[Marxism] Re: MR on China

Ben C minnows at connexus.net.au
Mon Jul 26 01:35:09 MDT 2004

I'm looking forward to reading the article, I've finally subscribed to 
MR so that I can read all their articles!.

The Democratic Socialist Party in Australia grappled with the issues 
raised by China's transformation a few years ago, and two documents came 
out of that. First, "China: is capitalist restoration inevitable? 
<http://www.dsp.org.au/links/back/issue11/11_Cheng.htm>" by Eva Cheng - 
available online at http://www.dsp.org.au/links/back/issue11/11_Cheng.htm

Second, the party voted on "Theses on the class nature of the People’s 
Republic of China" which were in Links magazine #12 (1999) and have just 
been published as a pamphlet, but as far as I can tell are not yet 
available online (sorry).

 From the Eva Cheng article:

"To gauge the strategic options facing China today, a crucial question 
to answer is whether the socialist property relations established since 
1949 have been damaged beyond repair.

"The cp seized power in 1949 and took predominant control of the key 
means of production by the mid-1950s. Under the pretext of countering 
capitalist forces both within the cp and the broader society, the Mao 
Zedong leadership refused to institute democratic functioning at any 
level—in national or local elections, within the party, or within the 
production unit. Instead, it consolidated the party leadership’s tight 
grip on state power which enabled its members to extract a privileged 
existence from the socialist property system. Its crazy idealist project 
of the 1958–60 Great Leap Forward contributed directly to the famine in 
which 20 million people were estimated to have died, (7) while its 
continuing purges since the late 1950s led to widespread demoralisation 
and a serious weakening of the socialist consciousness of workers 
(including those in rural production).

"However, the socialist property relations won since 1949 remained. In 
fact, in order to continue thriving on it, the cp had been driven to 
help preserve it. Therefore, the central task for socialists in China 
had been to work towards a /political /revolution to get rid of this 
parasitic layer so that the state power would be in the hands of those 
to whom it rightfully belongs—the working class majority. The objective 
then was not to achieve a social revolution where the property relations 
needed to be rebuilt.

"But since 1978, the drive towards capitalism has gone so far that this 
earlier conclusion needs to be reviewed."

Ben C

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