[Marxism] China's downturn

S. Artesian sartesian at earthlink.net
Mon Apr 20 14:00:16 MDT 2009


Simple fact, agriculture is still practiced as was in existence prior to the 
revoluton.  The migration of workers from village to the SEZ's did NOT come 
from any change in land tenure patterns, from landholding sizes.  It came 
from the fact that there was, has  been, is, and continues to be a surplus 
of population tied to the countryside, so that there is excessive labor 
applied to agriculture, and considerble slack time, non-work, down time, 
whatever you want to call it.  In this regard let me again recommend Philip 
CC Huang's studies of Chinese agriculture and the peasantry.

The history of Chinese agriculture has been the history of increasing labor 
inputs, thus achieving yield increases and land "productivity" at the 
expense of labor productivity.

In fact Deng's Household Responsibility System, nominally credited [by the 
bourgeoisie] with making agriculture more market oriented, productive and 
thus increasing rural incomes did one of the three-- make it more market 
oriented.  Productivity and increasing rural incomes were the product of 
allowing labor to leave the farm, and work in the village sponsored 
enterprises-- the local manufacturing centers that were allowed to develop 
as a precursor to the SEZ's.  After that, the labor was allowed to move off 
village and into direct, full-time factory employment in the SEZ's.

But the facts remain, there was no concentration of landholdings, no overall 
trend  increasing agricultural production unit sizes.

Those are facts, readily available to anyone who looks into the studies of 
Chinese agriculture conducted by the Economic Research Service of the US 
Dept. of Agriculture, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank.

Simple migration to the cities does not mean rural depopulation or changes 
in types, sizes or functions of agricultural production units.

Certainly there have been protests over reallocation of lands. 
Theoretically, those in agricultural production were entitled to 30 year 
leases, which the village leadership cadres had to respect.  Such land 
however can be reallocated on the basis of "need," and to non-agricultural 
enterprises with the consent of the leaseholder.  And just as certainly such 
a situation has led to abuse and protest.  But that has not changed the 
nature of Chinese agricultural production, nor the avg size of production 

I am not predicting the imminent demise of capitalism or its lack of 
capacity.  I am talking about its immanent critique.  The necessity for its 
demise is fact, the demise itself is a potential.  And certainly it has 
proven itself to have tremendous capacity-- but that capacity is not 
exercised without the tearing up of all the ground previously sown; 
capitalism does not adjust or readjust itself without necessarily destroying 
its own components of growth which in accumulation become obstactles to the 
realization of profit.  China is not going to leverage itself up to a 
position of greater equivalence with the United States.  It will be forced 
to plunge increasing numbers of its own people back into destitution.  And 
the US might drool over doing the same thing to its workers, more than 
might, I'm certain they're drooling; but relatively overall total factor 
productivity,  productivity of social labor is far greater in the United 
States [and the advanced capitalist countries] than it is in China.  The 
fact that capitalism cannot resolve the pre-existing land-tenure and 
agricultural property relations is the enduring-- past, present, and 
future-- reason for that.

The Chinese leadership's policy of cheap labor to support capitalism is 
based on justified with the notion that such development will then be 
directed towards sustaining socialism.  More than a couple of problems with 
is: firstly,  the development of cheap labor capitalism simply cannot be 
sustained; secondly such development cannot address the conflict backward 
agriculture and advanced industrial production WITHOUT unleashing class 
struggle;  thirdly, there is simply no prospect for an egaliatarian social 
development the more capitalism advance in China as the entire development 
is based on dismantling egalitarianism, dismantling the structures that 
provided a modicum of "socialism" in the period prior to 1978.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Marv Gandall" <marvgandall at videotron.ca>
To: <sartesian at earthlink.net>
Sent: Monday, April 20, 2009 1:58 PM
Subject: Re: [Marxism] China's downturn

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