RRe: [Marxism] Discussing China

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Jun 19 12:45:22 MDT 2004

Mike Friedman wrote:
> I don't know, Lou. Under the NEP, the Soviet leadership allowed market 
> forces to come into play with the consequent enrichment of sectors of 
> the peasantry (kulaks). That certainly didn't make the Soviet government 
> "bourgeois." 

At a certain point quantity turns into quality. Chinese capitalists are 
exporting capital overseas at this very moment. You really need to visit 
the official China website to get an inkling of what is going on. 
Nothing like this happened during the NEP, or is it happening in Cuba today:

TV Maker Plans Plant in France

Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer Shanghai Video and Audio 
Electronics (SVA), is in talks with foreign partners about building a 
factory in France to make televisions.

Officials say television makers in China are moving some production to 
other countries to avoid high tariffs imposed on their products by 
Western countries.

The EU has duties of up to 14 percent on imports of assembled Liquid 
Crystal Display (LCD) TVs, while taxes on components are relatively low.

SVA has been shipping components to France to assemble LCD TVs there 
since May. It is also setting up a US$1.1 billion LCD plant in Shanghai 
with Japan's NEC.

full: http://www.china.org.cn/english/BAT/98613.htm

> In Nicaragua, the Sandinista government actively stimulated 
> sectors of the bourgeoisie encompassed by that ill-defined category, the 
> "patriotic producers." The state that resulted from the Sandinista 
> Popular Revolution was not a bourgeois state.

No, neither was that of Cuba in the period preceding the vast agrarian 
reforms of the early 1960s which transformed property relations from top 
to bottom. In cases such as these, you have to figure out whether the 
train is entering or leaving the station. From this standpoint, China is 
all caboose.

> I think to a degree you're 
> avoiding the issue of the determinants of the class nature of a given 
> state, or at least not supporting your affirmation very well (the HF 
> report doesn't do it). I'd have to agree with Lou Paulsen, on the face 
> of it. Has the Chinese workers' state been replaced by a capitalist 
> state? 

I think this reference to "bourgeois states" has to be explored in 
greater depth. Was Allende's Popular Unity government a "bourgeois 
state"? Was the FLN in Algeria following the explusion of the French a 
"bourgeois state"? These are interesting questions.

> In a sense, you don't have much disagreement with Lou: it's a 
> question of degree: how far has the burgeoning Chinese bourgeoisie gone 
> toward replacing the state (however beaurocratic) created under the 
> Chinese Revolution with its own? Does the Chinese bourgeoisie exercise 
> rule through the new state? What about the various state institutions, 
> the CPA, the budget, etc?

I am all for defending collectivized property in China from its worst 
enemy--the gang in charge.

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