The essence of communism (in case you haven’t managed to grab a copy of Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto), is that everything is shared. All individuals ideally work towards a common good.
Marx developed the political ideology in the 1840s, producing the socialist publication The Communist Manifesto. Lenin and the Bolsheviks had the idea of attempting to implement communism in Russia before Mao tried in China. However, just as Russia’s politics led to the deaths of countless civilians, today China’s corruption and need for control over its citizens is leaving thousands of people and ethnicities marginalised, displaced from their homes, and at risk of torture.
Marx would be turning in his grave.
History repeats as we watch George Orwell’s Animal Farm play out in Xi Jinping’s China (including Hong Kong). Despite communism’s lofty principles it was too much to expect equality and openness from a dictatorship.
Equality hasn’t worked. China has overtaken America as the country with the most billionaires – 1,133 in total, compared to 716 in America. America does not claim to be anything other than capitalist, yet the Chinese are making billions of US dollars at the expense of their people and their human rights. To quote Marx himself, communism is based on the abolition of ‘the exploitation of the many by the few’ and ‘can be summed up in the single sentence: abolition of private property’. If this were true in China, not a single billionaire would exist.
As the members of the CCP sit there like the pigs on Orwell’s farm wearing human clothes, the rest of the world simply sits by and watches, hoping to be invited for dinner.
Look at the attitude of countries such as New Zealand towards China and Russia. Ardern was late to implement sanctions against Russia and is always increasing trade with China. It appears that the ridiculous nature of this Orwellian-style dinner party lies in the fact that Western regimes are quite willing to turn up at the table even though they feature as a food item on the set menu.
The CCP’s track record on a human rights level cannot be overlooked any longer. Despite their successful regime of repression, the country remains riddled with paranoia. Those who have nothing and could not be considered as a threat to the political system, such as the Uyghur population, have been subjected to institutionalised torture, rape, and segregation under the intrinsically criminal claim of ‘education’.
Indoctrination of this sort has been occurring for years in China. It appears the CCP require a lesson in the use of the word ‘education’ as well as in how to run a country without the need for censorship.
Recent events in Hong Kong have shown the West a fraction of what is occurring in mainland China. This relatively transparent veil will soon be replaced by an impenetrable curtain . Ten years from now, most residents who have had the opportunity to do so will have left. There have already been many waves of exodus. The same will be true of the Pacific.
When looking at the country’s economic growth from the outside, one might argue that the CCP is running the country well from an economic standpoint. However, China has the most sophisticated surveillance system in the world operating on a dense network of security cameras. ‘Economic growth’ is evidently dependent on the removal of happiness, freedom of thought, and even Karl Marx’s very own communist values. As Marx himself said, ‘Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims.’ You can see how the theory and practice have become exact opposites today.
The West urgently needs charismatic leaders like Churchill or Kennedy if it is going to prevent the subtle invasion of ideology and communist expansionism we are already experiencing and choosing to allow. The world needs to wake up to what is happening, instead of placing false hopes on any form of appeasement. You cannot appease an individual set on destruction – please take note, Jacinda Ardern.
There is little chance that Marx would have wanted a China-style version of communism in the 1800s, or even envisaged individuals such as Xi or Stalin tarnishing his name or his Manifesto.
Xi’s inspiration was certainly not the spirit of Marx. In the West, we need to start calling a spade a spade and start taking the gradual global power shift and subtle but insincere overhaul of life as we know it seriously. What do I mean by seriously? I mean learning to be self-sufficient as a nation, to fend for ourselves, and to be able to wean ourselves off relying on countries that have no interest in helping us in the long run. Self-sufficiency is the best way out.
So, let’s stop the false pretence of friendship, pull our socks up, and stop appeasing dictators. If you are in doubt about any of the above, go and grab yourself a copy of George Orwell’s Animal Farm and you will be ten times the wiser after reading it. Perhaps it ought to be put back on the school curriculum too.
At the end of the day, the reality is that we do not want to spend the next 30 years attempting to backtrack everything that we have inadvertently and somewhat rashly given away to our neighbours in Beijing.
Natasha Poole BA & MA Hons Litterae Humaniores, University of Oxford, UK
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