. Same in China. Communists built Russia and China up from nothing. They were nothing before, and Communism turned them into superpowers. They also had very high economic growth in industry and agriculture for decades. They massively expanded the nearly nonexistent education system. The Communists made monumental gains in housing in both countries. Health care improved to an incredible degree in both countries.

Now with Communism you can get great economic growth for a while, maybe a few decades, maybe more, but at some point it all starts bogging down in bureaucracy, lack of a pricing mechanism and a market, a lot of people just not working very hard and massive thievery of state property. In addition, the rate of economic growth slows. Although Communist countries usually wipe out poverty, in its place they only allow a relatively low standard of living. People probably want to live better than that. In addition, the collectivization of agriculture has been such a failure in Communist countries that I believe we should stop trying it. Production usually goes down by quite a bit and there are sometimes famines at the start if they try to do it too fast.

Yugoslavian Communism worked very well by the way, and they had a very good standard of living, the highest in Eastern Europe.

In addition, state socialist schemes with central planning had a lot of problems in Syria, India, Tanzania and other places. It just doesn’t work very well.

On the other hand, some form of social democracy is the norm all over the world. It’s not true that social democratic countries did a lot better as they shed most of their social democracy and adopted neoliberalism. The world has been doing that for a long time now and the record is in. It’s been a massive failure.

All of Europe except the UK is voting in Left parties, and at least the people want more social democracy and less neoliberalism. There’s no move towards neoliberalism and away from social democracy in Europe outside of Latvia and the UK.

There is no neoliberal free market capitalism in the Arab World. Arabs actually don’t believe in neoliberalism because Arabs and Muslims are sort of “naturally socialist” people. The Gulf states are huge social democracies. There is a lot of social spending and considerable state involvement in the economy in much of the Arab World.

Iran has been pretty much a socialist country ever since the Revolution. There is vast social spending, and the state is involved in the economy. Afghanistan is collapsed, but Communism was actually pretty popular there. Pakistan has been run by social democratic parties in recent years. India is officially a socialist country. It’s written right into the Constitution. An armed Maoist group is very powerful in India. Communist Parties have been running the states of West Bengal and Kerala for decades. Nepal is run by a coalition government consisting of a socialist party and a Communist party. The large opposition is made up of Maoists. I believe Sri Lanka is run by a social democratic party.

Myanmar’s been socialist forever. Vietnam and Laos are Communist. Cambodia has been run by Communists in recent years. The Philippines is a bad example, but they have free state health care for all, and education is free through the university level. Indonesia recently elected a socialist, a woman. The very popular newly elected president says he is a socialist. An armed Maoist group is very active in the country.

Australia and New Zealand are longstanding social democracies on the Canadian model.

Canada is a longstanding social democracy.

The largest party in Mexico is a member of the Socialist International, and the oil industry is state owned. Education is free through the university level, and health care is also free. El Salvador and Nicaragua are now run by former Marxist guerrillas, the FMLN and the Sandinistas. Costa Rica has been a social democracy since after World War 2. Honduras recently elected a leftwing president who was quickly overthrown in a state-sponsored coup. The military is still in power in Honduras, but everybody hates them.

A socialist party called Lavalas, the party of Jean Bertrande Aristide, continues to be the most popular party in Haiti, even though it has been declared illegal. To show you how popular Lavalas is, in the last election they ran in, they got 92% of the vote. During his short reign, Aristide built more schools than had been built in the entire 190 years before him.

A number of Caribbean island states are members of the Bolivarian economic bloc set up by Venezuela. Most Caribbean political parties are leftwing parties with the words socialist, revolutionary, workers, labor, or popular in them. Cuba is Communist and has a lower infant mortality rate than we do. A few years ago, they also had a longer life expectancy than we did.

Venezuela is still run by the Chavistas, a socialist party. Ecuador is run by a Leftist. Peru recently elected a leftwing Indian, although he has not been able to do much as his hands are tied. Brazil has been electing the socialist PT or Workers Party for many years now. A former Marxist guerrilla was the most recent president, and she was only removed by an illegal US-sponsored legislative coup. Paraguay elected a Leftist Catholic priest, a preacher of Liberation Theology, but he was soon overthrown in a legislative coup. The illegitimate party is now in power.

Uruguay has been a social democracy forever, and it is now governed by a former Marxist guerrilla. Juan Peron put in a social democracy in the 1950’s. Argentina was recently governed by a leftwing husband and wife team who alternated in the Presidency. Chile has been electing presidents from the Socialist Party for about 20 years now. The most recent Socialist, Michelle Bachelet, is a radical, but it remains to be seen what she can do. Chile has a huge class divide, the upper and lower classes  want to murder each other, and there are regular violent protests, leftwing versus rightwing street brawls, and riots, lately by students.

In Latin America, radical neoliberalism was imposed for 20 years, and it failed so badly that the whole continent has been electing leftwingers ever since.

I do not know much about Africa, but most African parties have been officially social democratic for a long time now. The Communist Party was recently part of a South African government. If anything has failed in Africa, it is neoliberalism.

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