THE MICHIGAN DAILY
FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 1967
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Pic up either Volkswagen'
f. in. Europe
Haves, Have-Nots at War in
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Howard
Moffett, an American citizen,
was raised in Korea and for-
merly edited the Yale Daily
News. He is now in South Viet
Nam as full-time correspondent
for Collegiate Press Service.)
By HOWARD MOFFETT
Collegiate Press service
most a physical pressure. Skeptics
might glance at a Vietnamese
newspaper: the one I know best
is printed in English, largely for
an American readership-yet often
China commands more front page
space than any other nation, in-
cluding the U.S. and Viet Nam.
Shout at Each Other
SAIGON-"I don't give a damn It seems China and America are
about the Vietnamese - we're always shouting at each other, but
fighting a war against China. No- neither wants to understand what
body worried about the Alsatians the other is railing about. Amer-
during the battle of Alsace-Lor- icans talk in somber tones of rais-
raine." irig the price of aggression and
A prominent Washington col- buttressing democracy and free-
umnist made the comment during dom around the world. A shrill
a recent visit to Viet Nam. To Chinese voice protests that the
many educated Americans the great American reactionary, im-
striking thing would be its crudity, perialist, bourgeois power is be-
The striking thing here is that sieging the revolutionary champion
many Vietnamese, deplbring the of the oppressed nations, China,
sentiment and despising t h e and trying to stamp out a popular
speaker, would nevertheless accept struggle against colonialism by her
it as an accurate appraisal of what ally, the People's Democratic Re-
is happening in and to their coun- public of Viet Nam.
try. The issue between China and the
However Americans view the war United States is confused because
in Viet Nam, many Southeast we still tend to reduce power
Asians see it primarily as a strug- struggles to their military dimen-
gle between the U.S. and China sions; they are more dramatic
for power, influence and the vindi- that way, and easier to under-
cation of ideology. It is the tragic stand. Look at any American com-
fate of the Vietnamese that they mercial newspaper and compare
live in a rich and politically strate- the space given to military and
gic border land between areas political developments in the Viet
dominated by these two great Nam war.
powers. Thus the conflict between China
Ask any Vietnamese who the and the U.S. would be much clear-
dominant power in Southeast Asia er if both sides were actually fight-
is, and the answer would be "My," ing for a territorial conquest of
the Americans. The other potential Viet Nam. But this is ruled out, so
power in the area is just as ob- a typical line of reasoning goes,
vious, China's shadow falls like by the fact that neither power
a great weight in people living at could afford it-America because
the bottom of the continent, al- of her scruples and China because
Viet Nam Dual
Significantly, it was Lenin wno Union as its main force. This
drew out the relationship between resulted in the downfall of three
capitalism and colonialism in his great imperialist powers and the
treatise in Imperialism: "The Dy- awakening of two others. Only
ing Stage of Capitalism. His aia- one great imperialist power was
lysis and his alternative, socialism, left in the world, namely, the
have profoundly influenced many United States, which had suf-
intellectuals in former colonial fered no losses. However, Amer-
areas, whether they are cominu- ica's domestic crisis was very
nist or anti-communist, grave; she wanted to enslave
This helps to explain both why the world (note: this sentence
Americans see red when they near should be understood in terms
socialism and why, conversely, so- of Lenin's theory of imperialism
cialism has such an appeal in ism). By supplying Chiang Kai-
countries from Burma to I.do- shek with arms she helped
nesia, including Viet Nam. slaughter several millions of
Second, the conflict shapes up Chinese ... .
along racial lines. Most of the The racial theme has become
bourgeois nations happen to rue fully developed only in the last
predominantly white, while the ten years due to two factors: Chi-
proletarian nations are colored, na's split with Russia, and the
black, brown or yellow. White focus of world attention on the
Americans have never really faced American civil rights movement.
up to this, but Negro Americans Recently Mao's attacks on Amer-
are becoming more and more ican racism have been second only
aware of it. It is understandable to his attacks on American im-
that Stokely Carmichael should perialism (see almost any issue of
say, "To hell with the draft," al- the Peking Review in the last few
though he may have confused two years).
distinct but related issues. Hanoi is now making the point
Racism a Factor with equal fervor: Nhan Dan, the
Marx and Lenin, as white Euro- official daily newspaper, runs pic-
peans who died before awareness tures of racial violence in the U.S.
of the gulf between have and whenever it can monitor American
have-not nations became universal, wire services' photo transmission
were incapable of expanding their frequencies,
analysis to include this factor. It Moral Overtones
was Mao Tse-tung who first Thirdly, the conflict has a cul-
sounded the theme. There were ra- tural aspect which has taken on
cial undertones in his thinking as strong moral overtones. Most of
early as 1949, as this exceprt from the bourgeois nations have de-
s On People's Democratic Dictator- veloped a predominantly urban
st ship shows: culture.
.. Within this period, there The proletarian nations are
e occurred the anti-fascist Second T
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Texts for all Courses
AMERICAN MARINES WADE.
375,000 United States troops no
While soldiers fight against the1
troops, the larger struggle shape
nist China for domination and cor
of her internal problems. So the
conflict stays fuzzy.
But to put the issue in these
terms is to take it back to the
nineteenth century. Today's power
struggles, partly because of the
threat of nuclear war, are more
indirect and not nearly so crude.
Power and Poverty
China's rhetoric is lost on us,
and vice versa. But I think both
sides instinctively understand the
major tensions lying beneath the
rhetoric. Basically they are power
and poverty, with all their political
and cultural effects.!
China is now one of the most
powerful nations in the world, yet
her expanding hegemony is con-
stantly frustrated by American
and Russian power on her very
borders. Similarly, despite the de-
velopment of Chinese technology,
the gulf"between her living stan-
dards and ours grows greater each
year. She is constantly reminded
that, as the most powerful of the
underdeveloped nations, China is
also one of the poorest.
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ASHORE to join the more than
aw fighting in South Viet Nam.
Viet Cong and North Vietnamese
es up' as a dispute with Commu-
ntrol of Asia.
Her struggle against the U.S. 1
at bottom an economic one--
struggle .of have-nots agains
haves, of the exploited against th
exploiters. Chinese pride dictate
that her response to oppression
must be revolution.
To China this struggle still ha
an important internal aspect. Th
"cultural revolution," in addition
to being a preparation for possibly
battle against foreign foes, is als
a very real struggle between re
visionists and revolutionaries with
in Chinese society.
To China, two worlds wars, th
spread of nationalism and the ac
celerating effects of Western tech
nology and economic prosperit
have had this effect: the clasi
struggle of which Marx spoke is n
longer an internal one between
proletariat and bourgeoisie in ear
of the capitalist, societies of tht
West, but an international strug
gle between 'revolutionary proleta
rian nations and reactionary bour.
geois nations. China is the proto
type of the former and the U.S
of the latter.
Against this background, China';
posturing as the champion of th
oppressed races and nations be
comes highly intelligible. She take
revolution seriously, and extends i
to foreign policy. As the dominant
revolutionary power, she is askini
other poor nations to join her i
what is essentially class warfar(
against the wealthy nations of the
West. For its part, the West, ant
particularly the U.S., has sought ti
counter these Chinese appeals b:
lavish aid programs and pleas fo
peace and cooperation rather thar
The larger conflict betweer
China and the U.S. shapes ui
along several lines.
First, most of the bourgeois na-
tions led by the U.S. share a his-
tory strongly influenced by capi
talism and colonialism. To mos
of the potential members of the
revolutionary camp, capitalisn
and colonialism are anathema
They have felt at first hand the
sting of the colon, and they wan
no part of any system which gave
rise to colonialism.
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