I hear this again and again, whenever I speak in the West:
“What kind of Communism is that, in China? In all big cities, they have Prada and Gucci in every major department store.”
Western leftists are obsessed with this topic. They do not even realize how ridiculous, how racist their arguments actually are!
China, with some 6,000 years long history, 1.3 billion inhabitants and the second largest economy in the world, has almost eradicated extreme poverty in the cities, and in the countryside. For the first time in modern history, people are moving from the urban centers to the villages. The great Ecological Civilization effort is demonstrating to the world how to save the environment, and the planet. The country is firmly back with its brilliant model of “Communism with the Chinese characteristics”. Its foreign policy is more and more internationalist.
But the more progressive, independent-minded and kind to its people China becomes, the more it is attacked and antagonized by the West. The more is its Communist model scrutinized, under the microscope.
By the Right, by the racists and imperialists naturally, but by the Left?
The problem is that the Western Left subscribes to exceptionalism almost as much as the Right.
It demands purity, great sacrifice and austerity from countries like China and Russia.
As I have already described in many of my essays and books, including Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism, there is hardly anything pure left in London or Paris. Hardly anyone is ready to commit to anything ideological, especially to the revolutionary struggle. Sacrifice or austerity is totally foreign to Europeans or North Americans, no matter on what side of the political spectrum they stand.
But the Chinese and Russians are expected to behave like saints.
Actually, the entire planet is supposed to stop consuming, driving expensive cars, wearing designer shoes and bags, and if possible, to stop travelling.
All these privileges are reserved for Westerners, and for the elites in ‘client’ states.
It is never pronounced like this, in one breath. But that is what the Western left-wing intellectuals with their, outdated and rejected by the entire world ‘anarcho-syndicalist logic’, really want to push down the throats of all non-Western people.
And I say: such twisted logic is insulting, even disgusting.
For centuries, the West has been robbing, and looting everything, in all corners of the world.
Designer boots is what the British and French ‘gentlemen’ were kicking ‘un-people’ with, in their crotches and their buttocks. Designer clothes were worn by the first and second generations of those refined European ladies in North America, while the native population was being exterminated, and slaves were laboring and getting raped on the plantations.
I don’t want Westerners to talk about fashion and who has the right to be ‘obsessed with it’. I sincerely believe that Europeans and North Americans have absolutely no right to judge anybody, or to ‘advise’ people anywhere in the world, on how to live, what to wear and consume.
Chinese people, as well as Russian people, work extremely hard. They work much harder than most people anywhere in Germany or France. Unlike Westerners, they do not loot. They do not exploit anyone.
If they make money and want to spend it the way they want, it is not the business of Western hypocrites to protest.
No matter what the half-hearted ‘austerity’ measures the Europeans and North Americans take (like turning the lights off in their toilets, or using half a tank to flush their toilets), the plunder that their countries are continuing to perpetrate, and the privileges that their entire societies enjoy, are overwhelming and unprecedented. And yes, Europeans recycle a few sheets of paper, while their multi-nationals grab and privatize entire aquifers in South America.
China and Russia are already doing all they can to save the world and the environment, from the deadly Western imperialism. If they work for it, their citizens have the full right to buy the latest mobile phones or elegant pair of shoes. If they want to travel to Thailand or to Turkey for vacation, that’s perfectly fine. It does not make them more or any less Communist or internationalist.
But that is not what they think in the West.
You see, those ‘comrades’ in France or US or UK actually demand that everyone listens to their definitions about what the Left is, and what is not; or what Communist or capitalist is.
The great cultures of China or Russia cannot be trusted to decide how they define themselves. The definition has to be outlined on some couch in London, or in a bar in New York, or at a Euro-centric university. It has to be some ‘traditional Marxist’ or anarcho-syndicalist who is expected to put their stamp of approval on, and tell those ‘savages’ who they really are.
The West may be obsessed with ‘political correctness’, but it is as racist as ever. Racist and fundamentalist, it has to be added.
I have a proposal to make: if the West is so concerned about Chinese and Russian citizens wanting to drive decent cars and to wear elegant clothes, why don’t they push for an end to the production of these items in their own end: in France, Italy, the United States. Their countries would lose millions of jobs, but if they are so principled, then, why not? Why don’t they themselves dressed in rags?
But seriously, why don’t they, themselves, build that ‘real and pure’ Communism?
So far, all they, the Western ‘left’, have done was to change colors like chameleons; they betrayed both socialism and Communism, and ended up doing absolutely nothing, instead of fighting, just the constant criticism of others who are actually busy trying to build much better world.
You know, we are tired of being tutored and advised by them. I have had enough of hearing, in those luxury villas in North America and Europe, over expensive drinks and while being comfortably seated in those plush chairs and sofas, how the Chinese, Russians and Vietnamese people should give up aiming for the latest mobile phones and designer clothes. I am sick of those bizarre statements coming from anarcho-syndicalists who are living in luxury marina compounds somewhere in New England, that “China is not really Communist because it has a few billionaires”.
Periodically, I come to the West to speak, to open my films or to launch my books. I get invited to ‘those places of high abstract morality’ in the evenings, inevitably. Places where dogs have better lives than citizens of the neo-colonized African or Asian countries. It is always the same tune.
And this time, I have had enough.
We don’t need advice, thank you. And we are smart enough to know and to define, who we are.
The Western ‘left’ should take care of its own problems. They have lost on their own continents, in their own countries. Presently, they don’t have one single figure that could inspire the world. All they do is to bark at the true revolutionaries, and at the countries where both Communism and socialism are firmly in power. They bark because they have nothing important to say. They bark because they have no guts to fight. They bark because they will never get elected, and they actually have no strength to govern. They bark, because, I believe, they actually don’t like true Communists and socialist at all; those who are facing the real world, real issues, and real enemies.
Communism and socialism have won elsewhere, in several places in Asia and Latin America, even in the Middle East. People there fought bravely. Despite the Western left, not because of it, they won.
We have already determined that the pompous self-centered exceptionalism of the West is similar to religious fanaticism. The Western Left is no exception.
They don’t only want us to be ‘pure’, they want us poor, humiliated and submissive. This way they can pity us, and constantly pretend that they are trying to save us (not for our own sake, but for their own).
Unfortunately for them, we do not need their charity. We are winning. Anyone who is not blind can clearly see that China and Russia are standing tall and marching forward. And other independent-minded countries are winning as well.
We know precisely who we are – no need for advice. And what we are will not be threatened if our women and men wear designer clothes, or drive good cars. In fact, claiming otherwise is appallingly patronizing; it is racist rubbish.
Andre Vltchek is philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He’s a creator of Vltchek’s World in Word and Images, and a writer that penned a number of books, including China and Ecological Civilization. He writes especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”