"Knowing what to do next"

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Apr 15 06:22:34 MDT 2001


>Personally, I think it is outrageous that somebody like Henry Liu is taken
to
>represent "Maoism" on this list. If people can't recognize that China is a
>capitalist country these days, they are pretty damned hopeless politically.
>
>--Scott Harrison

China wants to catch up. The discussion on AVIC, China's aviation company,
revealed the size of the problem best.

AVIC was formed as a holding company in 1993 from the assets of the
Aviation Ministry, made directly responsible to the government (the State
Council) and told to become internationally competitive.

It employs half a million people in plants, training centres and research
institutes across China, most of these originally designed for military
production and dispersed to maximise survival in the case of war with
either the Soviet Union or the US, or both. It also makes motorcycles, car
components, micro-vans and buses; like other Chinese companies, it is, in
effect, a "little society" with its own housing estates, schools, hospitals
and leisure complexes. . .

For all of its great leap towards capitalism, China remains socialist, and
cannot easily leave socialism behind. Its big plants provide
cradle-to-grave social support: when these cease to make enough of one
commodity to keep workers fully employed, they start to produce something
else, often quite different. National social policy means that slimming
down plants and making them more competitive is difficult. Their contrast
with the lean, focused and flexible US corporation could hardly be greater.

(Financial Times, Jan. 8, 2000)


Louis Proyect
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