Michael Fagan’s response (Letters, Sept. 11, page 8) to my article (“Who won China’s war on fascism?” Sept. 8, page 8) allows me a further opportunity to explain the article’s content and to add one more aspect that I couldn’t fit into the article itself.
First, the article was not an exercise in political theory. Its dual purpose was to bring back into question the actual role the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) played in China’s war of resistance against Japan and to compare certain characteristics of fascism to aspects of China’s contemporary socioeconomic and sociopolitical environment.
China’s turn to the political right during the late 1970s further adds to this argument.
Another feature of fascism not mentioned in my article also applies to China’s contemporary socioeconomic and sociopolitical situation: social Darwinism. In this sense, fascism is itself closely related to Marxism and Marxist-Leninism. The difference is that Marxism uses class struggle to delineate and define stages in socioeconomic development.
Fascism makes use of social Darwinism in a cruder way: Typically fascism substitutes racial superiority for class struggle as the key driving force behind social change.
How do these “struggle” and social Darwinism issues relate to the China of today? One can look in many places to find vestiges of China’s feelings of cultural superiority. China dominated Asia through much of its imperial history. Anyone who believes feelings of cultural superiority are much different from feelings of racial superiority should go to a Chinese newspaper’s Web site and check out readers’ comments.
Furthermore, matters that the CCP would have the outside world believe are merely territorial, and not at all racial, such as the Tibet, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Taiwan issues, are deeply rooted in the Chinese feeling of racial and cultural superiority. If this were not the case, then the domination of the CCP by ethnic Han Chinese in most of these areas and increasingly vocal insistence that the populations in these areas as well as overseas Chinese and other groups the CCP considers “Chinese” are “all Chinese” would be unnecessary.
It appears that the CCP would argue that Uighur, Mongolian, Tibetan and Taiwanese are all subsets of the Han Chinese population. Although this umbrella definition does allow a little wiggle room for ethnic minorities, it ensures these groups cannot establish any form of identity outside of the Chinese umbrella. The dominant group defines the identities of other groups. Is this not a form of racial supremacy?
The article on Jeremy Stone’s assertion, based on an “impeccable” source, that the DPP had a secret commission to explore the idea of building a nuclear weapon led me to find out more about Stone (“DPP denies Su Chi’s nuclear arms claim,” Sept. 11, page 3).
I urge readers to peruse his book. In it, Stone repeatedly demonstrates that he has badly mistaken his excellent connections in China and Taiwan for a good understanding of the China-Taiwan situation.
His “efforts” in cross-strait diplomacy are described in his diplomatic autobiography, available online. The chapters on China-Taiwan should be read with a stiff drink at hand. A good understanding of his position can be gleaned from the title of chapter 16 “Opposing Separatism: August 2002–June 2004”
In it, Stone presents the very image of a well-meaning and well-connected, but comprehensively ignorant individual who quickly becomes a tool, uncritically regurgitating Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Chinese propaganda, unaware of who he is talking to, their positions and their role in events, and who is humored, placated and used by Beijing and by the KMT.
It is symptomatic of Stone’s omnipresent confusion that at one point he refers to the “KMT Mayor Ma of Shanghai.”
Stone’s claims about the DPP’s nuclear weapons policy should be viewed against this overwhelming background of ignorance, credulity and bias.
I find it sad that the son of famed progressive I.F. Stone should cap a long public career by actively struggling to annex democratic Taiwan to authoritarian China in the cause of “peace.”
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