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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Sun Aug 29, 2021 2:07 pm

Race Reductionism: Neocolonialism and the Ruse of “Chinese Privilege”

Recent discourse within the U.S. and Singaporean liberal-left has championed “Chinese privilege” as an analytic of power within Singapore and Asia at large. By invoking a Chinese equivalence to whiteness, analyses of “Chinese privilege” not only disavow the material history of racial capitalism in Asia, but appropriate Black and Indigenous critiques of white supremacy to bolster a long history of Singaporean anticommunism in service of U.S. military and ideological supremacy over Asia.

“Postcoloniality is the condition of what we might ungenerously call a comprador intelligentsia: of a relatively small, Western-style, Western-trained, group of writers and thinkers who mediate the trade in cultural commodities of world capitalism at the periphery.”

—Kwame Anthony Appiah

“Neocolonialism, like colonialism, is an attempt to export the social conflicts of the capitalist countries.”

—Kwame Nkrumah

Since 2015, Singapore has seen the rise of a new discourse arguing the existence of Chinese racial supremacy. Influenced by U.S. cultural theories of race, critics of so-called “Chinese privilege” sought to formulate a theoretical framework for thinking about inequality in Singapore. Yet short of interrogating the material specificities of Singapore, these critics—composed not insignificantly of Western-educated cultural elites—found inspiration from transposing U.S. frameworks of racial antagonism directly onto Singapore. “I performed a simple experiment,” admitted the self-professed founding theorist of “Chinese privilege”: “I took a paragraph [from bell hooks’ ‘Beloved Community’] and I substituted the words ‘Chinese’ for ‘white.’” So “Chinese privilege” was born.

In Singapore, the terminology of “Chinese privilege” spread like wildfire within the networks of the cultural elite, circulating abundantly in the capital of “woke” discourse, Yale-NUS College (a liberal arts school jointly established by Yale and the Singaporean government). Soon it became more than just an analysis of “privilege”: suggestions of “Chinese racism,” “Chinese supremacy,” and “Chinese settler colonialism” all began to float in the air, plastered together by their plagiarism from North American Black and Indigenous critique.

When pressed, however, the loosely cobbled Singaporean copies began to fall apart: given the geographic, cultural, and political variation amongst Chinese people, who are implicated in the broad idea of the “Chinese”? What does “Chinese privilege” in Singapore mean, against the existence of more than 200,000 mainland Chinese migrant workers who, along with their predominantly Bangladeshi peers, toil daily in Singapore, with no minimum wage, to build the city’s high-rises, wash its public toilets, and serve in its hawker centers? Finally, given the material histories of race under Euro-American colonization, in which white supremacy actualized itself through racial enslavement, indentured servitude, and Indigenous genocide, how can white privilege be commensurable to anything else—in the world?

Given the material histories of race under Euro-American colonization, in which white supremacy actualized itself through racial enslavement, indentured servitude, and Indigenous genocide, how can white privilege be commensurable to anything else—in the world?

As Cedric Robinson wrote, modern capitalism is an extension of European feudalism, built from the very beginning on primitive accumulation established through racial slavery and colonization. Any project that seeks to understand racial capitalism in Asia cannot disentangle capitalism from its definition as a globalized system of value built on and by white supremacy. In Singapore, which for centuries existed both as part of the Indian Ocean world and the Malay archipelago, modern capitalism was ushered in by the British East India Company. From 1819 onward, Singapore became one node in the vast operation of the British Empire, connected by subjugated labor and trade to India, China, Hong Kong, and Britain’s many other colonies in the West Indies and Eastern and Southern Africa.

The history of race in Singapore, then, is a history of racial capitalism. The British colonial government played a key role in facilitating early discourses of race and racial difference in Singapore, producing the racial classificatory system that in Singapore today is known as CMIO (Chinese, Malay, Indian, Other). Interestingly, the British never elevated the Chinese as a superior class—rather, its initial interests were in cultivating a Malay indigenous elite through whom they could rule by proxy. During the century and a half of colonial rule, the Chinese were most useful for the British as primarily as a cheap labor force extending British empire’s labor imperialism (“coolies”), and secondarily, as a middleman merchant class that facilitated the empire’s trade imperialism (opium, rubber, tea). Though Singapore has been both a British and Japanese colony, it has never been a Chinese one—on the contrary, under British rule, the Chinese population in Singapore was alternately disciplined and neglected, and under Japanese rule, subject to ethnic genocide. In this light, there is no historical ground supporting claims of “Chinese supremacy” in Singapore. To argue for it is to mount a deceit that contradicts the very histories of race and capitalism as they were forged during Singapore’s colonial era.

The history of race in Singapore, then, is itself a history of racial capitalism.

Since its independence in 1965, Singapore has been ruled by the People’s Action Party (PAP), led for 38 years by former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, under whose tenure Singaporean “Chineseness” was transformed into an essentialist cultural project in concert with what Lee championed as “Confucian capitalism.” Refigured as a depoliticized, homogenous, and agreeable alternative to the geopolitical and racial Chineseness represented by “Red China,” the Singaporean Chineseness installed by Lee posited itself as a proxy to Weberian Protestant capitalism. Functioning in contrast against the racial and political threat of “90 million Chinese communists in China,” Lee’s carefully-pruned Confucian Chineseness marked Singapore, a Chinese-majority island, as a capable partner to U.S. empire—and Lee himself as a trusted native informant to generations of U.S. imperial architects.

In his prolific public statements, Lee was unabashed about what he believed to be the essentialist characteristics of each “racial” group, and the disciplinary mechanisms supposedly required to harness them into a stable “multiracial meritocracy” that would make Singapore an ideal site of investment for Euro-American capital. In other words, officialized discourses of race in Singapore take on a primarily economic function, shaded by the backdrop of neocolonial U.S.-Singapore relations. In this light, to speak of race in Singapore is to speak of a highly localized phenomenon held in taut relation with historical British rule and contemporary U.S. domination—including the ongoing Cold War of anticommunist containment in Asia.

To speak of race in Singapore is to speak of a highly localized phenomena held in taut relation with historical British rule and contemporary U.S. domination—including the ongoing Cold War of anticommunist containment in Asia.

Yet recently, discourses of “Chinese privilege” have escalated, alighting on a new strategy of manufacturing imperialist antipathy against China and justifying continued U.S. military domination in Asia. Moving beyond Singapore, Singaporean critics of “Chinese privilege” argue that Asia at large is threatened by the looming specter of a “rising China.” Proposing that Chineseness is a universalizing racial category, these critics conclude that “Chinese privilege” and “Chinese supremacy” in Singapore may be extrapolated to Asia-at-large, in which the PRC plots a supposedly imperialist takeover. Of particular vexation to these critics is what they call the “Chinese tankie,” a slur which refers, through a mish-mash of McCarthyite euphemism and garbled identity politic jargon, to anti-imperialist internationalists who oppose U.S. military supremacy in Asia and the ongoing informational war against China.

If the vague, anti-China fear mongering of “Chinese supremacy” discourse feels familiar, it’s because it sounds strikingly similar to talking points of the U.S.-led Cold War on China, and increasingly, the discourse of the Singaporean state. While Singapore has historically framed its foreign policy as a balancing act between the U.S. and PRC, since 2018, a series of secretive arrests authorized by Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, working in tandem with the U.S. Pentagon, have signaled the island nation’s shift toward a more diplomatically offensive position against China.

In a speech given to the public in 2019, former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bilahari Kausikan urged Singaporeans to stand guard against what he called China’s “sophisticated and flexible instrument[s] of influence,” which threaten Singapore’s “foundation of multiracial meritocracy.” Of note, Kausikan pressed, was China’s civilizational threat against Singapore: “China’s identity as a civilizational state,” he said, “finds expression in the work of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office… In plain language, overseas Chinese should identify their interests with China’s interests and work to advance China’s interests. And this represents a deliberate blurring of the distinction made between the hua ren (ethnic Chinese) and the hua qiao (overseas citizen of the PRC).”

By suggesting the always already latent possibility of “ethnic Chinese” being turned into spies for the PRC, Kausikan not only taps into a long history of conjoined anti-Chinese, anti-PRC, and anticommunist villainization in Southeast Asia, but also rehashes the “China creep” discourse of the U.S. and its “Five Eyes” alliance. Case in point, Kausikan’s declarations of “Chinese espionage” startlingly echo the propaganda of such warmongering luminaries as the weapons industry-funded Australia Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Lauding Kausikan’s speech, the conservative U.S. policy think tank Jamestown Foundation (on whose board sits Trumpian architect Robert Spalding) noted: “Singapore has long been a target of CCP united front attention, and the city authorities have a history of combatting CCP propaganda that dates back to the 1950s and 70s, when PRC leaders sought to export communist revolution to Southeast Asia.”

Kausikan’s declarations of “Chinese espionage” startlingly echo the propaganda of such warmongering luminaries as the weapons industry-funded Australia Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

This would certainly be an impressive feat, were it true. While evidence of actual “CCP infiltration” is all but nonexistent, what is abundantly clear is that the United States has spent extraordinary effort covertly manufacturing anticommunist, anti-Chinese propaganda across Asia throughout the last seventy years. Drawing from a dense archive of declassified CIA reports, Operating Coordinating Board (OCB) communiques, and U.S. Information Agency (USIA) documents, historian Wen-qing Ngoei concludes,

[T]he key principle of U.S. Cold War policy toward [Asia] was to harness the interconnectedness of Southeast Asia’s Chinese so that Beijing could not. From mid-1954, U.S. planners began seeking ways to ‘encourage the overseas Chinese’ to ‘organize and activate anticommunist groups and activities within their own communities.’ Beyond this, Washington aspired to ‘cultivate’ overseas Chinese ‘sympathy and support’ for the GMD [Kuomintang]-dominated Taiwan as a ‘symbol of Chinese political resistance,’ to forge one more ‘link’ within the United States’ broader ‘defense against Communist expansion in Asia.’ (9)

Within Singapore itself, accusations of “Chinese communist influence” have served as an expedient lie leveraged by both the British colonial government and the British-backed Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first Prime Minister, to effectively rid the country of leftist organizing. In what became known as the 1963 Operation Coldstore, Lee convinced the British colonial government to invoke the secretive Internal Security Act (ISA) to detain some 113 left-leaning politicians of the opposition party, Barisan Socialis. This effective annihilation of Singapore’s popular leftist movement in turn gave Lee, the British heir apparent, a virtually unopposed path to political power in Singapore’s first general election in 1965.1 In 1987, Lee’s government once again leveraged charges of a “Marxist conspiracy” to detain 22 leftist organizers, holding them for up to three years under alleged torture. Reflecting on the arc of anticommunist fervor that has defined post-independence Singapore, historian T.N. Harper writes that since independence, “the PAP government worked resolutely to depoliticize national struggle, to shed it of its old internationalist connections, and to tear Singapore from its alternative pasts” (48).

Given both the history of U.S. covert operations in Southeast Asia and Singapore’s own virulently anticommunist post-independence history, it should be no surprise that the low-hanging fruit of a “Chinese communist conspiracy” and its pseudo-leftist “Chinese privilege” corollary appear so enticing to both Singapore’s cultural elite and its ruling party. Moreover, their naked antipathy toward China is undergirded by Singapore’s deep economic and geopolitical ties to the United States. It would not be an exaggeration to say that, like South Korea and Japan, the U.S.’s client states in East Asia, Singapore’s economic “miracle” has been largely predicated on industrialization via U.S. militarization during the Cold War. After a visit to the United States in 1967, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew wrote to Lyndon B. Johnson, expressing his “unequivocal” support of the Vietnam War. Lee argued, as historian Daniel Chua recounts, that

The United States, by holding the line in Vietnam, was buying time for the rest of Southeast Asia to develop stable economies and governments. The American military involvement in Vietnam[, Lee believed,] helped in maintaining political stability of the non-communist regimes in Southeast Asia and also provided them with the years that were necessary to build their economies. (5)

More than providing Southeast Asian nations like Singapore “with the years that were necessary to build their economies,” the U.S. invasion of Vietnam directly contributed to the economic growth of its neo-colonies in Asia, including Singapore. Just as the U.S. war in Vietnam was critical to “South Korea’s compressed development under military dictator Park Chung-hee,” as Christine Hong has written, so too was it instrumental in developing Singapore’s post-independence economy. This developmental trajectory allowed the U.S. to continue where the British had left off: in 1967, the same year the British formally withdrew its bases from Singapore, “a full 15 percent of Singapore’s national income derived from U.S. military procurements for Vietnam.” Prior to the U.S. entrance into Singapore, British bases on the island had contributed $200 million per year to the Singaporean economy, amounting to 20 percent of Singapore’s then-national income. As the U.S. replaced the British as the guest power in Singapore and escalated its invasion of Vietnam, U.S. private investment in Singapore increased at exponential rates, growing at a rate of $100 million a year by 1971.

In 1990, following the Philippine Senate’s closure of the U.S. and military bases in Clark and Subic Bay, Singapore stepped up to the bat as the U.S. military’s newest and most steadfast dependency south of Seoul. Through a series of “memorandums of understanding” (MOUs), Singapore not only opened its Paya Lebar air base and the port of Sembawang to U.S. forces, but in 1998, built a state of the art naval base in Changi for express shared usage with the U.S. Navy. As a 2016 Brookings Institute white paper acknowledges, Changi Naval Base “is currently the only naval facility in Southeast Asia purpose-built to accommodate an aircraft carrier and was constructed (entirely at Singapore’s cost), despite Singapore having no aircraft carrier of its own.”

In 2020, as the U.S. entertained regime change ambitions in Bolivia, tightened sanctions against Venezuela, Iran, and the DPRK, and waged a hybrid war against China, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wrote, in a feature article for Foreign Affairs, “Asian countries see the United States as a resident power that has vital interest in the region…. What made Asia’s stability and prosperity possible was the United States.” In other words, Singapore’s supposedly “exceptional” economic achievements, when held under the magnifying glass of historical analysis, reveal a profound entrenchment in the U.S. orbit, as a client state whose imperialist geopolitical, political, and economic orientations were meticulously cultivated during the Cold War. Insofar as Singapore holds the title of being one of the most prosperous nations in the world, its national “privilege” has been built off its role as launch pad for U.S. aggression on Vietnam, Korea, China, and most recently, Afghanistan.

In the face of what can only be understood as blatant, aggressive, and ongoing U.S. imperialization of both Singapore and the Southeast Asian region, both the Singaporean state and its comprador class prefer to harp on a supposed “Chinese communist conspiracy” instead of facing the hegemon literally crouching in their own backyard. Of course, scapegoating China has its perks as well: for the Singaporean state, fervent anticommunism and blithe disdain of China has won it the right to become a vassal state of the U.S. empire; for the Singaporean comprador class, armed with degrees from the imperial core and a taste for “speaking for Global South Asians,” the work of obfuscating U.S. imperialism offers a surefire way to propel oneself to political authority as a model minority in the Global North.

In the face of what can only be understood as blatant, aggressive, and ongoing U.S. imperialization of both Singapore and the Southeast Asian region, both the Singaporean state and its comprador class prefer to harp on a supposed “Chinese communist conspiracy” instead of facing the hegemon crouching in their own backyard.

By delocalizing and decontextualizing a U.S.-based identitarian politics of race, discourses of “Chinese privilege” assiduously delink race from its material conditions, and ethnic formation in Singapore from the complex geopolitical and colonial history of the region. In short, “Chinese privilege” performs a crude racial reductionism that, in its easy recourse to analogy, propels what literary historian Jodi Melamed calls a “race-liberal order” that “fatally limit[s] the possibility of overcoming racism to the mechanisms of U.S.-led global [imperialist] capitalism, even as they have enabled new kinds of normalizing and rationalizing violences.” The comprador class stands most to gain from the discourse of “Chinese privilege,” which, as sociologists Daniel P.S. Goh and Terrence Chong remind us, allows them to partake in a “pleasurable act of Foucauldian reinforce their feelings of goodness and purity” while cementing their position as intellectual and moral gatekeepers in Singapore’s neocolonial production of knowledge.

Without regard to the historic, geographic, and political dissonances implied within the term “Chinese,” theories of Chinese privilege disavow both the material conditions of British colonialism and contemporary U.S. imperialism which have shaped Singapore’s present, while insisting that Singapore, and postcolonial Asia at-large, appear a historical vacuum through which appears a new regime of racial domination by the ambiguously perilous, yet ever-present “Chinese.”

In this political moment—as the military encirclement of China sees its domestic parallel in anti-Asian violence in the West—uncritical deployments of “Chinese privilege” are dangerous precisely because they fit snugly into a propagandized Cold War redux which paints China as duplicitous, conniving, and invasive.

The race reductionism of “Chinese privilege” is dangerous not only for essentializing, de-historicizing, and dematerializing the workings of race in Asia. In this political moment—as the military encirclement of China sees its domestic parallel in anti-Asian violence in the West—uncritical deployments of “Chinese privilege” are dangerous precisely because they fit snugly into a propagandized Cold War redux which paints China as duplicitous, conniving, and invasive. Contributing to U.S. efforts of informational warfare, the depoliticized and ahistorical fallacy of “Chinese supremacy”—sold, largely, to North American and Singaporean audiences—appropriates the specificity of white supremacy while bolstering the long history of neocolonial Singaporean anticommunism. Ultimately, it seeks to naturalize U.S. hegemony as a benevolent force in the face of impending Chinese “invasion,” manufacturing consent for the further militarization of Asia while obscuring the structuring force of U.S. imperialism in Singapore, Asia, and beyond to the detriment of true anti-imperial struggle.

1. Political prisoners, including Said Zahari, Lim Chin Siong, Lim Chin Joo, Poh Soo Kai, and Tan Jing Quee, have written about their time in captivity, noting both Lee’s strategic collaboration with the British colonial government and his role in engineering anticommunist persecution throughout the 1950s and 60s. In particular, they unanimously agree, Lee was frightened by the popular support of Lim Chin Siong, leader of the Barisan Socialis, who was projected to win the first election prior to his arrest by Lee in Operation Coldstore. In a posthumously-published excerpt from his memoir, Lim Chin Siong was explicit about Lee’s political motives:

Lee Kuan Yew soon became worried about the left-wing within the party because it enjoyed tremendous grassroots support. He was fearful of being replaced or overtaken. In his calculations, the most ideal constitutional arrangement was to let the British continue to provide a safety net for him and to give him time to build up his own base. He would play the role of a moderate while the British could wield the big stick. On this score, Lee Kuan Yew and the British were hand-in-glove in that ‘the British must keep the final say in order to block the communists out.’ (316)

Qiao Collective ... -privilege
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:07 pm

An important article as it has been reproduced in a number of CCP associated publications. The machine translation from Chinese is rough as a cob but the gist is plain to see: China is socialist, it's uppity capitalists are having their sails trimmed and the baleful influence of decadent capitalist culture, the entry drug of bourgeois rule, is to be replaced with entertainments culturally appropriate for Chinese socialist society.

Everyone can feel that a profound change is underway!
August 29, 2021 20:01 | Source: Li Guangman Bingdian Time Review

  The Chinese entertainment industry has always had no shortage of stinking fierce materials. Not long ago, Wu Yifan, Huo Zun’s chaos and Zhang Zhehan’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine to worship ghosts have been reported. Recently, Hunan Satellite TV host Qian Feng has been suspected. The rape of others always makes people feel that the Chinese entertainment industry has sucked. If we don't rectify it, not only the entertainment circle will be horrible, but the entire cultural circle, literary circle, performing arts circle, and film and television circle will also be horrified.

  In the past two days, the storm has risen again and the chaos in the entertainment industry has been hit. The Central Cyberspace Administration of China has made heavy efforts to rectify the "rice circle". The State Administration of Taxation has punished Zheng Shuang for tax evasion and evasion of 299 million yuan. What does the circle's heavy blow mean?

  On August 25, the Central Cyberspace Administration of China issued a notice to strengthen the management of chaos in the “rice circle”, and put forward ten requirements for the treatment of chaos in the “rice circle”: one is to cancel the list of celebrity artists, and the other is to optimize and adjust the ranking rules. The third is to strictly control celebrity brokerage companies, the fourth is to regulate fan group accounts, the fifth is to strictly prohibit the presentation of mutual tearing information, the sixth is to clean up illegal group sections, the seventh is not to induce fans to consume, the eight is to strengthen the management of program settings, and the nine is to strictly control the failures. Tenth is to standardize fund-raising behaviors for adult participation. The notice specifically mentioned the need to improve political positions, from the perspective of maintaining online political security and ideological security, creating a clear cyberspace, and advancing the management of chaos in the "rice circle". Obviously this is a political action, and all localities must understand this rectification action from a political perspective.

  Coincidentally. On August 27, the State Administration of Taxation announced its decision on punishment for the tax evasion case of artist Zheng Shuang. After investigation, Zheng Shuang starred in the TV series "A Chinese Ghost Story" in 2019. He agreed with the producer for a remuneration of 160 million yuan, and actually obtained 156 million yuan, which was collected in two parts. Among them, the first part is 48 million yuan, which is to change personal salary income into corporate income for false declarations and tax evasion; the second part is 108 million yuan. The producer signs a false contract with Zheng Shuang’s actual control company in the form of "capital increase" Payment, evade industry supervision to obtain “astronomical remuneration”, conceal income, make false declarations, and evade taxes. In the "A Chinese Ghost Story" project, Zheng Shuang's illegal facts were found to be 43.027 million yuan in tax evasion, and other taxes were underpaid 16.177800 yuan. At the same time, it was found that after regulating the taxation order of the film and television industry in 2018, Zheng Shuang had other performance income of 35.07 million yuan. There were also problems with changing the nature of personal income in the name of corporate income and making false declarations. According to Zheng Shuang’s illegal facts, he was determined to be tax evasion by 224.26. RMB 10,342,900 in other taxes were underpaid. In total, Zheng Shuang failed to declare his personal income of 191 million yuan from 2019 to 2020, evaded taxes of 45,269,600 yuan, and underpaid other taxes of 26,520,700 yuan.

  According to relevant laws and regulations, Zheng Shuang was fined a total of 299 million yuan in tax collection, late payment fees and fines. Among them, the tax recovered according to the law was 71,790,300 yuan, plus a late fee of 8,889,800 yuan; a four-fold fine of 30,695,700 yuan was imposed on the part of tax evasion that changed the nature of income; the so-called "capital increase" was imposed on the part of tax evasion that completely concealed income. "The fine is 188 million yuan. According to the "Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China", if the fine is not paid within the prescribed time limit, the tax authority will transfer it to the public security authority for handling. The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television issued a notice requiring radio and television broadcasting organizations at all levels, radio and television video-on-demand business establishments, and network audio-visual program service organizations not to invite Zheng Shuang to participate in the production of programs, and to stop broadcasting programs that Zheng Shuang has participated in. Recently, Zhao Wei, who often appears on the headlines of various news lists, has had an accident again. On August 26, Zhao Wei’s super words disappeared on Weibo, and many dramas such as "Return to the Pearl" and "Deep Love in the Rain", Zhao Wei was deleted from the credits displayed on the websites of Tencent and iQiyi Go to the name.

  Ordinarily, Zhao Wei should have disappeared from the Chinese public view more than 20 years ago, but she has become more and more developed. Twenty years ago, she appeared in the public eye wearing the rising sun flag of the Japanese invaders and was punished by the whole network. She was not blocked. Instead, she called the cloud and the rain in the Chinese capital market and was hailed as the Chinese female version of Buffett. At that time, she was fighting fiercely with Ma Yun, Wang Lin and other masters. She was able to control public opinion, and negative news about her was often cleared. Later, in her film "No Other Love", the male protagonist Dai Liren was a diehard Taiwanese independence element, and the female protagonist Kiko Mizuhara was a Japanese anti-Chinese activist who supported the visit to the Yasukuni Shrine. This caused public outrage. What is strange is this The matter was quickly calmed down. Recently, Zhao Wei's actor Zhang Zhehan has appeared at the Yasukuni Shrine many times, making Nazi gestures and making friends with the Japanese right wing, which aroused public outrage among the people across the country. The problem remains that no matter how much negative news there is, Zhao Wei will never fail. This is always a mysterious problem. Now it seems that it is not that it is not reported, it is not the time.

  Another American, Gao Xiaosong, who was removed from the shelves at the same time as Zhao Wei, has long had his programs "Xiao Shuo" and "Xiao Song Qi Tan" on the Internet and TV stations in our country. Fudged a group of Chinese people to become his fans.

  How do we feel about what happened in just two days, from the rectification of the rice circle to the punishment of Zheng Shuang, to the banning of Zhao Wei and Gao Xiaosong from the shelves? If we look at this series of events from a higher political level, we will discover the historical trend and development trend of a country from some details.

  From the suspension of Ant’s listing, to the central government's rectification of economic order and anti-monopoly, to the 18.2 billion fine of Ali and the investigation of Didi, to the grand commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the party by the central government, the proposal to take the path of common prosperity, and the recent chaos in the entertainment industry The series of rectification actions by the People's Republic of China are telling us that China is undergoing major changes, from the economic, financial, cultural, and political fields to a profound change, or a profound revolution. This is a return from the capital group to the people, and this is a transformation from capital-centered to people-centered. Therefore, this is a political change, and the people are becoming the main body of this change again, and all those who block this people-centered change will be discarded. This profound change is also a return, a return to the original intention of the Chinese Communist Party, a return to the people-centered nature, and a return to the essence of socialism.

  This revolution will wash away all the dust. The capital market will no longer be a paradise for capitalists to get rich overnight, the cultural market will no longer be a paradise for nymphomaniac stars, and news and public opinion will no longer be a position for worshipping Western culture. The return of red, the return of heroes, and the return of blood. Therefore, we need to control all cultural chaos and build a lively, healthy, masculine, strong, and people-oriented culture. We need to crack down on the chaos of big capital manipulation, platform monopoly, and bad money driving out good money in the capital market. Guide the flow of funds to entity enterprises, to high-tech enterprises, and to the manufacturing industry. The ongoing chaos of governance education starting from governance training institutions and school district housing, so that education truly returns to civilians and fairness, so that ordinary people have upward mobility. Space, in the future, we need to control high housing prices and high medical expenses, and completely level the three mountains of education, medical care, and housing. Although we are not trying to kill the rich and help the poor, we need to effectively solve the problem of increasing income gap between the rich and the poor. Common prosperity is to allow ordinary workers to get more income in the distribution of social wealth. This change will bring a series of new weather to our society. The current efforts to rectify the entertainment, art, and film and television circles are far from enough. We must use all means to combat the various star-chasing and fan-chasing phenomena that exist in the current society. Put an end to the phenomenon of "girls" and "small fresh meat" in the social character, and truly make the entertainment, art, and film and television circles lively and upright. Our various literary and artistic workers, film and television workers must go down to the grassroots level, so that ordinary workers, Ordinary people have become the masters and protagonists of literature and art.

  China is currently facing an increasingly severe and complex international environment. The United States is implementing increasingly severe military threats, economic and technological blockades, financial strikes, political and diplomatic siege against China, and is launching biological warfare, cyber warfare, and public opinion against China. Wars and space wars have increasingly launched a color revolution against China through the fifth column within China. If at this time, we have to rely on those big capitalists as the main force of anti-imperialist and anti-hegemonism, and are still catering to the American nipple strategy, so that our young generation loses their strong and masculine vibes, then we don’t need enemies to fight. I fell first, just like the Soviet Union back then, letting the country collapse, letting the country's wealth be looted, and letting the people fall into serious disaster. Therefore, the profound changes currently taking place in China are precisely in response to the current severe and complicated international situation, precisely in response to the barbaric and ferocious attacks that the United States has begun to launch against China.

  Every one of us can feel that a profound social change has begun. Not only the capital circle, but also not only the entertainment circle, it must not only destroy the dryness, but also repair the wounds, clean the house, freshen the air, and make our society healthier. Social subjects can feel physically and mentally happy. (Li Guangman)

(Editors in charge: Yue Hongbin, Hao Jiangzhen) ... 11523.html

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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Sat Sep 04, 2021 2:03 pm

Sergio Rodriguez Gelfenstein

2 Sep 2021 , 8:59 am .

Xi Jinping, President of China and leader of the Chinese Communist Party (Photo: Xinhua)

Last Tuesday, August 24, a meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party for Financial and Economic Affairs was held in Beijing with the aim of discussing "common prosperity", that is, how to produce growth with equity. The center of the discussion was placed on the need to generate well-being for all citizens on the path aimed at achieving the goal that, in 2049, when the centenary of the founding of the People's Republic of China is commemorated, the country will have a modern socialist society.

During the event, the most heated discussions were given by President Xi Jinping's call to apply unprecedented drastic measures in various sectors of the economy such as technology, online education and real estate, which had grown exorbitantly and without control, increasing growing income inequality, rising debt levels and slowing consumption.

Xi said that once the country has lifted all citizens out of poverty, it should move towards a system that cares much more about sectors that still do not reach optimal living conditions. This is what he called "common prosperity", which was defined as the possibility that everyone can share wealth, for which a strong economy is needed that allows a better distribution of it.

Although the idea did not mention that the government would aim to reduce the income of the richest to give it to the poorest, it did advocate "better governance and a more balanced economy", focusing on grassroots consumption as a key economic multiplier. rather than the capital-intensive investments that were the foundation of the economy in recent years.

In the president's words: "We can allow some to get rich first and then guide and help others get rich together." He then wanted to be more explicit in stating that: "We can support wealthy entrepreneurs who work hard, operate legally and have taken risks to create businesses ... but we must also do everything possible to establish a 'scientific' public policy system that allows a fairer distribution of income ", to conclude by adding that the government should be concerned about the protection and improvement of livelihoods that aim for a healthy economic development that points to a perspective focused on strengthening a universal and inclusive security system .

This debate, which was preceded by measures never seen before and had taken place very tangentially in the past, now took place with all the harshness that the country's situation demands. Among the measures proposed to achieve the proposed objectives are changes in tax policies and payments to social security for middle incomes. Likewise, actions aimed at increasing financial benefits for low-income groups and strong measures against corruption and bureaucracy. In the same way, the need to protect property rights and in particular intellectual property rights was exposed.

In his speech, Xi warned that common prosperity should not only be applied to financial markets, but also to the spiritual and cultural life of society and spread to rural and urban areas, in particular, the government has to work on improving infrastructure and living conditions in the countryside.

This great task will involve all levels of government aligned around the elaboration of plans that aim at the objective of achieving common prosperity. In an attempt to systematize the initiative, common prosperity was defined as a means to "adequately treat the relationship between efficiency and equity", which requires greater and better financial supervision. In these terms, the proposed system aims to stimulate what has been called the "third distribution", that is, the creation of opportunities for high-income groups and companies to give something back to society, among other things, through voluntary and charitable donations.

It could also mean cuts in personal income taxes and increased taxes on the wealthiest, "including taxes on property, inheritance and capital gains, or introducing more preferential policies for charitable trusts and public welfare donations "according to the opinion of Xiong Yuan, chief macroeconomics analyst at Guosheng Securities, a Chinese financial services company located in Shenzhen, as quoted by journalists Orange Wang and Su-Lin Tan of the South China Morning Post newspaper From Hong Kong.

The reaction of Western analysts to these measures was immediate, concern was immediately expressed about the possible effects that these measures could mean for the owners of capital, although it is recognized that by achieving a greater distribution of wages, this will redound in aid to families. These opinions expose the inability to understand the Chinese model of economy, falling - once again - on the idea of ​​considering its validity under the sieve of the laws of the market designed in the West, which are intended to be sold as universal truths. Western analysts criticize that China intends, through these measures, for the State to exert strong regulations on the economy in order to balance economic growth and prevent financial risks.

Although these measures have taken shape at this moment in history, it is necessary to remember that in the very foundations of the reform and opening up policy and in several speeches by Deng Xiaoping it was made clear that the appearance of rich and millionaires was necessary to that through his personal enrichment the growth of the country would be accelerated. Somehow, Deng exposed that in the stage started in 1978, the rich were a necessary evil that at some point in development would be adjusted through the application of policies and laws, assuming that the achievement of common prosperity would be a "task. long, arduous and complicated ".

Since then, no Chinese president has put the search for prosperity aside from his political endeavor, but never before has so much emphasis been placed on its realization as now, it must be said that there were never before conditions like now to be able to undertake the task. successfully. Xi himself acknowledged that former President Hu Jintao and former Prime Minister Wen Jiabao faced the need to resolve the contrast between the wealthy eastern provinces and the most backward western provinces, as well as the discrepancy between the agricultural and industrial sectors.

In sight is this stage of transition to socialism whose objective is the development of the productive forces and the creation of a material, economic and technological base that allows, in the first stage, a greater number of citizens can access the benefits materials and cultures that society is achieving.

To be continue. ... idad-comun

Google Translator


By putting one of his faction’s “insiders” under investigation, Xi Jinping is demonstrating how seriously he takes China’s return to socialism. (Source photos by Reuters and Getty Images)

Xi’s leftward shift to a socialist China is for real

Originally published: Nikkei Asia by Katsuji Nakazawa (August 26, 2021 ) | - Posted Aug 28, 2021

One cannot overstate the shock that has rippled through Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province, as well as across China.

On Saturday, China’s top anti-graft agency said the city’s top official, Chinese Communist Party Secretary Zhou Jiangyong, is under investigation for suspected serious violations of party disciplinary rules and laws.

The 53-year-old was thought to be an “insider” of President Xi Jinping’s powerful Zhejiang faction, also known as the “New Zhijiang Army.”

While details of the allegations against Zhou remain unclear, officials, pundits and China watchers immediately connected the dots.

Zhejiang Party Secretary Zhou Jiangyong is being investigated by China’s top anti-graft agency. (Photo: AP)

As regular readers of this column are well aware, the city of Hangzhou and the province of Zhejiang are special for two reasons.

For one, Hangzhou is Xi’s political base. As Zhejiang’s top official, he lived in the scenic capital — known for the UNESCO World Heritage-cited West Lake — for many years. The current top officials of China’s main municipalities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing are all Xi’s subordinates from his time in Zhejiang; they form the New Zhijiang Army.

Zhou Jiangyong quickly rose through the ranks in Zhejiang and was considered close to Xi’s inner circle.

Some political pundits had predicted that, as a promising next-generation leader in the Zhejiang faction, Zhou would soon be promoted to the governorship of another province.

Second, Zhejiang Province is known as the birthplace of the country’s private companies. The region has achieved self-sustaining economic development that does not rely on state-owned companies or bureaucrats.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has its headquarters in Hangzhou.

Was Zhou Jiangyong’s close relationship with Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma Yun an issue? (Photo: AP)

Here may lie a clue to Zhou’s investigation. Zhou is close to Alibaba founder Jack Ma Yun. As Hangzhou’s economy relies heavily on Alibaba, it is not surprising that Zhou, the city’s top official, would be in close contact with Jack Ma.

On Aug. 17, four days before the announcement of Zhou’s probe, Xi delivered a key speech that will have a significant impact on the future course of China.

The address at the party’s Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs was Xi’s first public appearance after a summer break during which he and fellow incumbent leaders are thought to have met retired officials at the annual closed-door “Beidaihe meeting” at the seaside resort in Hebei Province.

Xi used the term “common prosperity” as many as 15 times. It was not hard to imagine that the leader who doubles as the party’s general secretary received a stamp of approval to push the policy at Beidaihe.

In the name of common prosperity, Xi vowed to expand the size of the middle-income group, increase earnings of the low-income group and “adjust excessive incomes,” including through the three-stage income distribution and tax system.

Xi Jinping speaks at a news conference after the G-20 Summit in Hangzhou in 2016. He formed his faction in the city years earlier. (Photo: Reuters)

These measures are likely to become a basic policy going forward as the Xi administration keeps an eye on the sixth plenary session of the party’s 19th Central Committee this autumn and subsequently the party’s next quinquennial national congress in the fall of 2022.

Hints at targeting the rich run counter to former paramount leader Deng Xiaoping’s policy of “letting some people get rich first” and signal a sharp left turn toward a distinctly socialist China.

The important point is that Zhejiang has been designated as the model area to achieve this common prosperity.

Xi knows Zhejiang well and Hangzhou in particular. He likely envisions a scenario in which the public realizes that dominant private companies no longer rule. This will likely take place in Hangzhou first and then across the country.

That is why Zhejiang, home to many large private companies, was chosen over Beijing, the stronghold of state-owned companies, as the model area for common prosperity.

In going after the rich, it cannot be that the local Hangzhou government colludes with large target companies.

The crackdown on top official Zhou, then, was likely an attempt to demonstrate the seriousness of the return to socialism. While the purge of a fellow insider might be painful for the faction, it was a necessary sacrifice.

For Zhou’s part, he miscalculated the suitable distance between political leaders and private companies.

A Hong Kong newspaper reported allegations that the former top Hangzhou official’s family had acquired shares in Ant Group, Alibaba’s financial arm, before the company’s planned initial public offering. Ant Group issued a statement on Sunday night, a day after the announcement of the probe, categorically denying the Zhou family’s alleged purchase of company shares.

Ant Group “strictly followed laws and regulations” in an “open and transparent” IPO process, the company said. It added,

The rumors about [a] certain person taking shares in the company are false, not to mention sudden share buying or refund.

A Hong Kong newspaper reported allegations that the family of Zhou Jiangyong acquired shares in Alibaba’s financial arm Ant Group before the company’s planned initial public offering. (Photo: Reuters)

Alongside the investigation into Zhou, the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced it has launched a widespread campaign to root out inappropriate government-business ties. Some 25,000 officials will be subject to a probe.

The announcement signals that no stone will be left unturned. The investigation will cover not only local bureaucrats but also their spouses, their children, their children’s spouses and former local bureaucrats who retired within the past three years.

“Zhejiang is a region that has the most developed private sector-led economy,” a Chinese businessman familiar with the local situation explained. “There are countless families that have, say, an older brother working as a bureaucrat and a younger brother being a hugely successful business executive. If government-businesses ties are scrutinized, problems big and small, including those involving family members, will certainly emerge.

About five years ago, Xi began advocating for a “new type of government-business relations.” This means that while listening to the voices of struggling private companies with familiarity and seriousness, and while resolving problems, politicians must maintain their purity and not take advantage of their power for personal gain.

To be sure, the remarks are hard to object to. But how will China “adjust excessive incomes” while maintaining the vigor of the private sector over the medium to long term?

It seems easier said than done. ... -for-real/#

Don't think China is 'returning to socialism', it never left, not for real. A lot of the West had been persuaded that China had or was in the process of abandoning socialism, from dumb-ass presidents and avaricious CEOs to Manhattan Maoists and other trotskyists. And China has certainly used capitalist methods to generate very fast economic growth with the side effect(?) of keeping the West off it's back while it did so. The accumulated lessons of the past have produced this Chinese version of the NEP and if you or I don't like the look of it, tough luck. They have done what they thought was necessary and if some actions were ill-advised or flat out wrong those are being corrected or otherwise addressed. What we are seeing here is a predictable adjustment:ya gotta let capitalists have some 'room to move' and they will invariably push the envelope too far at which point they need disciplining. The dominance of the CCP over the economy is the proof of this socialist pudding and that fact has always been the sticking point in US/China negotiation, the US insisted this end and the Chinese(in my opinion) played a stalling game for a couple decades and now they don't have to anymore. If you think you can do better get your own revolution and show us how it's done...

And who sez there's going to be a 'private sector' over the long term anyway?
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Sat Sep 11, 2021 1:59 pm

Sergio Rodriguez Gelfenstein

10 Sep 2021 , 12:08 pm .

Xi Jinping announced that the Communist Party of China will work towards "common prosperity" and has pressured companies and entrepreneurs to give more back to society (Photo: Ju Peng / Xinhua)

The forms and methods of construction of socialism are not written anywhere. The fathers of scientific socialism made a materialistic analysis of history using the dialectical method to point out some guidelines, but as Marx himself said, their theory is not a dogma.

Each country must do its own practice and clear the way from the application of the theory to the conditions of each country, considering its history, culture and traditions. In the case of China, Mao Zedong drew the founding lines of "socialism with Chinese peculiarities", Deng Xiaoping adapted it to a new situation that required solving the problems of poverty and development when the productive forces of capitalism reigned unpolluted in a world in which capital and technology were the exclusive patrimony of the West and some other countries.

Now, Xi Jinping has proposed to build the "Chinese dream" which is the advancement of society towards the dissolution of differences that even today expose the difficulties to carry out a balanced and harmonious development of society towards socialism. This is what has been called the road to common prosperity in the run-up to the first stage of the transition to socialism.

But this is not exempt from setbacks, errors in some cases, unforeseen situations in others. It cannot be ignored that the class societies that have reigned for millennia on the planet have forged men and women in which the individual still prevails over the collective, the obtaining of profit and the profit of a group or sector over the interests supreme values ​​of society and the community, and the achievement of material goods as an expression of happiness and success, ignoring the importance of full, spiritual and value fulfillment as an eminent objective of humanity.

It becomes necessary, then, to "make the way while walking", as Antonio Machado said in his beautiful poem "Caminante no hay camino". That is socialism, a path that must be walked.

In the case of China, recent years have brought a considerable increase in wealth, to the point that today it has a "middle class" of 340 million people who earn between 15 thousand and 75 thousand dollars a year, anticipating that this figure will reach 500 million in 2025. Likewise, at the end of 2020, China also had 5.28 million "rich" people, with a family wealth of more than one million dollars. In 2020, the richest 1% of Chinese owned 30.6% of the country's wealth, up from 20.9% two decades ago, according to a report by Zurich-based Swiss financial services company Credit Suisse. .

In practical terms, this fact has led to an increase in the income gap in the country. The Gini coefficient of income has oscillated between 0.46 and 0.49 in the last two decades. A level of 0.4 is often considered the red line of inequality. For its part, the Gini coefficient of wealth went from 0.599 in 2000 to 0.711 in 2015, dropped to 0.697 in 2019 before rising again to 0.704 last year, according to the report.

On the other hand, last year the country still had 600 million people living on a monthly income of $ 154, which is barely enough to cover rent in a medium-sized Chinese city. Here is a problem that must be solved. And the solution to it is that the meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party for Financial and Economic Affairs held on August 24 and that we mentioned in last week's article was addressed .

It is about correcting a deformation that threatens to become a risk to the stability of society. In this sense, it is clear that in the past the Chinese economic model considered that economic efficiency, rather than equity, was the main instrument for development. To that extent, they understood that they should allow a small number of people to get rich first within the framework of a plan that sought the success of the strategic project. Now, it is understood that if controls are not established, the objective of building socialism could be lost, so the search for common prosperity has been placed at the center of politics and the economy.

For years, not only in China in Mao's time, but also in most countries that were oriented towards socialism, equality was confused with equity. It was forgotten that equality is a bourgeois principle emanating from the French Revolution when it came to eliminating the differences between the rights of the nobility and the citizens. At the time it was revolutionary, but it had to give way to new paradigms that would specify better living conditions for the majority in order to move towards their liberation.

Socialism, through its principle of distributing from "each according to his ability to each according to his work" outlined an idea of ​​equity that is its own. Indeed, China is now turning to a more equitable society compared to the egalitarianism of the Mao era.

The third distribution that was pointed out last week refers to the attempt to advance in overcoming this situation, in such a way that the Chinese government intends to regulate "excessive income" and "unreasonable income", encouraging large companies already millionaires "give more back to society."

Of course, such a policy has generated concern in such social class, while in the West the transnational media and economic analysts have raised "the cry to the sky." Ding Shuang, Chief Economist for Greater China and North Asia at Standard Chartered Bank, said that "the goal of the third distribution idea was to use moral force to encourage people to give back to the community," on the assumption that such contributions should be voluntary, although in his opinion, many rich people will feel pressured to "give money away."

A day after the Central Committee meeting, tech giant Tencent announced that it had created a "common prosperity" fund of more than $ 7.7 billion to "help low-income groups, improve health coverage, boost rural economic development and supporting grassroots education ".

Since the concept of common prosperity is not limited only to income but also involves access to public services, strict controls will be established on any idea that means a greater participation of private companies in areas such as education, healthcare to the elderly and medical care. The government will focus on inclusion and accessibility to private service providers, and will be strict in controlling prices, as has already been happening in the field of education. Similarly, the State could intervene in the establishment of better wages, safeguarding labor rights.


President Xi Jinping assured that the government intends to strengthen the fight against monopolies, at the same time that it will promote policies of non-acceptance of unfair competition, all of which is considered an essential obligation to improve the socialist market economy system. Xi said that in the new stage, it was necessary to create optimal scenarios for the development of "all market agents, especially small and medium-sized enterprises", in the same way it was necessary to "better protect the rights and interests of consumers" .

In this context, the Chinese government is oriented to use the tax mechanism as the main instrument to reduce the wealth gap. Last March, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China announced that the country's authorities plan to review the national antitrust legislation during this year in order to create stronger legal mechanisms to stimulate socio-economic development. The decision is embedded in the logic of increasing the "regulation of higher incomes" to improve the "redistribution of wealth", which is the true essence of socialism.

According to Wang Jun, an analyst at the Chinese "think tank" Center for International Economic Exchanges: "The stagnation of consumption has made it clear that it is urgent to increase people's incomes and focus on fair distribution." However, setting this policy entails a new challenge since the application of concordant measures will imply greater social spending that translates into new burdens on the State budget. The question then arises as to where will these resources be obtained? Hence, the increase in taxes on millionaires and large companies, especially technology companies, will be aimed at assuming most of the investment that will make these provisions real.

In this context, in November of last year the government prevented the Ant Group, owned by billionaire Jack Ma, from the Shanghai and Hong Kong IPO. Alibaba's subsidiary technology company was encrypting an Initial Public Offering (IPO) at the time. of 37 billion dollars. Likewise, on July 28 , the agricultural magnate Sun Dawu was sentenced to 18 years in prison for promoting a series of actions against the State.

More recently, the Didi Chuxing travel app was sanctioned after it ignored a recommendation to postpone its $ 4.4 billion IPO in the United States. The tightening of legislation around the booming private education sector, which has been harshly criticized for the exorbitant price increase during the pandemic, has also been subject to control, in recent months, causing great impact in China and beyond. the borders.

Unlike the West, where companies and millionaires are the ones who make the decisions, finance the campaigns of presidents, parliamentarians, governors and mayors, determine the agenda and even allow themselves to sanction the leaders, because in reality it is in them where power resides. In China, the State assumes the responsibility of setting limits to the large economic players in order to defend the superior interests of the citizenry. ... d-comun-ii

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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:06 pm

Paper no. 01/2020
Neoliberalism vs. China as a Model for the
Developing World
Ali Kadri
This work investigates how China represents an
alternative development model to neoliberalism. It
will critique neoliberalism and contrast recent
neoliberal development recipes with a selection of
Chinese development policies to underline their
stark differences. As China rises and the US ebbs,
it is timely to inject into the development debate
anti-mainstream ideas that may make for better
development. The purpose of this work is to propose
some characteristics of the Chinese model as
alternatives to the dominant ideology.
JEL Classification
B 200; B 400; B 500; J 610
Key Words
structuralism, neoclassical theory, underdevelopment,
Marxism, dependency, China’s development model
The author teaches at the National University
of Singapore.
Email for correspondence:
Neoliberalism vs. China as a Model for the Developing World
Ali Kadri
Unlike India where the caloric intake for much of the rural population remains below Sub-Saharan levels
despite two decades of around 5 percent yearly average growth (Patnaik 2018), China’s standards of
living have steadily risen since national liberation. In much of the developing world, no matter the growth
rates, high or low over the last four decades, one witnesses either higher relative or absolute poverty.
Contrariwise, Chinese development, dubbed a miracle, alleviated poverty. It is far from a miracle, and is
rather a real, rational, and wholly explicable phenomenon. Furthermore, unlike the dominant dictum that
attributes the Chinese breakthrough to the market reforms of 1980, the process began as early as 1949.
Post facto, these 1980 measures were manifestations of resilient socialist adjustments to China’s
The real yearly average rate of growth during the Maoist period was nearly 6 percent until 1977. That rate
would have been higher if we were to smooth the huge slump of 1961 and 1962–the years of parting with
the Soviet Union–which would bring the yearly average significantly closer to the 8 percent rate experienced
since 1980 (National Bureau of Statistics - China, various years).
There are two issues of note here. First, the Maoist period built the foundation of the knowledge economy,
which would later prepare China to internalise advanced technology and exhibit enough productive capacity
to become the factory of the world. In technical jargon, the significant Chinese elasticity of supply arising
after 1980 did not spring from thin air. It had roots in the social and productive infrastructure built under
Mao; specifically, self-sufficiency in agricultural production, which freed the hands of the state to finance
industry and garner science-laden productive resources. The past is alive in the present. It is neither the

person of Mao nor Deng who endures, but the revolutionary ideology that charted the recent course of
history. Whether Deng’s cat was catching mice or whether China was feeling the stones as it crossed the
river, it did so under the ironclad fist of the Communist Party. To falsify the structural continuity in modern
Chinese history is an ideological position that aligns with imperialism.
Secondly, China’s national liberation war marked it out as distinct from much of the remainder of the
developing world, where the war of national liberation was structurally more about ‘national’ than ‘liberation’.
Regardless of the internationalist hubris and by the weight of China, the latter term filtrates into an
internationalism as a result of shifting global power balances. China’s national liberation war, with its
development as part of its security structure, served double duty for the international anti-imperialist war.
At first, it was Mao’s visceral internationalism. Later, it was socialism with Chinese characteristics, which
meant a massive publicly owned economy or controlled private sector, combined with its immensity, its
nationalism and self-liberation transmuted into internationalism. The more China developed and improved
its living conditions qua security, the more the global power composition has shifted against the imperialist
Centre. At later stages of its development, its strategy of all-around internal development, as aptly envisioned
by Chairman Mao, exteriorised in development for others and peace abroad. It recently reasserts the
rights of people to sovereignty in Syria, Iran and Venezuela, and promotes peaceful cooperation through its
Belt and Road initiative (BRI).
Popular democracy surfaces as the masses in China exert power over the state to redistribute in their
favour and, of late, to preserve the environment. Although the nuclear deterrent is a means for sovereignty,
the real security bolstering sovereignty is the steady development of the living security of the working class.
On its own, the supersonic nuclear weapon displayed in China’s military parade on its 70th anniversary is
just inanimate matter. The Communist Party is aware of that, and as Lin Biao (1965) had rightly remarked,
‘China has a spiritual atom bomb, the revolutionary consciousness that people possess, which is a far more
powerful and useful weapon than the physical atom bomb’.1

The directional causality is pellucid. In a
process of accumulation by waste, imperialism would necessarily aggress and waste China, irrespective of
whether China is capitalist or communist, so long as it accumulates by indigenous means and builds the
national capital formation. Although as the commodity fully commands history and the course of imperialist
aggression, the deployment of nukes cannot be discounted; however, it remains of sound reason to fight a
people’s war of self-defence with more sophisticated weaponry.

Despite its success, little has been done on the ideological plane to exhibit the anti-neoliberal macrofoundations of the socially-commandeered Chinese model. The explanation may be that just as China
quietly climbed, it expects others by the demonstration effect and under its growing international clout to
replicate its experience. Another calculation may be that China has vast financial resources at its disposal.
Its provocative ownership of assets in an otherwise US-led capital owned/controlled world undermines
the cornerstone of capital’s power, its private property institution. Already China finances Iran and Venezuela
against the US-imposed embargo to overcome the sort of financial containment that was the Achilles heel
of the Soviet bloc. One overriding concern for China may well be to not flaunt its accomplishments and
antagonise the hegemon where it hurts most: the war of ideas. Whatever the reasons for its resilience, and
many will be valid, the interface between those and China’s actual power as it erodes the ideological
heritage of the Western hemisphere, the conceptual stock that promoted capital’s expansion for over 500
years, culminating in neoliberalism, will leave room for social alternatives to grow.
As novel ideas of socialisation arise upon re-balanced international relations in the global environment, the
old wealth of Europe, its historical surplus value stocked not only in commodities, but in the current
supremacism along lines of race or culture, will come undone. US-led imperialism’s attempts to redress the
loss of ideological wealth, which is more European than American in terms of cultural structure, can likely
be acted out with more imperialist violence led by the now-rising fascist Europe. The US and Europe
cannot be weaned from a wealth principally bred by imperialist violence. The premise that better Western
machines produce more wealth, the substantive approach to productivity, obviates the subject and lays the
grounds for chauvinism. At any rate, the wealth is death and environmental poison, while violence is the
law of value at work. A fetishism that annuls a synthesising role for politics, even as commodities snuff the
human spirit, weighs heavily on the present and future. An orderly workout to disassemble empire and
prevent bigger conflagrations will prove difficult.
In China’s poverty alleviation programmes, the social wage tallies with social productivity as opposed to
the fiction of metaphysical-abstract productivity setting some micro wage relative to a price of labour. It
does so in relation to efforts that balance national security considerations with national welfare. There has
to be a balancing act between maintaining integration with global capital without threatening it with extreme
doses of the Iron Rice Bowl. The productivity of labour in conventionally money-measured quantity is
arbitrarily divisible, but social man, the subcategory of social class, and social productivity are not. Social

man cannot be ripped from the social context because he ceases to exist. The divisible or abstract labour
is an unreal one-sided abstraction; social labour is the fullness of reality, the relationship of class to the
means of production. In short, productivity is social, and distribution is dictated by capital’s historical
imperative, its law of value. Relatedly, economic concepts of the mainstream such as scarcity, free
competition, prices clearing markets and full employment assumptions are also unreal metaphysical
abstractions. They are formal concepts without a referent in reality. In a better world, these should be
laughed out of social science.
Apart from formalisation, mainstream social science resorts to pernicious eclecticism, the selection of
historical facts to demonstrate cases in its favour. Socially erected chimeras – Serbs must fight Croats, and
Sunnis, Shia, because of ‘historically-rooted’ hatred, or that tribalism in Africa is primordial and awaits the
bombs of white man to deliver it through a baptism of blood and fire – are the sort of punctuations that add
little to social science. History sliced like a sausage to prove a point is casuistry. There is nothing wrong
with slicing history in the mind, but every slice of history should be referred back to the totality of history,
its laws of motion and always with adequate periodisation.
The twentieth and the present century are the age of financial imperialism. It is a commodity-driven violent
mode of wealth accumulation. Economics is determining in the last moment and is not separable from the
prioritisation of power for capital. But that last moment itself is a balance of class forces in which capital
must strengthen its rule. Hence, imperialism is sociological. The real power and wealth of the US and
Europe is its dominant ideology interlaced with military superiority. However, as developing countries
adopt sovereign or socially accountable macro policies and loosen the grip of the empire, the transference
between the declining image of the empire and its ideological power ferment a conceptual revolution. At
this conjuncture and in such socialist-ideological abyss, steering the class struggle in an anti-systemic direction
presents itself as the necessary historical alternative.
In what follows, I will draw on some salient characteristics of the Chinese model to critique the conceptual
constructs of neoliberalism. This article is extracted from a lengthier work under preparation. I will not be
able to cover the whole gamut of China’s development experience. Allegorically, China felt too many
stones as it crossed the river, and although it crossed, it also stumbled here and there. I will focus on some
foundational issues as they relate to Chinese development.

(Much more, must read) ... 1_2020.pdf

Kudos to KBOH for this.
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Fri Oct 01, 2021 2:14 pm


China and the Left

Originally published: Knowledge, ideology, and real socialism in our times by Charles McKelvey (September 24, 2021 ) - Posted Oct 01, 2021

A socialist forum on China and the Left, sponsored by the Qiao Collective, was held in New York City on September 18, 2021. The Qiao Collective was formed in January 2020 by intellectuals and activists of the Chinese diaspora, with the intention of defending Chinese socialism against imperialist aggression.

Opening Keynote Address by the Qiao Collective

In the Opening Keynote address on the “The U.S. Hybrid War,” Michelle of the Qiao Collective maintained that Chinese trade has long stimulated imperialist aggression, which has included the colonial concession zones, the taking of Hong Kong, the backing of Chinese nationalists, and the support of Formosa. Imperialist aggression against China is historic.

She maintained that it is the nature of imperialism to suppress socialism, which she characterized as a process that includes the development of the productive forces in order to provide for the basic needs of the people. However, in spite of this natural antagonism between imperialism and socialism, China has uplifted the standard of living of the people, which Michelle confirmed with respect to her relatives in China. Such accomplishments are dismissed in the world, even by the left.

Michelle maintained that U.S. imperialism is now targeting China. There is a unilateral U.S. military buildup, unprovoked by China, in the Pacific Ocean and in the South China Sea. It is accompanied by a false narrative of a Chinese threat.

The Western left has supported anti-Chinese propaganda, such that there has a emerged a left-right consensus with respect to China. Michelle declared shame on the “left” for joining in the propaganda against China, which is part of a broader contentious discourse with respect to China, Cuba, Venezuela, Korea, and Iran. The left makes the error of expecting perfection of socialist countries, which is impossible, because as Mao said, imperialism and class differences still exist following the triumph of a socialist revolution, establishing constraints on the development of socialism in any particular nation. The left in the core expects perfection of countries that have undertaken this difficult task of constructing socialism in a capitalist world, while the left itself has failed to stop imperialist aggression. Our task as leftists in the core is not to analyze characteristics of socialism in the global South, but to brake core imperialism.

Is China an Imperialist Power?

The first panel presentation was by Yan Hairong and Barry Sautman on “China, Colonialism, Neocolonialism, and Globalized Modes of Accumulation.” Yan teaches at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Sautman is a political scientist at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. They spoke against claims that China is a colonialist power. Such claims are based on a superficial look at China’s trading relations with the Third World, but upon closer examination, it can be seen that China’s patterns of trade with the Third World depart from the colonial relation. China’s relations with the Third World are not based on historic colonial conquest, and they are not justified with racist ideologies.

Moreover, China does not economically exploit the Third World. China’s profits from oversees trade constituted 1% of its GDP, in contrast to a corresponding figure of 4% for the USA. Moreover, most of the profits from China’s overseas trade comes from its trade with the core zone; it is unclear if China profits at all from its trade with the Third World. China’s investments are mostly in information and technology and are not tied to raw materials exportation, as in the colonial pattern. Chinese investments often contribute to industrialization, which is contrary to the colonial relation, in which investment reinforces the peripheral role of the colony/neocolony in the world-economy. There is, furthermore, no brain drain toward China, as is the norm with the colonial and neocolonial powers.

China has historically supported the anti-colonial struggles of the Third World, and it does not sanction Third World countries for seeking a road of autonomy from the capitalist world-economy. Indeed, China needs the support of the developing countries in the international political arena. It is not in a position to threaten regime change.

By many statistical measures, such as wealth per capita and capital flows per capita, China is a semi-peripheral country. Therefore, China can only aspire to being a leading state among semi-peripheral and peripheral countries. Although the Western median employ a discourse of Chinese colonialism/neocolonialism, it is implausible to imagine China becoming a colonial power.

Is China Socialist?

Yan and Sautman observed that China had privatized 80% of its firms by 2000. However, this constitutes what they call “semi-neoliberalism,” and it does not mean that China has abandoned socialism. The state-owned firms remain among the largest; and they are required to comply with the economic objectives of the state. Seventy percent of the private firms have a chapter of the Communist Party. In China, there has not been wholesale privatization, the renunciation of state planning, or the withdrawal of the state from the market.

Tings Chak is an internationalist activist and artist, based in Sao Paulo and Shanghai, who leads the Art Department of the Tricontinental Institute. Her presentation described the Chinese project that has attained the alleviation of extreme poverty in China. She noted that the question of poverty has been central since 1949, at which time China was the eleventh poorest country in the world, and illiteracy among women was 90%. So the recent gains in the elimination of extreme poverty have to be seen in the historic context of the Chinese socialist project.

Chak reported that the multidimensional project of 2013 to 2020 was based on a comprehensive study of the various causes of poverty, through which it was recognized that economic development alone cannot overcome poverty. It is necessary to target the poverty population for high state investment, including the construction of rural roads, the renovation of homes, and the expansion of internet access. With recognition that you have to go to the poor to learn of their conditions, the Party sent some three million cadres to the countryside to live for three or four years. They organized village appraisal meetings, in which peasants discussed their reality in concrete terms, identifying poor persons and their needs.

The Chinese program against absolute poverty was a project in grassroots democracy involving party cadres, peasants, and women, in which peasants played a protagonist role. The elimination of poverty was not seen as an end in itself, but as a stage in the struggle for socialism. Chak maintains that the international left can learn from the strategies of the project.

Some 850 million people have been lifted out of poverty in China. They are assured food and clothing, and they are guaranteed medical services, free education, and housing. Because of the victory over poverty and because of Chinese control of the pandemic, the Chinese Communist Party today enjoys a high level of popular support.

Sit Tsui (Jade Margaret) is an associate professor at the Institute of Rural Reconstruction of China, Southwest University, China. She maintains that China has maintained collective ownership of banking and production, and for this reason, it has become the target of the New Cold War. She further maintained that its success in controlling the pandemic was based in its study of traditional Chinese medicines, and on its sending of students to work with peasant organizations, building upon the previous experience of Chinese socialism in sending, in three different waves, educated youth to the countryside.

Elias Khalil Jabbour, a Lebanese-Brazilian who identifies himself as not a Western Marxist-Leninist, is associate professor of economics at the State University of Rio de Janeiro and the author of several books on Chinese socialism. He maintains that Chinese market socialism constitutes a new stage in the development of socialism. It is ridiculous to call the Chinese economy capitalist, inasmuch as the private companies do not generate high levels of capital, and it is the large state companies that have disrupted the capitalist world-economy with technological innovations, such as 5G, Big Data, and artificial intelligence, disruptions that have social consequences. He observed that the market socialism of China is the way that socialism today presents itself to the world.

China and the Second Contradiction of Capitalism

Bikrum Gill, assistant professor of Political Science at Virginia Tech, maintained that the transformations in China during the last seventy years are of world-historical significance, and to understand them, we should follow Samir Amin, who saw imperialism as the foundation of capitalism. Beyond the contradiction between capital and labor, we have to understand the second contradiction, the core-peripheral contradiction. Essential to capitalism is not only the enclosure of the worker, but also the appropriation of national wealth. Capitalism is a project that appropriates the national wealth of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, a seizing of the wealth of non-Western peoples, giving rise to a racialized distinction concerning who can be sovereign and who cannot.

Gill maintains that in the context of the global capitalist reality, the nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America were permitted sovereignty only if they accepted Western property and trade, which are central to the rules of imperialism. When a nation violates the rules of imperialism, it is sanctioned. It is compelled to accept them, which means that it must accept semi-sovereignty.

From 1949 to the present, Gill maintains, China has overturned the rules of imperialism. It did so in the first place through agrarian reform, which was built on the basis of peasant collective ownership. The peasant path was not abdicated in 1979 with the engagement of the market. Rather, the post-1979 turn to the market was built upon the peasant way, with recognition that the peasant path limits productive capacity. The need to increase productive capacity in order to improve conditions made necessary a restructuring of state enterprises, in accordance with national objectives.

Gill maintains that U.S. capital accumulation was not based on the exploitation of U.S. labor but on the appropriation of the wealth of the states of the global South. China has an entirely different structural foundation for its capital accumulation. China is being attacked for violating the rules of imperialism.

The Importance of China for the World

Chris Matlhako, the Second Deputy General Secretary of the South African Communist Party, spoke of the progressive ties between China and Africa. He observed that relations between China and Africa began in the epoch of Mao, and today, with the Belt and Road Initiative, trade between China and Africa is increasing. China’s policy of non-interference in relation to Africa, formulated in the context of important underlying values, stands in sharp contrast to European colonialism/neocolonialism in Africa. The notion of an imperialist/colonialist China is a fiction.

Max Ajl, a researcher at the Tunisian Observatory for Food Sovereignty and the Environment, maintained that the Maoist development model focused on self-reliance and local development, and it was a statist development model with priority on the peasantry. He maintained that the Western development model has failed in the Third World, because it is structured to promote the outflow of capital. As a consequence, the Third World today suffers from land inequality and a food crisis, and most of the people today are semi-proletarians. Therefore, the Chinese solutions of the period 1948 to 1979, on which later economic gains were based, remain vibrant today: attention to the agricultural question and sovereign industrialization.

Pawel Wargan, an organizer based in Berlin, is the Coordinator of the International Secretariat of the Progressive International. He observed that Western narratives about China do not permit nuance; a policy failure is taken to mean systemic failure. The same applies to other anti-imperialist nations; imperfections are presented as signs of total failure. This is a disempowering mode of thinking, which prevents us, for example, from celebrating China’s victory over poverty.

Wargan maintains that for the peoples of the South, Chinese gains in constructing a new system in the context of a global imperialist system is a sign of hope. Similarly, the West can be inspired by China. If we were to shift from confrontation to learning, we could learn much about our own struggles. This is the obligation of leftists in the imperial core, to learn from socialist constructions in the world and to dismantle imperialist structures.

China, the Western Left, and the structural crisis of capitalism

Radhika Desai is Professor of Political Studies and Director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. She is playing a leading role in the International Manifesto Group, which I have discussed in previous commentaries. She is an important intellectual in the current historic moment, defined by new forms of imperialist aggression and the increasing political maturation of anti-imperialist forces.

Desai maintains that Western Marxists misunderstand Marxism because they do not understand the context of capitalism. They make an artificial distinction between capitalism and imperialism, not seeing that alongside the class relations of capitalism, there are imperialist geopolitical forces at work among nations, creating uneven development.

Desai explains that when we understand capitalist development on a global scale, we see that anti-imperialist resistance has included nations opting for socialism, which has to develop the productive forces in spite of imperialist opposition. This is what Russia tried and China accomplished. In addition, anti-imperialist resistance has led to pluripolarity, which has established in practice the necessary path to socialism.

Anti-imperialist resistance, Desai maintains, has constrained imperialism, with the consequence that the options of capitalism and imperialism are limited. Following the golden age of capitalism, neoliberalism was supposed to restore capitalism, but it could not. Capitalism today can only turn to financial speculation; it no longer contributes to the productive forces.

In emphasizing the need for socialist revolutions to develop the productive forces, and in identifying the turn away from investment in productive forces in neoliberal capitalism, Desai is indicating that the fall of capitalism and the rise of socialism is an economic necessity for humanity, and that the beginning of the transition can be seen in objective conditions. The transition to socialism is happening in reality; it is not based on the hopes of idealist dreamers.

Socialist revolutions, Desai observes, have taken place only outside the core center. The consequence of this is that the left, even Marxists, accept the premises of imperialism, making the left ethnocentric. She therefore is critical of “Western leftists” who ignore Third World socialism. Lacking consciousness of a Third World viewpoint, the Western left mistakes the gains of imperialism for the gains of capitalism; not placing things in political-economic context, it does not see that socialism actually is more productive. The productive capacity of socialism and its potential for humanity is seen in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which is beginning to create a better world. Today, most countries are trading more with China than the USA.


Laura Franco spoke as a special guest and as a representative of the Simon Bolívar Institute for Peace and Solidarity in Venezuela. She sends greeting from the people of Venezuela, who are struggling against American imperialism, to the sister people of the United States. She noted that Hugo Chávez and Nicolas Maduro always have made clear that the struggle is against American imperialism and not against the people of the United States. She explained that the Simon Bolivar Institute of Venezuela, created in 2020, is dedicated to the creating a necessary world of balance, without imperialism.

Franco maintained that only the unity of the peoples can defeat the unequal world that imperialism claims is the only possible world order. But we know that another world is possible. The task of the left, she said, is to speak about the reality of Venezuela and the forms of socialism that we are creating; and to speak of the reality of the mutually beneficial relations between China and Venezuela, and between China and Latin America.

She maintained that China has progressively become the second world power and the most important agent of growth in the capitalist world-economy, playing an especially important role in the development of infrastructure in many nations. Therefore, the Institute is opposed to the new Cold War against China.

In Latin America, she declared, we do not desire a break with the United States. Our goal is the diversifying of economic relations in order to attain sovereignty. In this process, the strategic relation with China is vital. China is the best ally for peripheral countries that seek to free themselves from the international framework represented by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. There are substantial differences between the IMF/World Bank and China, in that the former imposed conditions of structural adjustments that violate the principle of self-determination, whereas China does not impose conditions.

For the nations of Latin America, relations with China have been central to their sovereignty. Loans from China now surpass those of the IMF and World Bank, and Chinese direct investment has become significant. Moreover, access to Chinese markets enables Latin American nations to diversify their exports, and Latin American has a favorable balance of trade with China. During the last two decades, China and Venezuela have increasingly developed joint cooperative projects. In the current pandemic, China has sent medicines and medical supplies.

Franco declared that in the face of the problems that humanity confronts, the re-initiation of the Cold War is irresponsible. China envisions a different world, defined by multipolarity, civilizational dialogue, and win-win relations; a world without plundering. China stands for a multipolar world characterized by peace and solidarity. In accordance with this vision, China contributes to the development of the global South; while it wants to de-ideologize relations with the United States.

Franco maintains that it is important for the left to study without prejudice the sources of Chinese development. It is foolish to assert that capitalism has been reinstated in China, which has followed socialist principles with respect to the alleviation of poverty. And it has recently developed a project in ecological compensation, generating jobs through ecological projects. The unbraked accumulation of the 1990s, necessary for the development of the productive forces, had ecological consequences that the West has exaggerated. The unbraked approach to production has ceased to exist, and China now attends to issues of poverty and ecology as integral dimensions of socialist production.

Franco asserted that the left needs to have a constructive dialogue with the Communist Party of China, which sees its socialism as continually evolving through stages. First, the real socialism of the period of Mao, which was characterized by fundamental gains but also limitations, which were overcome through the opening of 1978 to 2002; which had negative consequences, now being addressed through the alleviation of poverty, the development of ecological projects, and the battle against the pandemic.

Closing keynote address by Vijay Prishad
Vijay Prishad is the author of two books that are important historic sources with respect to the Third World project: The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World, published in 2007; and The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South, published in 2014. I should note, however, that the first book describes the Third World project as having had died with the imposition of the neoliberal project. Prashad apparently had not yet seen the renewal of the Third World project beginning in the late 1990s, a process that was especially strong in Latin America, where a new political reality had emerged at the beginning of the twenty-first century, led by Hugo Chávez.

Prashad, who is Director of Tri-Continental: Institute for Social Research, delivered the keynote address with the style of a stand-up comic, who nonetheless arrived to important insights and a rousing conclusion.

Prashad declared that the U.S. left has failed to build a movement or attain political power; it therefore does not have the right to criticize socialist nations. In a similar vein, he declared that no self-respecting leftist force should allow itself to be weaponized against China.

Prashad stated that in China, there has been constant debating within the Party concerning the right course of action, debates that were unfolding in the context of a struggle to build socialism in a wretchedly poor country. These reflections were based on careful observation of the consequences of the projects that were being tried. There also has been in China an emphasis on public action as well as state action. Public organizations are constantly being formed, and public action became a noble thing. This process of public action lends to the creation of revolutionary persons, who are actively involved in the making of a better society. The dynamic has been seen lately in the victory over poverty and in the battle against the pandemic.

In response to a question, Prashad affirmed the importance of maintaining revolutionary optimism. The key is to feel good about being part of a process. And we should believe in the values that we have been taught. The values of the Left are not alien to humanity; they affirm that every human being has the right to nutrition and clothing.


The socialist forum on China and the Left reconfirmed several beliefs that I have concerning China and the world-system. First, the ethnocentrism of the Western left, which analyzes capitalist and socialism from an experiential base in the West; it does not ground its analysis in the projects of socialist construction in Third World nations. This is part of a more general Western ethnocentrism, which does not see the colonial foundations of the modern world-system, a bias that I refer to as the colonial denial.

Secondly, China continues on its socialist road, in accordance with the particular conditions of China. China illustrates, along with Cuba and Vietnam, the evolution in practice to a pragmatic form of socialism. In a previous commentary, I discussed this stage of market socialism in Cuba. It is a third way, between capitalism and socialism, but a third way that does not fall into social democracy or reformist capitalism, because it is rooted in socialist principles, directed by states that are under the control of the people through structures of people’s democracy. It is a form of socialism that recognizes that production can be improved by granting space to private enterprises in determined sectors, under the planning and direction of the state. As Bikrum Gill expressed it in response to a question from the audience, it is a question of capitalist forms under socialist logic; this is not easy to imagine or construct, but necessary. Moreover, the socialist third way constitutes a system of production that is more advanced than capitalism in its decadent neoliberal stage, for it is developing the forces of production, whereas capitalism today cannot, as Desei notes.

Thirdly, China, along with Cuba and Venezuela, is playing a leading role in forging non-imperialist, mutually-beneficial relations among nations. China, Cuba, and Venezuela are vanguard nations, constructing in practice an alternative world-system based on cooperation, which has the potential to reduce imperialism to impotence. The Western left, hampered by ethnocentric assumptions, has not yet fully understood these dynamics. It must awaken, in order that it can play a role in leading the peoples of the North to the taking of political power in their particular nations, so that the foreign policies of the powerful nations can be redirected toward cooperation with the alternative world system being developed by China and the Third World, thus removing the world-system from its colonial foundations and its imperialist policies. The left must accomplish this political transformation, because it is necessary for humanity. In my view, many of the intellectuals of the International Manifest Group see this.

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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Tue Oct 05, 2021 1:20 pm


China’s Fortune Cookie Crumbles: Michael Hudson and Renegade Inc.

Originally published: The Saker by Ross (September 27, 2021 ) - Posted Oct 04, 2021

Ross: Welcome to Renegade Inc. With China’s increasing wealth, Western investors want some of the action. One of those investors is a bullish gentleman called George Soros. However, the Chinese are acutely aware that with Western investment comes inequality. So as Beijing begins to rethink how to do proper economic growth, we ask, will China learn from Western mistakes?

Ross: Michael Hudson, always great to have you back on Renegade Inc.

Michael Hudson:
It’s good to be back here. Thanks for having me.

Ross: Michael, we join you at a time where a lot of people think the unipolar world could have maintained its supremacy. Turns out it hasn’t. Multipolar world is here to stay. You of late have been quite vocal about George Soros, no less. Mr. Soros has been casting aspersions about various things, but one of them is talking about the Chinese economy and why Black Rock, amongst others, should be allowed to invest there, because ultimately it’s going to undo American interests. Can you unpack that for us because it seems very complicated?

Michael Hudson:
Well, George Soros’ dream is that China would do what Yeltsin did to Russia–that it would privatise the economy, carve it up and let U.S. investors buy control of the most profitable heights. In that way, the foreign investors would be able to sort of get the profits of Chinese industry, Chinese labour, and it would become the darling stock market of the world, just like Russia’s stock market was the leading booming stock market of 1994-96. China would be run to benefit U.S. investment bankers. Soros is furious that China is not following the neoliberal policy that the United States is following. It’s following a socialist policy wanting to keep its economic surplus at home to benefit its own citizens, not American financial investors. For Soros, this is a clash of civilisations. His proposed strategy is to stifle the Chinese economy by putting sanctions against it, to stop investing in it so as to force it to do to itself what Yeltsin did to Russia.

Ross: Let’s hear it in his words. He says: ‘The BlackRock initiative imperils the national security interests of the U.S. and other democracies because the money invested in China will help prop up President Xi’s regime, which is repressive at home and aggressive abroad. Congress should pass legislation empowering the Securities and Exchange Commission to limit the flow of funds to China. The effort ought to enjoy bipartisan support’. He’s not mincing his words, is he?

Michael Hudson:
He thinks that China actually needs American dollars to build its factories and invest. He thinks that somehow China’s balance of payments is going to fall apart without the U.S. market, without U.S. investors telling President Xi what to do. The Chinese government won’t have a clue as to what to invest in and how to let the ‘free market’, meaning George Soros and BlackRock and other companies, operate. So he’s living in a dream world where other people need us. It’s like a guy who doesn’t realise his girlfriend doesn’t need him anymore.

Ross: There seems to me to be a distinction here that the Chinese are acutely aware of, and it’s between the classical economists and the neoclassical economists. The classical economists have understood the idea of unearned wealth, unearned income. The neoclassical economists actively chase unearned wealth, unearned income, because that is central to their playbook. Can you just expand on those two ideas? And is it the case that that’s why you talk about a clash of civilisations?

Michael Hudson:
Well, you put your finger on it, Ross. People think that China’s advantage is its abundant, low priced labour force, or the government building infrastructure. But what’s guiding this is an understanding of the kind of economics that goes back even beyond Marx, to Adam Smith, and John Stuart Mill and the other classical economists. They realise that there’s a difference between earning income and creating wealth by employing labour to produce goods, to sell at a profit and then reinvest these profits and more capital formation, in contrast to simply buying a rent-yielding property, buying land and letting it rise in price without the landlord doing anything, buying a monopoly and just raising the price–charging monopoly prices like the U.S. pharmaceutical companies are doing. China understands the difference between earned income and unearned income, between productive investment and unproductive investment.

In the United States, if they do recognise this difference, they realise that via unearned income you can make wealth by parasitically much quicker than you can actually create real wealth. It’s cheaper to be a parasite than a host. And so most of the financial strategy of Wall Street involves how to get something for nothing. How can we get a free lunch? Well, to do that as a major policy, we have to begin by telling people what Milton Friedman said: There is no such thing as a free lunch. But the whole of Wall Street is looking for a free lunch. They’re looking to grab Chinese assets on the cheap, like Soros has grabbed post-Soviet assets. They’re looking for monopoly rights. They’re looking for lending money and letting China do the work, to pay the interest to the Americans that are going to be providing it with money that the Federal Reserve ends up creating on its computers, or that George Soros already has saved largely by how he got the free lunch from the Bank of England betting against that and driving Sterling down.

Ross: Some people call it the free world. Others call it a democracy. Others, for America, call it an advanced oligarchy. Do you think that the Chinese have looked at America and the wider West, understood that privatising all that rent has ultimately led to societal decline?

Michael Hudson:
They’re beginning to look at it that way. Most Chinese Marxists focused on Volume 1 of Capital, which is about employers hiring workers and putting them to work and making a profit off the mark-up. Only in the last couple of years have Volumes 2 and Volume 3 of Capital moved into central discussion in China. And it’s Volumes 2 and 3 that talk about economic rent. And so China has come to realise that the United States is not an industrial economy. We’re not going to understand what’s happening in the United States, in England or Europe by looking only at what Marx wrote in Volume 1 of Capital, because they’re not making money industrially anymore. They’re making money by being a rentier economy, by landlordism, by monopolies and by bank credit, which Marx discussed in Volume 2 and 3.

So they’re now broadening the discussion. For the first time, you’re having, especially in the last month, China asking, “Do we want to let Chinese investors make money, financially, by buying housing, becoming absentee landlords and hoping that there is going to be a housing price inflation like you have in the United States? Or, do we want to keep housing low priced and not to bid it up by credit creation and finance?” They’re now realising that to keep China’s cost of living low, you have to keep the price of housing low. That means that you don’t want housing to become a commodity, an investment vehicle for absentee owners and landlords to make money. You want housing to be for Chinese people to live in. That means low-priced housing, not debt-leveraged housing as they’re seeing in the United States.

Ross: I know somebody who works on the life boat on the Thames and they get a view each night that no one else would ever get. And they go up and down the Thames and they see all these high rises, which are oversupply of property, real estate. And there isn’t one light on in any of them. The reason, foreign investors, predominately the Chinese, have come bought them, clingfilmed the whole place, locked the door and then they chip off back to China–sit and wait, basically allow that land value to go up and cash out 10 years later. You can see what that does to local communities, schools, shops, infrastructure, services and all the rest of it–this absenteeism. Do you think that those foreign investors, the leadership in Beijing, has seen this model around the world and thought, yep, fine, we can do it over there, and yet we need to repatriate some money because of some of the liquidity issues that we’ve got over here. But we’re not having that as a central business model or a central economic model to our economies? Do you think that that light has gone on?

Michael Hudson:
Well, they’ve been discussing this regarding Hong Kong for the last 10 years. Hong Kong is the typical example of multi, multi-billionaires in real estate. They think that a socialist economy is not one that gets rich by creating absentee landlords. There’s been a large outflow of Chinese investment to the West. You have it in New York City on the west side, all very dark apartments with no lights on at night because they’re absentee-owned. Thorstein Veblen in 1923 wrote a book, Absentee Ownership, saying that housing should really be for living, not a speculative vehicle. But in America, real estate is all about civic development. It’s about how to increase real estate prices and create a bubble for speculators to find someone to flip the property to. I’m not sure it’s going to happen much longer and in London now that Brexit has occurred. But I think that what China is trying to do is asking how to create a domestic economy where Chinese people make money productively. They can not only afford a house of their own, but if they invest, they can invest in making China richer, not in buying income-yielding, rent-yielding, assets in America, England or Europe.

Ross: Do you think that the pictures that we’ve recently seen on social media of the huge tower blocks that haven’t been finished, residential, that haven’t been finished for eight years and now they’ve just put semtex under them and raised the whole thing to the ground? Do you think that’s a real world example of the scar tissue, if you like, that private debt creates and in another sense, a Minsky moment? Blowing all these things up means that you get rid of all of that oversupply, which means that that inventory isn’t in the market and isn’t their to be flipped and speculated on.

Michael Hudson:
These are buildings where they wanted to pre-plan for what they thought was going to be a rural exodus, but the rural exodus didn’t occur into these cities. Right now, China is focusing, I think for the first time in quite a few years, much more on rural development. China is primarily a still a rural economy, a village economy. Most people don’t realise that. When you think of China, you think of Shanghai and Shenzhen and Beijing and even Wuhan. But the fact is that much of China’s rural and there can’t really be a rural exodus to the cities because you have a kind of passport plan in China. In order to live in Beijing, you have to have a permit to live in Beijing so the city won’t become even more overcrowded than it is now. They’re having to re-focus development much more on the rural areas that have not kept pace with the heavy industrial factory areas that have occurred. So they wanted to do a lot of building, not only to employ labour and to do construction, but to think just in case they needed this housing for the rural exodus, they needed it in place. Now they realise, OK, we’re not following that particular central planning idea. Central planning really is very hard. It’s very hard to build whole small cities in advance with nobody there. It’s much easier to wait until they’re actually economic forces leading you to develop. So in that sense, China’s becoming more market oriented in its planning. But at the same time, it shapes the market, increasingly, to create domestic prosperity and earning opportunities, not unearned rent-extracting opportunities, but productive earning opportunities. This is an ongoing process of re-evaluating, restructuring, fixing up and improving the economy.

Ross: Michael Hudson, welcome back. Great to have you for the second half.

Michael Hudson:

Ross: Michael, we said right at the top of this programme that there is, let’s say, a tug of war between the unipolar and the multipolar. China have looked at the West and they must conclude now, the Russians also, must conclude, that the Western economic model is fatally flawed. In many ways, what you’ve got in America is an advanced oligarchy. Across Europe, you’ve got a zombie banking system. And basically the model for the last certainly 30, 40 years has been to extract as much rent as possible and pass it off as an economic miracle. To avoid all that, this fork in the road has crystallised. What do you think will be the decisions coming out of Beijing when they look at the economy in a more holistic way and they realise that they want to better the lot of the average Chinese citizen?

Michael Hudson:
Well, as I pointed out, their concept of the economy realises the distinction between earned income and unearned income, between rent and profits. It wants to make profits, not economic rents. And it also sees that the United States is trying to prevent it from going along this socialist road, and that’s really the new Cold War. You mentioned unipolar versus multipolar. It’s actually not so much that China, Russia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, along with Kazakhstan and Iran and now the other groups are pulling away. It’s the United States that’s trying to force them to follow the U.S. neoliberal model by imposing sanctions and special penalties and military threats, not to mention ISIS terrorism. The United States is driving Europe, Asia and now Africa as well, into a unified, consolidated unit outside of itself. It’s very self-destructive. It thinks like George Soros, that if we stop investing in Asia and other countries, that will force them to knuckle under to the US. But what it’s doing is it’s driving them altogether into the Belt and Road Initiative.

What China’s doing is creating a precondition for a profitable industrial economy over a large area to benefit from. It’s participants are going to need transportation. You’re going to need ports. You’re going to need roads. You’re going to need pipelines and is focusing on the interconnections, on the infrastructure.

America doesn’t build infrastructure these days unless it’s monopolised. This is the political fight going on in the United States now. President Biden has a infrastructure plan that he’s scaled down from six and a half trillion to three and a half trillion. And essentially the bulk of the Democratic and Republican Party said if we can’t privatise infrastructure and make it a rent-extracting monopoly, we’re not going to do it, and we’re going to block the government from doing it. So in the United States, they’re going to have high priced infrastructure, high-priced health care and high-priced education while China is going to have low-priced transportation, low-cost infrastructure, free education, public health care. And you’re going to have a very high-cost United States unable to compete with the rest of the world. All it can do is make military threats or financial threats. If it tries to impose sanctions as it’s imposed on Russia, China and other countries, these are going to serve as protective tariffs for foreign countries.

When President Trump put sanctions on agricultural exports to Russia, it was a windfall for Russia. They developed their own agriculture and Russia is now the largest grain exporter in the world. Senator McCain characterised Russia as a gas station of atom bombs, but it’s a gas station with the largest farm sector in the world, and is developing an industrial integration with China and the rest of Asia. It’s a Eurasian world island as Mackinder called it a century ago, and it is becoming the economic focus of the world, leaving the United States as the high cost economy with no visible means of support, because we’re not doing our own industry anymore. We’re not competing with China. We’re letting China do all of the industry, and all of a sudden we’re dependent on it. This does not bode good for prosperity in the United States or Europe and other areas that are satellites of the U.S. economy.

Ross: What is the probability of the West going, hang on, we have taken a detour here, we need to do something differently?

Michael Hudson:
I’d say maybe between one and two percent. In order to understand that you’re taking a wrong detour, you have to understand what the right path is, and why China’s doing it right. They can’t acknowledge that, because that’s called socialism. And when everyone points out that instead of having health care absorbing 18 percent of the American GDP, you could provide public health care and lower the cost of living in the United States. That’s a precondition for making labour more competitive. Well, the employers are going to argue that if you make health care public, then you’re going to lose the ability to lock-in labour to its employers. Right now in the United States, especially during the pandemic, if you work for an employer for a living, you’re afraid of being fired because you lose your health insurance and that is a threat of bankruptcy. If you complain about your job, you might be fired. That’s a danger. So having private health care paid for by the employers locks labour into dependency. They’re afraid to ask for higher wages. They’re afraid to ask for pensions. Privatized employer-based health care has become part of the class war here, and it is succeeding in impoverishing labour. Same thing with privatized education costs financed on credit at fairly high interest rates, without any bankruptcy recourse to wipe them out..

President Biden promised that he was going to wipe out student debt. If you have students paying 40 to 50 thousand dollars a year to have a college education and a college diploma is a precondition for getting a job like a union card used to be, then you’re going to have that added to the cost of living. When you have all of these privatised–education, health care, not to mention housing and other factors–when you have all these rent-extracting exploitative sectors you cannot be a competitive economy. You can only get money by conquering and exploiting other countries, by owning their own rent-extracting sectors and monopoly-profit sectors.

But there’s no one to conquer anymore. America couldn’t even conquer Afghanistan. Every economy for the last 5,000 years has two parts. There’s the real economy of producing and consuming and paying taxes and government services. And then there’s the debt and financial overhead. All economies operate on credit. The problem is that credit cost money, and creditor claims accumulate at compound interest. if you look at the compound interest for anybody’s savings–take the wealth of the One Percent and all the trillions of dollars they have–if you leave your money to accumulate compound interest, it grows exponentially. But economies don’t grow exponentially. They grow in an S-curve, and sometimes there’s an interruption. Sometimes there’s a disease like Covid. Sometimes there’s bad weather and a environmental disaster or there’s a war. And once there’s an interruption, what do you do with the fact that the finance sector grows faster?

Well, this goes way back to Babylonia. It occurred in Greece and Rome. Ultimately the tendency is for the financial sector to take over and to use the financial returns to take over real estate. And so there’s a symbiosis between real estate and finance. That’s occurred in every economy for the last 2,000 years since Greece and Rome. It certainly characterises where most money and most wealth is made today. In the universities, you take a course and they say, well, you accumulate wealth by saving up the wages and saving up the profits you made. But that’s not how the wealthy classes got money. That’s not how the One Percent have made money. They have made money either by taking property from the public domain by privatisation, or it’s made today by the central banks, lowering interest rates, flooding the market with credit, enough credit to push up real estate prices 20 percent in the United States in the last year. Housing prices have gone way up to unaffordable levels, pushing up education prices–and education is priced at whatever a bank or the government will lend you to pay with a student loan. It’s all financialization. It turns out that what people thought was industrial capitalism has turned out to be finance capitalism instead. So what China is doing is saying that it’s not going to let our industrial capitalism evolve into finance capitalism. It’s going to evolve into socialism, because they’re a socialist government.

Ross: Just say the Chinese, the penny’s dropped and they’ve understood how badly wrong the West got it. What does the Chinese economy, and as importantly, society look like 10, 20 years from today?

Michael Hudson:
It’ll be a more balanced, less polarised economy. It will still let people make fortunes, but not gigantic fortunes large enough for an independent oligarchy to develop, to become a rival to government and try to replace government. In the West, you’ve had a financial oligarchy evolve and take over planning from elected government. So we don’t have democracy now. It means a free market where you leave everything to Wall Street as your central planner. So China is going to leave its planning spontaneously to individuals to innovate, to develop, where America is becoming, and England, are centrally planned economies planned by Wall Street, not to create prosperity, but to create rent-extracting opportunities for Wall Street stocks and bonds and absentee real estate. So you’re going to have a rentier economy–let’s call it neofeudalism–while the rest of the world goes forward into what industrial capitalism was meant to be a century ago before it was sidetracked in the West. Much of Eurasia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation will evolve into socialism, as most expected would happen in the West a century ago.

Ross: You talk about Super Decadence. Is the irony lost on you that one of your politicians recently attended a 35,000 dollar gala event dressed in an expensive dress with the words ‘tax the rich’ embroidered all over the back of it?

Michael Hudson:
That perception of inequality has become so popular that you can almost make fun of it. There’s something called neurolinguistic programming, that says that if you have a problem, a headache or something, if you can imagine your headache or your problem being very far away and then expanding and expanding and finally, poof, it all dissolves and goes away. They think that they can say “Tax the rich” and just make it into a phrase that’s so popular, it doesn’t really mean tax the rich any more. It means that you accept inequality, but realize that it’s just become part of the system–and wouldn’t it be nice if there were a parallel universe in which we could indeed tax the rich. But of course, that’s just a nice fantasy.

Ross: Michael, always entertaining. Always a pleasure. Thank you so much for your time.

Michael Hudson:
It’s wonderful to be here, Ross. Thanks for having me on your show.


Right after this interview, China did on its own just what George Soros was asking U.S. money managers to do: Stop lending money to China. So China itself made an about-face and turned down the BlackRock’s plans to buy a large Chinese real estate company, and it did not pay foreign holders of its Evergrande bonds on September 23.

Diplomatically, China had expected Wall Street firms to lobby to stop America’s anti-China policy. And indeed, many Wall Street executives did point out to the U.S. government that China offered many opportunities for America to make money, and urged not to treat it as an enemy. But the military-industrial complex (MIC) has its own agenda, along with the neocon and neoliberal advocates of unique U.S. unilateralism. I think that ever since China’s officials met in Alaska with Mr. Blinken earlier this year, they see the handwriting on the wall, as have Russia and other SCO members. They’ve accepted that the world economy is fracturing between the U.S.-centered “free world” (central planning by Wall Street and unilateral diplomacy from Washington) and the multilateralizing rest of the world.

MH ... egade-inc/

Actually the military-industrial complex, along with the neocon and neoliberal advocates have the right of it for the medium and long term of capitalism. But when has an actual capitalist cared about anything beyond the next couple of financial quarters?

In the meantime the Chinese will happily sell the US rope...(Mebbe Lenin didn't say it but does it matter when it so describes reality?)

Rather surprised that the Saker, dyed in the wool reactionary, published this.

Hudson's explanation of AOC's gala dress describes the entire liberal/progressive wing of the Democratic Party. If there are exceptions(probably a couple...) they are so few as to be irrelevant.
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Fri Oct 08, 2021 1:58 pm


Charles McKelvey: The continuity of the Chinese socialist project

We are pleased to reproduce this interesting article by Charles McKelvey, reflecting and elaborating on some of the points made in Carlos Martinez’s essay No Great Wall: on the continuities of the Chinese Revolution.

Many China-watchers have believed that the post-Mao Chinese reform and opening constituted an abandonment of the principles of Marxism, Maoism, and socialism. For all who are proponents of the capitalist system, such an interpretation confirms their belief in the superiority of capitalism over socialism. At the same time, many Western leftist intellectuals also adhere to the interpretation that the Chinese have abandoned socialism, but they consider it a turn in the wrong direction. For leftist intellectuals, such an interpretation of China validates their sub-conscious belief that socialism in the real world is not attainable, but they themselves have a lifetime position as a commentator, sometimes well-rewarded, on the contradictions of capitalism and socialism.

Both perspectives are formulated from outside China or any country seeking to construct socialism. They are formed by assumptions and beliefs beyond the world of actually existing socialisms, without appreciation of the dynamics that shape the concrete decisions that the leaders of socialist projects must make. These perspectives are grounded in the real world of capitalism or by the intellectual world forged by academic and intellectual debates. They do not give serious consideration to the self-interpretations of the socialist projects; how the leaders, academics, and intellectuals of socialist projects interpret their own world.

I have discussed this phenomenon in a previous commentary with respect to Cuba, in which I observe that there is a tendency to dismiss explanations by Cuban leaders, academics, and intellectuals as “official” discourses not worthy of serious consideration. This tendency functions to silence the voice of the Cuban Revolution and to deny the Cuban Revolution its right to explain itself. Thus, there emerge public debates about the revolution conducted by persons who are not of the revolution, and citizens of the countries of the North are denied their right to know the revolution’s understanding of itself. This epistemological method is functional for capitalism, because it contributes to the confusion and division of the people; it is dysfunctional for the advance of human understanding and the forging of socialist movements in the world.

An article by Carlos Martínez in the Invent the Future Website, “No Great Wall: on the continuities of the Chinese Revolution,” seems to utilize an alternative method, different from the Western pro-capitalist and “socialist” methodology. He appears to take seriously the insights of revolutionary leaders, such that his criticisms of defects of the revolution are intertwined with his developing understanding of their understandings and formulations. In effect, drawing upon Chinese sources, he facilitates the dissemination to Western readers of the Chinese Revolution’s interpretation and defense of itself.

Listening to and taking seriously the formulations of Chinese leaders, Martínez arrives to appreciate the continuity between the radical socialist project of Mao and the reform project of Deng, an interpretation that dovetails with the understanding of the Chinese revolution itself. Western intellectuals, trapped in a Eurocentric method, no doubt would view his approach as circular, for in listening, he has set himself up to the possibly of finding credibility. But the Western intellectuals cannot answer the question, how can any revolutionary process be understood without taking into account the understanding that the revolution has of itself? How can criticism of defects be put forth, before the revolutionary understanding of itself has been understood?

“No Great Wall: on the continuities of the Chinese Revolution” by Carlos Martínez

Martinez begins the article with the declaration:

The Communist Party of China (CPC) was formed in July 1921. From that time up to the present day, it has led the Chinese Revolution – a revolution to eliminate feudalism, to regain China’s national sovereignty, to end foreign domination of China, to build socialism, to create a better life for the Chinese people, and to contribute to a peaceful and prosperous future for humanity.

Some of these goals have already been achieved; others are ongoing. Thus the Chinese Revolution is a continuing process, and its basic political orientation remains the same.

China in the epoch of Mao

Martínez summarizes the emergence of the Communist Party of China (CPC) from the post-World War I Chinese anti-imperialist and nationalist protests by students, workers, and intellectuals; who were reacting to the Treaty of Versailles, which had offended Chinese national pride by ignoring Chinese demands. In accordance with its anti-imperialist and nationalist orientation, the CPC participated in the early 1920s in a united Front with the nationalist party of Sun Yat-sen, with the intention of constructing an anti-imperialist alliance of workers, peasants, intellectuals, and patriotic elements of the capitalist class. Later, in the period 1937 to 1945, the CPC joined a Second United Front with the nationalists, now under the control of the Chiang Kai-shek, in spite of the fact that Chiang’s nationalist party in political power had unleashed a brutal repression of the communists from 1927 to 1937.

During the period of the Second United Front, the CPC implemented a program for the improvement of the lives of the population in the territory under its control. Its base in Yan’an attracted revolutionary and progressive youth from throughout the country as well as foreign visitors. There were extensive debates concerning the types of society that they were trying to build, which Mao synthesized in his 1940 pamphlet, On New Democracy. Here Mao described the revolution as having two stages, first new democracy, and then socialism. In the first stage, the goal is to defeat imperialism and establish independence from foreign rule, thus providing an essential foundation for the later stage of constructing socialism. During the first stage, political power ought to be shared among all the anti-imperialist classes: the working class, the peasantry, the petty bourgeoisie, and those elements of the national bourgeoisie that were against foreign domination.

The stage of New Democracy would combine components of both socialism and capitalism. Martínez quotes the text of Mao’s On New Democracy:

The state enterprises will be of a socialist character and will constitute the leading force in the whole national economy, but the republic will neither confiscate capitalist private property in general nor forbid the development of such capitalist production as does not ‘dominate the livelihood of the people’, for China’s economy is still very backward.

Such private capital, however, would be subject to extensive state regulation.

Following the defeat of Japan in 1945 and the bitter four-year civil war between Chiang’s nationalists and Mao’s communists, the People’s Republic of China was declared on October 1, 1949. The new government was a united front government led by the CPC. It attempted to construct the type of society envisioned in On New Democracy. It accomplished the dismantling of feudalism and the elimination of the rural class structure through the distribution of land to the peasants. These reforms generated an agricultural surplus which, along with the support of the Soviet Union, enabled infrastructure construction and a program of rapid state-led industrialization.

By 1954, the government was moving beyond New Democracy and toward the collectivization of peasant lands and the shifting of private industrial production into state hands. With the Cold War and U.S. hostility intensified, and with the Soviet Union moving toward “peaceful coexistence” with the West, the Chinese Revolution saw the need to accelerate production on basis of China’s own resources. Accordingly, the Great Leap Forward, launched in 1958, sought to attain rapid industrialization and collectivization, a fast-track to the construction of socialism.

The Great Leap Forward was overly ambitious, causing disruptions in established productive processes, leading to a fall in production. The withdrawal of Soviet technicians as well as draughts and floods also contributed to the failure of the project. In 1960, Mao ordered decreasing the pace of the Great Leap Forward.

Reasonable estimates are that the Great Leap Forward is responsible for 11.5 million deaths, a fact utilized by opponents to discredit the Chinese Revolution. Martínez points out, however, that the death rate in India in 1960 was similar, and that China previously had terrible famines in 1907, 1928, and 1942. Pro-capitalist academics use the failure of the Great Leap Forward (GLF) to denigrate the entire history of the Chinese Revolution, but “the GLF was not some outrageous crime against humanity; it was a legitimate attempt to accelerate the building of a prosperous and advanced socialist society. It turned out not to be successful and was therefore dropped.”

As a result of the failure of the Great Leap Forward, Mao and the radical wing lost influence in the highest levels of the Party. Leading Party members with a more pragmatic approach that stressed social stability and economic growth arrived to positions of power in the Party, including Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun and Zhou Enlai. They put forth the concept of the Four Modernizations in agriculture, industry, defense, and science and technology.

Mao and a group of close comrades began to believe that the pragmatic approach was an anti-revolutionary revisionist trend that could ultimately lead to capitalist restoration. Mao was concerned that the new orientation meant greater reliance on teachers and academics who came from non-working-class backgrounds, who would promote capitalist and feudal values among young people. Mao maintained that it was necessary to “exterminate the roots of revisionism” and “struggle against those in power in the party who were taking the capitalist road.”

In 1966, university students, responding to Mao’s call to “thoroughly criticize and repudiate the reactionary bourgeois ideas in the sphere of academic work, education, journalism, literature and art,” formed a mass movement of university and school students, calling themselves “Red Guards.” Initially supported by Mao and by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution sought to eliminate persons in authority who were taking a supposedly revisionist and capitalist road. Its objective was to forge a new socialist, collective, and modern culture.

In August 1966, the Cultural Revolution exploded into widespread disruption and violence, resulting in the closing of universities. Many people were attacked and humiliated. Liu Shaoqi, previously considered to be Mao’s successor, was arrested and tortured; he died in prison. A similar fate awaited Peng Dehuai, former Defense Minister and the leader of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army’s operations in the Korean War.

In 1967, Mao recognized that the situation was out of control, and he and high members of the Party ordered the army to establish order and reorganize production. However, the Cultural Revolution flared up again with the ascendancy of a radical wing, the so-called “Gang of Four,” beginning in 1972.

To the enemies of the Chinese Revolution, the Cultural Revolution is an example of Mao’s tendency toward violence and power or an illustration of communist authoritarianism. In contrast to this view, Martínez writes of the idealism that was at the foundation of the Cultural Revolution.

The Cultural Revolution was a radical mass movement; millions of young people were inspired by the idea of moving faster towards socialism, of putting an end to feudal traditions, of creating a more egalitarian society, of fighting bureaucracy, of preventing the emergence of a capitalist class, of empowering workers and peasants, of making their contribution to a global socialist revolution, of building a proud socialist culture unfettered by thousands of years of Confucian tradition. They wanted a fast track to a socialist future. They were inspired by Mao and his allies, who were in turn inspired by them.

Today in China, Martínez observes, the Cultural Revolution is understood as misguided. But Mao remains a revered figure. His errors are understood as errors of excessive revolutionary fervor, and they do not negate his achievements.

Reform and Opening

Beginning in 1978, two years after Mao’s death, the post-Mao leadership embarked on a process of “reform and opening,” which expanded space for private property and permitted foreign investment. “Socialism with Chinese characteristics” is characterized by a “socialist market economy,” an economy that is directed by the state but utilizes the profit motive to contribute the development of the productive forces.

The need to develop the productive forces in the construction of socialism is a Marxist concept. As expressed by Deng Xiaoping,

Marxism attaches utmost importance to developing the productive forces… [The advance towards communism] calls for highly developed productive forces and an overwhelming abundance of material wealth. Therefore, the fundamental task for the socialist stage is to develop the productive forces. The superiority of the socialist system is demonstrated, in the final analysis, by faster and greater development of those forces than under the capitalist system. As they develop, the people’s material and cultural life will constantly improve… Socialism means eliminating poverty. Pauperism is not socialism, still less communism.

This view, that the construction of socialism involves the development of the productive forces in order to satisfy the needs of the people, is the prevailing thought in China today. Martínez writes that “the consensus view within the CPC is that socialism with Chinese characteristics is a strategy aimed at strengthening socialism, improving the lives of the Chinese people, and consolidating China’s sovereignty.”

The 1978 turn to reform and opening was made necessary by objective economic and social conditions in China. On the one hand, the achievements from 1949 to 1978 were enormous. China had been unified and liberated from foreign rule. Land had been distributed to peasants; and rural class relations had been transformed, which was accompanied by extensive irrigation of land. Women had been liberated from archaic, feudal cultural constraints. The literacy rate, which had been twenty percent prior to the revolution, had risen to ninety-three percent. And universal health care had been established; life expectancy increased by thirty-one years during the period. The poor in China had secure access to land and housing, so they were much better off than their counterparts in the developing world.

But on the other hand, China in 1978 was still a backward country in many ways. Approximately thirty percent of the rural population lived below the poverty line, dependent on small loans for production and state grants for food. Many did not have access to modern energy and potable water. The per capita income gap between China and the developed world was not narrowing. Although the ascent of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan could be explained by geopolitical factors, and the relative wealth of Hong Kong and Macao can be explained by global economic dynamics, the contrasting socioeconomic situation of China with respect to its East Asian neighbors was undermining the legitimacy of the revolution in the eyes of the Chinese people.

In this situation, the leadership of the Party decided for policies designed to increase the productive forces and elevate the standard of living, drawing upon the theoretical formulations of Marx and Mao in their policy reformulation. Their “socialism with Chinese characteristics” was unorthodox in relation to Western Marxism; it was forged on the basis of reflection on the experience of Chinese socialism and the objective conditions of China. As expressed by Deng:

When a backward country is trying to build socialism, it is natural that during the long initial period its productive forces will not be up to the level of those in developed capitalist countries and that it will not be able to eliminate poverty completely. Accordingly, in building socialism we must do all we can to develop the productive forces and gradually eliminate poverty, constantly raising the people’s living standards… If we don’t do everything possible to increase production, how can we expand the economy? How can we demonstrate the superiority of socialism and communism? We have been making revolution for several decades and have been building socialism for more than three. Nevertheless, by 1978 the average monthly salary for our workers was still only 45 yuan, and most of our rural areas were still mired in poverty. Can this be called the superiority of socialism?

Martínez maintains that Deng is echoing Mao, who in 1949 warned that the revolution would lose the support of the people if it cannot improve the standard of living of the people. “If we are ignorant in production, cannot grasp production work quickly … so as to improve the livelihood of workers first and then that of other ordinary people, we shall certainly not be able to maintain our political power: we shall lose our position and we shall fail.”

International developments also favored the 1978 turn to reform and opening. The international environment was less hostile to China, as indicated by the restoration of China’s seat in the United Nations and by the rapprochement between China and the USA. There now existed greater real possibilities for the sale of Chinese goods in the world market and for the entrance into China of foreign capital, technology, and expertise. Moreover, as Zhou Enlai observed, “new developments in science are bringing humanity to a new technological and industrial revolution… we must conquer these new heights in science to reach advanced world standards.” In 1975, Zhou called for the nation to take advantage of the more favorable international environment to “accomplish the comprehensive modernization of agriculture, industry, national defense and science and technology before the end of the century, so that our national economy will be advancing in the front ranks of the world.”

The new policies were intelligently designed. As Martínez notes, the opening toward foreign investment and international commerce enabled China to accumulate capital and technology, thereby facilitating the development of the productive forces. The post-1978 policies were effective in increasing China’s productive capacity.

In a capitalist system, an increased productive capacity does not necessarily lead to an elevation of the standard of living of the majority. But when the working class and the peasantry control the state, it can give priority to satisfying the needs of the people. And this is precisely the situation in China. Martínez writes that “there are some extremely wealthy individuals and companies controlling vast sums of capital. And yet their political status is essentially the same as it was in the early days of the PRC; their existence as a class is predicated on their acceptance of the overall socialist programme and trajectory of the country.”

As a result, the per capita income in China has doubled since 1980. And the combination of state direction and increasing productivity has led to a massive program in the construction of roads, railways, ports, airports, dams, housing, and systems of energy, telecommunications, water, and sewage. With the New Reform since 2012, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, China has eliminated absolute poverty. The New Reform seeks to eliminate negative consequences of the spectacular economic growth of 1978 to 2012, addressing such problems as poverty, inequality, corruption, and environmental degradation.

The principles of the Chinese Communist Party, therefore, have not changed since its founding in 1923. As succinctly expressed by Xi Jinping, “Both history and reality have shown us that only socialism can save China and only socialism with Chinese characteristics can bring development to China.”


Western intellectuals, both pro-capitalist and “socialist,” have not experienced a revolutionary transformation, in which exceptional leaders with keen understanding of historical and political-economic dynamics, and with unbounded commitment to the sovereignty of the nation and the people, guide the people on the correct road, explaining to the people as the process moves forward. Western intellectuals, therefore, do not believe that a better world is possible, and they do not know that an alternative, more just world is under construction in the Third World plus China. They frame their observations with the cynical assumption that the discourse of leaders is a politically motivated deception; they cannot see an explanation rooted in critical reflection on revolutionary practice, thus advancing human understanding.

We intellectuals of the North who are committed to social justice for humanity must, in the first place, listen to Third World revolutionary voices, arriving to discern their insights and to appreciate that they are constructing a more just and sustainable world. Secondly, we must learn to communicate this important news to our peoples, so that they too can believe that the taking of political power by the people and the subsequent redirection of state policies is possible. And high on the agenda of the revolutionary popular movement in the North is the abolition of imperialist policies toward other nations. ... t-project/
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Mon Oct 11, 2021 2:15 pm


China’s accession to the WTO and the collapse that never was
Originally published: Marxist Sociology Blog by William Jefferies (September 29, 2021 ) | - Posted Oct 11, 2021

President Joe Biden is worried about China. In April he explained “we are in competition with China…to win the 21st century…we are at a great inflection point in history. We have to do more than just build back better… we have to compete more strenuously.” But… it was never supposed to be like this.

Back in 2000, President Clinton, in a Congressional speech advocating China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), extolled China’s market potential. It was an “opportunity that comes along once in a generation… by forcing China to slash subsidies and tariffs that protect inefficient industries, which the Communist Party has long used to exercise day-to-day control, by letting our high-tech companies in to bring the Internet and information revolution to China, we will be unleashing forces that no totalitarian operation rooted in last century’s industrial society can control”. How’s that going Bill?

Clinton’s forecast was no outlier. It represented the consensus of neo-classical China experts who have regularly predicted the collapse of China’s hopelessly inefficient developmental model for the past three decades. China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which was eventually concluded in 2001 meant “economic forces that would be released by free trade, and commerce would overwhelm the forces in China seeking to maintain socialism, repression, and totalitarianism”. The IMF knew of “no path” through which market reforms could be gradually implemented. They proposed the instant abolition of the central plan and its replacement by a unconstrained free market. So did the World Bank and World Trade Organisation. Neo-classical experts insisted that the arguments in favour of the Big Bang abolition of the plan were “unassailable”. After all, it had gone so well in Central and Eastern Europe! According to the World Health Organisation life expectancy on the former USSR fell by 7 years during the 1990s. China would be worse. Jeffrey Sachs remarked that “China’s long-term political crisis is likely to be graver than Russia’s”. Ronald Coase the Nobel Prize winning economist explained that Communist rule needed to be “wiped out”. The Big Bangers views were not entirely uncontested, Mini Bangers proposed a more gradual path. But the difference was one of emphasis not principle. They shared the same apocalyptic forecast for China’s future economic success, or rather anticipated collapse. Much of China’s investment was “unviable” and “useless”. The slow pace of the reform merely putting off the pain that would inevitably follow.

China’s WTO accession treaty included the most stringent terms for any emerging economy. Market freedom would be imposed from without, and any deviation punished. Although the status of China as a “non-market” economy, something that is often cited as evidence of China’s non-capitalist nature, was not in fact included in the treaty. There was a strict 15-year limit, subsequently ignored by the USA and EU, on any restrictions on China’s participation in the WTO. The World Bank hoped that competitive forces unleashed by China’s accession would act as a “wrecking ball” for the remnants of China’s planned economy. World Bank forecasters predicted that employment in China’s auto industry would decline between 3 and 40 percent.

There was overcapacity, it was claimed, in the steel industry, then producing 190 million metric tonnes (Mmt) a year. The U.S. Congress predicted “China’s WTO accession likely will result in large scale unemployment in certain sectors, particularly rural areas” and “unchecked social unrest could lead to a breakdown in the current political system and an accompanying period of instability”. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) said millions of families would face “significant hardship. All they could do was wish the Chinese “bon voyage”. In 2020 China’s steel output reached 1,053 Mmt. And yet there is no significant reassessment of how the neo-classical consensus was so wrong, with only limited acceptance by key players of their own mistakes.

The neo-classicals’ hubris is followed by nemesis–that haunts Biden’s administration. ... never-was/

Another case of believing one's own bullshit. Religiously committed to the false concept that capitalist market economy must be allowed total freedom regardless of human cost and that socialism could not withstand that assault the bosses of capital were willing to afford China time and capital in abundance, so sure were they of the final result. China took those gifts and used them wisely, all the while assuring the West that they were on the 'capitalist road' through myriad messaging without actually fulfilling capital's fondest dream. Just look at China's front page, they're still at it even if the cat is outta the bag. Because hope of profit springs eternal in the mind of the entrepreneur, rose-colored glasses a necessary accessory if one is to seize advantage. And so even as the policy people comprehend the deadly effect of the good example the chamber of commerce would hold them back for another fat quarter. So who is selling who rope?
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Re: China

Post by blindpig » Fri Oct 15, 2021 1:53 pm


China vows to enhance whole-process people’s democracy

We are pleased to republish this report from CGTN concerning the very important remarks made by President Xi Jinping at the recent conference on the work related to China’s system of People’s Congresses, which are China’s principal method of governance operating at every level from the national to the village.

President Xi described this as “whole-process people’s democracy”, noting that they are the organisational form of the state power of the people’s democratic dictatorship. He pointed out that democracy is not an ornament only for decoration. The key question, he said, is whether the people run the country – meaning not only voting but participating. Democracy needs not only to be judged on the promises made during an election but also on their fulfilment.

Xi’s remarks provide an important insight into the nature of socialist democracy in China and the ways in which it is being broadened and deepened. They are also an extremely important contribution to international political debate and should be widely noted and studied. Whilst he diplomatically avoids mentioning any other country by name, his unmistakable critique of the limitations of bourgeois democracies and the hollow promises of their leaders will surely strike a chord with many. Despite their undoubted popular resonance, the conclusions that flow from this analysis are too often overlooked by the leading sections of the working class movement in the imperialist countries. It is long overdue for this political deficit to be addressed.

Chinese authorities on Thursday vowed to uphold and improve the people’s congress system and continuously enhance whole-process people’s democracy.

“The whole-process people’s democracy in China not only has a complete set of institutions and procedures, but also full participation and practices. It is the broadest, most genuine, and most effective socialist democracy,” Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said while addressing a central conference on work related to the people’s congresses, held on Wednesday and Thursday in Beijing.

“The system of people’s congresses is an important institutional vehicle for realizing whole-process people’s democracy in China,” he added.

The people’s congress system is the fundamental political system of China, the organizational form of state power of the people’s democratic dictatorship in China, and the system of government of the country.

The National People’s Congress (NPC) is the highest institution through which the Chinese people exercise their state power.

A key institutional guarantee

The people’s congress system has provided an important institutional guarantee for the Chinese people, led by the CPC, to create the miracles of fast economic growth and long-term social stability over the past 60 years, particularly over the four decades of reform and opening-up, Xi said.

He called the people’s congress system a great creation in the history of political systems as well as a brand new system of great significance in the political history of both China and the world.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the CPC Central Committee has continued to innovate the theories and practice of the system of the people’s congresses, Xi said.

Noting that institutional advantage is vital for a country to seize its strategic initiative, Xi said both history and reality show that a country will be stable if it has a steady system, and a country will be strong if it has a sound system.

He stressed efforts to fully enforce the Constitution and safeguard its authority and sanctity, and to improve the Chinese socialist system of laws so that good laws are in place to promote development and ensure good governance.

He also noted that the people’s congresses should properly and effectively exercise their power of oversight in accordance with the law, and deputies to the people’s congresses should fully exercise their duties.

While the people’s congresses should enhance self-building, the overall leadership over the people’s congresses by the Party should also be enhanced, Xi said.

Democracy not an ornament for decoration: Xi

President Xi pointed out that democracy is not an ornament only for decoration, but to be used to address the issues that the people really care about.

The key to a country’s democracy lies in whether the people run the country, depending on if the people have the right to vote and more importantly, whether the people have the right to broad participation, said Xi.

He also noted democracy depends on what verbal promises the people have received during the election process, and moreover, it depends on how many of these promises have been fulfilled after the election.

Judging whether a country is democratic, according to Xi, should also look at what political procedures and rules are stipulated by the systems and laws. “More importantly, if these systems and laws are implemented well,” he said.

Xi also called for focusing on whether the rules and procedures for the operation of power are democratic while stressing the key lies on if the power is really monitored and restrained by the people.

“If the people are awakened only at the time of voting and go into dormancy afterward; if the people only listen to smashing slogans during election campaigns but have no say afterward; if the people are only favored during canvassing but are left out after the election, such a democracy is not a true democracy,” said Xi.

Democracy not a special right reserved for an individual country: Xi

President Xi stressed that democracy is a right for the people of all countries to enjoy, not a special right reserved for an individual country.

The judgment on whether a country is democratic or not should be made by their people, not by the handful of others, he said, adding that whether a member of the international community is democratic or not should be judged by the international community together, not by a self-righteous minority.

“There are many ways to achieve democracy, and there is no one-size-fits-all model,” Xi pointed out.

It is undemocratic in itself to use a single yardstick to measure the world’s various political systems and examine the rich political civilization of mankind with a monotonous eye, he added. ... democracy/
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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