June 1, 2020
“Fascism combats the whole complex system of democratic ideology, and repudiates it, whether in its theoretical premises or in its practical application. Fascism denies that the majority, by the simple fact that it is a majority, can direct human society” (Benito Mussolini speech in 1932, “What is Fascism ?”)
Mike Pompeo’s latest declaration that today’s CCP is different from China’s communist party of ten years ago is spot on. Less obvious to many are the reasons why the CCP has become externally aggressive and China’s diplomats exponentially more obnoxious than ever before.
Since 2001, I highlighted the fact that the Chinese leadership’s refusal to give up its power monopoly, coupled with its willingness to allow private property, could only lead to its nazification.
The transition process from communism to nazism which started at the turn of the century was largely completed by the time Xi Jinping took over the party’s reins in 2012. Unfortunately, European political scientists were slow to realise what was actually happening, letting many political leaders in the West believe that China is still led by the same communist party they had got used to during the Cold War. The Chinese leadership shrewdly fueled this mistaken belief, by reviving a largely useless study of Marxism in universities and by continuing to use the same external symbols and paraphernalia, familiar to all of us by now. Behind the scenes, however, the nazification of China’s communist party has proceeded apace and is now threatening the peace of the world in more ways than one. To justify Xi’s dictatorship and the 2018 constitutional changes, Chinese political scientists and constitutional lawyers are inspired not by Marx, Lenin or Stalin, but by the anti-liberal theories of Carl Schmitt, one of the ideological pillars of Nazism.
Indeed, for all their internal repressive policies in the USSR, Eastern Europe and Maoist China, communist regimes have not been known to readily engage in open confrontation. From Gromyko to Zhou Enlai, or Deng Xiaoping, communist leaders were loath to have an openly conflictual relationship with the West. After all, even the likes of Stalin believed that military or diplomatic confrontation with the West should be avoided at all costs, since Marxist theory postulates that capitalism is going to implode by itself, as a result of its own contradictions reaching crisis point. Instead, the Soviets preferred to inaugurate a policy of peaceful coexistence with the West and even of detente; China, for a long time, deemed more important to benefit economically, from opening its labour markets to foreign investments and from selling its products into Western markets.
As I was explaining since 2001, however: a totalitarian regime that is based on collective property over the land and the means of production is recognised as a communist regime; whereas a party that enjoys a monopoly of power but at the same time protects or least supports private property as well as private companies can only be described as a fascist regime.
The fact, however, that China transitioned from a totalitarian communist regime to a Nazi-type political regime has not escaped the notice of knowledgeable insiders such as He Di, the founder of the Boyuan Foundation. Still, Western media is peddling the same cliches about China being the same communist country led by the same communist party since 1949.
Mao has been known to erase all mention of China’s imperial past. Xi Jinping,on the other hand, is trying his best to connect his leadership to his imperial predecessors in the job, in an effort to promote what he calls “national renewal”. Barely one year after he took over, Xi inaugurated his signature project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Like Mussolini in 1923 and Hitler in 1934, he is trying to win the hearts and minds of Eurasian nations in dire need of road and rail infrastructure. Exactly like his fascist predecessors, he needs to show both the Chinese people and the rest of the world that he is the one who “can get things done”.
BRI is a project that, if completed, will make the entire Eurasian continent Sino-centric, with all the roads and railroads leading to Beijing. Regardless of such efforts, however, a Sino-centric world and global economy is neither feasible, nor desirable. By trying to reclaim – in true fascist fashion – China’s imperial prestige and global influence for his own regime, Xi is committing the same errors that brought about the downfall of both Mussolini and Hitler. Indeed, neither Mussolini’s fondness for imperial Rome and its achievements, nor Xi’s emulation of imperial China’s earlier achievements could ultimately save such regimes.
Since 2014 Xi has adopted yet another typically fascist policy, that of forcing most members of the Uighur ethnic minority in internment camps. To be sure, Uighurs are being interned Nazi-style, because of their religion and ethnic background, not as a result of their ideological leanings.
Whilst in the past communist parties were involved in espionage against the West, no communist regime dared pick up a diplomatic fight with a major Western country, let alone the United States. Nowadays, however, Hitler-era aggressive policies against neighbouring countries are the “new normal” for China, as are disinformation campaigns and diplomatic bullying, which can only bring the world closer to war.
Not being able to recognise the changed nature of the Chinese communist party makes policymakers adopt inadequate policies in dealing with today’s China. One thing is certain: the habit of always fighting the last war’s battles will not help Western democracies to face the current threat posed by China. Already, the EU shows all the signs of bandwagoning, and a Moscow-Beijing axis should give nightmares to politicians and pundits uselessly banging the anti-communist drums. A major confrontation with China is around the corner and it is going to be nothing like the Cold War we all know.Spotlight on Geopolitics