Was Guy Rundle drunk when he wrote about China?

I used to think Guy Rundle was one the leading intellects of the left in Australia but, for years, he has gotten lost in fake left racial hysteria. Yesterday he wrote a piece on China that literally boggled the mind at Crikey:

Say what you like about the Chairman, but he had a phrase for every occasion. Andrew Hastie’s 1940 analogy of our position vis a vis China — the futile hope of its liberalisation serving as our “Maginot Line” — is either dopey or artful or both, but it serves to simultaneously focus attention on Hastie ahead of his 2024, or 2021 party leadership bid, and to try and make excuses for what is decades of failure by the right on developing an integrated foreign-relations/defence policy.

For the last 40 years, the Coalition and the right in Labor have pursued a contradictory and incoherent global economic/political strategy that has relied on an implicitly racist underestimation of Asia and sheer mind-boggling stupidity to put us in a position which is now both impossible to maintain and impossible to extricate ourselves from.

Our slavish devotion to US military interests has made it impossible to dispel the image of us in Asia as a colonial hangover policing the region. The destruction of our heavy manufacturing capacity in the name of globalisation has made even the ghost of self-reliance in national defence impossible; and the same process of globalisation, and the demobilisation of state enterprise and capital, has made us dependent on the capital and consumer markets of Asia, the enemy, we are lining up with the US against!

Thus we simultaneously denounce China on Hong Kong, and informally subcontract international student provision and university funding to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). We’ve gone back to being the world’s quarry and farm that left us dependent for decades, and let our military ally lock us out of its markets and steal the ones we’ve developed. And so on.

This is where we are now, a predicament that Hastie presents as being the product of a plan slightly gone wrong. We kept reading Hayek, Hastie implies, and thinking the CCP was too. But all the time they appeared to be reading Marx, they were actually reading Marx!

Hastie’s story about the failed liberalisation of China is designed to offer a myth for the right, to pretend it had thought any of this through. Outside of the classical liberal hotzones — such as Catallaxy Files, the Mom’s-basement of what remains of the Oz blogosphere — no-one believed this for a second. The heady neoliberal decades could maintain this illusion that global trade creates peace and equality only because the unevenness of such — peasant economies “trading” with industrial economies — ensures domination and compliance.

Once underdevelopment is addressed — by a country like China removing itself from the world system for a time to develop — then competition and conflict reappears. Whatever the political system.

Had China become a multi-party system, it may well have gone down the path of India, and handed power to an explicitly nationalist/racist Han Chinese party. In case Hastie hasn’t noticed, it’s “liberal-democratic” India that has unilaterally abrogated a negotiated governance framework in Kashmir, and occupied a state claimed by its rival adjacent nuclear power. It’s the US that has invaded dozens of countries since World War II. China hasn’t occupied Hong Kong or Taiwan (out of self-interest, of course). China hasn’t even invaded China.

Does Andrew Hastie believe the fairytale he played out? Quite possibly, given that he trotted out the usual myths about the post-World War II USSR needing to be “contained”. Except here’s the twist. Hastie and others object not to China’s military incursion — there aren’t any, no-one’s talking about putting Chinese missiles in Fiji, as we are talking about putting US missiles in Darwin — but China daring to invest in Africa and the Pacific.

The hypocrisy is, well it would take another article. We can flog off everything not nailed down to China, and much that is; but if they deal with anyone else its expansionism. We loaded them with debt, built nothing. China loads them with debt, and builds the roads and ports they said they would. We lock brown people in island prisons, scream about African gangs, and wonder why the world doesn’t want to deal with another ex-colony.

Hastie’s speech is more important as a symptom. Presented as some sort of break with a failed tradition of doublethink on the right, it is simply a continuation, a sign that they can’t think outside of their self-justifying myths, even when they can see the situation demands such. They remain caught up in every delusion of white-skin narcissism, the whole Western-exceptionalism-benevolent-imperialism melange from George W. Bush to Niall Ferguson to John Howard, to Tony Abbott.

You can afford to be this stupid when you run the world. Now that seven-eighths of the global population lives in former colonised or dominated states, it might be worth learning how they actually see the world, rather than projecting a slightly redrafted fantasy upon them.

Yes, China is pursuing a Marxist strategy: capitalist development of pre-capitalist states, to create a parallel world system. As Marx notes, and Deng Xiaoping echoed, the first stage of socialism is capitalism. It’s the West that’s trying to enforce illiberal non-capitalist political dependence through military alliances.

Over 40 years we have made ourself into the bonded servant of two bitter rivals. One of them is an efficient totalitarian nightmare, and the other is Alabama with rockets. Decades ago, we should have decided to own our resources, maintain our heavy industry, pursue armed neutrality, and become a voice for global multilateralism.

Now we have to get out of this mess and the first stage of that is real clear thinking about it — not a new round of mythologisation presented as its opposite. Worth knowing, in these situations, whom the disorder is excellent for.

I am having trouble even unraveling what that argument is:

  • Hastie is a hypocrite because the LNP has traded with China (true but hardly on his Pat Malone);
  • devotion to the US prevented us from becoming better Asian integrated (which would abrogate CPC hostility to freedom today how?);
  • we should never have been surprised that China remained Communist (also true);
  • China developed by removing itself from the global economy (keh?);
  • China isn’t Nazi because India is and so is the US (consequent fallacy again, if A, then B; B, therefore A.);
  • everyone, everywhere has “white-skin narcissism” (jeez);
  • and the conclusion for the ages:

Yes, China is pursuing a Marxist strategy: capitalist development of pre-capitalist states, to create a parallel world system. As Marx notes, and Deng Xiaoping echoed, the first stage of socialism is capitalism. It’s the West that’s trying to enforce illiberal non-capitalist political dependence through military alliances.

So, get out the way and let the liberal CPC develop the world using capitalist principles so that it can then engineer a subsequent Maoist revolution to deliver utopia.

And Hastie is stuck in “self-delusion”? Fwark!

David Llewellyn-Smith

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.

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  1. China is not “Asia” and vice versa. Rundle is deliberately blurring these concepts because his brain has rotted from contrariness.

    This is what China wants, for us to think we have already lost

    He’s right about our braindead elites, however.

  2. “I used to think Guy Rundle was one the leading intellects of the left in Australia…”

    are you sitting down? goodo

    Guy Rundle is a leading *intellect* of the left, he’s as good as it gets in Australia….the very best we can do apparently

  3. The article has some good points, particularly:
    “The destruction of our heavy manufacturing capacity in the name of globalisation has made even the ghost of self-reliance in national defence impossible; and the same process of globalisation, and the demobilisation of state enterprise and capital, has made us dependent on the capital and consumer markets of Asia, the enemy, we are lining up with the US against!”
    This is completely correct, Australia (not the citizens of course, but the controlling financial interests) made the decision to adopt the neoliberal free market model. Removed all the tarrifs and capital controls and kissed manufacturing goodbye. To top it off we have thrown open the borders to screw over the remaining workers even more. The economist Mark Blyth recently delivered a nice lecture on the different economic systems that have been utilised in the west and the consequences of these.
    What Guy doesn’t quite make it to is that the economics that Australia and other western countries have adopted is largely a result of the political systems they are burdened with. In pseudo democratic first past the post two party countries such as Aus, USA and Britain it is easy for money to control the politicians and therefore the policies that they implement.

    • SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

      yes but talk about blowing everything so out of proportion its just silly!!

      dependent on the capital and consumer markets of Asia, the enemy, we are lining up with the US against!”

      this is one of the many moronic fantasies in the article. the only country in asia we are lining up against is china

  4. Guy Rundle apologist dribble – for the ‘communist’ and now Han racially based left wing ‘national socialist totalitarian’ (fascist) Nazi like Chinese regime.

    On a more serious note.
    When are we going to see a shift in the political & public debate to vetting the Chinese mainland born communists in Australia as a political & security risk?

    We have 1.361 million 🇨🇳 China First 🇨🇳 Chinese mainland born communists onshore in Australia.

    82% or 1.213 million onshore in Australia are as non Australian Chinese Nationals on Chinese passports.

    ▫️238,000 Chinese mainland born communists as citizen grants/ Australia passports. These are the early waves – many are old, sick, non contributing, on Australia welfare as the first wave of hard core communists in the ‘South Guangzhou’ colonisation of Australia. Many have been here a decade or more, no assimilation, no English, Chinese only enclaves.
    A social, healthcare & welfare burden.
    Now perhaps we are stuck with these mainland born chinese communists who were given citizen grants, but a retrospective vetting program, tracking, surveillance is warranted given the constant media exposure of them as 🇨🇳China First🇨🇳 lobbyists, corroding our political parties or as Chinese lords of criminal & vice activity here.

    ▫️483,000 as 🇨🇳Chinese Nationals🇨🇳 on Chinese passports – but granted PR !
    This is primarily from the Chinese Hukuo underclass being exported from the Chinese tier 1 cities to be our welfare & Medicare burden.
    $2k today in Zhuhai China buys an Australian PR.
    The Hukuo underclass are given priority, false documents, fake health checks, falsified ages & identities.
    China has over 100 million of these people to somehow resettle, the internal relocations app failed (eg the resulting ghost cities) so now the focus is on exporting their problem.

    I don’t think the Mb readership understand the sheer scale of the industry scale conveyor belt of this Chinese Hukuo trafficking.
    Literally a transplantion of 2nd generation Chinese peasantry from a mainland Chinese slum to an equivalent Australian Sydney or Melbourne Chinese slum.
    The trafficking run collaboratively by the CCP & Chinese criminal syndicates in exporting their socially undesirable to other countries.
    As ‘mules’ to carry & wash the Chinese criminal syndicates dirty money, to run or participate in the foreign crime & vice operations, to work illegally & repay the agent procurer loan debt repayments, for remittances, the Chinese slum clearance of the Hukuo, and actively supported at every level by the corrupt Chinese government officialdom in China First colonisation.
    No English, no assimilation, not even a pretence of a contribution, only here as China First communist colonists. And Australia somewhat uniquely grants them work rights, welfare, Medicare whilst they remain Chinese Nationals!

    A massive social, healthcare & welfare burden on the Australian people.

    ▫️340,000 🇨🇳China First🇨🇳 TR (of the 1.8 million TR) Chinese mainland born communists on Chinese passports as fake students or partners, fake skilled, fake regional, fake whatever visas – also the Hukou underclass trafficked in to work illegally or in vice. Again a massive social and economic burden to Australian society.

    ▫️130,000 🇨🇳China First🇨🇳 Chinese mainland born communists as NZ SCV (of 696,000) trafficked in via the NZ SCV passport stamp loophole, NZ being one of the ‘stepping stone’ routes to get into Australia. Another social & economic burden.

    ▫️Another 150,000 or more 🇨🇳China First 🇨🇳 Chinese mainland born communists on Chinese passports as illegally working & living tourist & visitor visa holders. (Of 440,000 or 5% of the 8.8 million Chinese Indian etc so called tourist visitors working illegally- Aust Parliamentary submission) Long stay & repeat stay.
    A social and economic burden.

    ▫️Plus at least 20,000 🇨🇳China First🇨🇳 Chinese mainland born communists as overstayers. (Of 65,000), same.


    => That’s 1.36 million 🇨🇳China First🇨🇳 Chinese mainland born communists in Australia of which over 1.1 million are non Australian citizens as Chinese 🇨🇳China First 🇨🇳 mainland born communists.

    90% or 1.2 million Chinese mainland born communists in just 2 cities – Sydney & Melbourne, in vast Chinese only non assimilated slums.

    Of which at least 1 million who should never have been allowed in.

    These Chinese destroy jobs, wages, housing, education, our infrastructure, social amenity, the environment, congestion & overload our water & electricity.

    They are the epi-centre of foreign run criminal activities in vice, drugs. crime, money laundering & black market. They corrupt our politicians and have no loyalty to Australia, only China.

    They are a social, economic, political & security threat to all Australians.

    • Correct on every point. However, the LNP and labour love the wage depression and political bribes (donations) that they bring and hence don’t hold your breath.

      • Yes – Hukou (autocorrect..)
        “China’s Hukou system is a registration program that serves as a domestic passport, regulating population distribution and rural-to-urban migration. It is a tool for social and geographic control that enforces an apartheid structure..”

        100 million of the Chinese mainland born Hukou underclass are to be cleansed from the Tier 1 city slums – relocated internally (five year plan but huge fail – hence the ghost cities) or increasingly exported to foreign countries by the Chinese criminal trafficking syndicates & the Chinese government.

        This Hukou underclass are 2nd & 3rd generation Chinese peasantry that flocked to the eastern seaboard cities in china’s industrialisation.
        Factory workers, grifters, now old / no social welfare, education or other entitlements – vice workers, pimps, petty criminals, misfits.. China’s social burden now being ‘exported’ as ‘foreign students’ or ‘migrant guestworkers’.

        Fact check.

        Excerpt. “Roughly one-fifth of China’s population, some 250 to 300 million people, have irregular hukou status. The reform of the hukou system is a major plank of the Five Year Plan from 2016 to 2020. Under the reforms, 100 million internal migrant illegals are to have their hukou status ‘regularized’ by 2020. The first-tier cities opted to regularize their populations by expelling hukou applicants. Second-tier cities like Chengdu grant hukou status only if they have a masters degree. Third-tier cities will take them if they buy local real estate. But the Hukuo are poor & uneducated with no access to higher education”.

        $2k buys an Australian PR in Guangzhou with every assistance from the Chinese government and the criminal syndicates in trafficking them out.

        Fake doc, fake health checks, Agent procurer ‘Loans’, used as mules for money laundering, recruited for offshore vice or black market labor work.

        A conveyor belt of the Chinese Hukou underclass from their Chinese slums in China -> to their Chinese slums in Australia.

        And we have 1.361 million of them, 1.2 million as sold passport Chinese Nationals..

        That’s our ‘Chinese’ intake.
        This is how corrupt & broken our borders and visa controls are.
        Then we gift them with PR, free Medicare & welfare. While they remain Chinese Nationals & 🇨🇳China First🇨🇳

        It would be very revealing to see the exact Hukou status & social credit score (their real identity not the fake packaged one) of the 1.2 million Chinese Sole passport Nationals now onshore in Australia.

      • That isn’t what is coming in.
        And the top 10% Chinese social credit score certainly aren’t going to leave China or forfeit their privileges – they have much better opportunities & lifestyle in China.

        Spend some time in China and you know straight away what gets off the plane & in via Australia corrupted & broken immigration control is the 2nd generation Hukou Tier 1 city slum & illegal underclass – peasantry & criminals.

        Absolute bottom of the barrel lowlife or social burden trafficked into foreign countries by the Chinese government & the Chinese criminal syndicates.

        You can tell by their dialect, clothing, appearance, history, their lies on skills and everything else.

        Go ask any Chinese you know here as a PR or TR.
        (There is 1.213 million to choose from(.
        If they tell the truth (and many never will) the inevitable story is the same – peasantry grandparents or parents, moved to the big cities, lived as one of the internal illegals. Categorised by China as an hukou underclass.
        Inter generationally useless, petty crime, vice, cash & illegal economy. Unskilled. Factory fodder or labourers & service workers. No rights to higher education or other entitlements. Lived in vast shanty slums on the outskirts.
        -> That’s what comes in as our Chinese PR & TR.

        The rackets & trafficking into Australians as a ‘student vice worker + plus a ‘partner’ or ‘sponsored visa, (for the bribe split between the agent procurer & sponsor,..

        The ‘guaranteed Australian PR for ¥10,000 Chinese yuan ($2,000)

        – this is everywhere on display across China.

        The Chinese government officials & the criminal syndicates have been collaborating for over a decade in dumping these Chinese lowlife into the west. Asia, Africa or wherever.

        They routinely fake their Identity & documents, most of the health checks are also faked.

        Their ‘social credit score’ would also be falsified.

        Even simple things like onshore health checks (over half the Chinese would immediately fail on Hepatitis. TB & other systemic disease) and proper checks and tracking of funds – most would fail any test.

        Add on weekly reporting to an Australian police station by all Chinese Nationals on exactly where do they live and how, rent paid and by who to, sources of Income & their political or other activities – most would fail.
        And on a test for the Chinese Nationals on PR in welfare & Medicare – PBS drugs to send back fraud.

        That’s over 80% or 1 million Chinese mainland born communists in some sort of visa breach or other fraud who should be deported

  5. Geez. Rundles thinking hasn’t moved on from his time at Arena. And the problem is he represents a fairly thick strain of thought in the left. I was arguing with one of them recently about China’s perniciousness – made the point about what’s happening in Western China. The respeonse: look at what’s happening on manus island. The same mentality as the old nth Vietnamese and Soviet sympathisers. Because they idolize Marx and hate capital they must be friendly!

  6. John Howards Bowling Coach

    I think he has raised some valid points without any serious attempt at a solution. Typical of Australia. Yes we know that we need to be a manufacturer and own ourselves, but rather than plan how to achieve that the normal crap from the baby boomer theorist is that it’s too late, so just let me top up me supa fund mate… I see the real problem with his thinking as being the complete ignorance that we are in a serious situation, that China is positioning to take over the globe regardless of their inability to do it, or manage it later beyond just fear & greed, the system they use at home. Claiming that China is not worse than us because we also put poor nations into debt ignores the reality that Australia does not and has not done that, we have given $billions in Aid money and get nothing for it, certainly we don’t get an IOU in return as Beijing demands and what’s more they do it at whatever price they decide. Guy Rundle is like most of the world, completely underestimating the threat from a very cunning and ambitious nation, invading the planet one foreign investment at a time using funds that we gifted them…

  7. deluded people on all sides (I don’t know who he is, but again let go live under the CCP and see how he likes it being on the outer in a society like that…it’s not too good here, but as yet we don’t have the whole CCP thing going on), and personally I think it’s roots all the way back to globalisation and the 1% who own it. The CCP are in that 1% btw if we saw their personal wealth.

  8. The opioid epidemic is hitting Aus badly first the RBA board, the Perram court, …. authors [GR] (although I guess authors have always been known to enjoy “life”)