[Marxism] Profound shift as China marches back to Mao

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at gmail.com
Fri Oct 14 00:36:30 MDT 2011

The headline, of course, isn't mine. Nevertheless, interesting article.


Profound shift as China marches back to Mao

Sydney Morning Herald
October 9, 2011

Profound shift as China marches back to Mao
John Garnaut, Beijing

CHINA is heading into a new Mao-inspired epoch of socialism and 
says the founder of China's most powerful leftist internet platform.

Han Deqiang, who founded and retains behind-the-scenes control over the
Utopia website, says most observers have failed to notice a profound 
in China's ideological and political trajectory.

He recited an old saying about the Yellow River dramatically changing 
course every generation to describe China's swing from Chairman Mao to 
Xiaoping and back again.

''The river runs to the east for 30 years, the river runs to the west 
for 30
years, and now it will run east for another 30 years,'' said Professor 
from Beijing Aeronautical University.

''The transition is already occurring but people are failing to 

Professor Han's confidence that the Chinese Communist Party is returning 
its Mao-inspired roots comes as the country is once again awash with 
for democratic political reforms.

The current trigger for debate is the 100th anniversary of the fall of 
Qing Dynasty, known as the Xinhai Revolution, which provided a moment of
optimism about constitutional democracy.

Both the Communist Party and democratic activists claim the Xinhai
Revolution as part of their historical ancestry.

''The left, in the sense of representing anti-democratic dictatorship, 
not own revolutionary legitimacy in China,'' said David Kelly, research
director at China Policy in Beijing and a visiting professor at Peking
University. ''The anniversary of 1911 brings into play the fundamental
decision between social democracy and revolutionary dictatorship.''

The anniversary has raised awkward comparisons between the dying days of 
Qing Dynasty and corruption, social tensions and political uncertainty 
the Communist Party today. Advocates of democratic reform have to tread
carefully through China's censorship controls and face state-driven
harassment, imprisonment and sometimes violence if they venture too far.

Professor Han and his Utopia website, in contrast, have been given a 
hand to push Maoist and extreme anti-Western ideas while launching
blistering attacks on liberal opponents, including those who hold senior
positions inside the party.

Professor Han concurs with the liberal diagnosis of China's problems but
rejects liberal political prescriptions and motivations.

At the top of his attack list are the leaders of China's financial 
including Politburo member Wang Qishan, central bank chief Zhou 
sovereign wealth fund head Lou Jiwei, former China Merchants Bank chief 
Xiao and outspoken liberal intellectuals such as Mao Yushi.

''I completely agree with their analysis of problems like crony 
and corruption but should we overthrow the current regime?'' asked 
Han. ''Who will replace it if we do? They don't care whether China turns
into chaos or not because they can just withdraw their money from Swiss 
accounts and buy everything at bargain prices and make double the 

Professor Han said he had been an enthusiastic participant in the 
protest movement that ended in the Tiananmen massacres of 1989.

He dismissed speculation that his Utopia website received government
financial support.

He said Utopia provided a home to the pan-leftist movement including
''liberal'' leftists who were inspired by Western socialism as well as
''revolutionary'' leftists inspired by Mao.

He labels himself as a revolutionary leftist. Like many leftists, 
Han places huge expectations on Bo Xilai, the Politburo member who has
revived Maoist rhetoric and leftist policies in Chongqing city.

''The Chongqing model is the only hope for China's future,'' said 

He said Mr Bo had merged the liberal and revolutionary streams of the
Chinese left but would soon dispense with the liberal part. He predicted
that Mr Bo would upset the pecking order at next year's Communist Party
Congress by being promoted to premier.

''Only Bo can save communism and save China,'' said Professor Han

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