Wal-Mart and China have teamed up to help build us a “New World,” one in which cheap junk is yours to own, but you’ll pay for it with “rolled back wages.” What we now have is the sweat-shop king united with the worlds last fake communist giant.
The TV’s and other products you buy where we are told that prices are rolled back are rolled back because Chinese workers earn about 50 cents an hour, or as Time reported in “Wal-Mart Nation,” June27, 2005, $100 a month to make products.
But don’t feel left out, according to the article China has allowed Wal-Mart the opportunity to invade China’s and is promoting its “consumer vs. worker” philosophy. According to the article “The worlds largest retailer isn’t just buying-and selling- stuff in Chine. It has become a major force for change.”
What does that really mean? Time had a number of special articles on China telling many of us what we already know- that the country is a kind of “free-market Stalinist state.” That is – most of the political repression of Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union, without any of the social benefits he provided to make life better for the common man.
Although they adopted a “free-wheeling- free-market” system that lets people enjoy US style affluence, Time pointed out that the affluence is not uniform. Under A New China Rises,” Time pointed to individuals who have been left behind by China’s market economy.
Then there’s the political side of things. Time admits there still is no legal opposition to the Communist Party and criticizing it can lead to either imprisonment or a marginalized existence were a person becomes “A non-person.” Time gave such an example in “The Last Frontier, Almost anything goes these days-but you still can’t oppose the Communist Party. Will China ever really be free?”
One thing that Time leaves out is that it is just as illegal to be a left-wing Marxists as it is to be a so-called “rightists.” Since the Death of Mao Zedong, the far right has arrested and jailed and kept out of site any of the old “left-guard.” Under Mao, both factions had the right to exist and did exist all the way to his death. Mao believed in the Taoist principle that the unity of opposite was required to keep harmony. He favored the left, but allowed the rightist to keep their positions of power.
Today the left faction of the Party has bee completely suppressed and made illegal. It has been wiped out of the government all together. One example of a person who stood their ground and defended his beliefs was Zhang Chunqiao. He was arrested after the “Gang-of-four” trials. He refused to denounce his politics so he was sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted to life-imprisonment. He remained unrepentant and spent the rest of his life in prison. See Revolution, May 22, 2005.
China has re-written its own history. The government released a book in1992 and re-released it in 1996, called Mao Zedong Man, Not God, by Quan Yanchi. It is mostly positive about the country’s “founder” as if he were a second George Washington. But in the end it talks about the Cultural Revolution:
“Mao did not find everything about the Communist Party or the nation which he had founded to his satisfaction, and he always tried to “do something to rectify it.” In my opinion, this is one of the reasons why he initiated the “cultural revolution.” Unfortunately for the Chinese nation this “something” which he did, turned out to be a mistake which triggered ten years of catastrophe.”
There are also plenty of Chinese living in the US who have cashed in on the anti-cultural revolution ban wagon. Most of the books, such as Born Red: A Chronicle of the Cultural Revolutionby Yuan Gao or China's Son : Growing Up in the Cultural Revolution by D A Chen are filled with horror stories of brutality and senseless violence. Of course Americans are getting in on this bandwagon also, such as with China's Cultural Revolution, 1966-1969: Not a Dinner Party (East Gate Reader)by Michael Schoenhals (Editor). Anything positive about the Cultural Revolution is not printable today. The cold war is over and anything anti-socialist, pro-capitalist, sells as revised history. V.I. Lenin is just as bad as Joseph Stalin. The entire Spanish Civil War was directed by Stalin (anarchist are left out as if they didn’t exists). The assertions are ridicules, but the winners wrote them and our history got revised.
The Cultural Revolution was much like our civil rights struggles in the 1960s. China was fighting classism and trying to empower the powerless. There are always violent reactions when people feel their privileges are under attack. That happened here in the south, as Blacks fought for their rights. For the other side of the Cultural Revolution see: “The Truth About the Cultural Revolution,” Revolutionary Worker #1251, August 29, 2004.