Saturday, 29 June 2013

Why China can't become the super power?

Tiananmen square massacre, 1989, Beijing
China's Great Leap Forward into superpower race begain between 1958 and 1961. This was Mao's effort to rapidly industrialise China and collectivise its agriculture. The death toll from a combination of famine and state terror was somewhere between 18 and 45 million. Then there was the Cultural Revolution between 1966 and 1976, another exercise in state terror which saw mass purges, millions of people displaced, and much of China's cultural heritage destroyed.
They have no sense of respect for their fellow Asians which could be the key to their superpower. We can rightly look at the Tibetans. They were invaded, occupied, and forcibly incorporated into the People's Republic of China in 1950. Between 200,000 and a million of them died during the Great Leap Forward, while some 6,000 monasteries were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. The Vietnamese, like many other peoples on the fringes of China, have their own histories of struggle against Chinese imperialism, seeing off a border incursion as recently as 1979.
As for spying, surveilling, and torturing, well, this is the great specialty of totalitarian regimes and the only real rivals of the PRC and the USSR were the Nazis. It is ironic that the Edward Snowden fled first to China and then to Russia, two of the most politically least free societies on earth, to protest US surveillance. When Chinese and Russian dissidents flee to the West, there is no irony in their choice.But here too China's so-called communists easily match the venality of the West's leaders. 
What we perhaps need to let go of is the idea that a strong state, whether Chinese or American, will save us, or will ever do the right thing. It is popular action, the masses on the streets, the threat or actuality of revolution, demands backed up by demonstrations, riots, and unrest, which extract concessions from the rich and the powerful.
Western politicians have been transferring wealth from the have-nots to those who have too much, and they have been well rewarded after they leave office with sinecures, memberships on corporate boards, and highly paid jobs as advisors and lobbyists. But here too China's so-called communists easily match the venality of the West's leaders. As Bloomberg has recently reported , the princelings of the Chinese Communist Party have amassed fortunes in real estate and other assets. They too have created a country with increasingly horrific divides in wealth and power, while they and their families party with China's new class of super rich.
What is happening now in Turkey and Brazil is how you make gains for democracy, justice and equality.
By and large, despite all the hot air about the internet and twitter, the tools of people power have failed to adapt to globalization. While capital has become mobile, the people have remained caged in their nation-states, left to vent their rage against a local government that is but a minor servant of global capital.
The Arab Spring and other globally networked and interlinked uprisings have begun to show the way. At some point, when deprived of their consumer economies and all their baubles, the Western masses will join the struggle, as they have begun to in Greece and elsewhere. That is, if they are not led astray by the siren songs of fascism and anti-immigrant racism.
It is the global superpower of the people in which we should place our hopes and our efforts for a better future, not some communist dictatorship that offers nothing but cheap textiles, knock-off electronics and a world-class gulag.
reference AL JAZEERA

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