Chinese bank

Chinese bank

Joined: May 13th, 2005, 7:50 am

June 30th, 2010, 9:10 am #1

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/10457620.stm

Note the way in which privatisation is described as "going public".

I find it hard to see in what ways China can now be described as a socialist country. (Or the DPRK, for that matter, but we've been through that one before.)
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Harsanyi_Janos
Harsanyi_Janos

July 1st, 2010, 11:27 pm #2

I find it noteworthy that no-one has attempted to defend this socialist initiative yet.
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Kim Philby
Kim Philby

July 2nd, 2010, 12:10 am #3

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/10457620.stm

Note the way in which privatisation is described as "going public".

I find it hard to see in what ways China can now be described as a socialist country. (Or the DPRK, for that matter, but we've been through that one before.)
I think we've been down this road before as well Jeremy and it all revolves around the definition of "socialist". China is a people's democracy ( as the name of the republic suggests and what Mao called the "people's democratic dictatorship as opposed to the proletarian dictatorship of the USSR and the Communist Party of China asserts that it is at the first stage of the first stage of advancing to socialism (which we would have called "socialist orientation" in the good old days (not so good for those of Janos' inclination natch).

The major differences between People's China and the people's democracies of eastern Europe was:

1. the economic backwardness of China in 1949 (then the poorest country in the world)
2. the fact that the economies of the European people's democracies were tied to that of the Soviet Union through CMEA (with the exceptions of Albania and Yugoslavia)
3. the fact that the period of people's democracy has stretched for over 50 years in China while the eastern Europeans all claimed to have advanced to a socialist economy by the mid-60s and some of them even changed their constitutions accordingly (we can argue about People's Poland post 1956 seperately if you wish).

The "opening up" pursued by Deng and his supporters when he achieved paramount leadership after Mao's death has transformed China. In the mid-70s some 200 million Chinese lived below the poverty line -- now the figure is down to 20 million. China is now a major manufacturing centre and aspires to be the "workshop of the world" -- a position it last held in the 18th century. The opening up has given China access to the high-technology of the West and helped the country build its own scientific and technical base. All of this is consistent with the theory of "the first stage of the first stage". It is, of course, not what Mao Zedong wanted. Egalitarianism and the iron rice bowl have gone. Capitalist relations have led to a resurgence of crime (though nothing like what we take for normal in the UK, let alone the United States) and though there have been many winners in Chinese society there have also been some losers.

Now if we are seriously going to discuss this we really need to look at what we mean by people's democracy. We also need to look at the role of the state sector, co-ops and the remaining private sector in Eastern Europe even after the socialist laws of the 1960s and understand that there is a fundamental difference between the post-war people's democracies and the Soviet Union.

The latter point is often ignored by the self-appointed Marxist-Leninist gurus in Britain. The Soviet Union was unique not just because of its immense size but because the Soviet Union was based on the "dictatorship of the proletariat" expressed through the Party and the Soviets at all levels from the oblasts to the constituent republics and the Supreme Soviet. No other socialist country was run in the same way as the USSR even though it was the model in many ways for most of them.

It's in this context that we must look at the economic direction of the PR China.

pip,pip,

H A R Philby
(Col.ret'd)

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