[Marxism] China's high speed rail plans

nada dwaltersMIA at gmail.com
Tue Sep 1 08:15:48 MDT 2009


The wiki entry, which is sort of 'rah rah', presents the growth of high 
speed rail in the PRC:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_rail_in_China

It's worth a look. Clearly, their investment *plans* include making 
China the largest high speed rail country in the world and probably more 
than Europe has as a whole. They are already producing their own rail 
sets, of course. A lot of this is updating existing lines to high speed, 
a lot of this is brand new right-of-way. It is serious. None of it, 
however, has anything to do with freight, which is, as S. Artesian 
points out, the heart, economically, of any rail system, in many ways. 
Its what keeps trucks off the road.

I would ask that each of you do a small distillation of your POVs on 
this issue. S. Artesian already did one of them, with his point, a good 
one, about the reality of Chinese rail and how it stacks up against the 
US. Luko, I might point out that I tend to be 'rah rah' about Chinese 
infrastructure development. Rail only tells a small part of this story. 
No other country compares to the PRC in terms of what they have planned 
and it will, overall, benefit the Chinese people, even of some of this 
(like rail) is designed in part to satisfy outside and domestic 
capitalist interests.

But the biggest problem IS productivity and it weights up on China 
tremendously, dragging both it's socialist and capitalist sectors down. 
Now in China, productivity, or it's increase, equals more unemployment. 
One of the major contradictions as China continues is march away from 
collectivized political economy.

David




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