This is an interesting article about a turn to the Left among some factions of the CCP in China, particularly a revival of Maoism. Though the article, as usual for Asia Times, has an anti-Mao bent, it’s nevertheless good news. Interestingly enough, much of the movement is coming from younger cadre. Another faction is the sons and daughters of the veterans of the Long March.
The turn towards Maoism takes many forms, and many are not necessarily economic. It’s interesting that in China now, privatization is working backwards. That is, state firms are swallowing up many private firms. And most of last year’s stimulus went to state firms.
What most people don’t realize is that much of China’s economic revival is being led by public firms of one type or another. These firms are often owned at least nominally by local municipalities, often smaller ones, and labor collectives.
The #3 manufacturer of televisions in the world, maker of TV’s for many multinational TV makers, is a publicly owned firm. At root is a Maoist practice whereby many or most public firms are actually formally owned by the workers, including this TV firm. Management is still relatively autonomous, but the profits from the firm go straight into the worker’s pockets as paychecks. However, my understanding is that they are required to reinvest 90-95% of the profits back into company. What’s left over is often a hefty sum though.
Firms run by small cities have been extremely successful. Cities compete with each other and build homes and other amenities for workers. The best firms make lots of money and the workers as formal owners get to take home a chunk of it. The most successful firms have long lists of workers wanting to move to these prosperous cities. Much of this manufactured material is also exported.
What’s funny is that that Made In China product you bought at the store may well have been made by a public firm. Oh, the horrors of socialism!
Although hardline Maoists decry China’s present economic project, saying that they have abandoned socialism for capitalism, that’s not really true.
If you go outside the cities into the rural areas, such as the wild areas, all of that land is owned by the state. Although the state has had problems in the environmental arena, in many cases the state stewards wildlands well. If that land were all privately owned, I assure you most of it would be developed with an eye towards profit or habitation. China’s wildlands and wild species would be in much worse shape than they are now, and on a worldwide scale, China is not a center of mass extinctions or endangered species.
It is capitalist countries, mostly rainforest ones, such as Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Philippines, Madagascar and Mexico that are leading the extinction and endangerment epidemic, not China.
The Nepalese Maoists have gone to China’s rural collectives and come back with smiles on their faces. Compared to Nepal, China seems like a socialist paradise. The same could be said for India. China’s people are much better off than India’s in a socialist manner of speaking.
Nevertheless, it is simply outrageous that in China, people are dying because they cannot afford healthcare. That’s really disgusting. The state has been trying to extend insurance to the masses, and state insurance is for sale that covers 85% of expenses, but it’s too expensive for most Chinese.
Much of the progress in education that was made during the Cultural Revolution, especially in the rural areas (and incredible progress was made) has, incredibly, been in a process of reversal. Schools are being shut down in rural areas all over China. This is the damned economic miracle you capitalist-lovers are raving about. Tastes more like crow to me.
Furthermore, China continues to support North Korea, and North Korea is the source of most of Iran’s missiles. This blog supports the efforts of both North Korea and Iran to obtain nuclear weapons as deterrents, but hopefully not to use them.
North Korea’s nukes are the subject of a lot of misinformation. Yes they have a working nuclear device, but I think it is only a small one, maybe 15% as large as the Hiroshima bomb. They’ve had a hard time detonating bigger bombs. They seem to have several of these, maybe 5-10. North Korea also has working missiles, but they’ve had a hard time making long range missiles that go much further than Japan. A lot of these are just failing. Furthermore, I do not believe that they have figured out how to put a nuclear device onto a missile and detonate it.
People don’t understand nuclear missiles at all. First, it’s hard as Hell to make one. Next, it’s very hard to make good rockets that go 1000’s of miles with good accuracy. Third and most important, once you get the bomb, it is a whole matter altogether to figure out how to stick the thing onto a missile in such a way that it detonates on landing when firing the rocket. This is called weaponizing the warhead. It’s a whole new ballgame. Many states have had nuclear programs that have aborted or run aground at one or the other of these phases.
All in all, the movement towards Maoism in China is great news!