Death of a Salesman

Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish


Fifth Estate # 269, February, 1976

Time Magazine wrote in its eulogy of Chou En-lai that he never forgave John Foster Dulles for refusing to shake hands with him at the 1954 Geneva Conference. That was where he engineered the famous “compromise” in which he convinced the Vietnamese Stalinists to accept a divided Vietnam and thus paved the way for the genocidal U.S. intervention to come.

Nixon never denied him such an honor, and was toasted by Chou during the period of the most intense bombing of Vietnam by U.S. B-52s. Indeed, no one could shake. hands and toast murderers with the style of Chou En-lai– which is what undoubtedly led Strangelove Kissinger to dub him “the greatest statesman of our era.”

A great statesman he was–an adept hustler with an unmatchable rap who could swap off revolutionary movements for trade deals with the grace of a Mandarin trading slaves. Who else could rub the shoulders of the Shah of Iran with such class?

Who else, but possibly Mao, could claim to be fighting bourgeois fifth columnists while bayoneting the striking Shanghai Proletariat? (We assume that Mao is now seeking a new sidekick to continue his Laurel and Hardy sideshow of nationalist Chinese business “communism.”)

Chou’s greatest daredevil feat during the 1930s, by the way, was saving the life of butcher Chiang Kaishek from imminent execution by militant peasant troops. Thanks to Chou, Chiang went on to his own eminent career. Chou Was also good for business and was a chief architect of the Chinese party and managerial bureaucracy of which he was a leading model and prototype.

He is survived by a horde of faceless bureaucrats and party bosses who will certainly continue in his sanguinary tradition of anti-working class treachery and betrayal. Good riddance to bad rubbish.