Commentary on Political Economy

Saturday 2 November 2019


The imposition of tariffs on the part of the United States against imports from China raises an important implication that thus far has not been remarked upon by any of the myriad accounts and analyses, in disparate disciplines, that have flooded this most salient Gordian knot of international relations. It is common knowledge that most objective commentators recognize that the Chinese Dictatorship (a) represents perhaps the greatest threat to our freedom in the entirety of human history, and (b) that this threat arises from its determination to devote the greatest proportion of the resources it has available to the erection of an industrial-military complex by means of which, (c) it can then lay claim to the violent appropriation of more external resources either through economic duress or by outright usurpation.

Yet, when it comes to proffering an explanation as to why the Chinese Dictatorship and its Han Chinese populace are engaging in this overall plan of world domination, the best that our analysts and pundits can offer is that the Chinese Dictatorship has simply adapted an economic modus operandi that involves the extreme intervention of State authorities in the conduct of economic policy and trade. It is as if most analysts were viewing this type of “command economy” or “state capitalism” as a purely contingent occurrence: - as a deliberate choice, certainly, yet nevertheless as a “choice” or “policy” that is not and cannot be attributed to and connected with any systemic aspect of the Chinese Dictatorship. In other words, what we are arguing here is that the conduct of Chinese economic policy, both domestic and international, is seen as something that is not strictly and incontrovertibly and indissolubly connected with the very essence of the Chinese Dictatorship in particular and, more generally, with totalitarianism as a specific form of politico-economic governance and social organization.

Put more directly, the commentariat – bourgeois and left-wing – sees the behavior of the Chinese Dictatorship, aided and abetted by the Han Chinese populace, as a purely accidental aspect, an aberration, of its overall governmental practice and orientation. The well-nigh universal, ubiquitous failure of this pervasive and uncorrected analysis of Chinese economic policy and practice is, precisely, that it is a purely contingent, accidental and even fortuitous and erroneous – indeed, fortuitous because it is erroneous! - aspect of Chinese governmental policy that is wholly detachable and detached – entirely separable – from the intrinsic essence and nature of all totalitarian forms of government! What follows from this fallacious and uncritical examination of the behavioural, deontological aspects of Chinese government economic policy is that the Economic is entirely separated – indeed, torn asunder – from the Political in such a manner that the Western bourgeoisie can then easily brush aside and excuse the overall strategy of the Chinese Dictatorship as the result of faulty and erroneous economic policy wholly detachable, excisable and separate from the political will of the Chinese Dictatorship and its Han Chinese populace!

At bottom, for Western bourgeois economic theory, all trade must necessarily be “free” – so that in effect the phrase “free trade” is a pleonasm. Because Western bourgeois economic theory does not postulate the existence of objectively-defined “wealth” – because wealth is defined entirely subjectively, in terms of the individual self-interest of market participants – because of this, it follows that so long as market participants trade “freely”, the market mechanism will ensure that the wealth and welfare of participants all be maximized or reach optimal levels. Hence, even in the case of a “market participant” such as the Chinese Dictatorship and its People – who do not even have a word for, let alone the concept of, “freedom” -, so long as they are prepared to trade with other countries (that is, other market participants in international trade), then it must follow that this trade must necessarily be “free”! In this optic, not only must all trade necessarily be “free”, but also it must follow that all trade must also necessarily maximize the wealth and welfare (again, understood in the subjective sense of the necessarily subjective choices of market participants) of these participants.
So herein lies the fundamental contradiction or quandary of Western bourgeois economics: for, given that all subjective choices must of necessity be presumed to be “free” and, a fortiori, so must be all trade, then it follows inexorably that it is impossible to lay down “objective” or “scientific” rules for the operation of the market mechanism for the simple reason that such rules would be either “exogenous” to market choices – in which case market choices could not possibly be said to be “subjective” or “free”; or else market rules would be “endogenous” to the market mechanism, in which case such a “mechanism” could never be said to be objective let alone “scientific” in the first place!

Here, in a nutshell, we can finally see the absurdity of a Western bourgeois economic science that tells us to keep trading with the Chinese Dictatorship regardless of its political system because the Economic (the market mechanism) is entirely – scientifically - independent of the Political!

The reason why Western politicians, business organisations and, last but not least, economic analysts, keep viewing trade negotiations with the Chinese Dictatorship as being a purely “scientific” exercise wholly distinct and separate from the “internal”, “domestic” politics (here domestic and politics are seen as one and the same thing) of the individual nation-states is due entirely to this false separation of the Economic from the Political – to the extent that “tariffs” are seen as a “political interference” with “free trade” – but then, these eminent people never explain why, if tariffs are “political” in nature, their negation, that is to say, their removal, is suddenly and mysteriously not “political”!
Our central contention here is that if we regard Politics and Economics not as separate spheres but rather as different aspects of human socio-political organization, then it will appear evident that a totalitarian political system such as the one imposed by the Chinese Dictatorship in its national territories cannot fail to determine the “economic” conduct of both itself and its population. Just as it is silly if not absurd to ask a pig to fly, so it is equally idiotic and absurd to expect that the Chinese Dictatorship - whose very essence and being is to impose and extend its totalitarian control over its territories – could ever reliably undertake to accept and pursue “free trade” with all the items of conduct and institutional compromises that such an undertaking would entail! What is abundantly evident is that the Western bourgeoisie and its acolyte intelligentsia is steadfastly refusing to address the central theme and brutal reality that we are seeking to evince and confront here – to wit, that it is in the very essence and nature of totalitarianism to seek to engulf, pillage, devour and finally annihilate not just all that lies outside its boundaries but also what lies within its borders- - and indeed ultimately even its own people! Simply put, you do not trade or negotiate with a cancer. You excise, remove and then destroy cancerous cells. Any and all temporizing, dilatory and – God forbid – conciliatory actions will only result in the death of all who deal and trade with cancer. By failing to confront the essence and nature of totalitarianism, by seeking to draw spurious lines between the Economic and the Political the Western bourgeoisie is quite simply and for short term profit digging its own grave prematurely.

Let us elucidate further this, our central contention here. We start with the central proposition that a totalitarian society is one in which no separation of powers exists between (a) a monolithic government and (b) the underlying conflicting interests of members of the society.  It is a common mistaken assumption on the part of Western bourgeois pundits to view a totalitarian state as one in which the interests of government are repressive of and in opposition to its social members.  This view is both false and mistaken: mistaken because the interests of a totalitarian government and its society may well coincide; and above all it is false because in reality the interests of totalitarian dictatorships are very frequently closely aligned with those of its society or “people”! This is a historical reality that simply cannot be gainsaid, and an error that must be corrected. The interests of a dictatorship and its people may well coincide if the dictatorship is intent on a program of rapacious annexation, appropriation and usurpation of the territories and resources currently under the control of other societies. Not only is this possible; but also it is a necessary element of all dictatorships that they seek imperialistic expansion.  This is so for two reasons: first, to placate and distract its people through the violent appropriation of external resources from the unavoidable conflicts still existing in the society that threaten to undermine and topple the dictatorship; and second because the creation of external enemies is vital to the totalitarian suppression of all internal opposition to the dictatorship!

It follows from the foregoing analysis and premises that all totalitarian governments and societies – almost by definition! – must seek to control all aspects of social and economic life. – And that therefore totalitarian governments and societies must seek to internalize or at least control all forms of social life and activity that lie outside their immediate control – including and especially the aspects of socio-economic life that go under the rubric of “international trade”! Put simply, totalitarian governments and societies are by nature “closed” as opposed to “open” – in the sense that they must imperatively and imperiously bring under their “dictation” (read, dictatorship) all aspects of social life, including “external” trade with other nation-states – until these nation-states also are subjugated and brought under the direct dominion of the totalitarian dictatorship (with the collusion and support of “its people”, of course).

The overriding conclusion is that totalitarian governments and societies must by nature be autarkic because they must subject all forms of social life – including international trade! – to totalitarian control. Western bourgeoisies and their parliamentary democratic institutions will live or succumb to totalitarian threats in direct proportion with their awareness of this fundamental politico-economic reality.

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