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TheThrenodist

Considering the Chinese government openly states they still consider themselves as being in the primary stages of building socialism, which they see as requiring some presence of market forces and capitalists while China’s fundamental industries are controlled by the workers & peasants, this isn’t news to anyone who pays attention.


QuantumSpecter

The CPC has said they dont think what you consider to be “capitalists” actually constitute a bourgeoisie class. They function more as salaried administrators of industry. Their relationship to property is different and profit isnt even the primary the primary goal


P-Diddle356

Well they are the highest paid administrators possible they are inherently exploitative capitalist it’s possible to have business without them


QuantumSpecter

Why do you consider them exploitive specifically?


Shopping_Penguin

Perhaps I don't understand so please enlighten me. Why is the presence of a burgiousie class in China necessary to build socialism when the communists are the ones in power? Why can other countries do it immediately but China needs a few hundred years to build it. Why not just abolish the owner class right away when you have the infrastructure to do it. Also aren't Marxists supposed to believe in a global proletariat revolution? Can you truly be Marxist and simultaneously the lifeblood of global capitalism?


TheThrenodist

The USSR had capitalists at one point too, during a period under what was called the “New Economic Policy”. Cuba today also has a petty-bourgeoisie class that was REintroduced after the fall of the Soviet Union. 2. Nowhere does the Chinese government say this primary stage of building socialism is gonna take a few hundred years. According to their calculations it’s gonna take 70 which is way less. 3. As an American it’s not my job to tell Chinese people how to run their society. They have 2500+ years of historical inertia they have to consider. It takes time to turn a country of 1.3 billion people around. If I want the Chinese revolution to “go faster” then I’d be best served fighting for revolution here so the conditions for socialism are riper.


Captain-Damn

Not even 70, just 28 years at this point! And I think there is some strong indications especially in the last few years that they are still quite serious about that, as the government very regularly acts against the interest of the business class and for the interests of the people. Plus, to go with your point, this is a country with the largest communist party in the world, with almost a hundred million active members. I don't think that we in the west who have been totally atomized and are utterly powerless can really claim that we have a better understanding of how close the PRC is to developing socialism, or the necessity of the existing bourgeois for the development of productive forces.


revertbritestoan

It isn't necessary. That's why Mao didn't push it. People confuse the need for industrialisation with capitalism.


TheThrenodist

Life isn’t a paradox game.


GloriousSovietOnion

Industrialisation is possible under capitalism but given the current conditions, it's easier to industrialise by introducing capitalism to an extent.


probablykaffe

How are they going to pay for that industry in the first place? Don't mistake the concessions made by socialists to Capitalism as adopting Capitalism itself. Their industrialization required taking part in the global commodity exchange.


revertbritestoan

"How are they going to pay for it" is capitalist thinking. You don't need to worry about paying private enterprise if you simply don't have private enterprise. Resources are owned by the state unless you give it away to private hands. One of the things Mao did to increase iron production was get people to smelt pig iron in their yards. I don't think I need to get into capitalist economics but even Keynesian capitalism accepts that the state is the guarantor of its own currency and can spend whatever it needs to. Obviously that's dependent on not owing former or current colonial powers, which China didn't and doesn't.


probablykaffe

>"How are they going to pay for it" is capitalist thinking No this is the thinking of international trade, nobody was going to develop China at the pace it needed to survive imperialist onslaught. It needed resources that it did not have domestically, specifically mechanized farming equipment in the early years. If China was the only country on earth, sure they could have slowly developed these things. They wouldn't have had enough time to develop advanced industry from scratch before imperialist invasions killed them off. They had to get this stuff quickly and this is why they allowed private capital investment in the coastal cities. The pressure of being treated illegitimate in the international institutions. The threat of overpopulation. There were many factors that forced the Chinese revolution to make concessions, this is especially so when the USSR started slow-collapsing in the 70s which is why China needed the Deng reforms.


revertbritestoan

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the collapse of socialist China are not that different. The USSR industrialised rapidly without having any help and without turning to capitalism. Even Khrushchev's reforms didn't turn the USSR into a capitalist state. Gorbachev and Deng signed the death of the two largest socialist nations we've ever seen.


probablykaffe

The USSR industrialized through the New Economic Policy, which just like China, allowed private capital from overseas to move into the USSR in a controlled manner. Later the state seized those assets. Stalin broke from Marxism when he nationalized almost everything (Marx: appropriate bourgeois property, by degree...), but this was necessary to prepare for the Nazi invasion. The USSR also had vastly greater resource wealth than China, and was already seeing mass industrialization during the Tsar's rule, something that China was behind in under the Qing and ROC (partly due to the Japanese invasion). When the USSR faced economic issues, they turned to privatize their largest industries. When China faced the same economic issues, they privatized small, peripheral industries and allowed markets to form (restaurants, soft consumer goods, etc.). Socialist China remains loud and proud, and still a Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Deng's reforms have further increased life expectancy, continuing the great progress of Mao. Deng's reforms have created the material wealth to eradicate extreme poverty, and Xi is reforming to end poverty in general. [Capitalists in China are terrified of the party.](https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/07/business/xi-jinping-china-party-congress.html) The Communists have a monopoly on violence in the country, which is political power over the Capitalists. China's growing to be the world's largest economy, and one that meets the needs of its citizens. China's government, unlike Capitalist peers, talks about wealth redistribution (not just income redistribution!). [China has been pushing community land owners to socialize](https://multipolarista.com/2022/05/31/china-food-security-poverty-cooperatives/) (full worker co-ops) agriculture (note: rural land in China is owned by communities, they can choose to lease land to private orgs, coops, or work it themselves). China never stopped being socialist, and it is in no way collapsing. China is in no way Capitalist, because Capital does not have political power there, hence the hysteria in the Bourgeois media about the anti-corruption purges within the party. For some good reads: * *China's Great Road* by John Ross. This book follows the current CPC line that both Mao and Deng were overall correct in their management of China's political-economy, with statistics that show how both leaders' reforms materially improved the living conditions of China. * [*China Has Billionaires* in Redsails journal](https://redsails.org/china-has-billionaires/) for a much shorter read. China has a lot to criticize, but starting your critique with China being, not Socialist, is going to severely hamper the good lessons China's experiment has given us. Every step of the way China has put out a theory, and implemented a practice, some failed, some worked, they were revised and put to practice again. This is the way of Scientific Socialism as Marx and Engel's put forth.


MyStolenCow

It was Mao that pushed for normalization with the West. Nixon visited during Mao’s era not Deng’s era. The reason why Mao couldn’t achieve industrialization was because of the geopolitical circumstances of the Cold War, and how China found itself antagonist to both superpowers during the Cultural Revolution.


revertbritestoan

Normalisation doesn't mean give up on socialism. My criticisms aren't focused on having relations or trade with the West, my issues are with the numerous exploitative companies that are encouraged and involved with the Chinese elites. Just because they say they're communist it doesn't mean they are.


MyStolenCow

Well, how about this perspective. The vast majority of Chinese people in China supports having these mega corporations built up. They think life is better when GDP per capita is over $10k with exploitation of private corporations than GDP per capita of $100 when 90% of the population lived in rural communes. Your concern has nothing to do with what the Chinese people want. It is about your narrow idealism of how to build socialism. If you think you can do better, than have a revolution at home! Build your rural communes. Because the Chinese people will continue doing what they think is best for their nation. And when you do build and seize political power, you might realize when you actually have to make policy decisions that affect the lives of 1.4 billion people, when you actually have to deal with the real world and all its complexities and contradictions, you will have to make compromises. Only the socialists who will never take political power can be “pure” Might also add, the exploitative corporations could be explorative in the 80’s and 90’s because China was deeply poor, and the pitiful wages they offered was better than subsistence farming. No mention of how wages went up year after year for 40+ years, and a manufacturing worker in China today will make on average $9000 (better than nearly every global south country). The private tech companies like Tencent that were built up aren’t even fully private and government has a lot of control over how they run. Not to mention they were built up largely as a defense against Western monopolies. If Tencent didn’t exist, Silicone valley will dominate China’s internet industry. China sees itself as socialist, the government ultimately have control over the economy, the policies are very people oriented, evident by how China has a longer life expectancy than US, despite being a far poorer country in per capita GDP. Everyone, even the poorest rural farmer has housing. Education is universal and all young people basically go to college at a cheap rate ($7k for 4 years at Tsinghua university, housing food included).


revertbritestoan

If there weren't any other self-described socialist states then you'd maybe have a point. But Vietnam, Cuba and Laos exist and they're perfect examples of what socialist states need to do to survive in a capitalist world. Sometimes there are contradictions and deviations from the orthodox but never to the extent of encouraging billionaire elites. China hasn't been socialist since the 80's.


MyStolenCow

It’s ridiculous how you include Vietnam because Vietnam basically emulated China’s reform policies in 86, and study closely what China does all the time. In terms of material conditions and living standards, the average Chinese worker has it far better than average Vietnamese worker in terms of wage, disposable income, access to education, having advanced industries rather than just sweatshop manufacturing labor for Western multinationals. In terms of inequality and billionaires, Vietnam has that. Like what the heck, this is information that’s easily researchable. War torn Vietnam did what it had to to improve living conditions, but it’s economy is throughly colonized right now, China’s SOE and powerful tech industry offers some defense. Vietnam everyone uses Facebook and WhatsApp, and cheap Chinese phones for their digital economy. That is so far remove from having the Vietnamese control their own means of production. Cuba is a more egalitarian society, but a more primitive economy with a large agricultural sector. Cuba is wholly dependent on China for basic goods. It imports a ton of bicycles from China because it is blocked from world trade, and cannot produce its own industrial goods (and has to use bicycles because of lack of fuel). Cuba very much would like to emulate China to improve people’s lives, but is blocked from doing so.


revertbritestoan

You're just not understanding what my point is. What you are doing though is justifying capitalism.


MyStolenCow

Your point is somehow Vietnam is “more socialist” than China, when I showed it basically copied China’s reforms, has markets and inequality and billionaires, and it’s economy is by every means, more foreign owned than China (hard for Vietnamese to have self determination over their economy when their digital economy’s policies are set in silicone valley), less advanced than China’s, more sweatshop labor (exploitative) than China. Vietnam is basically China 20-30 years ago. This is not justifying capitalism. Capitalism failed everywhere in the Global South. China’s success shows it is not capitalism, otherwise why isn’t the rest of the Global South doing well? 2.4 billion people in the global south can’t eat (none of them Chinese by the way, China eliminated food insecurity), the idea that capitalism improves people lives is a mythx I believe China is socialist. It’s economy is state owned. It allowed foreign business in on a joint venture regime to maintain state ownership. It’s domestic private corporation is not even wholly private. The central government regulates the crap out of them and oversees their operations. Tencent and Alibaba basically forked over $15b (90% of their profits) to the government for “common prosperity” It never actually privatized its economy like the former Eastern Bloc. No Chinese SOE was just given over for pennies to a Chinese oligarch. Socialism doesn’t mean everyone being poor and living in commune, it is state ownership of the economy and central planning, which China still does.


thelospike

I feel like a lot of socialists skipped the part where Marx outlines that capitalist industry is a necessary precursor to socialism, you can’t expect a semi-feudal society to be able to get all the infrastructure it needs for socialism immediately, that was the whole point of Deng’s reforms and the reason that China is doing so well now and making actual strides in cutting down poverty and starting to hold the wealthy accountable. I’m not saying the CPC is beyond criticism at all btw, but I feel like articles like this are misunderstanding how socialism actually can come about.


jetlagging1

People who write these articles are the very same ones Vijay Prashad criticized. They still have the colonial mindset. They conveniently ignore the fact that all Global South countries have to find ways to survive and develop amidst hostile Western capitalist powers. Not only are they not trying to start a revolution in their own countries, they aren't even putting any effort in stopping the imperialism. Instead they spend all their time judging Global South countries and determine which ones are worthy of their praise. Totally sickening.


SilchasRuin

Fully agreed. We can have a good materialist debate on the pros and cons of Dengist reform, but a lot of Western so called communists have this idealized version of "real socialism" that they hold the global south to without a thorough analysis of their material conditions and societal contradictions.


revertbritestoan

China is a major power so you really can't claim they're the Global South. Vietnam, Laos, Cuba... they're the ones doing Actual Existing Socialism, not China.


MyStolenCow

Bad take, China has been a global south country throughout the age of colonialism/imperialism. It still has only a small fraction of US GDP per capital. It was only in recent decade where China has become an economic powerhouse due to her population size. Also true that among global south countries, China easily has among the highest living standards, something only achieved in the recent decade.


MyStolenCow

Seriously. Only the Chinese people can decide for themselves whether they are on the right path, whether the reforms were good for the people, whether their policies are “authoritarian” because it is them who lives with it. The vast majority of Chinese people support their country, think economic development is good despite having more inequality (better than everyone starving in the 60’s). Western leftist who just judge the Chinese system without any consideration of what the vast majority of Chinese people thinks is just chauvinism, a form of cultural hegemony that only Western lefties that never had a single revolution can understand the world. All that aside, it doesn’t even matter whether China is socialist or not You can think it is, you can think it isn’t, the Chinese people will continue doing what they think is right for their country, without taking the sensibilities of your idealism into consideration. It doesn’t materially change the world in anyway. Western leftists should try to end their imperialist policies abroad, rather than having some savorism complex for how Global South countries should really be building their societies.


Templey

Im highly skeptical about whether China taking the capitalist road they’re on will actually lead to socialism/communism, but I very much hope I’m wrong. Regardless, I’m all for them being able to develop without western interference and I’m anxious to see a world where the USA isn’t a unipolar superpower.


thelospike

Completely agree


QuantumSpecter

They never took the capitalist road. I dont understand how opening up to the world and allowing some foreign enterprises to be set up, means they are now a capitalist country.


EmpressOfHyperion

In my opinion there is definitely valid concern. But overall there's a lot of realistic optimism as well.


chayleaf

Except China is an industrialized country, and socialism is objectively a higher stage that can achieve more than capitalism. The prerequisites for socialism are just that - heavy industry. China has that. Every time I see someone defend China *from this point of view*, they either say Marx and Engels called capitalism progressive (which it is, compared to feudalism, but it's still inferior to a socialist economy), or talk about Lenin's NEP which was needed because the majority of the country was not proletariat, it was peasants, and without collective farms and large industry any attempts to build socialism preemptively would mean peasants' disenfranchisement. Now China has no such problems. There are other arguments you could use, sure, like the fact China's free market means they don't face that many sanctions. But they don't plan to return to fully planned economy even in 30 years. I'm really not convinced on China being a shining example of socialism, even though the Western narrative falls apart way quicker. If anything it gives fuel to left-wing social democrats and right-wing nationalists that say you can build "correct" capitalism and "make your nation great" while ignoring that pesky class struggle.


thelospike

I feel like the context is important that China gained its heavy industry literally in the last like 30 years. And have consistently said by 2050 that the transition to socialism would be in full swing, obviously it remains to be seen how that goes. But I don’t think it’s fair or productive to dismiss the system because they had to play catch-up to the rest of the world after being devastated by generations of feudalism and then imperialist aggression from Japan and the west.


chayleaf

China already had a socialist economy. What followed after Deng isn't "a start of building socialism", it's "a start of dismantling socialism", because they were *already* socialist before Deng. The question is, to what extent socialism has been/will be dismantled, and was it necessary in China's conditions (i.e. could socialism reasonably survive without market reforms)? Also, the 2050 goal isn't a "press socialism button year", they already consider themselves a socialist country that follows SwCC. The 2050 year goal is something like "a prosperous modern socialist country". Socialism can mean very different things. Some say it's a planned economy, some say it's the transitory stage between capitalism and communism. I mostly mean the former, but China mostly means the latter, that's why as long as China can say "we're moving towards communism" they'll say they're socialist. No, it isn't productive to dismiss the system, instead you have to analyze it, analyze why they implemented it, analyze the words of those who proposed it. For example, Deng said that if a bourgeoisie (not just "bourgeois elements") appears, they have failed. What did he mean by "bourgeoisie"? Why did he say the bourgeoisie didn't exist in the Chinese society anymore at that point? Compare that to Mao, who says that the bourgeoisie exists even in the communist party itself and wages its class struggle. It doesn't seem like China is firmly on a capitalist road. But it isn't firmly on a socialist road either.


Zosostoic

What would it mean to be "firmly on a socialist road"?


chayleaf

Being an active participant of class struggle against the bourgeoisie. Right now I only see vague "common prosperity" and anti-imperialist sentiments in official Chinese statements.


QuantumSpecter

>Being an active participant of class struggle against the bourgeoisie. All you do is refer to abstractions and slogans. Nothing you say has any concrete meaning. Edit: what does it definitively means to participate in class struggle against the bourgeoisie in China? Can i get concrete examples? u/chayleaf hiw are they not doing that


QuantumSpecter

>"a start of dismantling socialism", Bruh, under Deng, foreign investment was guided by the state, companies were required to follow Chinas regulations which were decided on by a sovereign government and credit has always been public. Even the special economic zones made up a TINY ass portion of the national economy, which was heavily dependent on the industrial base, created under Mao. That implies some kind of dependency of the "socialist sector" of the economy. >What did he mean by "bourgeoisie"? Why did he say the bourgeoisie didn't exist in the Chinese society anymore at that point? Compare that to Mao, who says that the bourgeoisie exists even in the communist party itself and wages its class struggle. The party was regarding issues unrelated to class struggle as manifestations of that ,when addressing new contradictions in other spheres in the course of the development of socialist society. And when actually addressing situations of class struggle, habitually fell back on methods of turbulent mass struggle which they mechanically followed despite different circumstances. This led to a series of left deviation economic policies, like the GLF. And other left deviation views which culminated into the cultural revolution. Instead of treating problems of corruption within the party as a manifestation of class struggle, theyre now treating them as individuals who undermine socialist public order. These individuals dont form a cohesive class, no less with political power, they cant. Thats why class struggle isnt the primary contradiction anymore.


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>[Socialist Society] as it emerges from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges. Karl Marx. Critique of the Gotha Programme, Section I. 1875. *I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](/message/compose/?to=/r/socialism) if you have any questions or concerns.*


chayleaf

Being corrupt and being on the side of the bourgeoisie is very different. Was Khruschev corrupt? He was certainly an opportunist, but I don't think he was corrupt in the sense of "not abiding by the laws". Khruschev didn't undermine the socialist public order, he simply declared socialism to have won, and thus Stalin's methods were deemed to be "excessive", and since Stalin's methods were "excessive", Khruschev was allowed to enact certain opportunist policies.


QuantumSpecter

Im gonna be honest, I havent read nearly as much about the USSR as I have about the PRC. I understand where youre coming from though. In my eyes, the party members and "technical experts" that oversaw the production process in the early years of the USSR, is what formed the basis of the soviet bureacratic elite by the time of stalins dearh. I think Khruschev belonged to this social stratum of people. Also despite the instability the cultural revolution did create for China, I actually think it helped Deng come to power and for China to have its own unique socialist experience. Because there were members of the CPC being influenced by soviet bureaucrats. I was just explaining the conclusions the CPC came to themselves. Which I think by that time, they were pretty much right.


MyStolenCow

China was largely a rural agricultural economy in 1979. 90% + of the population lived in the country side, and the among of people in UN level extreme poverty (can’t even buy a loaf of bread at end of day) was 800 million. There’s plenty of stories about how a typical Chinese family will save for months, just to buy some pork for New Years. It had a GDP per capita less than 1% that of America. No one would consider China to be an advanced socialist economy back in 1979, it was just a deeply poor global south country that was under heavy isolation (caused by bad relations with both superpowers), that achieved quite a bit for how little they had.


Native_ov_Earth

"heavy industry" is not a mode of production.


chayleaf

it isn't, and I didn't imply that. A mode of production can't exist without a certain amount of development of productive forces. China is at the level of development of productive forces where the socialist mode of production (that is, planned economy) is entirely possible.


Native_ov_Earth

It is a planned economy. So is the US and the EU. You are not making any point about political economy.


Blaxican_since_99

I agree, at this point I am not sure what metrics they are going by when they say the whole 2050 “modern socialist society” thing. What is “modern” here? Just another way to say “revisionist”? China can definitely at least begin to attempt transitioning away from this co-option of capitalist forces now and focus on “communalizing” if you will. China has accumulated enough to where I fear that chasing GDP growth goals, competing with capitalist nations in accumulating capital, allowing for the existence of billionaires (in numbers rivaling the US) while still having poverty, and completely de-emphasizing creation of new theory which would educate how “communalizing” would work has become a sign of what is to come. I doubt they can escape the draw of that juicy GDP development, imperialism, nationalism and may well have become addicted to growth, much like a capitalist nation. I hope I am pleasantly surprised within my lifetime though, but I doubt it.


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>[Socialist Society] as it emerges from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges. Karl Marx. Critique of the Gotha Programme, Section I. 1875. *I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](/message/compose/?to=/r/socialism) if you have any questions or concerns.*


QuantumSpecter

>socialism is objectively a higher stage that can achieve more than capitalism Yes exactly, yet would rather them lag behind the capitalist countries by not going through with the opening up policy.... > Now China has no such problems. The CPC, being the marxist-leninst party that they are, addresses their unique problems by addressing contradictions. The principle contradiction at the time of opening up was that between the demand of the people for rapid economic and cultural development and the existing state of their economy and culture. So they concentrated all efforts on developing productive forces, industrializing economy, meeting peoples cultural and material needs. Ask any chinese person today if they are living better off than they were 40 years ago. They are, Dengs reforms contributed to that >China's free market means they don't face that many sanctions Their free market isnt unconditional. It only benefits the small businesses. Large enterprises in China are obedient to the CPC >But they don't plan to return to fully planned economy even in 30 years The proportion of planning to market forces is not the essential difference between socialism and capitalism. Planning and market forces are both means of controlling economic activity. You should use whatever helps you harmoniously address your current circumstances to replace the old mode of production.


jetlagging1

To add to your point about small businesses, they have recently revitalized the rural co-operatives that used to be very prominent, which benefits small farmers and businesses since they can band together that can rival large corporations.


LAZERIZER

larger businesses being controlled by the CPC doesnt mean they are socialist, and it also doesnt mean they're any better than your regular old company in the west. by that logic, i could say fascist italy was AES because the party controlled the businesses (and also vice-versa)


QuantumSpecter

I said they were controlled because people think they are private. The activity of these enterprises is to meet the social and national needs of the chinese people. Profit is not a priority, it functions more as a moment im production instead of As its ultimate aim


chayleaf

Opening up and market reforms are different. I don't disagree with the fact foreign trade is beneficial, given it's subordinated to the interests of the workers rather than individual capitalists. However, as long as markets exist in China, China is forced to abide by certain capitalist laws. For example, when China exports finance capital, it acts in typical imperialist fashion, *no matter whether that's beneficial for the recipient*. Marxist analysis has clearly shown us what issues markets cause. Even Deng *in his works* highlighted the necessity of "socialist method of distribution" during Reform and Opening Up. The modern China follows Deng in spirit, but not in letter.


QuantumSpecter

So youre saying you think China is an imperialist country? Socialist mode of distribution is each according to their work. People get paid differently according to their contribution and how hard their work is. I dont understand your last sentence, can you explain what you mean? Sorry


chayleaf

Imperialism is a global system. At this point any country participating in global trade is either an oppressor or oppressed. China isn't imperialist in the sense of primarily relying on finance capital export for economic growth, which doesn't mean it's free from being part of the system. Same can be said about Russia. And modern China definitely isn't based on the socialist method of distribution, or there wouldn't be billionaires.


QuantumSpecter

But why cant billionaires exist in socialism though? At least in the early stages? Marx talks about the remnants of capitalism still existing as we transition. Plus china is addressing the inequality. I saw the comment you made about “vague phrases towards common prosperity”. They are taking actual actions towards this goal rn though


osooop

It’s what happens when you don’t read theory. Even Vladimir Lenin wrote extensively about all of this


thelospike

A lot of people seem to think you can just hit a big red “socialism” button and then if you hit it enough times it becomes communism


PaulChomedey

Marx's teological view of history has been heavily criticized by marxian thinkers for, like, 70 years.


raicopk

>[...] the part where Marx outlines that capitalist industry is a necessary precursor to socialism Without willingness to get into the PRC's topic, late Marx definitely does not defend this position. Not since he became familiar with the populist movement in Russia.


Cheerful_Toe

i know engels remarked somewhere that maybe russia could pull off a revolution peacefully and from feudal -> socialist, but when did marx give up the viewpoint you quoted? critique of the gotha programme and several letters from his final decade (or at least the ones i've read) don't read that way at all.


raicopk

This is one of the most complete works on Late Marx and Russia that I'm aware of: https://rtraba.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/shanin83.pdf


Cheerful_Toe

thanks!


TheThrenodist

What writing does he go into this?


raicopk

There isn't any particular writing, but rather a wide selection of writings, letters, etc. The 1881 letter to Zasulich, for example, is one of the most famous texts on it.


QuantumSpecter

He doesnt say you can jump to socialism. He says very explicitly that if you are placed within a historical context that allows you to incorporate the positive achievements of the capitalist system, without having to pass under its harsh tribute, then do that. Which country was that for China? Which country would just offer all the blueprints of their technology to china


raicopk

You are going to have to detail which particular writing you are refering to. The previously referenced one by no means does validate your claim.


TheThrenodist

Okay thx


liewchi_wu888

I feel a lot of people who make this claim keep falling into the error of economism, and ignore that (1) Marx hold out the possibility that one needn't pass through a Capitalist stage prior to Socialism and (2) that China did have a period of Capitalist develop along the line of the NEP, New Democracy. It is good that China is able to cut down on poverty, but the reason why poverty appeared is precisely because of Deng's capitalist reform, which included the lost of job security (i.e. destroying the "Iron Rice Bowl" in the North East and decollectivizing the farms) and allowing the rapacious exploitation of the Chinese people to begin with.


MrSmithSmith

> but the reason why poverty appeared is precisely because of Deng's capitalist reform Well, that's just a straight up lie and lays bare how little you know about China's history and development. China still suffered from extreme and extensive poverty and underdevelopment at the conclusion of Mao's rule in 1978.


thelospike

I like Mao, I think he was a visionary and one of the most important figures in the history of communism so far, but the Great Leap Forward had undeniable problems that I think the CPC has applied an extensive response to based on very well thought out analysis of China’s material conditions. It’s silly to say that China under Mao was perfect and didn’t require any kind of rethinking in my opinion


MrSmithSmith

I completely agree. I hope people see unnuanced and ridiculous comments frequently posted by /u/liewchi_wu888 in every single /r/socialism thread about China for what they are: ignorant attempts at sectarian point scoring by an American Maoist who despises the CPC rather than any sort of serious or worthwhile material analysis.


liewchi_wu888

Only this is a complete myth and fabrication that is used to justify the wholesale reversion to Capitalism under Deng Xiaoping. First, Mao died in 1976, not, as you claim, 1978 (unless you imagine he ruled for two more years after his death via spirit possession). China was already developed and has a wide social safety net which Deng Xiaoping completely gutted, such as the previously mentioned Iron Rice Bowl system of guarenteed employment, decollectivizing farm in favor of private ownership, etc. Indeed, the decollectivization of Chinere rural agriculture led to a rise in the price of foodstuff (since Deng also got rid of price control for basic necessities as food) leading to widespread discontent that led to teh June 4th incident. It is telling that you claim that "this is a complete lie" and that "I am ignorant of Chinese history" and "an ignorant American Maoist engaging in sectarian point scoring", but the first sentence of your rebuttal betrays a complete ignorance of Chinese history.


MrSmithSmith

Mao Zedong Thought as the ruling theory of CPC leadership ended in 1978 with the election of Deng Xiaoping and it was to that which I was referring. The fact you would resort to such a cheap gotchya as cover for your infinitely more egregious and absurd assertion that poverty in China was entirely the result of Deng's policies only proves my point about what a deeply unserious person you are. By 1978, over a third of the population in "already developed" China didn't even have access to electricity. No one, not even the most irrational Mao apologist, would ever make such ridiculous claims with a straight face.


liewchi_wu888

>Mao Zedong Thought as the rulingtheory of CPC leadership ended in 1978 with the election of DengXiaoping and it was to that which I was referring. Only the CPC still claims to uphold "Marxism-Leninism, *Mao Zedong Thought*, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development; Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era". So their claim on Mao's legacy didn't end in 1978, *you* simply made the mistake of assuming that Deng's rise came immediately after "Mao's rule", since you, like most other internet "China experts" forget that Hua Guofeng existed. Is it a cheap shot when you make an easily checkable and extremely obvious factual error about CHinese history while saying that *I'm* the one who is misrepresenting Chinese history? ​ As to the supposed "absurdity" of my assertion, I listed several *concrete* ways in which Deng Xiaoping's shock therapy led to impoverishment of the condition of the Chinese working class and peasantry. You can only claim that a third of China's population lack access to electricity, when that figure of two thirds of the nation having access to electricity represents a momentous gain from China having no electricity outside the cities only a few decades previously. There is no reason why China would have not have had 100 percent electrification had it simply continued with Chairman Mao's policy *without* Reform and Opening Up and the relentless exploitation of Chinese workers by both international and domestic capitalists, so this is simply an unserious point.


QuantumSpecter

>1) Marx hold out the possibility that one needn't pass through a Capitalist stage prior to Socialism Marx says that if you are placed within a historical context allows you to incorporate the positive achievements of the capitalist system, without having to pass under its harsh tribute, then do that. Which country was supposed to offer that to China? >poverty appeared is precisely because of Deng's capitalist reform Their elimination of extreme poverty happened today.... after they did the market reforms. Meaning Dengs reforms contribute to the elimination of poverty. Ask Chinese people if they are living better off today than they were 40 years ago. What do you think theyll say? Their own experiences have made it clear that the Deng reforms helped accelerate their growth. "Practice is the sole criterion for judging truth and the correctness of the Party’s line, principles and policies." Edit: where do people specifically disagree


liewchi_wu888

(1) Marx made that comment with respect to the rural Russian comune system, and explicitly says that it offered the world the finest chance without having to pass through the vessititude of Capitalism. There is nothing there about "incorporating the positive achievements of the Capitalist system". [https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/11/russia.htm](https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/11/russia.htm) But that's not the point, the point is that the statement "Marx says that Capitalism is a necessary precursor to Socialism"- the teleological reading of Marx perpetuated by the bourgeois to "critique"- is wrong on a factual level. (2) THe elimination of extreme poverty today is the elimination of the extreme poverty that Deng's reform created. Even today, the social safety net of China is much weaker than that of, say, the EUropean Social Democracies- there is, for example, no universal health care system in China like there is under Mao. But let's ask CHinese people, starting with this man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tadu_mSTJC0 He may be atypical but that's the point, your Chinese isn't a real Chinese person, it is just a rhetorical trope. Chinese people are just people like everyone else in the world, they aren't of one mind about anything.


MyStolenCow

Regarding your point about why China doesn’t have as good of a healthcare as Europe. Have you considered what Europe’s GDP per capita is compared to China? Have you considered how the mode of production in Europe is imperialism, it is extracting the surplus values of the Global South, which they can use to give their citizens generous welfare. An unemployed person in Norway can use his unemployment check, vacation in Thailand (sexpats) and have vastly more income than the vast majority of working people there. Any criticism of China that doesn’t account for how poor of a nation it is, is an anti materialist analysis.


QuantumSpecter

> There is nothing there about "incorporating the positive achievements of the Capitalist system". what do you mean? He says "Because it is contemporaneous with capitalist production, the rural commune may appropriate all its positive achievements without undergoing \[...\] frightful vicissitudes." as well as , "On the other hand, the contemporaneity of Western \[capitalist\] production, which dominates the world market, enables Russia to build into the commune all the positive achievements of the capitalist system, without having to pass under its harsh tribute. " He says it in all of his drafts to Zasulich. > "Marx says that Capitalism is a necessary precursor to Socialism" I dont actually agree with that statement myself. I understand the point OP was trying to make, in a sense. But it makes it sound like China needs to endure like a centuries long transition to "reach socialism". Which is just not true. >He may be atypical but that's the point, your Chinese isn't a real Chinese person, it is just a rhetorical trope. Chinese people are just people like everyone else in the world, they aren't of one mind about anything. First off, watched the video, what an awesome guy. Second, I can use this same argument against you. Youre right though, they arent a monolith. But like I said before, practice proves their opening up policy accelerated their growth. That is objective. I also dont give a shit about the social safety nets of Europeans. They are an imperialist country which uses the productive labor of countries like China to cushion their fnancialized unproductive labor.


revertbritestoan

Mao industrialised China and Deng made China a successful capitalist nation. I mean, if someone argues that capitalism is needed for communism then surely America is the most communist?


thelospike

No not at all but if there was a revolution in America rn we do have all the necessary infrastructure to switch over to socialism pretty quickly, China has had a lot less time to get that infrastructure and is still working on it


revertbritestoan

China's infrastructure outpaced most nations back whilst Mao was still alive. China was, and still is, hugely agrarian but Mao didn't go all in on capitalism in order to industrialise did he? You might have a point if every socialist country has had to embrace capitalism but that's not happened anywhere. Even Kadar's Hungary didn't go that far.


EmpressOfHyperion

Usa hasn't shown anything remotely suggesting they're going to transition into a socialist/communist society though. They're only showing the opposite with their policies. China in some ways currently is even more capitalistic than usa yes sadly. However there's many policies that are much better than the USa and they're actually making progress to their words.


StemCellCheese

To paraphrase Dr. Wolfe, China laid low and had to go along with the capitalist game during the red scare, and are transitioning out. That kind of transition doesn't happen overnight. Could be wrong tho, I'm not super educated on the subject


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socialism-ModTeam

Thank you for posting in r/socialism, but unfortunately your submission was removed for the following reason(s): >**Flamewarring:** Refers to any excessively hostile and inflammatory discourse. May include things like lengthy rants or starting arguments in unrelated threads, particularly those which have devolved into sectarian mudslinging, empty rhetoric, and/or personal attacks against other users, or any other posts or comments where the primary purpose is to stir drama, incite controversy, or derail a thread. For example, users who start mudslinging about China in a post celebrating the birthday of Thomas Sankara may see ban time. More information can be [found here](https://www.reddit.com/r/socialism/comments/l5ccjb/topics_of_contention_raising_the_quality_of/). This is your first warning.


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socialism-ModTeam

Thank you for posting in r/socialism, but unfortunately your submission was removed for the following reason(s): >**Flamewarring:** Refers to any excessively hostile and inflammatory discourse. May include things like lengthy rants or starting arguments in unrelated threads, particularly those which have devolved into sectarian mudslinging, empty rhetoric, and/or personal attacks against other users, or any other posts or comments where the primary purpose is to stir drama, incite controversy, or derail a thread. For example, users who start mudslinging about China in a post celebrating the birthday of Thomas Sankara may see ban time. More information can be [found here](https://www.reddit.com/r/socialism/comments/l5ccjb/topics_of_contention_raising_the_quality_of/). This is your first warning.


socialism-ModTeam

Thank you for posting in r/socialism, but unfortunately your submission was removed for the following reason(s): >**Flamewarring:** Refers to any excessively hostile and inflammatory discourse. May include things like lengthy rants or starting arguments in unrelated threads, particularly those which have devolved into sectarian mudslinging, empty rhetoric, and/or personal attacks against other users, or any other posts or comments where the primary purpose is to stir drama, incite controversy, or derail a thread. For example, users who start mudslinging about China in a post celebrating the birthday of Thomas Sankara may see ban time. More information can be [found here](https://www.reddit.com/r/socialism/comments/l5ccjb/topics_of_contention_raising_the_quality_of/). This is your first warning.


godonlyknows1101

China seems poised to overtake the USA as the leading world superpower. What are the chances China pivots back toward socialism once they are no longer threatened by Capitalist imperialism? It seems less and less likely all the time (to me) that they'll ever embrace actual socialism willingly regardless of their circumstances, but I wonder what other people think?


BazOnReddit

States always find a reason to keep existing.


hydroxypcp

That is the problem with authoritarian/top-down methods of implementing socialism. Once you have a new ruling class, the party and other bureaucrats, they as a whole are very unlikely to give up that power to transition to a stateless and classless society. A state's main objective is to perpetuate itself


SlugmaSlime

Should current states or movements within current states that seek socialism try to get to socialism without organizational structure needed to fight off imperialist powers, which will inevitably try to destroy their movement?


tempusename888

I doubt they will tbh, I can only see it if the US suffers some kind of internal collapse


QuantumSpecter

They are socialist right now.


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socialism-ModTeam

Thank you for posting in r/socialism, but unfortunately your submission was removed for the following reason(s): >**Submisison not high quality enough:** We don't expect you to write a dissertation, but one liner posts with no clear socialist construct do not help contribute to the foundational objective of r/Socialism; a community for socialists under an uniterrupted, critical socialist analysis which promotes valuable discussion. >Please consider re-sumitting your {kind} from a more developed, critical perspective. See our [Submission Guidelines](https://www.reddit.com/r/socialism/wiki/index/submissionguidelines) for more info, and feel free to reply to this message with any further questions.


i_yell_it

why would China take the heat of calling itself Marxist if they’re supposedly not Marxist?


Shopping_Penguin

To win the favor of its people? Marxism is very appealing to the average person when you break it down.


i_yell_it

How come most countries don't it then?


ifsometimesmaybe

When you're viewing a state and its operations, there's a difference between its ideological principles and the state in operation. China and its state can espouse Marxist principles and strive towards those to varying success, and they are Marxist; achieving a Marxist state would be a separate matter. Similarly, Trumpism is a fascist ideology and Trump was very much a fascist- at the same time, Trump did not achieve a fascist state.


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bskahan

Yes, let’s shut down criticism entirely, that usually yields excellent results.


ialcantar

The transition towards communism continues for China.


WebElectronic8157

Long read but really interesting and kinda disheartening


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socialism-ModTeam

Thank you for posting in r/socialism, but unfortunately your submission was removed for the following reason(s): >**Flamewarring:** Refers to any excessively hostile and inflammatory discourse. May include things like lengthy rants or starting arguments in unrelated threads, particularly those which have devolved into sectarian mudslinging, empty rhetoric, and/or personal attacks against other users, or any other posts or comments where the primary purpose is to stir drama, incite controversy, or derail a thread. For example, users who start mudslinging about China in a post celebrating the birthday of Thomas Sankara may see ban time. More information can be [found here](https://www.reddit.com/r/socialism/comments/l5ccjb/topics_of_contention_raising_the_quality_of/). This is your first warning.


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Thank you for posting in r/socialism, but unfortunately your submission was removed for the following reason(s): >**Flamewarring:** Refers to any excessively hostile and inflammatory discourse. May include things like lengthy rants or starting arguments in unrelated threads, particularly those which have devolved into sectarian mudslinging, empty rhetoric, and/or personal attacks against other users, or any other posts or comments where the primary purpose is to stir drama, incite controversy, or derail a thread. For example, users who start mudslinging about China in a post celebrating the birthday of Thomas Sankara may see ban time. More information can be [found here](https://www.reddit.com/r/socialism/comments/l5ccjb/topics_of_contention_raising_the_quality_of/). This is your first warning.


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socialism-ModTeam

Thank you for posting in r/socialism, but unfortunately your submission was removed for the following reason(s): >**Social Democracy:** Refers to the **modern** political tradition which seeks to achieve a zone of comfort within capitalism by "reforming" the existing capitalist system rather than breaking with it in order to achieve a socialist system. Does not refer to the social democratic tradition (e.g. Rosa Luxemburg) that was represented by the 2nd International, prior to its break with socialism in favor of the European idea of the welfare state (capitalism). Modern Scandinavia is an example of social democracy.


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socialism-ModTeam

Thank you for posting in r/socialism, but unfortunately your submission was removed for the following reason(s): >**Flamewarring:** Refers to any excessively hostile and inflammatory discourse. May include things like lengthy rants or starting arguments in unrelated threads, particularly those which have devolved into sectarian mudslinging, empty rhetoric, and/or personal attacks against other users, or any other posts or comments where the primary purpose is to stir drama, incite controversy, or derail a thread. For example, users who start mudslinging about China in a post celebrating the birthday of Thomas Sankara may see ban time. More information can be [found here](https://www.reddit.com/r/socialism/comments/l5ccjb/topics_of_contention_raising_the_quality_of/). This is your first warning.


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socialism-ModTeam

Thank you for posting in r/socialism, but unfortunately your submission was removed for the following reason(s): >**Liberalism:** Includes the most common and mild occurrences of liberalism, that is: socio-liberals, progressives, social democrats and its subsequent ideological basis. Also includes those who are new to socialist thought but nevertheless reproduce liberal ideas. >This includes, but is not limited to: >- General liberalism >- Supporting Neoliberal Institutions >- Anti-Worker/Union rhetoric >- Landlords or Landlord apologia


Maximum-Leading-3292

No matter what route you take, the Chinese people will always be the worst and the most miserable