Imperialism means sanctions on food and medicine. Imperialism means military coups and installing dictators. Imperialism means war.

When you call countries like China "imperialist" because they trade with other countries, you are downplaying the harm that actual imperialism has done in the world.

@felix I thibk there's a valid fear of imperialism from China due to their huge loans they give to countries. It's easy to see that and think of the IMF and World Bank.

I'm still researching how these loans work, but imperialism can be providing predatory loans and strong arming countries into following strict guidelines (like the IMF and World Bank do)

Maybe these fears are misplaced, but it's understandable why people would have them.

@lesbianhacker Sure, its possible to think like that, but then you have to completely ignore the amount that China forgives, receiving absolutely nothing in return.

I don't think it's fair to say people are ignoring anything. I didn't spend a whole lot of time in my research, but I saw absolutely nothing about forgiveness and a number of articles about land seizures (only from... I think it was Sri Lanka?). And a whole bunch of comparisons to the IMF.

I knew I'd seen something at some point about forgiveness, but I hadn't searched for that specifically yet, and I doubt most people would think to do that in the first place.

So it's understandable that people are afraid that China is imperialist. Even if they're wrong, which is possible. I'll read that article, and then look for sources that aren't Chinese as well. Personally, until I know how the loans work and how forgiveness works I can't feel comfortable taking a stance.

@felix I need to finish reading Lenin's Imperialism, too, but that Reddit thread seems to be saying Lenin is wrong about what Imperialism is by saying that if it isn't done how the US does it then it isn't imperialism. Not that Lenin is perfect but I thought I'd point it out because I'd like your thoughts on that.

(Also, to be clear, even though I don't have a firm opinion I do lean towards China not being imperialist... with the understanding that I'm not well informed yet)

@lesbianhacker I am pretty sure that military violence is necessary for imperialism. Imagine a situation where a revolution in a colony overthrows the government. If the imperialists don't send their soldiers, the colony will be gone.

But I didn't read Lenin's book, so maybe I'm wrongml. Regardless, I saw comments saying "Chinese imperialism is just as bad as US imperialism", or even "1000 times worse". That's obviously bullshit.

@felix @lesbianhacker

I think economic imperialism is absolutely recognizable as imperialism even if it doesn't include direct military violence

the question that I have yet to be conclusively convinced of one way or another with regards to China's foreign involvement is whether people in these countries are having their needs subordinated to China's

@felix @lesbianhacker

so I think there is a (contested) case to be made that their activities could constitute imperialism but the idea that it's anywhere near the scope or magnitude of western capitalism (of which the US is the enforcer) is absurd

@felix @lesbianhacker

not to mention, even if we were to all agree that China's actions *do* constitute imperialism, one of my guiding principles kicks in, which is to say that I have no meaningful influence in China or the countries they are involved in, whereas I do have some influence in western countries, so any public hand-wringing sessions I engage in about how bad China is only serves as moral ammunition for hostile actions against China and its people

@SeanAloysiusOBrien @felix
I definitely agree that even if it is imperialist it's not as bad as the US or other western imperialism. 100%.

Mostly I think it's important to pursue because it helps us to combat the misinformation. Like, the Soviet Union is completely gone, we have zero influence, but it's important to study because we have to learn from the successes and failures and dispel myths.

We should absolutely spend more time working against US imperialism than Chinese.

@lesbianhacker @felix

yeah I agree it's important to understand what imperialism is, the different forms it can take, so that we can identify it effectively

I think a lot of people sorta do reflexively reject any claims of imperialism by anyone other than the US out of what they see as a need to fight US imperialism, but I think this is incorrect

people other than the US can do imperialism

@lesbianhacker @felix

and further, I think people will understand imperialism better if they see global capitalism, which is centered in the west, as being the perpetrator, rather than any one country

the US happens to be the economic center of global capitalism at the moment, as well as its enforcer, but there is nothing inherent to the US that makes it so, and we should recognize that another country could easily fill said role and that change could happen faster than we expect

@lesbianhacker @felix

for instance, I see a lot of misunderstandings of Israel as a result of this, people ask "why do US politicians bow the knee to Israel and do what it wants?" or similar

however, this misses the fact that Israel is a client of global capitalism, so the US and its politicians letting it get away with stuff is not doing some favor to Israel, it's just supporting Israel's role in global capitalism as a lab for weapons and systems of occupation and control

@lesbianhacker @felix

and this doesn't just go for the US of course, other countries, despite making very concerned noises about Israel and various UN votes, do so knowing that their noises will have minimal impact and their UN votes will always be blocked by the US,

furthermore, these countries are happy to pay for Israeli police training techniques that have been developed on Palestinians, so as to better maintain control over their own domestic populations

@SeanAloysiusOBrien @felix
Oh yeah, the US supporting Israel is entirely ideological, it support capitalism and also there's some weird Christian apocalypse ideology that doesn't do anyone any favors...

That's a good point about imperialism being a capitalist project, rather than a state by state project, aren't the World Bank and IMF working internationally? They're some of the largest forces of economic imperialism, AFAIK

@felix Imperialism changes and has changed through history and will in the future. Do you support prison abolition? The Chinese gov doesn’t. Do you condemn surveillance software used on citizens? The Chinese gov doesn’t. Do you support a decentralized more communal distribution of power? The Chinese gov doesn’t. Cuban, Bolivian and Rojavan socialism is implemented in infinitely more democratic ways than China’s political and economic system. But subtoot away.

@felix those who criticize the "Chinese imperialism" didn't know what imperialism means.
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