Skip to Content

50 Years Ago: China's Bomb

Good news for all lovers of militarism and destruction was that China detonated her third nuclear bomb ― it may even have been a hydrogen one.

Good news, also, for all lovers of the distortion of words was that this latest test was described by Peking as ‘a great victory for the party's general line of Socialist construction.’

Good news for all connoisseurs of hypocrisy was that the State Department condemned the test because of its effect on the atmosphere ― as if the United States had never exploded nuclear weapons in the air, and as if they are not continuing to test the things underground.

The Chinese bomb is yet another lap in the desperate nuclear arms race which has been in progress since Hiroshima. As each new country joins the race it justifies its presence with lies about its concern for peace and world security.

And the countries who are already in the race always ‘deplore’ and ‘condemn’ and murmur about having a disarmament conference somewhere, sometime ― because they are concerned about any threat to their dominant standing in the world.

China is a rising capitalist power, and she has paid for her entry in the race in the coin which all the others have used and which is the only one universally recognised ― force.

If it were not so terrifying it would be laughable that this onward march to destruction should be called Socialism. We live now in a society of madness, in which the very words we use often lose all sense and meaning.

Happily, there is one band who work determinedly to keep the word Socialism sane and clean, and who will not have it confused with the terrorism and hypocrisy of capitalism.

(From News in Review, Socialist Standard, June 1966)