The British newspaper known as the ‘Guardian’, or the ‘Manchester Guardian’, has recently run an article attacking Communist China by using the diary extracts od Albert Einstein. A British-Chinese journalist named ‘Lily Kuo’ conspired with the editors of the Guardian to create a fluff piece that misrepresents a) the Chinese people, and b) Albert Einstein. This extraordinary (and illogical) attack upon both Einstein and China was inspired by Princeton University in the United States publishing select extracts of Einsteins ‘Travel Diary’ covering his visits to China (and Japan) between 1922 – 1923. This has occurred under the far-rightwing Presidency of Donald Trump, and it is not beyond the realm of possibility that this Administration’s quite natural racism (and hatred for Socialism) lies behind this outpouring of utter stupidity. Einstein, of course, was a Socialist and a Communist (meaning he was a Marxist-Leninist) who saw the theory of Scientific Socialism (as constructed by Marx and Engels) as being scientifically correct. The US did not openly persecute Einstein even during the McCarthy Era, as they were afraid he might take his scientific genius to either Communist China or the Soviet Union. Although he died in 1955, Einstein remained a very close personal friend of the Socialist Revolutionary and pro-Soviet Paul Robeson – even at the height of the Government’s persecution of Robeson through the first half of the 1950’s. Paul Robeson was a friend of China, and Einstein fully supported his work supporting the Communist regime on the Mainland.
In 1911, the imperial regime of China was over-thrown by a broad coalition of intellectuals and military men, determined to modernise China. This development gave rise to the Republic of China that was run by a Nationalist Government. From the very start there was problems, as the Nationalists were pro-Western and did little to curb imperialist excesses inflicted upon the ordinary people of China by the Western and Japanese colonialists. This included experimentation with (bourgeois) liberal democracy, the favouring of Christianity over traditional Chinese modes of spiritual thought, and even an attempt to enforce Western–style knife and forks upon the population! As a consequence, the Nationalists did very little for the poor and ordinary Chinese people, and even made their poverty worse. Indeed, so bad were conditions within Nationalist China, that the sheer scope of the suffering gave birth to the foundation of the Communist Party of China in 1921. As time went by, the dictator Chiang Kai-Shek gained ever greater power, and the Governmental pressure upon the Chinese people increased dramatically. By the time Einstein visited China in 1922 and 1923, conditions for the ordinary Chinese people were not good, and Einstein’s description of the Chinese people (as he experienced them) as being ‘industrious, filthy people’ is essentially correct and reflects their dire socio-economic circumstances.
Commenting on his observation of the unfamiliar culture of the ordinary Chinese people, Einstein comments the ‘Chinese don’t sit on benches while eating but squat like Europeans do when they relieve themselves out in the leafy woods. All this occurs quietly and demurely. Even the children are spiritless and look obtuse.’ What Einstein is describing, is the poverty within which many (if not all) Chinese people lived at the time of his visit. Furthermore, as Einstein visited Hong Kong and Shanghai – two places under British colonial rule – the usual poverty of the average Chinese peasant was exaggerated to reflect this routine imperialist oppression.
The above comments of Einstein are not particularly controversial when viewed in a proper historical context. What the US media, the British Guardian and Lily Kuo are attempting to do, is equate Einstein with the capitalist racism he so obviously fought against and rejected. This is a manifestation of the typical inverted mind-set of the bourgeoisie, so thoroughly (and expertly) exposed and deconstructed by Karl Marx. Of course, the Establishment attack on Einstein does not end here, but continues with a further comment Einstein is believed to have made, which reads ‘It would be a pity if these Chinese supplant all other races. For the likes of us the mere thought is unspeakably dreary.’ Of course, to witness a people in the midst of despair and indignity is exactly how Einstein encountered the conquered Chinese people living under the yoke of Western imperialism. This appears not to be an attack on China, but rather an exposure by Einstein of the horrors of Western colonialism. Many are seizing hold of an apparent surface meaning, and not reading between lines, or indeed, beneath the lines, to discover the depth of Einstein’s observation. The likes of Lily Kuo seem incredulous about the supposed Mainland Chinese response (which in reality has been level-headed and quite wise), when in fact she has been (deliberately) accessing anti-CPC media sources operating out of Hong Kong. The West is attempting to establish a ludicrous narrative whereby the Chinese people under Socialism (and the guidance of the Communist Party of China) are depicted as being morally and logically deficient, and that the closet racist Albert Einstein (who was a fake Socialist) knew and understood this fact. None of this is true, but this episode does demonstrate the ever disparate methods the US and its allies are resorting to, in attempts to discredit a very successful, happy and progressive China!