Originally posted on Invent the Future, May, 2023.
We are pleased to announce that the new book by Invent the Future editor Carlos Martinez, The East is Still Red – Chinese socialism in the 21st century, has been published by Praxis Press. It is currently available to buy on the Praxis Press website in paperback and ePub forms, and will be available more widely from early June.
China provides a powerful living example of what can be achieved under a socialist system; by a Marxist-led government firmly grounded among the people. The East is Still Red explains the escalating hostility by the imperialist powers towards China and clears up various popular misconceptions.
All available evidence indicates that not only is the Communist Party of China committed to Marxism, but it is a leading force for the development and enhancement of Marxism in the 21st century.
If the first century of human experience of building socialism teaches us anything, it is that the road from capitalism to socialism is a long and complicated one, and that ‘actually existing socialism’ varies enormously according to time, place and circumstances. China is building a form of socialism that suits its conditions, using the means it has at its disposal, in the extraordinarily challenging circumstances of global imperialist hegemony.
Carlos Martinez provides a concise, deeply researched and well argued account that China’s remarkable rise can only be understood by acknowledging its socialist past, present and future.
- Chapter 1: No Great Wall – the continuities of the Chinese Revolution
- Chapter 2: Neither Washington nor Beijing?
- Chapter 3: Will China suffer the same fate as the Soviet Union?
- Chapter 4: China’s long war on poverty
- Chapter 5: Manufacturing consent for the containment and encirclement of China
- Chapter 6: China is building an ecological civilisation
- Chapter 7: Oppose the New Cold War on China
- Appendix: The universalisation of ‘liberal democracy’
- Appendix: Recommended reading
Cheng Enfu (Chief Professor of the University of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences):
Although there are many works on China from scholars worldwide, the vivid description and objective analysis of this book provide a perspective for accurately studying China. The inspiring idea that “the left must resolutely oppose the new Cold War against China led by the United States” proposed by this book, should become the international strategic principle of the left around the world.
Professor Radhika Desai (Convenor, International Manifesto Group):
In a world gone beserk with US-incited rage against People’s China; in a world where the bulk of Western scholarship has become so deeply compromised so as to yo-yo between the most tendentious anti-Chinese positions and confusion; in a world where the left has lost its ability to distinguish between imperialism and liberation; in a world that fails to understand just how world-changing have been the achievements of actually existing socialisms; Carlos Martinez shines the light of his crystal-clear prose and his acute political and scholarly insight on China’s achievements, material, ecological, scientific and social. If you want to understand the most profound earthquake shaking up our world, read this book.
Margaret Kimberley (Executive Editor, Black Agenda Report):
As the new cold war accelerates, it is vital to have thorough analysis regarding China. Carlos Martinez is an important thought leader at this critical juncture in history.
Professor Roland Boer (Renmin University of China):
In this important new book, Carlos Martinez sets out the case for the Western Left’s resolute support of the socialist project in China. Based on in-depth research and written in an accessible style, the book will soon become an indispensable resource for anyone who wants to know the facts concerning China. Read it carefully, absorb its insights, and rectify your view of Chinese socialism!
Ben Norton (Editor-in-chief of Geopolitical Economy Report):
The people of China carried out the largest revolution in human history; it would be difficult to overstate its importance. Yet many books analyzing China’s revolutionary process are frozen in the past, acting as though it ended in 1978. Carlos Martinez has done an invaluable service in helping us understand the new phase in China’s project to build socialism. He shows the ways in which this path has zigzagged over time, but how it still remains the same path. “The East Is Still Red” is essential reading for those who wish to understand the China of the 21st century, and the economic reasons driving Washington’s new cold war against it.
Chen Weihua (China Daily columnist, EU Bureau Chief):
From the history of the CPC in more than a century and China’s latest achievements in poverty eradication and ecological civilization to the dangerous US’ new Cold War against China, Carlos Martinez’ expert writing and thought-provoking analysis will help and inspire people who hope to better understand today’s China.
Qiao Collective (A diaspora Chinese media collective challenging US aggression on China):
Carlos Martinez’s body of work on the history and continued reinvention of Chinese socialism had a formative influence on many of us in the diaspora who came together as Qiao Collective in 2020. It is a story replete with advances and reversals, with great contradictions and still greater triumphs, and Carlos has always treated this veritable revolutionary epic with the respect and attention to detail it deserves. His optimism about its future – so rarely shared by those in the Western left who entirely negate the Mao era, the reform and opening period, or both – shines through in every piece, beginning with the upbeat conclusion to his earlier book on the collapse of the USSR. We at Qiao heartily congratulate Carlos on the publication of The East is Still Red and have no doubt it will prove a worthy and altogether more uplifting sequel.
Professor Ken Hammond (New Mexico State University, Pivot to Peace):
Carlos Martinez’s The East is Still Red: Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century, brings together essays and commentaries from his recent writings on a wide range of issues, both historical and contemporary, concerning China’s revolutionary path and its ongoing efforts to build a socialist future for the Chinese people. Recognizing the challenges inherent in this effort, and the obstacles being placed in China’s way by American-led imperialism, Martinez clearly demonstrates that China remains committed to the revolutionary mission of creating a just and equitable social economy for itself and as part of the imperative work of addressing the challenges of global climate change. He rejects those voices which see China as a neoliberal member of the global capitalist order, and upholds the need to recognize China’s achievements in eliminating absolute poverty and improving the lives of its people as well as in leading in the construction of a new international order outside the hegemonic domination of the United States and its allies. This is a most welcome contribution to the discourse about China on the Left, and for a broader audience of the politically engaged.
Elias Jabbour (Associate professor of theory and policy of economic planning at Rio de Janeiro State University’s School of Economics):
Carlos Martinez has excelled in defending frontier positions on the nature of the Chinese socioeconomic formation. In fact, it is very rare to find intellectuals with his argumentative power and intellectual sophistication. In this book, the reader will have access to a wide source of information and living theory necessary to understand China and its unique socialism. Carlos Martinez, great intellectual and friend, is an honourable exception among Marxists in the West. Marxism in the West depends heavily on the talent and creativity of people like Martinez.
Daniel Kovalik (Educator and author):
This book is a refreshing antidote to the barrage of anti-China rhetoric coming from both the left and the right. As Martinez eloquently explains, China, led by the Communist Party, has succeeded in building an equitable and modern society which has eradicated poverty in astounding, historic numbers. Meanwhile, China has helped other developing nations in the spirit of socialist internationalism. What’s more, China succeeded where the USSR failed by simply surviving. This book represents a message of hope — that socialism has a future, and China is leading the way in its own, unique way.
Ben Chacko (Editor, Morning Star):
Carlos Martinez is one of the most interesting journalists writing about Chinese politics in Britain today.
He makes regular contributions to newspapers and websites on modern China, covering everything from environmental policy and poverty elimination to the potential of the Brics to promote a multipolar world based on co-operation between countries rather than great power rivalry. In the process he has helped shed light on the political reality of a country routinely misrepresented and widely misunderstood in Western media.
Brian Becker (National Coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition)
There is no doubt that China’s stupendous rise since the Communist Party took state power in 1949 has altered world politics and the global economy. The US government has also chosen in recent years to refocus its military and industrial strategy in order to prepare for “major power” conflict with China. This constitutes a dramatic shift in US policy in just the past 15 years. But why did the U.S. abandon the pretence of friendship with China and opt instead to prepare for war? Carlos Martinez’s latest book, “The East is Still Red- Chinese socialism in the 21st century” locates the core cause of this growing conflict in the political and class character of the Chinese state. Although China chose to create an economic development model that included private enterprise and allowed for foreign direct investment by capitalist corporations, Martinez argues that the underlying enmity by the U.S. toward the PRC is that China’s socialist revolution still lives and serves as a societal anchor as the country emerges as a rapidly expanding global power.
Danny Haiphong (Co-author of American Exceptionalism and American Innocence):
Carlos Martinez has done what to too few are willing to do in the West: Take a hard look at the lessons we can learn from Socialism with Chinese characteristics. This book is essential reading for understanding China today and why it’s so important to oppose the US-led New Cold War against it.
Dr Francisco Dominguez (Specialist on Latin American politics):
This is a most welcome and timely book. In it, Carlos Martinez furnishes us with rigorous and illuminating analyses covering crucial features of socialist construction in China, essential, especially for Western audiences, to grasp its highly progressive nature. The penetrating discussion Martinez engages in, elegantly pierces through the thick fog of malicious and aggressive imperialist anti-China propaganda. A must for all those who wish to build a better and peaceful world.
Keith Bennett (Co-editor of Friends of Socialist China):
There can be few more important issues in world politics than the development and prospects of Chinese socialism. Yet, when asked what is the best book to read on this, I’ve been lost for an answer. Happily, I no longer have that problem. Carlos Martinez’s new book is a masterpiece of committed scholarship. With a profound historical and theoretical grasp of his subject, he answers the questions that people around the world are asking. Intellectually rigorous and thoroughly researched, yet written in a clear, lively and direct style, this is a book for newcomer and specialist alike. Every socialist and anti-imperialist needs to read it.
Carlos L. Garrido (Editor at the Midwestern Marx Institute, author of The Purity Fetish and the Crisis of Western Marxism):
As the U.S. and NATO develop their New Cold War against China, atrocity propaganda aimed at manufacturing consent for war in their populace grows rampant. In these volatile times, as imperialist forces walk humanity up to the precipice of nuclear Armageddon, it becomes indispensable for peace seeking individuals, especially socialists, to be capable of contrasting the invented reality of their government with the truth. Carlos Martinez’s The East is Still Red: Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century, allows us to do just that – superbly capturing both Chinese history and contemporary reality in the comprehensive and thought-provoking style he is known for. It is a crucial book for those who seek to know the truth about China and to counter the distortions Western imperialist powers disseminate through their lapdog media to beat the drums of war.
Sara Flounders (United National Antiwar Coalition; International Action Center; co-author of Capitalism on a Ventilator: The Impact of COVID-19 in China and the US):
With The East is Still Red, Carlos Martinez has made a significant contribution not only to the understanding of the class nature of China and the significance of the changes in that great section of humanity in the last 40 years, but to the world struggle of workers against capitalists and of the nations of the Global South against the imperialist cabal in North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia that still oppresses most of the laboring peoples of the world.
The The East is Still Red, is deeply optimistic. But it is grounded in solid research, and a scientific approach, not in idyllic hopes.
As an organizer of the antiwar and anti imperialist movement in the United States − the center of world imperialism − I especially appreciate that section of his well-documented text entitled, “The left must resolutely oppose the US-led New Cold War on China.” Martinez takes headon those who profess to be left but who place an equal sign between the old colonial powers and those nations centered around an ever-stronger China that are confronting the historical rulers − those who historically − and still currently − use their economic and military power to make life miserable for most of humankind. The whole book builds up to and supports this final chapter.
Reading and discussing this book will strengthen those of us organizing inside the imperialist metropoli who understand that only by confronting and defeating the rulers of these countries, can life on earth be made acceptable for all human beings and viable for all living things.
Vijay Prashad (Executive Director, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research):
Carlos Martinez’s The East is Still Red is a necessary antidote to the grotesque parody of reality that is paraded out in the West as opinion about China.
Tings Chak (Art director and researcher of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and co-editor of Dongsheng News collective):
We are indeed living in a time of changes “not seen in a century,” which seems to become clearer each day. One of the driving forces behind these historic changes is China, a large country with a long history that is little understood by the rest of the world. This book comes at an important moment to help guide our understanding of China, giving a historic perspective to the changes underway today.
John Catalinotto (A managing editor of Workers World newspaper since 1982):
Five minutes of corporate radio news these days or one New York Times foreign policy article is enough to make me wince in pain. Thus I identified immediately with Carlos Martinez’s chapter in The East Is Still Read entitled, “Manufacturing consent for the containment and encirclement of China.” While Martinez explains elsewhere why the U.S. rulers target today’s China, this chapter shows how the imperialist state and its corporate media mobilizes every aspect of propaganda from Hollywood films to think tanks to demonize the People’s Republic. The Niagara of lies from Fox News to The New York Times or, in Britain, from The Sun to the Guardian parrot the state’s lies and double them.
Martinez explains the difficult issues, for example, Beijing’s policies toward the Uyghurs, a mostly Muslim national minority located in Xinjiang province. For this issue, even the media considered progressive repeats the anti-China line. Martinez gives us examples and repudiates the lies with well-sourced truth. After demolishing the charge of “genocide,” Martinez makes the best argument answering charges of systematic bias: “Certainly any discrimination against Uyghurs pales in comparison with, for example, the treatment of African-Americans and Indigenous peoples in the United States …” Bulls-eye!
Martinez shows that the lies radiating from Washington about Peoples China extend beyond Xinjiang to Hong Kong to China’s role in the Global South to the struggle over the Chinese province of Taiwan. He repels these lies, and makes the following point: This has reached the level of a “propaganda war” against China, and a “propaganda war” can be “war propaganda” − that is, an attempt to mobilize mass opinion to support military action against China. Mastering the arguments Martinez makes in this book and disrupting the propaganda avalanche is a necessary part of the struggle to stop this war.
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