[Marxism] Moderator's note/China

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Nov 20 13:45:27 MST 2006

>CB: Construing Yoshie's meaning of "economistic" , "socialist entitlements"
>are economic entitlements. Without lacking regret that these workers suffer
>economic and social loss under the current strategy of the Chinese
>government, it is conceivable that the Chinese government has estimated that
>only with the sacrifice of these socialist entitlements already gained can
>China develop its production on a par with present day capitalism; that only
>with such development can China protect itself militarily from imperialist
>aggression; and that only with such development can China produce future
>socialist entitlements that rival present day capitalist use-value

There is a difference between the NEP and what is going on in China today. 
China is simply just another Asian "tiger", but in the anomalous position 
of having Communists running the capitalist system.

>CB: Name one situation, in China or elsewhere, where a "backward" country,
>with very little to almost no capitalist relations of production
>successfully outcompeted capitalism.  Even the Soviet Union, which most
>agree was less "backward" than China at the relevant times, has retreated to
>less socialist relations of production.

That's right. The NEP was a retreat from the stated goals of 1917. I 
wouldn't describe China as being in retreat. It is simply operating on the 
basis of private property. Even the state-owned enterprises function 
against the grain of what Lenin struggled for. Could you imagine a Soviet 
factory manager playing polo in the 1920s? I can't myself but I am a 
Marxist troglodyte who has never understood the appeal of competition and 
naked greed.

>CB: In the way Yoshie seems to be using the analogy to Lenin's usage of
>economistic, "social rights" or corruption might be closer to the
>"shopfloor" and "trade unionism pure and simple" than to the larger and
>determining political questions.

This does not reflect the reality of struggles going on in China today. 
Peasants are deeply political. They understand that they are being 
dispossessed because of capitalism.

>CB; What was the property form of the land ownership before confiscation ?


>CB: The issue is that after 80 years of experience in a number of countries,
>imperialism has been shown itself irredeemably roguish and utterly unwilling
>to allow peaceful coexistence and competition between countries with
>different social systems. I imagine Lenin had an idea that that was a long
>shot when he formulated it, but now it has proven untenable.  Perhaps the
>Chinese are just undogmatic enough to go at socialism a different way when
>the way they tried at first was not making it, even though it offends our
>communist ideals and "morals".

Yes, they say that are going to build socialism by creating capitalism. 
Some might call this dialectics. I call it flim-flam.



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