I’m not a libertarian, my politics is best described as social democrat. I’m just a realist that understands what a spectacular failure the communist project has been.
“Mao built up and industrialized China.”
In 1988, average wages in China were about 3,00 Yuan, now it is 47,00 Yuan. Today’s China owes more to Deng Xiaoping than it does to that maniac Mao. China liberalized its economy but didn’t liberalize its politics. It’s a state capitalist economy, not communist by any means. I have first hand experience; I’m part-owner of a mid-size factory that produces goods for my company here. And have you ever been to Shanghai? The closest thing to capitalist paradise.
45% of the economy is still in public ownership. The government still owns all the land in China. You can only lease the land. You cannot buy it.
The system is set up so that the market is a tool which can be manipulated by the state any way they wish. They can even shut down whole industries if they want to. The market serves society and operates at the behest of the state in contrast to capitalist countries were society serves the market and the state is beholden to the capitalists, not the other way around. In China the market is a tool for the development for the productive forces only, not a form of politics as it is in most capitalist countries. In China the state runs the country and the market just makes stuff, as opposed to capitalist countries were the market not only makes stuff but also runs the state.
I know a number of Communists and Marxists who approve of what the CCP is doing in China. Even on Maoist boards, the CCP has a lot of supporters. That right there implies that there is something other than radical free market capitalism going on.
Almost all of the banking is done by large state banks. The government spends a tremendous amount of money on society in general and lately on developing the rural areas. I believe that all schooling continues to be free. The Chinese state is completely non-imperialist overseas. In fact it has extremely fraternal relations with North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Laos and Vietnam. No purely capitalist state would ever have friendly relations with those countries. If China were a pure capitalist state, they would be attacking all of those countries like the US does.
Much of the growth in the Chinese economy has actually taken place in enterprises that are actually formally run by labor collectives and small municipalities. Cities run enterprises within their boundaries and compete with other cities for workers. The better the enterprise does, the more money the workers get. Not exactly the sort of exploitation Marx discussed in the Labor Theory of Value.
All state firms are formally owned by their workers due to a Mao era law. All of the income from the firm goes to the workers themselves, but they are generally required to hand back 95% of it to reinvest it in the plant. Still, when the enterprise does better, their paycheck goes up. The #3 largest producer of TV’s in the world is a Chinese state factory. I thought public enterprises could not compete with private ones.
Capitalists in the West are yelling all the time that they are at an unfair advantage with their Chinese competitors due massive state subsidy of their Chinese competitors. But wait, I thought state subsidy made firms less competitive? How much superior are the capitalist firms when state-subsidized firms regularly kick their asses?
Although much of the collective system was dismantled in countryside when they got rid of the village communes (an action that has caused severe problems) they still have local irrigation boards that control much of the farmland infrastructure. Those small farmers do not make enough money to fund irrigation projects and they won’t cooperate on them anyway. So the state moved in, and the state spends a lot of money running all of the irrigation in agricultural China and it does a great job of it. You can see that the state plays a large role in Chinese agriculture.
There are homeless in much of the capitalist world, but there are no homeless in China. It is illegal to be homeless. If you are homeless, the cops will pick you up and put you into a shelter right away. If you are not from the city, then they send you back to your home in the countryside. Obviously the state plays a huge role in preventing homelessness. Most housing is state housing.
Due to the many rural people leaving to go the cities (which is causing a lot of problems) the state is spending a vast amount of money to improve the rural areas to keep the people on the farm. Does that sound like something a capitalist government would do? No capitalist government would ever spend a vast amount of money on its rural poor.
There have been 200 million excess deaths in India because India chose the capitalist road as opposed to the various socialist roads the Chinese have taken.
Malnutrition in India is 50% and in China it is 7%. The numbers were equal in 1949.
Chinese life expectancy was the same as India’s in 1949 and since then, Chinese live much longer than Indians. Those extra years add up to 3-4 million excess deaths occurring in India every year, purely due to India’s economic system.
60% of Indians shit out of doors, while only ~6% of Chinese have no toilet. The numbers were equal in 1949.
That China surpasses India in all of these regards is not the result of Chinese capitalism. It is the pure result of Chinese socialism.
Without the tremendous buildup of agricultural, educational and industrial bases of the economy, none of this growth could have taken place.