Why Did The West Build Up China?

At least the present crisis exposes a massive error on the part of Western powers. I will be charitable and assume that the Western bourgeoisie did not intend to put the United States in an inferior position with respect to China. I will assume for the sake of considering the situation in which we find ourselves, that the Chinese were considered by the globalists (the neoimperialists), to be a typical third world country, one that could be peripheralized for the sake of capitalist accumulation in the core in the context of the fall in the rate of profit in the post-WWII period (thanks to economic nationalism and the organized labor movement), its leadership shaped into colonial collaborators. Put simply, the Western bourgeoisie sought to turn China into its workshop in its neoliberal war on labor and the left, launched in the United States in the 1960s. 

But things didn’t turn out so well, as the COVID-19 calamity makes clear. Why? China wasn’t the typical colonial dependency. The sophistication of the Chinese Communist Party, the state apparatus under its ruthless command, controlling infrastructure and real estate, meant that, whatever surplus the West hoovered out of China’s export processing zones, the regime would share in that surplus. The Chinese Communist Party plowed the value it extracted from the Chinese proletariat into development and expansion, while exploiting its international linkages to draw more capital to territory. Now a totalitarian nightmare state controls the global supply chain.

Imagine the response of Western publics if this degree of interpenetration had been achieved for the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It would have been scandalous and those responsible for it branded traitors. The shift in mass consciousness with the dismantling of the Soviet Union was seismic. Despite the continued threat of nuclear war, worry about weapons of mass destruction largely evaporated. While the Chinese Party continued to oppress the largest population on the earth, armed with advanced nuclear weapons, awareness of the threat of totalitarian socialism went missing with the oligarchic pillaging of Soviet Union. Nixon’s journey to China had prepared the ground for good will towards the most totalitarian regime in existence. As the Soviet Union faded into memory, the Western intelligentsia declared the “end of history.” In reality, globalization established the beginning of the end of the West.

Have folks considered why Democrats, hardliners on post-socialist Russia, fingering Trump as Putin’s stooge, are so soft on China? Why are the Russophobes attacking Trump for deflecting from his own failures by putting the finger on China?

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Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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