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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/11/20

The Coronavirus recession will accelerate China's rise while further shrinking American power

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Whether or not the Covid-19 virus is a biological weapon created by the United States (as credible analysts are speculating it is), Washington has done all it can to weaponize the virus against China. The Trump administration has expressed that it views the virus as a way to keep jobs out of China, demonstrating how Washington has hoped that the virus will knock China off of its path towards world economic dominance. Demagoguery from the Western media about China's government supposedly mismanaging the crisis reflect wild statements from neocons like Senator Tom Cotton, who's promoted the idea that China's government created the virus.

The goal of these imperialists has been to weaken China's position on the world stage while turning more of China's people against the Communist Party, hopefully to the effect of a boon for American corporations and U.S. global power. But the results have been the opposite.

China has fought the virus far better than the United States will be able to if it gets equally severe in America. China built two hospitals for the virus in over a week, and China's especially successful model of free government healthcare has of course made it the default for Chinese people to be able to get treatment. The virus is now decidedly declining within China, despite the American media's absurd attempts to spin this as indicative of something sinister.

The hope was that China's path to recovery amid the economic shocks from the virus would be long and difficult, allowing the U.S. to derail China's rise. But China's planned socialist economy was able to absorb the 2008 crash exceptionally well, so it's unsurprisingly beginning to bounce back. Many other countries have been following China's example in responding to the virus, but unlike China, the capitalist countries aren't designed to easily handle widespread quarantines and declines of productivity. China's recession is already ending, but for most other places the economic downturn has just begun.

Due to the inherent vulnerability of capitalist economies to recession, and to the inadequacy of the healthcare systems throughout the neoliberal world, the virus has brought economic chaos as it's spread around the globe. Australia and South Africa are seemingly already in a recession, quarantines and panicked consumer behaviors are continuing to cause global markets to plunge, and America's twelve-year-long economic growth has come to a halt. In contrast to what the Communist Party of China has been able to do in response to the economic damage from the virus, the Federal Reserve is incapable of stopping a downturn and has already caused markets to tumble simply by cutting interest rates.

Only in a declining late-stage capitalist empire like ours would a country's leadership be so ill-equipped to address a crisis. President Trump has consistently been trying to downplay both the virus and the financial meltdown, making statements like "we're testing everybody that we need to test, we're finding very little problem" and "Stock Market starting to look very good to me!" This reflects his administration's attempt in January to portray the virus as good for American jobs; they don't want to admit that a crisis is unfolding, because this crisis is exposing the deep inadequacies of America's neoliberal healthcare system and monopolistic financial system. The capitalist ruling class ideology is being very visibly discredited.

Now that the severity of the virus and the recession are becoming undeniable, Trump and the other members of the ruling class are moving towards scapegoating and distractions. This week Trump blamed the "fake news" media for the escalating series of market crashes, and imperialist propagandists are increasingly using the virus as a weapon to demonize China. Recently, the notorious British war propaganda outlet The Guardian published an op-ed from the anti-CPC demagogue Ai Weiwei, who wrote that "China is ill, but it goes much deeper than the coronavirus" and that "The communist system, with its tight control of information and its accountability of officials only to their bureaucratic superiors, not to the people below, has been undermining social trust for decades."

Weiwei's characterization of China reveals the desire from the Western countries to project their present crises onto bogeymen like the PRC. While the overwhelming majority of Chinese people support their government amid the last several decades' increases in the country's living standards, the Western capitalist powers have been undergoing a collapse of public trust in institutions amid decades of privatization, austerity, falling wages, and regressive taxation.

With the Coronavirus recession, the fundamental injustice of the way America runs things will be laid bare. The government will continue to neglect the poor and working class people whose lack of adequate healthcare makes them most vulnerable to disease. The rich will be bailed out from the financial damage like last time. Homelessness, unemployment, hunger, and insurmountable household debt will afflict more of the have-nots, all while social services are further cut. The contradictions of capitalism will get so pronounced within the United States that a lot of people will become willing to take to the streets, like the people of Chile have amid their country's descent into hyper-inequality.

This loss of legitimacy for the internal governing model of the United States (as well as the other core imperialist countries) will correlate with an acceleration of the decline of U.S./NATO imperialism. When this next economic crash comes, China isn't going to bail out America's economy like it did last time. China's most practical move will be to allocate its resources towards withstanding the worst effects of the crash, giving it a great new advantage against the economically unsalvageable United States. This will further shift global economic leverage in favor of the Belt Road Initiative, China's project for sharing resources with the nations that have been colonized and exploited by the West.

The more the power balance changes, and the more the economic crisis endangers the stability of American capitalism, the more the centers of U.S. power will wage war for their survival. The propaganda campaign against China is already intensifying, with pro-regime change entities like the World Uighur Congress increasingly working to manipulate the American public into hating the PRC. The American political and media class has lately been vilifying Cuban socialism, attacking left-leaning politicians as Russian assets, and otherwise revamping McCarthyism. The big banks are calling for more deregulation in response to the recent crises, showing a desperation to maintain the boom of corporate profits from the last few years.

The class conflict is intensifying, both in terms of the bourgeoisie vs the proletariat and in terms of imperialism vs anti-imperialism. We can win this conflict by advancing the Marxist-Leninist ideals that have made the PRC so successful.


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Rainer Shea is writing articles that counter the propaganda of the capitalist/imperialist power establishment, and that help move us towards a socialist revolution. Donate to me on Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=11988744

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