How to fight both US and China domination of Aotearoa

Brady ChinaAotearoa

Its good to see Chris Trotter recognising that NZ has always been a colony of UK and is now a colony of both the US and China. That is the economic reality that should guide our discussions. As a start that means that we see China and US as imperialist rivals for control of the NZ economy.

The notions of ‘soft’ (political/cultural) and ‘hard’ (economic/military) power obscure this process. Britain always relied on its soft power (empire loyalty- Royalty – better Brits etc) to justify its economic domination. The US supplanted the UK as the main imperialist influence during and after WW2 when its military operations and subsequent victory in the Pacific set the new normal for the region.

We can see this soft power leading to very hard power after the failure of US intervention to stop the Chinese revolution of 1949, that is, a fusion of political and economic objectives symbolised by US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles heading a NZ Cabinet meeting to entrench our alliance to contain the ‘Red menace’.

This remains the US stance, hyped up by Trump propaganda that China remains a ‘communist’ country. It is also the stance shared by Anne-Marie Brady. In other words the dominant ‘soft power’ in NZ in the post WW2 period has been the cold-war ideology projected by Hollywood’s cultural imperialism. This is the US ‘soft power’ that has morphed into the ‘war on terror’ and pivot in the Pacific to contain China’s born-again economic power.

China today is no longer a bureaucratically run centralised economy (leaving aside the question for now of how socialist it ever was) that stagnated and stalled in the 1970s because it excluded the working masses from democratically managing the economic plan. It was forced to restore capitalism to revive economic growth. Its political and economic character today is that of state monopoly capitalism.

So China’s current trajectory is as a massive state capitalist regime that has emerged as the major rival of the declining US. The ‘one party’ label is a diversion since all imperialist powers are ruled by parties that are equally dedicated to the growth and preservation of capitalism. Both US and China are the essentially the same underneath the turbulent political/cultural surface – capitalist imperialist powers.

So when it comes to debating NZ’s role in relation to these two rival powers, we need to ignore the diversions about ‘communism’ as justifying special attention to China’s expansion into NZ, to focus on the reality, that China is trying to make up for its belated re-emergence as a great power, against an already well established rival.

Therefore we need to be equally opposed to both as they continue to impose their imperialist interests in extracting profits and rent from NZ at the expense of those who produce the wealth – the majority working class. We cannot trust our politicians not to sell-out to one or other US and or China. It is their role to manage the extraction of wealth by imperialism by placating resistance to our colonial oppression. In return the politicians are paid off with part of the profits for favouring one or other power.

The biggest threat to NZ’s future is to allow its politicians to keep selling out control of the economy to either or both powers. That is the road to a third world war between the US led bloc and the Russia/China led bloc of nations, in which NZ will be dragged into taking sides of one versus the other. This will be a disaster for the Pacific and the World

That means we have to fight for an anti-imperialist politics in the streets and workplaces, demanding that all agreements with imperialist powers be revoked and replaced by an independent global stand that aligns the interests of the working majority in Aotearoa with workers and oppressed in all countries, but in particular, in the imperialist countries where they are in the position to remove their own exploiting class from power.