Archive for the Deng Xiaoping Category

Marxism key to problem solving: Xi [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Corruption, CPC, Deng Xiaoping, Economy, Employment, Environmental protection, Mao Zedong, Reform and opening up, Socialism with Chinese Characteristics on March 3, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

(Global Times) January 26, 2015

~Ideology a theoretical tool to unite officials in time of change: analyst~

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent stress on dialectical materialism has brought about a resurgence of Marxist ideology as the theoretical foundation of the Communist Party of China (CPC) amid the nation’s deepening reform, said observers.

Xi, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said Friday that all CPC members should value ideological work and promote “core socialist values” as he presided over a meeting attended by members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, reported the Xinhua News Agency on Saturday.

The president reiterated that China will remain at the primary stage of socialism for a long time to come. Through 30 years of reform and opening up, China has made breakthroughs in productivity, comprehensive national strength and people’s living standards, but the situation and challenges both domestically and abroad are changing.

“We should grasp new traits in new phases of development, and stipulate guidelines in accordance with reality,” Xi said, adding that ideology should be at the heart of the Party.

The meeting followed a previous session in 2013 when the bureau delivered a similar lecture on Marxist philosophy.

Dialectical materialism, a key tenet of Marxist philosophy along with historical materialism, is a philosophical approach that views all changes in the world as the result of conflicts between opposites.

The president said that dialectical materialism, a strand of Marxist philosophy, should provide CPC members with the right approach to problem solving as China continues on its path of reform and development…

…The CPC, founded in the early 1920s, has advocated Marxism and socialism with Chinese characteristics as an ideological guidance to strengthen and modernize China…

Excerpted; full article link: http://en.people.cn/n/2015/0126/c90785-8840860.html

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Marxism and the social character of China [Workers World]

Posted in Capitalism crisis early 21st century, China, CPC, Deng Xiaoping, France, Germany, Japan, Lenin, Mao Zedong, PLA, Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, State-owned Enterprise (SOE), U.K., US imperialism, USA on June 15, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Fred Goldstein

June 13, 2013

The issue of China is one of the most important questions of the 21st century for the working class and the oppressed peoples, as well as the hostile imperialist ruling classes of the world.

The progressive and revolutionary movements, especially in the U.S., have a great stake in arriving at a correct policy toward China.

First of all, China is a formerly oppressed country that achieved liberation from British, French, German, U.S. and Japanese imperialism in 1949 by making one of the greatest revolutions in history. At that time, one quarter of the human race was torn from the clutches of imperialism. As a formerly oppressed country struggling for national development, it must be defended against all varieties of imperialist military, economic and political aggression, regardless of what one thinks about its social character.

China today is a new, complex and contradictory phenomenon in history. It has fundamental socialist structures alongside capitalist development and imperialist penetration. The leadership calls it “market socialism” or socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Socialism is inscribed firmly as China’s foundation in its constitution. The international capitalist class is profoundly hostile to China and never ceases to try to undermine its fundamental socialist structures.

Yet workers in Chinese private industry are subjected to capitalist exploitation and the workers in the state industries have lost much of the economic support that once attached to their workplaces. Horrendous industrial accidents take place and environmental problems are severe.

– Dual character of China’s economic foundation –

Only Marxism enables us to approach an analysis of China.

Marxism has shown that the character of any society is determined by its economic foundation and that the superstructure of society, its politics, ideology, etc., are determined by the economic foundation.

How can such an analysis be applied to China and how can it help to clarify how to view China?

To begin with, the economic foundation of China is not homogeneous. It is partly socialist and partly capitalist. The question for us and for the world working class is: Which is dominant? — the socialist foundation, or the capitalist enterprises seeking private accumulation of profit through the exploitation of the working class?

Similarly, the superstructure is not homogeneous. On the one hand, there are the Communist Party, the People’s Liberation Army and the ideological doctrine that declares socialism to be the foundation of China. On the other hand, there is the relentless promotion of opening up to imperialism and capitalist market reforms. And, above all, there is a struggle over political reform, meaning the right for the bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie to organize politically, either inside the party, outside the party or both. There is a steady drumbeat for “political reform” from the imperialists and their class allies inside China.

– Economic crisis of 2008-2009 was a critical test –

How can we assess this situation? We should start by empirical examination of China, on the one hand, and the rest of the capitalist world on the other.

A critical test came when the Chinese leadership was forced to deal with the effects of the worst capitalist crisis since World War II.

When the crisis hit in 2008 to 2009, many tens of millions of workers in the U.S., Europe, Japan and across the capitalist world were plunged into unemployment.

China, which had dangerously allowed itself to become heavily dependent on exports to the capitalist West, suddenly was faced with the shutdown of thousands of factories, primarily in the eastern coastal provinces and the special economic zones.

More than 20 million Chinese workers lost their jobs in a very short time.

So what did the Chinese government do?

We described what happened in a series of articles in Workers World entitled “The Suppression of Bo Xilai and the Capitalist Road — Can Socialism Be Revived in China?” The article, published on March 27, 2012, explained that plans drafted as far back as 2003, to go into effect in future years, were pushed forward and implemented.

We then quoted from Nicholas Lardy, a bourgeois China expert from the prestigious Peterson Institute for International Economics, who described how consumption in China actually grew during the crisis of 2008-09, wages went up, and the government created enough jobs to compensate for the layoffs caused by the global crisis.

Said Lardy: “In a year in which GDP expansion [in China] was the slowest in almost a decade, how could consumption growth in 2009 have been so strong in relative terms? How could this happen at a time when employment in export-oriented industries was collapsing, with a survey conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture reporting the loss of 20 million jobs in export manufacturing centers along the southeast coast, notably in Guangdong Province? The relatively strong growth of consumption in 2009 is explained by several factors. First, the boom in investment, particularly in construction activities, appears to have generated additional employment sufficient to offset a very large portion of the job losses in the export sector. For the year as a whole the Chinese economy created 11.02 million jobs in urban areas, very nearly matching the 11.13 million urban jobs created in 2008.

“Second, while the growth of employment slowed slightly, wages continued to rise. In nominal terms wages in the formal sector rose 12 percent, a few percentage points below the average of the previous five years (National Bureau of Statistics of China 2010f, 131). In real terms the increase was almost 13 percent. Third, the government continued its programs of increasing payments to those drawing pensions and raising transfer payments to China’s lowest-income residents. Monthly pension payments for enterprise retirees increased by RMB120, or 10 percent, in January 2009, substantially more than the 5.9 percent increase in consumer prices in 2008. This raised the total payments to retirees by about RMB75 billion. The Ministry of Civil Affairs raised transfer payments to about 70 million of China’s lowest-income citizens by a third, for an increase of RMB20 billion in 2009 (Ministry of Civil Affairs 2010).”

He further explained that the Ministry of Railroads introduced eight specific plans, to be completed in 2020, to be implemented in the crisis. The World Bank called it “perhaps the biggest single planned program of passenger rail investment there has ever been in one country.” In addition, ultrahigh-voltage grid projects were undertaken, among other advances.

The full article by Lardy can be found in “Sustaining China’s Economic Growth after the Global Financial Crisis,” Kindle Locations 664-666, Peterson Institute for International Economics.

– Socialist structures reversed collapse –

So income went up, consumption went up and unemployment was overcome in China — all while the capitalist world was still mired in mass unemployment, austerity, recession, stagnation, slow growth and increasing poverty.

The reversal of the effects of the crisis in China is the direct result of national planning, state-owned enterprises, state-owned banking and the policy decisions of the Chinese Communist Party.

There was a crisis in China, and it was caused by the world capitalist crisis. The question was which principle would prevail in the face of mass unemployment — the rational, humane principle of planning or the capitalist market. In China the planning principle, the conscious element, took precedence over the anarchy of production brought about by the laws of the market and the law of labor value.

But the institutions based on the remaining structures of Chinese socialism, which saved the masses from economic disaster, are the very institutions that the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Wall Street and London want to reduce and eventually destroy. They are the state-owned enterprises, government planning and the control by the Chinese Communist Party.

One might say that the Chinese leadership did this to avoid unrest. Surely the capitalists in Europe and the U.S. also want to avoid unrest. But that did not cause them to put tens of millions of workers back to work, raise pensions, raise stipends and social welfare payments. It only caused them to institute austerity to secure the profits of the bankers.

Coming back to Marxist analysis, it is clear from the way the Chinese leadership handled this crisis that the socialist side of the economic foundation is still dominant in China. And the same can be said for the political superstructure.

The enemies of socialism claim that capitalism is responsible for the great successes in China.

But that is a falsehood. China has succeeded in its economic development because the socialist sector has broadly contained domestic capitalism and imperialist investment within the framework of the national economic goals of the leadership.

Without that, China would look like India — which also has planning but is a thoroughly capitalist country.

In India, poverty is so deep that people live on garbage dumps, wash their clothes in polluted water, and the urban slums in Kolkata and Mumbai rival rural poverty. The masses of India are desperately poor — living on $1 to $2 a day — even as the glittering high-tech industry develops alongside the abysmal economic conditions faced by hundreds of millions of Indians.

There is no comparison with China. But if the imperialists have their way, if they can destroy the socialist foundation and the Communist Party, they will turn China into another India. That is what is at stake in the struggle to stop the counterrevolution in China.

– ‘Market socialism’ a false and dangerous concept –

This analysis should not be understood in any way as support for the doctrine of “market socialism.” In our view the anarchy of the capitalist market is antagonistic to the planning of a socialist society and socialist construction. Capitalist private property is antagonistic to socialist property and production for private accumulation is antagonistic to production for social use and human need.

There are historical circumstances of extreme underdevelopment which compel a socialist government to employ both private and state capitalist methods to promote development of the productive forces and the creation of the working class from the rural population.

It is one thing, however, to use these methods as a temporary expedient, to make a retreat from socialism in order to make socialism triumphant in the struggle against capitalist methods. That was Lenin’s idea behind the New Economic Policy. It began in 1921 in the USSR, during the direst times after the civil war left the country in ruins and the working class that survived was going back to the country to get food.

But Lenin always regarded this as a retreat and a crucial struggle. The question, as Lenin put it, was “Who will win?”

China long ago developed economically after the capitalist reforms instituted by Deng Xiaoping. But what should have been a temporary retreat has become an enshrined policy of treating capitalism as a partner with socialism. Private capital grows automatically and with it the economic strength and political influence of the capitalist class, its petty bourgeois hangers-on, as well as the petty bourgeois intelligentsia. This carries great long-term dangers for China.

The socialist component of the economic foundation is dominant at the present. But capitalism is continuing to erode that foundation and do damage to the workers. Furthermore, the new leadership of Xi Jiping and Li Kequang have sent signals that they want to move to the right in the economy. Expanding the opportunities for imperialist investment and moving more and more in the direction of bourgeois economic reforms is playing with fire.

– Revive spirit of Mao, workers’ power –

Bo Xilai, the former head of the party for Chongqing Province, is now languishing in detention. He has been held for over a year because he sought to revive the cultural and egalitarian spirit of Mao Zedong and because he had a program to retard the march down the capitalist road. (See articles from Workers World.)

Bo represented a left resistance to the current policies at the level of top leadership. His defeat has paved the way for a further turn to the right.

What is really needed is a sharp turn to the left. The workers must reclaim the socialist rights first established by the Chinese revolution and deepened during the period of Mao. This is the only thing that can revive and secure Chinese socialism in the long run.

But in the meantime, there must be a firm defense of China against every scheme by imperialism and by the domestic capitalist class in China to undermine the socialist foundation that still exists there.

* Based on a talk by Fred Goldstein at the Left Forum in New York City on June 9. *

Article link: http://www.workers.org/2013/06/13/marxism-and-the-social-character-of-china/

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Articles copyright 1995-2013 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

New Chinese leader denounces Gorbachev [Workers World]

Posted in China, CPC, CPC Central Committee (CPCCC), Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Lenin, Mao Zedong, Marx, Reform and opening up, Scientific Outlook on Development, USSR on March 14, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Fred Goldstein
March 11, 2013

…But Xi continues dangerous policy of market ‘economic reform’

The new head of the Chinese Communist Party and president of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, is reported to have made a private speech to party leaders during a recent trip to southern China. In it, he denounced Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader who opened the door to the counterrevolution and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Xi reportedly pledged never to follow that road.

This speech, which has not been published in English, caused deep disappointment in imperialist circles. While it has been acknowledged in a front-page article of the New York Times and referred to in Businessweek and other capitalist publications, the ruling class is being relatively quiet about it, trying to remain optimistic about the prospects for deepening bourgeois political reform in China.

“Deepening political reform” is a code phrase for opening up the political process for bourgeois or petit-bourgeois political groupings, either outside or inside the Chinese Communist Party, that want to restore capitalism and break up the CCP. To the imperialists, gaining capitalist political power is even more important than market reforms, because it would lay the basis for destroying the foundations of the Chinese Revolution.

– Xi on collapse of USSR –

Reporting on Xi’s speech, the New York Times of Feb. 14 said: “Despite decades of heady growth, Mr. Xi told party insiders during a visit to Guangdong Province in December, China must still heed the ‘deeply profound’ lessons of the former Soviet Union, where political rot, ideological heresy and military disloyalty brought down the governing party. In a province famed for its frenetic capitalism, he demanded a return to traditional Leninist discipline.”

It quoted from a summary of his remarks reportedly circulated among party officials: “Why did the Soviet Union disintegrate? Why did the Soviet Communist Party collapse? An important reason was that their ideals and convictions wavered. …

“Finally, all it took was one quiet word from Gorbachev to declare the dissolution of the Soviet Communist Party, and a great party was gone.” Xi spoke of how some of the party leaders had Gorbachev arrested, but “Yeltsin stood on a tank” while the army stood by and did nothing to defend the party and the USSR.

The Times picked up the summary of the speech from a blog published by a counterrevolutionary, Gao Yu, who works with the German radio station Deutsche Welle. (Beijing Observation: Xi Jinping, posted by Yaxue Cao, Jan. 26)

Gao, who was twice imprisoned for supporting the pro-capitalist counterrevolutionary uprising at Tiananmen Square in 1989, has connections in China and published commentary and excerpts from the speech. According to the Times, the speech has been vetted by Chinese officials and others and is said to be authentic.

Gao quoted Xi as saying, “We must see clearly our place in history, see clearly the realistic goals as well as the long-term vision to which we are devoted. We are still in the early stage of socialism, and we must do whatever we can to realize the goals of the current stage. But if we lose sight of our vision as communists, we will lose our direction and succumb to utilitarianism and pragmatism. To uphold our ideals and beliefs, we must uphold Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong thoughts, Deng Xiaoping theory, the important contribution of the ‘three represents,’ and the Scientific Outlook on Development. The great renewal of the Chinese nation has been the greatest dream of the Chinese nation over the last couple of hundred years. The ‘China dream’ is an ideal. But of course, as communists, we should have a higher ideal, and that is, communism.”

Gao complained that Xi did not mention “political reform” once during his southern tour. This counterrevolutionary’s interpretation of the Xi speech was that it “was clearly intended to give the CCP ideology a renewed status,” meaning the official ideology of China, which is socialist, all the capitalist reforms notwithstanding.

The Times article mentioned that in one speech on the tour, Xi said that “Mao Zedong’s era of revolutionary socialism should not be dismissed as a failure.” The Times further pointed out that Xi has pledged to pursue “economic reform” but that “he won’t become a Gorbachev.”

We have no way of verifying the accuracy of the quotations and paraphrases from the speech. Nor can the revolutionary and progressive forces around the world, based on the workers and oppressed, get a true estimate of the relationship of forces in China between the right wing and the center, or what influence the left has. Furthermore, many details of the speech require critical examination.

– China and former USSR: similar problems –

But a few things are clear. There is enough pressure coming from the right to bring the hypothetical prospect of counterrevolution to the level of consciousness and discussion of the top leadership. A time of change in leadership, before the leaders get drawn into the all-consuming vortex of day-to-day responsibility for running the country, lends itself to trying to see China’s development within a broader perspective. It is in this context that Xi is going over in his mind the disastrous Soviet scenario in order to draw from it the lessons for China.

But it is dangerous for Xi to reduce the reasons for the collapse of the USSR to liberalism in politics, ideological deterioration, and the indifference and opportunism of the military.

Bourgeois forces — like those that were nurtured underground over many decades in the USSR in an atmosphere of bureaucratic privilege, got seduced by the material prowess of capitalism and were intimidated by relentless imperialist threats — are now operating completely above ground in China. Furthermore, while the proletariat was politically pushed out of the running of society in the USSR, the same can be said for the workers of China.

Being for “economic reform” as the route for developing China is to put the development of the productive forces above the development of socialist social relations. It means putting material accomplishment above class consciousness, class solidarity and the empowerment of the masses. This is precisely what present-day China has in common with the former USSR — despite the vast differences.

This is what led to Gorbachev. Only by putting an end to this orientation, begun by Deng Xiaoping after the defeat of the left, can the Chinese Revolution be revived and secured.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/2013/03/11/new-chinese-leader-denounces-gorbachev/

Articles copyright 1995-2013 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Journalists rebel in Guangzhou as right wing in China raises its voice [Workers World]

Posted in Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, China, Corporate Media Critique, Corruption, CPC, Deng Xiaoping, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Journalism, Mao Zedong, Marx, Reform and opening up, Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, Special Economic Zones, Taiwan, USSR on January 29, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

I am posting this article as an alternative to the capitalist press regarding the recent censorship kerfluffle at ‘Southern Weekend’ in China. I am totally grossed out by pork sausage/dandruff shampoo/toothpaste-shill Yao Chen quoting Solzhenitsyn on her blog in response to that as reported here. I am obligated to reprint the article entire, and at this time will restate my blog’s caveat that posting does not constitute full endorsement of the opinions expressed by the writer. – Zuo Shou

by Fred Goldstein

Jan. 14, 2013

Those in China who advocate bourgeois democracy, deepening capitalist reforms and opening up further to imperialism staged a journalists’ rebellion the first week of January at the nationally circulated magazine Southern Weekend, based in Guangzhou. Guangzhou, which is across the bay from Hong Kong, is the capital of Guangdong province, the stronghold of capitalism in China.

The mini-rebellion took the form of a near strike and protest when the Propaganda Department of the Guangdong branch of the Chinese Communist Party intervened at the last minute to prevent a New Year’s editorial from going to press.

The editorial, which was severely modified by the authorities, was entitled “My Dream, the Dream of Constitutionalism.” While the English translation has not been published in any of the Western media, numerous sources reported it stressed “political reform.”

In the context of the present-day political struggle in China, “political reform” is code for creating openings for the bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeois intelligentsia to organize politically, either through the governmental electoral process, within the party, or both.

In fact, one of the few practical applications of “political reform” took place in Guangdong on an experimental basis under the guidance of its previous “reform” leader, Wang Yan. Wang preached democracy — but the class orientation of his democracy was illustrated by an experimental local election he authorized in the city of Dudan in September 2011. Fewer than 7,000 local inhabitants were reportedly allowed to vote, while 60,000 sweatshop workers who had immigrated from other Chinese provinces were disenfranchised. (The Economist, Nov. 26, 2011)

The Southern Weekend, with a circulation of 1.6 million, has been a leading voice for bourgeois liberalism in China. The confrontation of the editors and sections of the staff with the CCP became a cause célèbre of the right. Demonstrations were organized for “democracy,” “freedom of the press” and political reform.

* Protesters hail Tiananmen Square *

This incident served as a message and a challenge from the right to the incoming leader of the CCP, Xi Jingping, who will become China’s president in March.

The capitalist media swung immediately behind the protest. The Financial Times of Jan. 11 reported: “‘This feels exactly like the beginning of [the Tiananmen student movement in] 1989,’ said Yu Gang, a 44-year-old democracy campaigner who took part in the Tiananmen protests. He made pro-democracy speeches outside the Southern Weekend headquarters until police broke up the protest on Thursday.” A pro-Mao counter-demonstration also took place.

The right-wing blogosphere went into gear as well. A nationally known movie actor went one step beyond raising the 1989 counter-revolutionary uprising at Tiananman Square. Yao Chen, who has the the country’s most-followed Twitter-like microblog, quoted Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s saying that “One word of truth outweighs the whole world.”

The Financial Times continued, “Ms Yao sent the former Soviet dissident’s words with the logo of Southern Weekend, the paper respected as the vanguard of Chinese investigative journalism and for its probing stories but now involved in a rare open fight with censors. Her post marks a warning to China’s new leadership under Xi Jinping, the new Communist party chief who took over from Hu Jintao in November..” (Financial Times, Jan. 11, 2013)

Solzhenitsyn was a counter-revolutionary novelist in the USSR who depicted the tsar’s family in a sympathetic light in his book “1914.” Even war criminal Henry Kissinger once described him as “to the right of the czar.” He was jailed by Soviet authorities and eventually given a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970. He is identified with the overthrow of socialism in the USSR.

* Xi’s trip to Shenzen heartens the right *

Following the protest, an open letter in defense of Southern Weekend and signed by 16 reactionary professors, authors and journalists from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan was addressed to the Guangdong Provincial Party Committee. It demanded the dismissal of the official they claimed was responsible for censorship.

The letter was a virtual manifesto which referred to the trip made by Xi to Shenzen in Guangdong province in December of last year — his first trip after being elected the new head of the CCP. The trip was a replica of one made by Deng Xiaoping in 1992 on his “southern tour” to promote the further opening up to capitalism and imperialism, under the slogan “opening up and reform.” That trip led to the rapid development of Guangdong province as an export/sweatshop center of China. On his recent trip, Xi laid a wreath dedicated to Deng and promised to pursue “reform” and “opening up.”

This trip undoubtedly strengthened the right and was probably partly responsible for the brazen challenge by the Southern Weekend group.

The China Media Project, based in Hong Kong, wrote on Jan. 7: “In China today, the lingering sense of rise and regeneration relies to a great extent on Guangdong. For Xi as for Deng before him, southern tours marked great events that began in Guangdong. The entire nation, and people both here at home and overseas, regards Guangdong as the most crucial touchstone of reform and opening. The power of this one province ripples across our whole country, and the contributions of Southern Weekly are an undeniable part of that.”

The manifesto ended with praise for the magazine as “one of the country’s top groups … closely connected with the current of reform and the spirit of opening up” and condemned the propaganda official, asking if he “did not harbor such hostility for reform and opening, would things have come to this point.”

But these mouthpieces for the bourgeoisie have things completely backwards. If the reactionaries of Southern Weekend were not so fervently dedicated to the deepening of capitalism, widening imperialist penetration and promoting political openings for the bourgeoisie, if they had not made such a brazen move to test the Xi leadership, then would things ever “have come to this point”?

* Challenge to Xi *

Until now the magazine has harassed the government with exposures of abuses of workers, damage to the environment and official corruption. Thus, it has curried favor with the populace, using progressive exposures to foster its reactionary program of undermining the CCP from the right.

Because of the CCP’s policy of so-called “market socialism,” permitting capitalist development, violation of workers’ rights, corruption and the growth of the very capitalist class championed by Southern Weekend, the party is vulnerable to justifiable criticism. The right wing collects the grievances of the masses and uses them as a battering ram against the party.

But with the New Year’s message, the right wing went over the line. Southern Weekend has been under heavy censorship from party propaganda authorities because of its openly bourgeois liberalism. The magazine, according to most accounts, has been adept at pushing a right-wing line without making any major confrontational challenges to the party. But this time they upped the ante.

The right surfaced for the moment. The dispute spread to Beijing News. A web publication run by a party official was shut down for backing the right wing. A Confucian grouping issued a reactionary manifesto.

* Bo Xilai and defeat of the Chongqing model *

At this point it is necessary to put this struggle in the context of the suppression of Bo Xilai. Bo was the head of Chongqing province. The struggle against him was popularly regarded, on one level, as one between the Chongqing model and the Guangdong model.

Bo had promoted state economic development as the instrument for achieving the welfare of the masses. He built quality, low-cost housing for the workers. He increased social benefits. He made it easier for the rural population to obtain urban status and the benefits that come with that. He waged a campaign against the axis between corrupt party officials and capitalists with criminal elements.

Bo also promoted Maoist culture, songs and sayings, and shifted Chongqing television from a commercial station to a public station. This station was nationally broadcast and allowed an egalitarian message to get wide exposure, such as the message of “Red GDP” — development through state investment, rather than private investment, that gives greater priority to the welfare of the masses.

The Guangdong model, by contrast, emphasized economic development, mainly by capitalist means and relying on exports. The social rights of millions of immigrant workers from the interior of the country took a back seat. In general, the bourgeois spirit is dominant in the Guangdong model.

The detention of Bo last spring and vilification of the Chongqing model represented a defeat for the left within the framework of the party leadership. It represented a victory for the Guangdong model, the model promoted by Southern Weekend and its bourgeois allies. The victory was achieved by a bloc of the center and the right. Now that the challenge from the left has been temporarily suppressed, the right wing has gained confidence and courage.

This is not to say that the Southern Weekend incident represents any serious immediate threat to the party. But it represents a future danger and has brought to the surface a thoroughly reactionary current that, despite its limited numbers, occupies strategic positions in the media, the universities, communications and, of course, business.

It should be noted that when Bo was detained and his spouse, Gu Kailai, put through a show trial, these forces made no defense of the democratic rights of these leaders.

* Political contradictions of ‘market socialism’ *

There are many contradictions to so-called “market socialism” or “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” as it is euphemistically referred to by the leadership. The principal one, which is developing irresistibly, is the contradiction between economics and politics.

The mainstream of the top party leadership is trying to hold on to the socialist side of the economy: the state-owned enterprises, economic planning through “guidance,” and development and control of the commanding heights and strategic sectors of the economy. This is what has enabled the Chinese economy to weather the world capitalist crisis so far and continue its forward development. This is presumably the “socialist” side of the “socialist market economy.”

On the “market” side, the party has promoted the private sector, allowed private money to penetrate the public sector, and let the imperialists have a significant presence in the economy. It has let the rights of the working class that should be guaranteed under socialism go by the boards in the interest of economic development through capitalism, and has made many other economic concessions.

This has led to the growth of a capitalist class and the equally dangerous growth of a capitalist-minded petty bourgeois elite that is spread throughout the professions. This stratum provides mouthpieces for the bourgeoisie, promoting its ideology and its political interests.

As long as the CCP leadership promotes the capitalist market, which is diametrically opposed to socialism, the spirit of capitalism will continue to pervade society. It is in the very nature of the bourgeoisie, of capital, to expand. This not only manifests itself on the enterprise level as a desire to expand profits and accumulation. It also expresses itself on a class level, as a desire to expand its political influence commensurate with its economic development.

Both the state and the private sectors have grown in the last decade. Which has grown the stronger is a matter of dispute. But what is indisputable is the growth of the corporate and financial bourgeoisie.

In this latest dispute, one publication loyal to the party line warned the authorities at Southern Weekly that there is “no special political zone.” This refers to the special capitalist economic zones in Guangdong.

Here is where the problem lies. You cannot give the bourgeoisie more and more special economic zones without them demanding commensurate political influence. Marxists know that politics is concentrated economics. The economics of the bourgeoisie leads inevitably in the direction of trying to transform China’s political structure into a bourgeois political democracy.

Only a thoroughgoing return to proletarian democracy and the political, economic and social empowerment of the workers, as envisaged by Mao and his collaborators, can put an end to the political grasping by the bourgeoisie.
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Articles copyright 1995-2013 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/2013/01/14/journalists-rebellion-in-guangzhou-as-right-wing-in-china-raises-its-voice/

In guise of exposing corruption, New York Times aims blow at China [Workers World]

Posted in Capitalist media double standard, China, China-bashing, CIA, Corporate Media Critique, Corruption, CPC, CPC Central Committee (CPCCC), Deng Xiaoping, Lenin, Mao Zedong, Pentagon, Premier Wen Jiabao, Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, Stalin, State Department, US imperialism, USA on November 4, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Fred Goldstein

Nov 2, 2012

= Crisis in China, Part 13 =

The New York Times has committed an act of journalistic aggression against China. On Oct. 25, it splashed across the top of the front page a three-column article, complete with color photos, claiming that relatives of Wen Jiabao have gotten extremely rich because of their relationship to the outgoing Chinese premier.

This blast of exposure comes just days before the opening of the Communist Party Congress, which is to preside over a once-in-a-decade change in the top party leadership.

The Times claims that the article, which supposedly documents the collective amassing of $2.7 billion by Wen’s relatives, has been worked on for a year and that now the story is “ready to go.”

There has been much speculation as to the motives of the Times, particularly whether the article was politically motivated on behalf of one faction or another in the Chinese leadership. Only subsequent information can reveal anything about such speculation.

It is ironic that the Times is trying to undermine Wen, who has been the most prominent of those in China’s top leadership promoting “reform and opening up.” Wen is also the harshest enemy of Bo Xilai, because Bo was trying to slow down the march along the capitalist road, promote the welfare of the workers and the peasants, and revive the socialist spirit and the culture of Mao Zedong. Wen denounced Bo and warned of a possible return to the Cultural Revolution.

The fact that the Times opened up an attack on Wen could also signify that it is trying to ally with forces further to the right than he — those who want to use the campaign against corruption to push further toward introducing capitalist political parties in China.

At this point speculation must be put aside and the world must await further clarification concerning this attack. But one thing stands out about the timing of the article and the prominence given to it, regardless of its accuracy: It is a flagrant act of imperialist intervention in the political process in China at a critical moment.

What also stands out is that it is the height of hypocrisy for the Times — a mouthpiece of U.S. capitalism and imperialism, which is the font of corruption at home and abroad on a monumental scale — to expose corruption in China. Washington, the State Department, the military-industrial complex, the CIA, the giant monopolies and banks — all bribe and corrupt officials at home and abroad in the quest for contracts, policy changes, special laws favoring corporations, arms sales, etc.

This is a case of a thief crying thief. And the last thing the workers and peasants of China need is for the corporate predators behind the New York Times to stand as a watchdog over the virtue of their country.

* Capitalism breeds corruption in China *

It is widely known both inside and outside China that ever since Deng Xiaoping opened up the door to capitalism and imperialist corporate penetration, under the slogan “socialism with Chinese characteristics” or so-called “market socialism,” the acquisitive bourgeois spirit has spread throughout China among sections of officialdom and the Communist Party.

The practice of using party or government positions for personal gain is prevalent, from the local to the highest levels. This has bred cynicism and alienation and gone a long way to erode the socialist spirit that prevailed in China until the death of Mao.

Demonstrations against various forms of corruption or the results of corruption have spread throughout China — especially demonstrations against government officials making land deals with developers at the expense of the peasants.

Under Deng and his successors, capitalist market relations were elevated to become the principal means of stimulating economic development. Socialist social relations were sacrificed to market-driven development of the productive forces in the name of “modernization.” Even the great state-owned enterprises and state economic planning exist within the framework of capitalist market mechanisms.

Legitimatizing capitalism, exploitation and profit-seeking leads inevitably to corruption.

* Want to root out corruption? Return to socialist road *

The road to rooting out corruption in China lies along the path of restoring the early socialist traditions of the Chinese Revolution. This is hardly a prescription the New York Times would advocate.

During the early period of the Chinese Revolution, and especially during the Cultural Revolution, whatever its excesses may have been, the quest for personal wealth was frowned upon, and the collectivist, egalitarian, anti-bureaucratic spirit animated the Maoist sections of the party and had a great following among the masses.

During the Cultural Revolution, the Paris Commune model was revived with the direct leadership of the masses in politics and administration. Government officials were subject to recall. Salaries were limited. Party members and officials were to participate in the life of the masses. The workers were empowered politically, while the peasants had been organized into communes early in the revolution.

With regard to corruption, Russian revolutionary leader V.I. Lenin in 1917 followed the Paris Commune model. No party member, no matter his or her status, could receive a salary higher than that of the highest-paid worker. It was called the law of the maximum. It was later removed by Stalin. Under Lenin limited privileges were granted to experts on a provisional basis, until such time as the workers could develop sufficient expertise on their own. This was also later reversed.

For years moderate and right-wing elements within the CPC have used the argument that “modernization” requires having capitalists and capitalism, with all its “efficiencies” and expertise. But they were held in check by Mao and the forces around him on the left.

This argument is a rationalization for allowing the rise of privileged elements. The workers and peasants can achieve miracles of modernization and socialist construction if they are given the opportunity. That would put China in a much stronger position vis-a-vis capitalist restoration, counterrevolution and imperialism. This subject requires much more extended analysis at a future time.

But for now, suffice it to say that the New York Times is the greatest champion of further capitalist reform and further imperialist penetration in China. The last thing it would want to see is a mass campaign to restore the socialist spirit in China, with the empowerment of the workers and peasants, which is the true way to root out corruption at all levels.

This gratuitous blast against corruption involving Wen Jiabao, even if every word is true, is carried out in the service of undermining China’s socialist heritage and promoting the further development of capitalism.

Goldstein is the author of “Low-Wage Capitalism” and “Capitalism at a Dead End.” More information is available at http://www.lowwagecapitalism.com. The author can be reached at fgoldstein@workers.org.

Articles copyright 1995-2012 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/2012/11/02/in-guise-of-exposing-corruption-new-york-times-aims-blow-at-china/

The struggle in China: Capitalist crisis versus planning [Workers World]

Posted in Capitalism crisis early 21st century, China, Corruption, CPC, Deng Xiaoping, Economy, Hong Kong, Income gap, Marx, Reform and opening up, Social Security system, south Korea, Taiwan, Transportation, Universal Health Care on March 30, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Fred Goldstein
Published Mar 27, 2012 11:42 PM

The following is Part 2 of a series on the leadership struggle in China.

As contradictions mount in the global capitalist economy, they are reflected in China. The factional struggle in the Chinese leadership can only be understood as a struggle over which way to go forward and how to contain and resolve the mounting economic and social contradictions arising out of capitalist development.

The Chinese economy has been growing on a dual basis. First, it is based on centrally planned guidance designed to develop the productive forces and the material foundations for a society encompassing 1.3 billion people. However, since the victory of Deng Xiaoping and the “capitalist road” faction in 1978, planning has been increasingly based on the central government fostering and attempting to manage capitalism and the capitalist market as the means for national development.

The central government, through control of interest rates, credit, taxation and vast state-owned enterprises, both guides the economy toward broad economic and social goals and fosters capitalist development. The latter means class exploitation, inequality and corruption. The present political struggle is over which side of this contradiction to strengthen.

This complex subject will be discussed at length in subsequent articles. But suffice it to say that the so-called “reform” groupings in China — with the enthusiastic support of world imperialism and global finance capital — want to move away from state intervention, planning and central guidance and go further toward turning the fate of China over to the capitalist market, both internally and externally.

In our last article we covered the fact that Bo Xilai was summarily ousted from his post as Chinese Communist Party Secretary of Chongqing. This was a blow against the growing forces in the CCP and throughout China who want to combine the use of the capitalist market with social and economic planning and state intervention in order to deal with growing inequality and who emphasize the needs of the masses. In Bo’s case, this economic orientation was combined with a popular attempt to revive Maoist culture and socialist values.

In China today, the concept of planned guidance of the broad direction of the economy and its various sectors is a drastic modification from the direct economic planning initiated after the triumph of the great Chinese Revolution in 1949. At the same time, it is an attempt to retain the planning principle as the fundamental framework guiding the overall development of the Chinese economy.

Consider just some of the goals and objectives outlined by the 12th Five Year Plan for 2011-2015, and the antagonism between planning and the anarchy of the capitalist market becomes utterly transparent. This plan was developed beginning in October 2010 and was approved by the National People’s Congress in March 2011.

The government is planning to devote 4 trillion renminbi ($158.7 billion) to the development of seven Strategic Emerging Industries: biotechnology, new energy, high-end manufacturing equipment, energy conservation and environmental protection, clean-energy vehicles and next-generation internet technology. (APCO worldwide, Dec. 10, 2010)

An article in the March 4, 2011, New York Times detailed the plan’s goals, including:

* A 19.1 percent cut in the amount of energy used per unit of economic growth and a rapid expansion of the service economy.

* Building a national nanotechnology research center, 50 engineering centers, 32 national engineering laboratories and 56 other labs focusing on technologies like digital television and high-speed internet.

* Laying 621,000 miles of new fiber-optic cable and adding 35 million new broadband ports for a total of 223 million.

* A cap on total energy use, especially limiting the burning of coal.

* The development of well-equipped statistical and monitoring systems to gauge greenhouse gas emissions.

* Accelerated construction of sewage treatment plants, the retrofitting of coal-fired power plants with pollution controls, and the continuation of a pilot project to develop low-carbon cities.

In the previous period the state had opened 3,100 miles of new railroads and 74,600 miles of highways, completed 230,000 sports and fitness projects for rural residents, and built or renovated 891 hospitals and 1,228 health clinics.

In the realm of social welfare, the broad goals are to increase consumption from 35 percent of the gross domestic product to between 50 percent and 55 percent by increasing minimum wages, health care services and social welfare payments of various kinds.

Of course, it goes without saying that under a genuinely socialist government, workers would have their fundamental economic rights guaranteed as political rights. But those rights were largely overturned by the reforms that developed in China after 1978. Instead, in the environment of the capitalist market — with its mountains of corruption of government and party officials — the welfare of the workers and peasants has to be built up slowly and painfully through an uphill battle, which happens only through the intervention of the state. (More on this in future articles.)

Whether or not the government achieves the precise goals set out is not the issue. The point is that such sweeping social and economic goals could not possibly be handed over to profit-driven capitalists and the anarchy of the commodity market. The bosses would seek the highest rate of profit. They would never voluntarily raise wages, improve working conditions, build hospitals, clinics, rural fitness centers or anything that did not bring a profit.

– China’s response to 2008-09 world capitalist crisis –

To grasp the seriousness of the proposals to further limit planning and intervention by the state, it is only necessary to consider what happened during the world capitalist financial and economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, when the global crisis of capitalist overproduction and the financial collapse invaded China.

More than 20 million workers lost their jobs, mainly in manufacturing and predominantly in coastal provinces such as Guangdong, where special economic zones had been set up so imperialist corporations, companies from Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea, and other exploiters could take advantage of low-wage migrant labor flooding in from the rural interior.

During this period production of world capitalism dropped more than it had in 70 years. Tens of millions of workers worldwide were thrown onto unemployment lines. Most of them are still there. Bankruptcy followed bankruptcy, and the capitalist system has still not recovered.

What happened in China? When the crisis hit, China’s central planners went into motion. Plans drafted as far back as 2003 to go into effect in future years were pushed forward and implemented.

Nicholas Lardy, a bourgeois China expert from the prestigious Peterson Institute for International Economics, describes how consumption in China actually grew during the crisis of 2008-09, wages went up, and the government created enough jobs to compensate for the layoffs caused by the global crisis:

“In a year in which GDP expansion [in China] was the slowest in almost a decade, how could consumption growth in 2009 have been so strong in relative terms? How could this happen at a time when employment in export-oriented industries was collapsing, with a survey conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture reporting the loss of 20 million jobs in export manufacturing centers along the southeast coast, notably in Guangdong Province? The relatively strong growth of consumption in 2009 is explained by several factors. First, the boom in investment, particularly in construction activities, appears to have generated additional employment sufficient to offset a very large portion of the job losses in the export sector. For the year as a whole the Chinese economy created 11.02 million jobs in urban areas, very nearly matching the 11.13 million urban jobs created in 2008.

“Second, while the growth of employment slowed slightly, wages continued to rise. In nominal terms wages in the formal sector rose 12 percent, a few percentage points below the average of the previous five years (National Bureau of Statistics of China 2010f, 131). In real terms the increase was almost 13 percent. Third, the government continued its programs of increasing payments to those drawing pensions and raising transfer payments to China’s lowest-income residents. Monthly pension payments for enterprise retirees increased by RMB120, or 10 percent, in January 2009, substantially more than the 5.9 percent increase in consumer prices in 2008. This raised the total payments to retirees by about RMB75 billion. The Ministry of Civil Affairs raised transfer payments to about 70 million of China’s lowest-income citizens by a third, for an increase of RMB20 billion in 2009 (Ministry of Civil Affairs 2010).” (“Sustaining China’s Economic Growth after the Global Financial Crisis,” Kindle Locations 664-666, Peterson Institute for International Economics)

The Ministry of Railroads introduced eight specific plans, to be completed in 2020, to be implemented in the crisis. The World Bank called it “perhaps the biggest single planned program of passenger rail investment there has ever been in one country.” In addition, ultra-high-voltage grid projects were undertaken, among other advances.

The lesson is that while the anarchy of production of world capitalism invaded China, the rational and meticulously developed plans drawn up for social use overcame the anarchy of the capitalist market. This not only protected the masses from a protracted, massive unemployment crisis, but it actually continued the process of raising the standard of living during a time when hundreds of millions of workers throughout the entire capitalist world were left helpless and traumatized by the crisis of capitalist overproduction.

In Marxist terms the principle of planning, established by the Chinese socialist revolution of 1949 — even though it has been watered down to the practice of “guidance” — overcame what Marx called the law of labor value, the very law that governs the operation of capitalism itself. The Chinese leaders were compelled, and had the capability, to use rational planning based on satisfying human need to overcome the disaster brought about by their own policy of relying on the world capitalist market.

To be continued.

Goldstein is the author of “Low-Wage Capitalism” (2008) and “Capitalism at a Dead End” (2012) published by World View Forum. Both books as well as his articles and speeches can be found at lowwagecapitalism.com.
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Articles copyright 1995-2012 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/2012/world/china_0405/

Full Text: Work report of NPC Standing Committee [Xinhua / People’ s Daily]

Posted in China, CPC, CPC Central Committee (CPCCC), Deng Xiaoping, Economy, Environmental protection, Reform and opening up, Scientific Outlook on Development on March 20, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

March 18, 2012

BEIJING, March 18 (Xinhua) — Following is the full text of the Report on the Work of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), which was delivered by Chairman Wu Bangguo of the NPC Standing Committee on March 9, 2012 for review at the Fifth Session of the 11th NPC and adopted on March 14, 2012:

REPORT ON THE WORK OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE NATIONAL PEOPLE’S CONGRESS

Delivered at the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National People’s Congress on March 9, 2012

Wu Bangguo

Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress

Fellow Deputies,

On behalf of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), I now present this report on its work for your deliberation and approval.

Major Work of the Past Year

In 2011, China faced a complex and volatile situation abroad, and arduous and difficult tasks of reform, development, and stability at home. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary, united with and led the people of all China’s ethnic groups in working with one heart and one mind, advancing determinedly, and comprehensively promoting socialist economic development, political, cultural and social progress, and ecological awareness. New achievements were made in all of our work, and the Twelfth Five-Year Plan period got off to a good start.

Over the past year, the NPC Standing Committee took Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents as its guide; thoroughly applied the Scientific Outlook on Development; steadfastly integrated the leadership of the Party, the position of the people as masters of the country, and the rule of law; and performed its functions and powers and carried out its work in accordance with the guiding principles of the Fourth Session of the Eleventh NPC and based on the overall work of the Party and the country. Over the past year, the Standing Committee deliberated 24 bills, legal interpretations and draft decisions on legal issues, passed 14 of them, and has presented 4 of them to this session for your deliberation and approval. It listened to and deliberated 14 work reports by the State Council, the Supreme People’s Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate; investigated implementation of 4 laws; ratified 4 treaties and accords China concluded with foreign countries and its accession to one international convention; made decisions on and approved the appointment or removal of a number of employees in state bodies; and made an important contribution to upholding and improving the system of people’s congresses and carrying out reform, opening up, and socialist modernization…

Full article link: http://english.people.com.cn/90785/7761461.html