Gina, Chris and Maoist Economics

Chris, London 100423.2040 at
Fri Apr 19 14:28:56 MDT 1996


Competitive enough for whom? and for what?   You're absolutely
right, socialism is not competitive enough for the lovers of capitalism.
it stresses cooperation, collectivity, working together for the common
good, meeting the real needs of the people, not creating new needs
that can be filled by new products that make profits for a small handful
of exploiters.  What's wrong with that?

Chris B:

I did not think this was a very full reply to me accepting the challenge
to meet at Red Flag Canal.

Yes I like collective activity very much, and am very interesting in
the creative power of groups. I prefer to work in a collective way.

But Gina has not accepted the thrust of my points at their strongest.
How are the wells heroically dug by the villagers of Tumen brigade
not to become some historical relics, like the traces of ancient
mediaeval field systems that you can sometimes see travelling by
train in England in the slanting evening sunlight, as a high point of
intensive arable farming in marginal conditions.

This is not progressive. Workers are consumers as well as producers.
They want to sell their labour power for a good range of use values in
return. They do not want to work so hard their arms swell, in order
to receive a mention in a pamphlet on socialist emulation, if they
will never get a television as a result.

Gina has just erected collectivity as a moral principle, ignoring that
there is a capitalist system continuing to reproduce itself before our
very eyes, independently of the will of any individual, but increasingly on
a world scale. No corner of the globe is immune from its competitive
effects. Maoist economics were not competitive with *that*.

Gina forgets the revolutionary role of capitalism in reducing the
labour content of commodities. Socialism will not match that with
improving pamphlets about being ready to risk personal injury in order
to dig over 100 wells out of solid rock in a bone dry village
situated at the top of a hill, in which the children are probably vulnerable
to thyroid deficient goitre.

Maoist agriculture was impressive but grossly unproductive. Hence the vaste
reserves of labour power available to be tapped by the new capitalist
tendencies in China now.

This is the challenge to maoist economics.

Chris B, London.

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