[Marxism] Discussing China

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at theplanet.net.au
Mon Jun 21 04:14:40 MDT 2004


The DSP's view on the capitaliist restoration in China can be found at
www.dsp.org.au/dsp/19990105.htm

In the end the discussion is  not really about the compromises that need to
be made with foreign capital or the existence of a domestic capitalist
sector, as both are normal and necessary parts of an NEP as various
contributors have pointed out. The questions are how big is the domestic
capitalist class, to what extent does it dominate strategic industrial
sectors and to what extent has it taken over or fused with the state, ie is
the state using private capital to bolster the future prospects of
capitalism or is the bourgeoisie eating state property to bolster itself.
There seems to be some confusion about how big the domestic ruling class is.
The above document gives one example of a mega-capitalist in large scale
capitalist sectors who is also a CP member and local  governor. That was
from years ago, now such examples are a dime a dozen. This is the real
meaning of letting capiitalists into the party. And the real meaning of thhe
change of the CP leadership from officially representing workers and
peasants to representing the "advanced production forces", ie the
bourgeoisie.

As for these mega-capitaliists helping the state economy, the ruling
ideology emphasises the opposite these days. An idea of the appalingly
pro-capitalist ideology ruling China can be read in the Party's People's
daily, which ran an article titled 'Don't be so sensitive to billionaires'.
Recommending tips from Forbes magazine, it called for "a calm and composed
attitude" to billionaires," who produce a lot of jobs and wealth for
society. Rejecting the view that they "should repay more to our society and
be more duty-bound," the article says "we don't know what 'return' and 'duty
' here refer to and why there is a 'more' here." In fact, having to turn
down extra demands "is one of the reasons why the rich are unable to live an
easy life. It is unreasonable to ask the rich to do goodwill work." In a
country with hundreds of millions of poor, the Communist Party's mouthpiece
is concerned about the inability of billionaires to live an easy life,
because some unthinking people ask that they contribute a little more.
(Liu Wei, 'Don't be so sensitive to billionaires', People's Daily, September
26, 2003
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200309/26/eng20030926_124998.shtml )


As for  the working class, there appears to be a significant difference
between the way the ruling CP relates to  the working class in China and the
Vietnamese CP's relationship  the working class. The question is, OK we have
a capitalist sector at this stage of development, but what is the role of
the CP in the confliict between capital and labour? In China strikes are
banned and spontaneous union formation is strongly repressed. Whatever the
fears about 'CIA-unions' expressed by some on the list, the best way to
fight this possibiliity is for unions to be able to play their proper role,
and if not, for spontaneous workers' organiisations to be supported in just
industrial struggles, and thereby be incorporated into the CP-run union
bodies. This  is only possible  if the CP-run union bodies are actually
allowed to defend workers' interests. This does seem to be the case in
Vietnam, but it contrasts strongly to the situation in China.

Article from GLW on Vietnamese workers organising:
http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2003/565/565p21.htm



Report comparing Vietnamese and Chinese labour regimes:

http://www.global-standards.com/Resources/ChinaVietnam-ChanHongZen.doc








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