Transformation of Political Language (Part 1)

Is anybody communist? (Interview with Jeff J. Brown)

In response to Jeff J. Brown’s article “The Myth of Chinese Capitalism,” Ron Leighton wrote an article published at Dissident Voice, Counterpunch, and elsewhere. Dr. T. P. Wilkinson has interviewed Jeff J. Brown about his article and much more.

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The debate about what system actually governs the People’s Republic of China has continued since the death of Mao Zedong in 1976. The significance of this controversy increased after 1989 when the Soviet Union was destroyed along with the governments that had prevailed in the Comecon1 region.

After the NATO-led demolition of Yugoslavia, the prevailing opinion in the West was that communism or even socialism had failed. This left the Republic of Cuba, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea and the People’s Republic of China as the only states ruled by and through communist parties. The claim that China—at least since Deng—is capitalist and not communist or socialist is not so much an issue in China as one for those adamant on proving that the system attributed to the US or the “West”, generally called “capitalism” is not merely the superior system but the only system on the planet no matter who governs.

This interview is not only a response to an article by Ron Leighton criticizing Jeff J Brown. It is the first in a series of articles on the Transformation of Political Language. Since 1989 there has been an obvious crisis in popular-based politics following the global purging of radical popular movements from the 1950 to the 1980. While the thirty years following the end of World War II were dominated by violent counter-insurgency and assassinations, the period following the end of the Soviet Union has been an era where the very language of popular political action has collapsed. This series aims to explain this and perhaps point toward possibilities for a reconstituted political speech capable of collating the subjective and objective conditions of political struggle.

T.P. Wilkinson: As someone whose life in China went through different phases, in fact, changed through personal experience, it might be useful to start by describing when and how you came to China and briefly describe those transformations.

Jeff J. Brown: I really need to go back in time to fully answer your question. My travel lust began over a decade before starting my career in China, 1990-1997. With my agricultural upbringing, in 1978, I learned fluent Portuguese at graduate school, with the express goal of going to Brazil to become a corn and soybean baron. Luckily, I could not get the financing. Otherwise, I would have probably become a greedy landowner, shooting at locals and Natives, to protect my property.

Instead, I joined the Peace Corps, 1980-1982 in Tunisia, learning Arabic fluently, to help local farmers with their imported Holstein dairy cows. This launched me into eight more years across Africa and the Middle East, first in marketing frozen bull semen for artificial insemination and then in grain trade, also learning French fluently.

Having gotten married in 1988 and becoming a naturalized French citizen, I was ready for a change of culture. We got transferred to China in 1990, with four more years in grain trade and then for three years, overseeing the installation and management of McDonald’s first bun bakery on the Mainland.

I mention all this, because I am ashamed of my attitude and behavior during my first seven years in China. In spite of all my previous cosmopolitan, globetrotting, linguistic experiences in tens of countries on four continents, I was thoroughly brainwashed with the hubris and cultural superiority of all things USA. Yes, I learned to read, write and speak Mandarin fluently, soaked up the culture, traveling all over China and in the region, yet sadly, I swaggered around like the proverbial ugly American.2

Looking back, I cringe at myself.

It wasn’t until we returned 2010-2019, that my arc of awareness became meaningful and personally transformative. First was the metamorphosis of the country, after only 13 years. I was stunned by the breathtaking development and improvement in quality-of-life factors. Even more importantly was the amazing, positive revolution in the people, their attitudes, behavior and lifestyles. I was truly impressed with everything I saw. However, we were in Beijing and at first, we only did limited travel in the area. I had to prove to myself that what I was seeing was the real deal in other parts of the country. I thus spent 44 days traveling by foot, local trains and buses, in six of the poorest provinces/regions of the country, including the Tibetan Plateau.

What started out as a simple blog developed into my first book, 44 Days Backpacking in China. Nonetheless, having finished it, I knew something was very wrong about my lingering Western superiority attitude, which I fully shed in writing my second book, China Rising. I then really rounded out the Chinese people’s incredible story of their 5,000-year civilization in writing BIG Red Book on China. Through it all, I learned to talk and write about the Chinese people from their point of view, in their voice.

As a result of my long journey to truth and understanding, I am very patient with Westerners, who are just like I was in the 1990s. I can fully empathize.

TPW: Lots of slogans are used in the mass media to describe people and the governments they lead, as well as those countries. We hear a lot about democracies, dictatorships, oligarchies, etc. However, we rarely hear anyone using those terms give an intelligible definition or explain why the same terms are so inconsistently used. Could you explain based on your own experience in China what democracy means in China, and how that definition might be applied elsewhere to judge if a place or system is democratic?

JJB: It took me writing China Rising to fully purge my system of a lifetime of “The West is the Best” brainwashing. I was having tremendous cognitive dissonance after experiencing 44 Days, and suspected that some of the comments I wrote about the Mao Era and China’s governance were wrong. I intuitively understood that to extend my arc of awareness into a more accurate understanding, I had to learn the truth about the West. As it turns out, it was not a pretty picture, and still isn’t. Nonetheless, it gave me the path I needed to really analyze the Chinese people in their voice, not from Uncle Sam’s condescending, from-above perspective.

This allowed me to realize that “Western liberal democracy” has always been a propagandized myth, going back to Ancient Greece and Rome, 3,000 years ago. Both prospered on what I call the Six E’s of Western Racism, Expansionism, Expropriation, Extraction, Extermination, Enslavement, Evangelism (since New World colonialism, we can add a seventh, epidemics).

With few, isolated exceptions (Louis IX, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Charles De Gaulle, John F. Kennedy), Western leaders and governments have always been autocratic, elitist, aristocratic, dictatorial, totalitarian, as well as corrupt, criminal and cruel.

After the fall of Rome, we suffered a thousand years of the tyrannical Catholic Church, then for the last 500, tyrannical monarchy’s imperialism and colonialism. Through it all, humanity has suffered the extermination of many billions of innocent souls, with the rape and plundering of the survivors’ human and natural resources. For a brief time under Napoleon Bonaparte’s leadership, 1799-1815 (he was a democratic socialist), the French and much of the rest of the European 99% on the continent being served before the aristocratic, monarchial 1%. After he was deposed, putting lipstick on what devolved into “Western Liberal Democracy” and its god-awful imperialist-capitalist pig, no longer works for me. (See Ramin Mazaheri discusses Part 1 of his fabulous book, France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values).

Instead in China, I know that for thousands of years, even during its limited, elite-class use of slavery (as opposed to Greece/Rome’s economies only able to function with massive, continual importations of slaves) and its longer period of feudalism, citizens were free to seek redress with local authorities if they felt there was an injustice. If that decision was unacceptable to the complainant, they could take it up to the provincial level and even to the emperor. It is still used today, called Letters and Complaints (信访) or Higher Appeal (上访). I’ve personally seen Chinese delivering letters to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, where the National People’s Congress convenes. We have seen increasingly that when Westerners do that they are likely to be punished, permanently injured, imprisoned or killed. Black lists, assassinations, and wrongful imprisonment have been common in the US at least since the infamous Palmer Raids. Just ask protesters being run over, mace-sprayed, beaten and shot in the West, especially in the USA and France. (See Ramin Mazaheri discusses Part 2 of his fabulous book, France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values).

At the same time, emperors and governors routinely sent out high level confidants incognito all over the country, disguised as traveling salesmen or tinkers, to chat up the locals, to understand their zeitgeist at the common level. What’s working? What are the people’s problems? What are their hopes and dreams?

This bottom-up style democracy continues today, with Mao Zedong’s mass line, which is simply massive polling and surveys of what the 99% want and need: to take the line of the masses. To this day, Baba Beijing3 is the world’s most active pollster and surveyor of public opinion. Living in Beijing and Shenzhen, there were notices every week on our apartment buildings’ main doors, asking people to come to the local government office to tell them about everything, from the availability of pap smears and breast exams, to garbage collection, possible sources of pollution, corruption, recycling, bus and metro services, public safety, the speed of the internet, and on and on.

Nowadays, citizens can do the same thing online, and do so vociferously. Artificial Intelligence and Big Data give Baba Beijing the power to zero in on potential problems and find fast solutions. Portals are available to confidentially report corruption, malfeasance, criminal business practices and other irregularities, which feeds into the Social Credit System (SCS-see below). I personally used it to report a couple of problems in my neighborhood and within a couple of three weeks, they were resolved.

Every three years, elections in 900,000 localities take place to vote for their village/neighborhood committees. More than half of those elected are not members of the CPC, just caring and concerned citizens. From there, these local reps vote for the bigger city government, and these in turn vote for provincial level leaders, and these latter vote for China’s 2,500-member National People’s Congress (NPC), which includes eight opposing political parties other than the CPC, something very few Western countries can claim. This body votes for the 300-member Central Committee (like a state council), which in turn elects the 25-member Standing Committee and top-level seven-member Politburo Standing Committee. All these representatives are highly experienced and well-educated. No movie actors and sports stars allowed (Democracy).

These foundations were laid millennia ago and since communist-socialist liberation in 1949, China has the world’s most consultative, consensual, bottom-up people’s democracy on Earth. Mao called it the mass line, President Xi Jinping calls it whole-process democracy. They both mean one thing: SERVE THE PEOPLE! (the 99%). Post-Napoleonic Western liberal democracy is a three-ring, barking dog circus performance to make the 1% super wealthy, keep them in power, while keeping the 99% down, poorer and in their lowly place.

There is simply no comparison.

TPW: Economist Michael Hudson, whose book Superimperialism was written for people in the US government to explain how the “dollar empire” works, has lectured a lot in China. Although he does not know the language, there is no one who can doubt his credentials as a serious political-economist. He also says that China is a socialist country from an economic point of view. He bases that observation on Chinese economic policy and his perception of who makes it. Since you do understand the language and have lived and worked in China many years, could you describe how Chinese talk about their system on a day-to-day basis?

JJB: It was Deng Xiaoping who came up with the moniker Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and it has stuck in the minds of the Chinese people, which they and the media use. Among those adhering to Mao Thought, (of which there are many magnitudes more than Western pundits want to admit) there is much criticism of Deng’s economic liberalization and opening up to the outside world, meaning global capitalism.4 This, while the same-said global capitalists loved what they perceived as a laissez-faire free-for-all, viz, a chance to plunder China’s resources.

What cannot be questioned is Deng’s belief that post-liberated China never had the chance to go through bourgeois capitalist industrialization, and according to Marxism, this is a prerequisite for transition to communism thereafter. Thus, this is what I lived through 1990-1997: Fast-Freddy, make-a-quick-buck, street level, jungle capitalism. The economy was mostly liberalized for high volume, low margin consumer/manufactured goods and retail services, such as restaurants, tourism, hotels, shopping malls, etc. Much less noticed by foreigners was that Baba Beijing kept, and is still keeping to this day, firm control of what they call the 100 Great Industries; i.e., directing and planning the country’s critical means of production.

Global capitalists only saw the prior and wore blinders for the latter, by hypnotizing themselves with their “Dengist” palliative, which avoided the don’t-go-there communism boogeyman. For the West’s mainstream media, this gave China a self-congratulating “capitalist road” sheen of inevitability. The Big Lie Propaganda Machine (BLPM)5 was gloating that China was rapidly joining the global capitalism’s “rules-based order”, meaning becoming a supine vassal, to be raped and plundered by the West trillionaire dictators. Self-conceited Western capitalists saw all that 1980s-1990s retail chaos as a sure sign they would soon be buying up banks, factories and public infrastructure for pennies on the dollar/euro, as they had across the postwar developing world. As it stands, Deng, who was a committed communist to his last dying breath (just read his works) and the Chinese people are having the last laugh to continual development and ever-increasing 99%-prosperity.

Fast forward to 2013. Xi Jinping added Chinese Dream to Deng’s hashtag, which is now used interchangeably by the people and in the media.

The Chinese people’s meteoric rise since 1949 is proof that they know what they are talking about: nonstop and broad-based economic opportunity, growing prosperity, sociopolitical harmony, public safety, and bottom-up, consensual people’s democracy. When the Chinese government announced it has raised some 300 million people out of absolute poverty, one needs to get a sense of proportion. The US population in 2022 is about 333 million. How many Americans are living in absolute poverty in what is supposedly the richest country in the world? Of course, Western anti-communists and Sinophobes refuse to see why, in top international polls, year after year (Gallup, Pew, etc.), the Chinese report great satisfaction with their government, media and the direction in which the country is heading, usually the world’s top-ranked country in each category.

At the same time, most Chinese are mortified by the West’s cruelty and criminality, both at home and abroad. Your average waitress or taxi driver knows much more about Eurangloland’s reality than vice-versa.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Walter Lipmann’s China Lobby could not bring themselves to admit it, using the euphemism “So-Called Communist China”, fully expecting one day for the country to be covered with big white churches, full of little yellow, Americanized Christians. Today, global capitalists continue to deny that China is communist, in spite of the fact that,

  • The means of production in the 100 great industries are still controlled by Baba Beijing.
  • Infrastructure, public transportation, telecommunications and the internet are people-owned.
  • The financial sector is people-owned, with the world’s four biggest banks being wholly controlled by the State.
  • The People’s Bank of China (central bank) issues the country’s currency, not like privately owned, Western central banks, which make trillions off performing the same function.
  • The insurance sector is people-owned.
  • The aforementioned is all owned and managed by very successful and profitable state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
  • No dirt/green land can be bought in China. All land can only be leased for up to 70 years, this applies to locals and foreigners.
  • China has a vanguard political party, the CPC, which oversees the military.
  • The media is mostly government-owned and tightly state-managed, with an official censor explaining to the people why certain information is withheld (official censors in China have existed for thousands of years).
  • Marxism-Leninism is official social, political and economic policy, employed at all levels of governance and business.
  • Stalinist state planning is the order of the day, with benchmarked national five-year rolling plans laying out social, economic and political goals across the country. The private sector is expected to join forces with the state in achieving these targets.
  • The above official policymaking is reinforced by Mao Thought and Xi Thought, and it all anchors both China’s national and CPC constitutions.
  • The CPC, PLA and the Chinese people are considered to be one unifying, cohesive force for the betterment of all, to serve the people.
  • Heavy redistribution of wealth from the top to the bottom, with progressive taxation to make sure it happens.
  • Heavy legislation, regulations and judicial oversight to keep China’s private sector technology, fintech, social media, education, medicine and other potential “usurpers” on a tight leash. No Chinese Mark Zuckerberg’s, Elon Musk’s, Jeff Bezos’s and Big Pharma allowed.
  • Broad-based social services, such as generous maternity/nursing leave, universal health care, retirement income, old age homes and freebies for the elderly. Not to mention there are massive programs to eliminate rural poverty, ongoing.
  • Bottom-up, consensual, consultative people’s democracy, with Mao’s mass line, never-ending polls and surveys among the people, which are essentially eternal public referenda, via direct voting.

These are not just policies on paper, but the big picture that drives daily practice. Yet – and yet – neoliberal, neocon and libertarian pundits still call it “So-Called Communist China”! There are only two other countries that can tick off most to all of these boxes: DPRK/North Korea and Cuba. So, for all these reality deniers, are these countries not communist either?

Ron Leighton, who wrote that dreadfully-argued article, “The Religiosity of ‘The Myth of Chinese Capitalismappears6, like so many others, to be brainwashed. One might even doubt the article’s actual authorship since Mr Leighton’s website identifies him as a fiction writer, specializing in fantasy, but provides no biographical or other information to show his qualifications for writing about China. Philip Agee7 and more recently Udo Ulfkotte have explained how stories are planted using writers and journalists willing to publish CIA articles as their own. His article and the website he cites heavily take glib, elitist, tones even using Trotskyite “permanent revolution” jargon. Moreover that website provides no clear indication of who actually maintains or funds it.

TPW: It is no secret that while Western governments formally recognise national sovereignty, the corporations that own those governments have always seen national sovereignty as an obstacle to business — an obstacle to be overcome by whatever means necessary. Chinese people can be found almost anywhere in the world, but not the Chinese government. In fact, much of the overseas Chinese population is really the legacy of Western forced labour. Yet there is no doubt about strong historical and contemporary contact between overseas Chinese and New China (not just Taiwan). I imagine you have known people in China who are linked to this diaspora. How would you characterise the relationship between Chinese in China and those Chinese living outside China, whether or not they are Chinese citizens?

I ask this question for two reasons. One is the awareness that Chinese all around the world have been subjected to racialist policies in the countries they inhabit. The other is the question raised, in fact, by Putin, with respect to the Russian diaspora created by the dissolution of the Soviet Union. New countries like the US or, in fact, most of the Western peninsula can only claim a nationality since the 1789 Revolution in France — before that there were monarchies, but no Westphalian nations. China in contrast has had a national identity for thousands years. Somehow, it seems to me that this ancient national identity must have special relevance for the Chinese view of their economic and political system.

JJB: Good question. In fact, we have to go back, way back. The Chinese people cum civilization have had a national identity going back 7,700 years. How? That is when the first remnants of the written language were preserved (on bone, tortoise shell and stone) and incredibly, its grammatical structure has changed very little since then. While today called Mandarin, for thousands of years and between thousands of spoken dialects, the lingua franca has always been the written language.

Even to this day, I have seen older Chinese, who only speak their local dialect, communicate using written messages, when meeting another person from elsewhere, in the same oral situation. They have been using the same characters for millennia, but pronounce them differently. The classic examples are Cantonese and Hakka, which have six tones and Mandarin, which has four (five, including the “non-tone”). We experienced this through all our travels across China. Even exploring small villages just outside Beijing, ground zero for all things Mandarin, we often had to use Chinese maps and writing with the villagers to find our way around, because for us, they were speaking dialectical gibberish; this long before GPS and mobile phones.

I bring this up to point out that postwar Mandarin has become political. The Mainland uses Mao-Era simplified characters, as does Singapore. However, it is associated with communism, Taiwan and most Western Chinese enclaves insist on using the traditional form. Nevertheless, Taiwanese and Singaporeans speak Mainland Mandarin. Thus, this national/linguistic identity applies to the 50 million Chinese living outside the Mainland and Taiwan. San Francisco, Hakka-dominated Penang Island and Paris’ 13th Arrondissement all consider themselves Chinese, many of them feeling this first and foremost, then they see themselves as American, Malaysian and French, respectfully.

To keep the civilizational umbilical cord connected, overseas Chinese are called Huaqiao (华侨), meaning Chinese Bridge. When they come back to the motherland, like after studying and working overseas, they are called Sea-Returnees (海归). The second character (gui = return) has the same pronunciation and tone for turtle. Thus, they are also called Sea Turtles (海龟), which always find their way home!

In sum, politics aside, for the diaspora and Mainlanders, there is only one Chinese Nation/Civilization on Planet Earth.

TPW: We hear and read that China — especially since 2020 — is the evil social system of the future for the rest of the world. I find it hard to believe that Chinese can either want or are able to impose their own social order on the rest of the planet. Americans talk and act as if everyone in the earth wanted nothing better than to become an American. Do Chinese think of the world becoming Chinese?

JJB: Absolutely not. Unlike 3,000 years of Western cultural, spiritual and economic evangelism, Mainland Chinese don’t have a proselytizing bone in their bodies. With the introduction of Buddhism in the first century AD, their spiritual palette has melded into a cosmic Confucism-Daoism-Buddhism (the prior two from sixth century BC), yet have no interest in “selling” it to others.  Nonetheless, because of the ancient Asian notion of saving and losing face, they do care what others think about them and are sensitive to outside criticism.

Yes, they are rightfully proud of humanity’s longest enduring civilization and love it when they see foreigners learn Mandarin, enjoy the culture and can express empathy with their communist-socialist way of life. Be that as it may, if an outsider criticizes their sociopolitical system, they are just as likely to ignore them and say sotto voce, tamade (他妈的), which means fuck off!

As far as Baba Beijing’s paternalistic, authoritarian governance is concerned, this is pure Confucism, which Mao Thought seamlessly integrated into his Serve the People, bottom-up, consultative mass line and consensual people’s democracy. What adherents of Western liberal democracy refuse to accept is that the Chinese people demanded that their Social Credit System be created. Why?  Because like me, they were sick and tired of the Fast-Freddy, Rip-Off-Eddy mentality and rampant corruption, from all that street-level, jungle capitalism. I have personally experienced and written much about the SCS and would encourage anyone who wants to understand it from the perspective of Chinese citizens, to read this very informative article.

Western libertarians are quick to point to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) global Covid Plandemic + Agenda 2030 as a Chinese conspiracy. One actually can hear and read people calling COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 the Chinese virus. In this scenario the CCP, like a hissing serpent, spitting and biting, seeks to diabolically impose its SCS and Zero-Covid policy on an unwitting planet. Again, this is laughable, since China has never tried to export its Confucism-Daoism-Buddhism-Communism-Socialism anywhere. It is the West’s trillionaire dictators, going back to their 19th century obsessions with eugenics, totalitarian control of all humanity and their natural and human resources, that is at the heart and soul of the WEF’s techno-fascist totalitarianism. Blaming the CCP for the Covid Plandemic + Agenda 2030 is simply the worst psychological deflection and exonerates the real psychopaths, who own and operate Western global capitalism. It is also deeply rooted in Sinophobia, going back centuries.

Concerning China being a big funder of the World Health Organization (WHO), they have the same idiom as many other cultures, Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer (让你的朋友亲密,让你的敌人更亲密). This is also true for China’s participation in October 2019’s WEF/Gates+Rockefeller+Fauci/Western Big Pharma/Military Event 201 (read “Increasing oppression of the Covid-Great Reset Plandemic proves it is forever and ever in the West“). We can add the Wuhan Institute of Virology accepting payments (also through EcoHealth Alliance) from Anthony Fauci in 2015, to be taught by Ralph Baric at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill how to weaponize SARS-COV-2 (read “We made SARS. And we patented it on 19/4/2002, before there was any alleged outbreak in Asia”: David E. Martin testifies at the German Corona Inquiry Committee July 9th, 2021“). If you know that you are going to be attacked using biological agents, it just might make sense to learn all about the weapon that is being planned to destroy you? Just assume that this was, in fact, “defensive” weapons research. There is a long history of countries not (currently) at war participating officially as observers of each other’s military exercises.

Furthermore, until its collapse, no country can stand up to the West’s global, steamrolling BLPM. Case in point: a good friend of mine worked at the World Bank in New York, which is very near the WHO’s offices. He had a number of friends there and both sides socialized on the weekends. He said it was an open secret that Fauci’s HIV/AIDS was a complete hoax, to suck over two trillion dollars with-a-T into Big Pharma’s medical industrial coffers. Be that as it may, anyone who tried to speak out was assassinated, blackmailed, bribed or extorted into silence.

Want proof? Dr. Luc Montagnier discovered HIV and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. Seeing how it was being exploited by Fauci & Co., he correctly publicly stated that HIV was no more dangerous than seasonal flu. What happened? He and his reputation were utterly destroyed by the corporate-state propaganda machine. One of the greatest microbiologists in history, a true national hero, yet his death this year in France was censored and ignored.

To understand China’s Zero-Covid policy requires knowing China’s history. No other country has been attacked as frequently with biological weapons, going back to 1935.8  In fact, special orders issued by General Douglas MacArthur’s command exempted Japanese army medical scientists from the kind of war crimes trials that were held against German Nazi doctors, instead settling them in Maryland to continue their work. These three [footnoted] articles give critical background to Baba Beijing considering every human and livestock/poultry epidemic as a potential act of war.  (“Is “Uriah Heep” speaking Wuhan coronavirus truth to power or just blowing Sino-sci-fi out his backside?” and “Harvard illegally collected DNA samples in China throughout the 90s, right up to SARS. Lies upon lies and many cover-ups have kept this criminal conduct hidden in plain sight. Looks like bio-engineered germ warfare to target ethnic Chinese,” and “Special explanation to address the many concerns global citizens have about China’s “Zero-Covid” policy, with Shanghai now in the headlines.”)

Chinese evangelism? Looking back across the millennia, the simple truth is that China’s Silk Roads reached Ancient Greece/Rome and Medieval/Renaissance Europe. Yet, it was Alexander the Great who was marching towards China, when he died in Afghanistan in 323 BC. It was Europe that globalized its imperial-colonial Six E’s of Racism, including its rape and plunder of Sinoland, 1839-1949. Chinese Admiral Zheng He sailed all over the Indian Ocean basin, two generations before pirate Columbus launched Europe’s New World genocide in 1492. Zheng’s massive flotillas, thousands of times bigger than the Santa Maria, Niña and Pinta conquered no lands, colonized no people. China was centuries ahead of Europe in navigational, military and productive, agricultural/manufacturing technology.9

If the Chinese had the same Six E’s of Racism DNA as the West, we would all be speaking Mandarin and singing songs of praise for Zhonguo (中国), the Middle Kingdom, while likely living much less bellicose and more prosperous and democratic lives.

Imagine that!

  1. Comecon, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, was formed in 1949 to coordinate the trade relationships among those countries that had been “acceded“ to the Soviet sphere as a result of the Yalta agreements (1945) and in response to the US-led economic isolation of the region. At Yalta, the US had persuaded the Soviet Union that in lieu of reparations it would be permitted exclusive economic control over the territory it had occupied defeating Nazi Germany. US President Harry Truman repudiated these agreements at the Potsdam Conference. []
  2. This expression was popularised by the eponymous 1958 political novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer. It was adapted for the screen in 1963, with Marlon Brando. []
  3. Baba Beijing, literally “father Beijing” is Jeff Brown’s sobriquet for the central government of the People’s Republic of China. This can be contrasted with the historical expression used prior to the overthrow of the Qing dynasty, when the emperor was called the “Son of Heaven”. []
  4. For example, William H. Hinton wrote The Great Reversal: The Privatization of China, 1978-1989 in which he accused Deng of abandoning Mao’s communist programme for China. Hinton also saw the Tiananmen Square event as a protest against Deng’s policies. Hinton published his first book lauding Mao’s land reform, Fanshen, in 1966. He was also a supporter of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which was widely repudiated after Mao’s death. After Edgar Snow, Hinton is probably the American most well known for his sympathetic reporting of China’s communist revolution. []
  5. BLPM, “Big lie propaganda machine“ is a term Jeff Brown uses in most of his weblog posts and his books. The term refers to the notion that “big lies“ are very effective in shaping consciousness. The concentration of Western mass media in some five or six corporations domiciled in the Western hemisphere gives these media their machine quality. []
  6. Kim Petersen also responded to Mr Leighton’s article in DV: “China is Not Capitalist and it is Not Yet Communist” (3 October 2022). Here the author of the original piece responds to Mr Leighton and to other questions concerning contemporary China. []
  7. Philip Agee explained this in his book Inside the Company: CIA Diary (1975) and in the Allan Francovich film On Company Business (1980). []
  8. See inter alia the Report of the International Scientific Commission for the Investigation of the Facts Concerning Bacterial Warfare in Korea and China (1952) also called the “Needham Report” after Dr Joseph Needham who presided over the commission’s work. []
  9. See Joseph Needham, Science and Civilisation in China (1954-2008) 27 vols.; also The Shorter Science and Civilisation: an abridgement of Joseph Needham’s original text, (1980-1995) by Colin Ronan, Cambridge University Press. []
Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..