By John Miller
19th October, 2017
President Xi Jinping of China was lauded yesterday as the greatest Godless Communist since the brutal dictator Chairman Mao. The Maoist founder of the Red Dynasty famously broke with the Soviets during the Cuban missile crisis because he thought that Khrushchev was a revisionist pussy, only to shake hands with Richard Nixon as an older and wiser man in 1972. Mao and Nixon rotated Sino-Us relations 180 degrees because they both loathed the Russians more than each other, and Xi inherited the Stalinist sweatshop for the West which developed from that unlikely handshake.
Deng Xiaoping is other father of modern China. The Communist backslider Deng turned Maoism on its head, lifting the restrictions on internal migration that treated peasant farmers like Communist serfs. Mao’s Great Leap Forward had produced the Great Chinese Famine, and Deng wondered if the lacklustre industrialisation produced by Communist Orthodoxy was worth the 30 million who had starved to death.
When Deng loosened the vice upon the peasants it unleashed the greatest migration of people in the history of the world. 270 million Chinese left their villages to go find a better life in the cities, but that is only half the story. Deng had to find them work, and he and his successors needed to build new cities and infrastructure on a grand and heretofore unimagined scale.
Global trade and international finance was a game that America used to play well. When Clinton and the 90s Republican Congress were eventually lured by false song of globalism, they probably didn’t expect that the lights would go off in the American heartland, and when they did Wall Street didn’t care. These were boom times in the Orient, and the Chinese built so many new cities to house all of their relocating peasants that it caused a massive spike in the price of minerals worldwide. The American transnationals went along for the ride, and the benefits of global citizenship were relentlessly marketed at us.
If the clear loser of globalisation was the American rust belt, then the clear winners were the producers and sellers of all the amazing crap that the Maoist peasant was being paid almost nothing to make. Maoist China became the place where brand name goods were spewed out of factories for American consumers. The Chinese worker was not immune to the universal allure of cheap luxury goods and convenience foods either. Deng’s Gospel of Chinese Prosperity Communism took its place alongside state Maoist dogma.
The Chinese economic miracle was unleashed by an unremarkable Victorian model of Capitalism and ensuing flight to the cities, but Red China remained an avowedly Stalinist state. The central government still purged your ass faster than you could say Free Tibet if you picked the wrong moment to deviate from state-think, and Chinese leaders from Mao to Xi have always channelled Stalin and his arbitrary terror tactics. Cultural dissent against the peasant wisdom of Mao or any questioning of accepted Marxist dogma which seems incoherent in a police state which enforces submission to the sweatshop will still get you disappeared. Corruption trials of Communist party members who got too rich too fast are commonplace. Oh, the irony of class envy in Red China.
Xi rules China as it approaches the zenith of its power. His father was a propaganda minister purged by Mao, but Xi is a self-made man. He spent his Mao years of peasant wisdom reading and re-reading Marx while cleaning pig pens. He then cajoled and elbowed his way to the top of the Communist Party past any number of similarly driven, ambitious and clever individuals who man the shiny new towers of Deng’s China, so it is no surprise to discover which horse he backs.
He is well admired by the people he can have shot if he wakes up tomorrow and feels like it, and he is similarly fawned over by international bankers and titans of global industry. The West loves that China is a such a good place to make lots of money.
The Xi years have so far seen heavy investment in the Chinese military combined with creeping force projection into the South China Sea. If Rocket Man weren’t so bad for business then the Chinese would probably be more proactive in North Korea too, but the paramount concern of the Chinese leader is not being overthrown in a peasant rebellion.
There is trouble brewing in the new cities beneath the omnipresent industrial fog. The great migration has ended, and city building no longer drives the Chinese economy. To make things worse, all those peasants who moved to the new cities are getting towards their retirement age now. The older workers are returning to the country, and jobs are disappearing faster in the cities than they are being created. Younger workers have begun abandoning the new cities too, looking for greener pastures. Ghost developments are common, and ghost cities may not be too far off.
We might scoff at cheap Chinese labour, but the peasant worker aspires to these cushy factory jobs. The secure wage allows him to comfortably support an extended family, and to buy the type of consumer goods which represent happiness and comfort. The winning formula of Capitalism works everywhere, even in Red China.
Xi has to reckon with the simmering resentment of a growing number of Chinese peasants who have lost these types of jobs, and the envy of a generation who increasingly settle for less secure and worse paying positions. The Chinese economy needs to keep expanding rapidly. Amazingly, to keep its profit margins, Red Chinese factories now import low wage labour from Vietnam.
China has a middle class of sorts, but lacks social mobility outside of the privileged enclaves of the establishment elites. It is envious of South Korean and Japan, but also disdainful of the type of culture which nurtured their advanced industrial economies.
Xi’s answers are a push for greater centralisation, a corruption purge, and heavy investment in the military-industrial complex. All these themes played well at the People’s Assembly the other day, but what value is a standing ovation to a Stalinist dictator anyway? Few would dare to challenge Xi’s ideas, or tell him if they thought he was a mediocre President. He will never hear the truth until it is too late. Heavy lies the crown.
Our own American God Emperor Donald Trump quite admires Xi, pegging him as a fellow winner, and Xi probably appreciated the rocket strike against Russian interests over cake. It is comforting to know that Xi has very little interest in sending the Red Chinese army across the Yalu River again, but worth remembering that they surprised us when they did it last time.
Xi is not likely start a real war with America, and he needs to avert a trade war at all costs. Trump understands the truth which has eluded the Chicken Littles of Fake News: Xi’s new cities need the American consumer, lest they become the Chinese ghost belt. Trump’s voters are restive too, but Xi’s Chinese peasant workers are not far removed a Maoist revolutionary past, and far more dangerous.
To keep the good times rolling Xi wants and needs as much unfettered access to Western markets as he can get, but America needs China to stop ripping us off in trade.
The Chinese communists can still do very well with their competitive advantages in the Free Market. The cheap labour and cheap currency that generated such titanic profits and investment isn’t going anywhere, and China doesn’t need to conspire with the globalist clique to lure away every single job from the American industrial heartland. If America keeps sending its best its jobs and all its money overseas, eventually there will be no Golden Goose left for them or anybody else to gather eggs from.
Trump won’t allow this, and neither will the American voter. Xi ought to know that Chinese prosperity depends upon the greatest number of Americans having the money in their pocket to buy his Chinese goods with. Hopefully Xi understands that restoring prosperity to the average American is the best way forward for both nations, and that the rising tide of Trump’s 80s style Reagan Free Market economy will lift all boats.
Because in the Great Hall of the Chinese People, Xi stands alone.