[Marxism] chinese Economy
ijrosso at telus.net
Wed Nov 10 03:03:33 MST 2004
Response by JJR on the Chinese economy
Jim C. writes (on Chinese economy)
"…although it is true that capitalist categories, relations, concepts, constructs, values and practices survive under socialism for long periods of time, and although it is true that they act as (1)weeds in the garden of socialism, (2)eroding socialist consciousness as well as emerging socialist institutions, values, relations, etc, and although it is true that the 3)primary objective of socialism is to uproot and destroy capitalist relations 3) etc, the process is never linear or smooth--especially when surrounded by imperialist powers bent on the destruction of socialism anywhere it exists or dares to emerge." 4)
1) If some capitalist concepts are "weeds" then you must be advocating some type of socialism (or communism) where private enterprise does not exist at all, and that apparently means that you'll get all the failures inherent in a state-socialist system.
For example: The stifling of the people's creativity under Stalin's socialism was just as counterproductive as the Catholic Church's stifling of the priest's sex drive which demanded Celibacy – and you know the results of that.
2) Without incentives (a capitalist concept) – it seems that socialist consciousness died – the reason they abandoned the system so readily.
3) If that's the primary objective, then you don’t recognize that Democratic Socialism (pluralist, mixed-economy socialism) is possible.
4) Yes, the destruction of socialism anywhere by capitalists is due to the class system and the insatiable greed of capitalist for profits from all sectors in society (and abroad). However, the burden of military expenditures by the "Stalinist" countries cannot be held as an excuse forever – this argument lets the lazy bureaucrats off the hook. They did not use even the simplest logic for development – such as mass packaging of meats and other groceries, or proper storage bins on the farms (one third of production was continually destroyed and nothing was done).
"The existence or even expansion of capitalist relations under socialism does not automatically mean that socialism has been abandoned without any reference to the concrete contexts and realities within which it is occurring."
Socialism has completely been abandoned in China – it's not even using false pretexts as they admit their embracement of capitalism. Here's what's happening in China today – and its not socialism:
Corporate priorities with grants and subsidies at expense of the working class; enormously increasing unemployment; decay of public education in crowded, decrepit classrooms; school fees for everything; cutbacks resulting in crumbling infrastructures which kill school children; falling farm incomes; no consumer protection; no enforcement of regulations; child labor on farms and mines; government layoff by the millions annually with no welfare or unemployment benefits; a government which supports privatization of almost every-thing with unlimited exploitation and increasing social inequality.
"In the final analysis, it is a matter of the nature of the
state--as an executive committee for the bourgeoisie (which can assume many forms under different kinds of systems and societies) versus the
state as an instrument of dictatorship of--not for not or in behalf of,
but rather of--the proletariat and all oppressed strata."
The State is certainly not acting on behalf of the people but for the private sector -- disallowing unions, rights and freedoms and unlimited exploitation of the workers. Even the State exploits the workers by its new "state capitalist" concepts (how do you think it accumulated $2 trillion US dollars which it uses for investment abroad)?
"For those who would be quick to judge or conclude that capitalism has been or is being fully restored in China--as opposed to tacitcal
compromises with some domestic and foreign capital to build productive
forces rapidly, improve standards of living of the broad masses without whom socialism cannot be built and defended and in order to integrate into the global economy run on capitalist principles--I would argue that this case has simply not been made."
The evidence does not reveal it is tactical but to be permanent. I'm sure they believe that their present capitalist method is the proper route to development. When a government abandons workers rights and considerations: jobs, decent pay, loss of unemployment and health insurance benefits, and no appeal when convicted by lowly bureaucrats – the trend to capitalism is for real.
"When I was in China, and yes evidence of KFC, NIKE and McDonalds
(nutritional and cultural imperialism) made my own blood boil, I had to
wonder how all these acievements I saw were made…"
The achievements were made by the government exploiting the workers and then allowing them to be further exploited by the foreign investors and the new local capitalists. This is because markets were set up so all could participate (markets for small farm producers previously generally did not exist in rural areas so any excess production could not be sold – thus hindering production). When a mixed economy commenced, China started to grow.
"But I saw a spirit among many Chinese not only of patriotism (and not
the chauvinistic type) but of a real desire to build a new China with
recognition that it was socialism and not capitalism that produced the greatest gains."…
Because they said it, it doesn't mean they're right. Any gains was probably by the new entrepreneurs and wheelers and dealers -- not by the working class in general. The vast majority of the working class has been cast aside by government and left to fend for themselves in a re-newed survival-of-the-fittest system as preferred by all true capitalists. Most Chinese have gained little under this "new system" -- if not a setback.
The Guardian wondered if China has found a new "third way" and Jim C seems to be unsure of what the system is. I emphasize that China is fascist – just as the US is today – by definition and policies as explained previously – but is unrecognizable since oppression is not yet widespread.
"As a Blackfoot whose lands are occupied in Canada and
the U.S. and as someone from a people on the verge of total
extermination in Canada and the U.S., the old CCF and the new NDP never
had anything to say about, or do for, Indigenous Peoples not of the
First of all, one cannot expect the NDP to do much – for it's a left-wing capitalist party supposedly representing the working class as most Social Democratic parties claim to do.
Secondly, the CCF originated in the height of the Great Depression and was more concerned about the general conditions, the threatening war as a way out, and how to change the system. The ideology was Democratic Socialism which put "people before profits." It embraced concepts of equality and justice and without discrimination and domination by one class over another. Not to include Indigenous Peoples would be "out of character" and a contradiction of socialist principles. Because it did not mention Indigenous People specifically (as far as I can remember), there is no reason to denigrate it. The Party did much for Canada directly (initiating medi-care in a sea of right-wing fanaticism), and indirectly (forcing the Liberal Party to become reformist which benefited all in Canada).
"The use of fascism to describe China, in addition to being a horrible
slander against a people who have stood up and are standing up against
imperialist onslaughts reflects also, a lack of awareness of what the
term and concept fascism really mean in my opinion."
That's a non-sequitur and is irrelevant.
However, after 50 years reading history and political economies, I'm aware of fascist history -- and I know fascism when I see it.
More information about the Marxism