Reply to Grimbeau


Hi Grimbeau,

It comes as no surprise to me that an Australian who speaks with the integrity and world-orientation John Pilger does is an ex-pat.

The problem is not ‘America’ nor ‘Americans,’ it is US capitalism and the system of international capitalism it dominates.

But the new is growing within the old.

The same necessity (that of the development of the productive forces) that saw capitalism rise out of feudalism will see socialism rise out of capitalism.

Socialism, despite all the evidence achieved of its immense potential, did not succeed in the Soviet Union because it was not international (of which the Bolsheviks were acutely aware), because the Soviet Union was surrounded by a hostile West which drove it to collapse in an arms race it couldn’t win and also because the Bolsheviks tried to deny the place of individual economic initiative and financial reward implicit in it.

Lenin’s half-hearted attempt to compensate for this failure with his NEP was unsuccessful.

The Chinese have learnt from this and from their own attempt to do the same, to impose theory – as can be seen in the process of reform initiated by Deng Xiaoping.

They have learnt that individual reward and the motive for profit must be incorporated into socialism. The rapid development of China since has been the result.

China is very much a work-in-progress, which the Chinese have so far successfully managed.

These developments within China, that are leading the world, will be models for the capitalist nations as they too turn, are forced to turn, to socialism – as Engels noted in a letter in 1894.1

And a ‘necessity,’ I might add, that the consummate Neoplatonist Hegel theorised in his philosophy.




1. ‘The war in China has given the death-blow to the old China. Isolation has become impossible; the introduction of railways, steam-engines, electricity, and modern large-scale industry has become a necessity, if only for reasons of military defence. But with it the old economic system of small peasant agriculture, where the family also made its industrial products itself, falls to pieces too, and with it the whole old social system which made relatively dense population possible. Millions will be turned out and forced to emigrate; and these millions will find their way even to Europe, and en masse. But as soon as Chinese competition sets in on a mass scale, it will rapidly bring things to a head in your country and over here, and thus the conquest of China by capitalism will at the same time furnish the impulse for the overthrow of capitalism in Europe and America,’ Engels to Friedrich Adolf Sorge in Hoboken; London, November 10, 1894, Marx Engels, Selected Correspondence, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1982, 450-451


2 thoughts on “Reply to Grimbeau

  1. Hi Phil, Very interesting article. I believe labelling is an impediment to understanding. When someone says socialist, people automatically think communism and Ex- Russia. We have been brainwashed over the last 50 years.

    Not much has been written about Ayan Rand and her Rational Egoism, which is the reflection of modern capitalism. Adam Smith’s invisible hand, most including John Rawls agree does not work, the Tragedy of the Commons being just one example. Government has to have firstly the resources (which it certainly doesn’t when compared to big conglomerates”, and secondly atmost authority to reign down hard on corporations (GMO’s, Pesticides, Big Oil,) and many more to safeguard the people.

    It’s incredible that us, as a society are so engrossed in the addiction of work (for money), the traquillising, absolutely useless material on TV and other absolutely useless activities promoted, instead of being educated. The level of expertise in behavioural science, makes us all sheep, Unless we wake up and understand this. The few will always control the many.

    All you have to do is go to John Pilger on YouTube, and compare the amount of views his documentaries receive in comparison to Kim Kardashian, and you will understand. Education, education, education. That’s all I have to say because we will certainly be swimming against the current without it.

    By the way, I’m wondering if you have recently read Francis Fukuyama’s Political Order and Decay. I highly recommend it to you based on your blogs. The “good emperor” is definitely a better political structure than democracy, akin to Plato’s Philosophyer King, which China has had to a certain extent lately. The only problem is how to get rid of a bad one, which is a biggy.

    Great stuff as usual my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Philomath,

      No, I haven’t read it.

      China is succeeding where the Soviet Union failed.

      This makes sense because the first successful socialist revolution, opposed by the ‘Whites’ and invading capitalist nations, was in the Soviet Union.

      Lessons, and extremely costly lessons, in both states, had to be learnt first.

      Capitalist ideology holds these lessons up as proof that socialism could never work, and of its ‘evils’ (hence, to those who dare to dream, to think of and to want something better, ‘capitalism is your best – and only – option’).

      But they are lessons, just as the first and second world wars (and the many other wars), the Great Depression and global warming were and are lessons – that this will always be what you must expect under capitalism, as reflections of its driving motive of profit and its unpreventable crises.

      The Chinese have learnt that the motive for profit, which is the basis in consciousness of capitalism, must be incorporated within socialism – i.e. on a socialist base.

      Over time, it is entirely reasonable that this profit motive can be modified (i.e. re-oriented from the individual to the society – in other words better utilised for the society).

      Socialism, which, even more than capitalism, can only fully function internationally, is, as can be seen in China, very much a work in progress.

      As China continues to develop, the capitalist nations will be forced by economic imperative, as Engels recognised in 1894, to follow.

      Best wishes, Phil


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