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1 – China’s take on Socialism

The first module of this series is China’s Take on socialism. You will develop an understanding of the prevailing mindset of the Chinese people when Socialism arrived and develop an appreciation for how a socially developed and sophisticated society like China could fall prey to socialism’s so-called charms. In this module we will also dispel misnomers about socialism created by manipulative semantics and deceptive re-definitions. We will also back up our premise that China’s was the purest form of Socialism ever implemented. And, we’ll establish China’s starting point with socialism for this course.

Let’s first define our terms. We’ll do this by considering the thoughts of two knowledgeable experts on the subject. American novelist, philosopher and refugee from Russian Communism, Ayn Rand, who spent her life advocating individualism and laissez-faire capitalism, said: “There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the way of achieving the same ultimate goal. Communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism by voting. It’s the same difference between murder and suicide.”  And in case one might still see some daylight between Socialism and Communism, author Will Spencer observed: “Socialism is communism before it gains total power; communism is socialism after it gains total power.”

So, why is this series entitled China’s More Perfect Socialism. Well, just as someone could point out imperfections with our Union here in the United States, someone could also point out imperfections with China’s implementation of Socialism. Therefore, whereas the United State’s More Perfect Union is as good as it gets for humanity, China’s More Perfect Socialism is as good as it gets for socialism. The objective here of course to remove the discussion from a theoretical exercise and keep it in the realm the practical, or realistically implementable.

China’s experimentation with  Socialism was unique, with perhaps only Cambodia’s “Killing Fields” coming in a close second in terms of fanatical purity of implementation. But China is…not Russia. The Russian civilization has only been around for the past thousand years or so. Nor is it Cuba, only half that time. Nor Nicaragua nor Venezuela. China has been for the most part unified and self-governing continuously for the past 5,000 years. It has a unique cultural DNA from that of the west. And is a complex, sophisticated and highly structured society. The result was a social cohesiveness and obedience to authority that played an important role in getting the entire country to lurch from one direction to another in its efforts to impose socialism. There were no half-measures in China’s socialism. China’s independence too made it an ideal petri dish for Socialism. China has the capability for self-sufficiency: they are tech capable and have developed some of history’s greatest inventions. And, considering its massive land area China to a large degree did socialism on it own—as opposed to say Cuba, that has outsized influence from the USA and Russia’s cold war, or Venezuela needing outside entities to run its oil production. No, China did socialism without outside influence for the most part, and was ruthless and single minded in its implementation, and took 30 years to do it. China was therefore Socialism’s best chance.

It is difficult for many of us to understand why a highly sophisticated, refined and ancient society like China would allow such a foreign idea like communism to so virulently infect its society – especially among people known for their  entrepreneurialism. But to understand why, it is necessary to put yourself in the place of the average Chinese person in the 1940s. The “War Against Japanese Invasion,” what the Chinese call World War II, began 4 years before Pearl Harbor and the Chinese people’s death, destruction and suffering was on par, and in many ways surpassed that of the Russians. China’s death toll during WWII was close to 20 million people. The Japanese occupation was as brutal and cruel as anything that happened in Europe. And was one of the first proving grounds for germ warfare: the Japanese Army’s UNIT 731 weaponized plague and other horrendous diseases killing off entire swaths of the Chinese Population. Its live vivisections on conscious men, women and children, and biological experimentation on live human subjects is one of history’s darkest chapters. In 1945 China was a starving, brutalized and traumatized as a nation. But sadly, for China, it would be a journey from the ashes of one war back into the flames of another.

The Chinese civil war between the Nationalists and Communists began in 1927. This war never stopped, though it went into a partial hiatus during World War II. But once the Japanese surrendered the Nationalists and Communists were back at it, and that war didn’t end until 1949. The Communists won and by the time it was over the Chinese had endured 22 years of continuous war in their homeland.

So the 1950s…and the Communists…offered a new era of hope and change for the Chinese people. Many Chinese had only known war their entire lives and the promise of any change indeed brought hope. Everything was going to be different: this was a people’s revolution, after all, and the party promised to put the welfare of the people first. And the kind of change that the Communists promised was no less than a fundamental transformation of China: a refrain that was recently heard here in the United States, which we will cover in Module 2.

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