[Marxism] china, smith, and worry-warts

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu May 22 14:27:55 MDT 2008

Walter Lippmann wrote:
> Mike hasn't cited anything, just made some vague references to
> "nuances and esoteric communications". I guess that they were 
> so "nuanced and esoteric" that I must have missed them. Mike,
> alas, doesn't provide even a single URL or quotation, so it's
> hard to take up these vague, undefined, uncited and enexamined
> insinuations. I have some good qualities, but among them I'm
> afraid mind-reading isn't included.


Introduction: China and Socialism
by Martin Hart-Landsberg and Paul Burkett

Our differences with leftists and progressives might never have produced 
a book about China if it were not for our May 2003 trip to Cuba to 
attend an international conference on Marxism.1 While in the country we 
sought to learn what we could about how Cuba was responding to its 
economic difficulties, and how the government’s understanding of and 
commitment to socialism was shaping that response. We were told 
repeatedly that many Cuban economists looked to the Chinese “market 
socialist” growth strategy as an attractive model for Cuba.

We hoped that this was not true. But at the conference itself, when the 
discussion turned toward the challenges facing Cuba, several Cuban 
economists publicly endorsed the Chinese experience of rapid export-led 
growth based on foreign direct investment (FDI) as offering the only 
hope for Cuba to sustain its socialist project under current 
international conditions. Although these economists were only repeating 
arguments we had heard from progressives in other countries, they were 
especially jarring to hear at a conference concerned with the 
contemporary relevance of Marxism and in a context where there was 
little gain to be imagined for the economists making them. Fidel Castro 
was also at the conference and the Cuban government had already firmly 
rejected market socialism.

1. The “Conference on the Work of Karl Marx and Challenges for the 21st 
Century” was held in Havana, Cuba, May 5–8, 2003. Papers can be found at 


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