[Marxism] Exaggerating Chinese economic power

S. Artesian sartesian at earthlink.net
Mon Jul 28 19:12:32 MDT 2008


Now that's insulting too.   But what is your point-- that China will replace 
the US as the cornerstone of capitalism?

You state:
Whether Chinese growth can be sustained depends on (a) continued access to 
global markets, for the import of raw materials and technology & the export 
of manufactured goods; and (b) wage levels in China remaining significantly 
lower than wage levels in North America, Western Europe etc- thus 
maintaining China's competitive advantage.

Sorry, other countries have had just those things, and growth has not been 
sustained.  Regarding (B) Wage levels in and of themselves are not the 
driver of growth.  Rates of return on investments are.  And I think we need 
to get some hard data on that, because reports in the Financial Times 
indicate that the rate of return on foreign held assets in China has dropped 
below 12%, putting it not just behind Vietnam, but behind the US.

Regarding (A): all you say can be summed up "As long as international 
capitalism remains profitable, avoids overproduction, and can support 
Chinese growth... China will grow."  Which is a tautology.  Means nothing. 
Take a look at eastbound container traffic to theUS from China, look at 
eastbound container traffic from all of Asia.  It peaked in 2006 and has 
been in decline.  And does traffic to the EU compensate for this decline? 
Check it out.  Or do you think Europe too will surpass the US and avoid an 
economic contraction?

Only country with increasing eastbound container traffic to US-- Vietnam. 
OK, just a matter of time before Vietnam replaces China, and then a mere 
blink of the historic eye until it passes the USA, I'm sure.

But there is a more important point:  Since when did Marxists become the 
cheerleaders for  abstract "growth," and decide that growth  didn't create 
the conditions of its own negation, its own contraction? Since when did 
Marxists think growth of capitalism somehow resolved its contradictions, and 
expanded growth could go on forever, I guess, as long as a great helmsman, 
or helmsmen, were  holding the wheel?

When did we, as Marxists, not see the social contradictions in China that 
make this once and future capitalist utopia just a wish?

When did we stop looking at relations between city and countryside?  When 
did we decide to ignore the 200-300 million (probably an underestimate) 
unemployed, and underemployed?

When did we decide the shuttering of factories, namely shoe and clothing 
factories was insignificant compared to GDP growth, and fixed asset 
expansion?

When did we not see that fixed asset expansion must lead to a slowing of 
capitalist expansion, its contraction and the shuttering of the shoe and 
clothing factories?

Now I realize am I've got my head stuck way down a well, but that's a better 
place than some heads are stuck.





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