Archive for the 'Barry York' Category

Navy

Barry recently published a reminiscence about his 1971 trip to China that I very much enjoyed reading.

Nevertheless the following paragraph struck me as just the sort of thinking that people used to get away with in the sheltered land of communist youth groups and perhaps such thinking is still lingering with Barry.

‘3. Who needs a Navy? I’ll never forget meeting with party cadres and discussing the military threats to China from the Soviet social-imperialists (the Ussuri River border being a dangerous hot spot where fighting had broken out in 1969) and from the US imperialists in Indo-China and the Pacific. We were told that China’s military strategy was entirely defensive and based on the Peoples Liberation Army and civil defense. My ears pricked up when mention was made of a coastal naval defense force. I asked, “Why doesn’t China have a conventional Navy – why just a small coastal guard?” The reply, which I’ll never forget, was that “China does not need a Navy because we have no intention of expanding our interests beyond China. We shall never become imperialist! Only imperialists need a large powerful Navy!”’

So now that China has a vast blue water navy and is so obviously a blatantly vicious imperialism Barry recalls the statement and it becomes a sort of ‘ah ha’ moment for him about what the attitude of revolutionary China was in comparison! But it’s clearly not so simple. (I may have misunderstood where Barry was going with this thinking, but it’s worth teasing out…especially given how we fell out so completely over Putin turning up in Syria and what it would mean to the democratic revolution! Having got it completely wrong Barry has never managed to backtrack through the issue, so I’m not hopeful.)

But that statement from the Chinese side was silly at face value. That is to say even at the time it was made it was silly! People that didn’t spot or face up to this type of statement as just a foolish ‘propaganda’ style explanation all those years back might want to think again now. If you can’t spot either the self serving duplicity or actual naivety involved then you might be vulnerable to similar thinking. That’s one thing for a young person but I’d have to question the worth of the wisdom growing years in between if such a view is persisted with now.

So am I building a straw man? I hope so in the narrow sense; but in the broader sense definitely not. The style of thinking involved here is spread right through the progressive element that I have known over the decades. These are people who are not outright pseudoleftists, but are drifting, or have long ago drifted to the methods of the cancel culture and who now – with perhaps the excuse of ‘good’ manners regularly operate on silence when they know full well they ought to speak up. They live a pretence that they as individuals are scientifically minded and open to debate when they are nothing like involved in the search for understanding. They long ago stopped operating in the manner Mao advocated in combat liberalism so that ‘open honest and above board’ is just an old slogan they might remember, but it has no effect, no substance in their current world.

After Putin signed up to some comforting words about democracy and elections in Syria half theorists – who were people that used to regularly post or comment at Strangetimes – totally abandoned the Strangetimes project. In never walking this issue back they demonstrated that they most certainly are vulnerable to a delusionary drift.

Lately we have had the anti Erdogan claptrap from Tom G and silence from all the others who know full well that it is claptrap! Or they ought to! Who can tell with the silence! If based on any draining of the swamp theory then Tom G’s view has no connection to a democratic revolutionary’s standpoint but who can tell with such people. Silence. Cancel culture. Talk to themselves. Drift…

This Chinese blather from 50 years ago is not the sort of thinking that could sink the Bismarck and of course the Bismarck had to be sunk! I don’t think you would get the leftist child of a WW2 sailor making such a comment! But then who would think that someone from Malta could accept such twaddle either. Yet…

Chinese ‘red’ blather was never the sort of thinking that could have occurred to the American revolutionaries like Jefferson. He immediately built a blue water navy to deal with the Barbary pirates. From the very beginning of that revolutionary country the navy was integral to its survival as a beacon for revolution.

Whatever line was being pushed in 1970, in reality Mao would not have accepted such blather any more than Zhou En Lai. (Both had lived through WW2 and both had watched Battleship Potemkin.) China was too poor to build a big blue water navy at the time so it just didn’t matter! China did however build an atom bomb; and they built their bomb despite the Mao stand that atom bombs were in the final analysis ‘paper tigers’! Building of Atom bombs was something that the young communists of the time managed to rationalize and I for one would be keen to learn how those that did so argued about it.

Singers of the Internationale can’t forget seafarers! Shipping is the reality of globalists. The Internationale can’t be sung by anti shipping land-lubbers with ‘a coastal navy’ and make any sense.

In the past, even the suppression of slavery by the British navy would become someone else’s job with this type of no blue water navy thinking! On its face this is rubbish where Japan’s WW2 navy disappears in a puff. It’s ‘other people’s job to deal with that’ is the consequence of this style of thinking. Proletarians have a world to win and we crew big ships that we build and fill and consume the contents of. We are not the slightest bit interested in ‘food miles’ nor with small is beautiful thinking.

Simply speaking the democratic revolution does not go global from the start so revolutionaries do have naval issues to consider! The communist revolution is not yet in sight.

Despite appearances created by the current victories of revisionists, genuine communists are the cutting edge of the democratic revolution, and we are very interested in the navy. In 2020 when there are still no revolutionary countries in some kind of socialist camp to bother us, piracy still creates a stupid thought pattern among pseudoleftists.

Workers crew ships full of cargo, yet are supposed to be left to fend for themselves while these so-called ‘lefties’ condemn the big ships and the multi-national transport conglomerates as well! The greenies even try to stop the coal and other fossil fuels being shipped to save the planet no less. Just consider the green scaremongering when a bulk carrier ran aground the other day! Totally pathetic scaremongering of a very minor mistake made by careless workers. The ship’s crew were responsible for the loss of that bulk carrier. The workers stuffed up!

Of course Barry gets the stupidity of a stand that leaves seafarers at the mercy of pirates, but he might be a bit weak on just how you deal with pirates! I don’t know. I do know the ½ theorists are totally weak on Turkey and the PKK issue. The Mediterranean and MENA issue have just drifted away over these 5 years!

This type of soft thinking from 50 years ago jumps up to bite almost everyone with a leftist disposition when it comes to people sloshing around the world as refugees. The vexed issue of refugees brings on more silence. Not just people being bombed into sloshing around by the current crop of fascists led by the audacious Putin either.

We know there are 3.6 million of these people sheltering under Erdogan’s protection in Turkey and as many more protected by the Turkish army in Syrian enclaves! I suppose 3-400,000 Syrians made it to the safety of the west! The lucky ones who are enjoying the good life! But Putin’s policy was to continue the Assad policy of creating refugees. They had policies of attacking hospitals and making lots more refugees; so what is to be done? Put in troops to resist him and shoot down his aircraft if they come near that is what a modern mechanized army can do. That is what the Turks are positioned to do. That is how the world must deal with Putin’s refugee making policies. That is how Erdogan is dealing with the issue.

The other far more humble entrepreneurial type people smugglers who just know what they want and have the get up and go to go and get it are also audacious in their own way. But are they the solution to the peoples problems? NO and that is obviously so.

Open the borders, let the people of the world roam free is the -quite frankly- dishonest or dim witted easy answer that neither Zhou En Lai nor Mao were themselves prepared to countenance in their day. These real revolutionary leaders faced up to their responsibilities of leading almost ¼ of humanity. They never took charge of China just to issue such a declaration of ‘freedom’. They did exactly the opposite. What is more everybody knows they did and so everybody can see the giant double standard that ½ theorists carry. Stay at your post was the order in China. Do not flood the cities but urbanization was required and proceeded in a measured kind of way. Mao did not betray the peasants or just use them and move on. The historical tasks were not avoided by policies of silence either. China had to be functioning as well as changing as rapidly as possible. What was possible was always at issue but make yourself useful was never in doubt! So those seeking the easy life are simply not first priority when the real problem is millions in poverty.

Being bombed by the fascists to the point where there is for them no alternative but to run to save their lives is one thing. Having for example made it to Turkey ought Turkey shuffle them on to Sweden? Ought all the doctors go to live in Paris? How about all the engineers? Will the emptying countries be left with the old and no one to care for them as parts of many countries actually develop right now?

So to recap. September 2015 was when the Russians turned up with aircraft in Syria! The now silent Australian communists post no current content on what is now several years of important developments in the MENA region. Indeed some comments from as little as a couple of years ago were nothing more than a doubling down on the previous foolishness! We are now about to enter the sixth year after the intervention and Arthur retained his thinking from the last months of 2015 that reality had shattered with Russian barrel bombs in the first 6 months. Since then not much for me to even bother to reply to. I poke a stick at them every now and then, but the corpse doesn’t stir!

Silence from reds is nothing less than a disgrace! If people are to contribute to the world wide people’s revolution that all manner of progressive people and the all important industrial proletariat is interested in, it does matter what ‘we’ theorists think even if revolutionary minded people currently control almost nothing at all.

Big problems requiring revolutionary solutions are in the here and now! No involvement in the political struggle, no involvement in the economic struggle and no involvement in the theoretical struggle is just no involvement at all!

Revolutionary states will maintain blue water naval forces long into the future!