[Marxism] China's downturn
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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