Wednesday, October 20, 2004

What Ever Happened to Red China

When did the “Peoples Republic of China” become simply “China”? As far as I know the Chinese government still thinks of themselves as “The Peoples Republic”, yet the media no longer refers to them as the PRC. For that matter when did China cease being “Red China” and morph into the PRC and then to “China”? Are they less “Red” today? Has China become democratic or less communist? Of course not, what has happened is the media wants to turn world attention away from the abuses by the remaining Communist Regimes. North Korea is no longer “Communist North Korea” instead it has evolved into “North Korea” or if any negative connotation is offered, it is referred to as a “rogue regime”, but rarely if ever is it referred to as “communist”. The same is true of Cuba, suddenly Castro has gone mainstream as the Left tries to garner acceptance for his worker’s paradise, while ignoring the continued suppression of dissent and persecution of those who dare to challenge him. Did Communism die with the Berlin Wall? The recent anti-war protests were organized by the communists but for the most part in their haste to turn opinion against the administration the part played by the communists has either been glossed over or ignored altogether. What is going on in the media and when did communism die? For that matter what about its birth?

Interestingly, Communism is actually a moral reaction to capitalism and both are simply structured philosophical descriptions of market dynamics and part of the Science (?) of Economics. Commerce was largely unexplored or at least languished among the scholarly pursuits until the 1600’s. The history of the development and evolution of Economics is eloquently described in the “Worldly Philosophers”[1] Adam Smith in his book the “Wealth of Nations” actually is describing the real workings of the world of commerce at the dawning of the Industrial Age. Communism as described by Marx and Engels came as a philosophical reaction to the dark side of capitalism. This reaction can be summed up as being a moral judgment on the unequal distribution of wealth but it is a long way from formulating a philosophy and acting upon it. So Communism wasn’t born until 1917.

What seems to have escaped everyone’s attention is that governments can be capitalist, socialist, or even communist, but the actual form of government is none of those. Governments are democratic and freely elected, or they are hereditary absolute monarchies, or dictatorships. Communist governments are and have always been dictatorships. No Communist government has ever been freely elected. Yet from the very outset the Leftists have been unable to get past the inherent morality of Communist philosophy and see its failures in practice. In 1921 Lincoln Steffens upon his return from the Russia of Lenin and Stalin said “I have seen the future and it works”.[2] Of course virtually all of the leftist writers and journalists at the time were offering very positive views of Communism. So the positive view of Communism has a long history and includes some very impressive names who offered if not outright support, certainly provided a patina of approval. Shortly after assuming the Presidency President Truman said “You are needlessly worried about Russian Communism, I am worried about British Imperialism”. A view he quickly came to realize was erroneous but a position that the liberal Leftists never came to share.

Instead the media and the Leftist intelligentsia glossed over the excesses, blatant falsehoods, and most of all the atrocities committed by the Communist Regime in Russia and later in Cambodia, Cuba, China, and Viet Nam. These were largely ignored and the left wing intellectuals continued their love affair, providing the Russians with atomic secrets among other traitorous acts. Even today the Goldberg’s are viewed as martyrs by the Left and the posthumous proof that Robert Oppenheimer was in fact providing secrets to the Communists was simply ignored by the media. But now we have the papers of Senator McCarthy describing his attacks on Hollywood and the State Department, those “bastions of “right thinking” and the media are once again in a fighting frenzy. Senator McCarthy was certainly a flawed man and there is little doubt that he grossly overplayed his hand, but the fact is Hollywood was and still is filled with actors, producers, and directors who are filled with animosity toward America and American ideals and freedoms, in the words of Jeanne Kirkpatrick the “blame America first crowd.” Today “McCarthyism” is an epithet to be hurled at anyone who dares to challenge the Leftist intellectuals and their anti-American and pro-communist stance. The fact is that Senator McCarty was not totally wrong. . If you doubt this watch any Oliver Stone movie. He is an historical revisionist determined to show the world how history should have been.

But, what about Red China – how did it become not Red? How did Cuba cease being Communist Cuba and become “Castro’s Cuba”? Are these countries no longer “Communist”? Have I missed some dramatic change of heart? Are these countries now allowing free speech, freedom of the press, private ownership? Not that I know of, instead they continue to be oppressive states that imprison people for simply disagreeing with them. No dissent is allowed. The liberal press (a redundancy) paints a rosy picture of China today – it is a worker’s paradise. They are actually allowing elections at the village level. Of course, the old USSR held elections as well and you could vote for any Communist Party Candidate of your choice. The same is true in China today. It is just as Red and just as oppressive as it always was. It is interesting to me that the liberals today see China on the way to reform much like Taiwan and Korea. Apparently I missed something here because Taiwan was a leftover from the old Chiang Kai Shek regime and has been a democratically elected republic for a very long time. It evolved from a dictatorship but that was a very short period. As far as I know Korea is divided into two parts, the South which is a democratic government and the North which is a brutally repressive communist regime. So the “reforms” that the Chinese Government are implementing seem to me to be commercial more that political. Apparently this is just “realpolitik” because China wants to sell to the US and the US wants to buy. Red China is dead – Long Live China – the worker’s paradise.
[1] The Worldly Philosophers, Robert Heilbroner, Simon & Schuster, 1953,
[2] Useful Idiots, Mona Charen –Regenery, 2003

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