Some Reflections on “China and Socialism Roundtable”
[This is the Introduction, by Hari Sharma, to the book Critical Perspectives in China’s Economic Transformation (Delhi: Daanish Books, 2007). It was posted by Single Spark with the permission of the author and publisher.]
Critical Asian Studies has done a laudable job by organizing a Roundtable around China and Socialism: Market Reforms and Class Struggle, authored by Martin Hart-Landsberg and Paul Burkett.1 Contributions to the Roundtable have broadened the scope of discussions much beyond what the original book covered, or even intended to cover.
Despite its lead title, the Hart-Landsberg and Burkett book did not really deal with the phase of conscious socialist construction in China’s post-1949 history. It is the “reform”2 period starting in 1978 that constituted the main focus of the book. The Roundtable discussions, however, opened up a wide range of issues: of factual nature (as to what did or didn’t happen during different phases of post-49 China); of conceptual nature (notions of class, class struggle, state, ideology, and much more); and of doctrinal nature (pertaining to tenets of Marxism). It also opened up issues relating to the general developmental theory in the social sciences.
Scholars as well as practicing Marxists (communist revolutionaries) in India and elsewhere — interested in China, socialism, and especially China’s three-decades-long experiment in building socialism — should find the present volume of much interest. They will confront ideas they themselves have dealt with for many decades. They will confront, also, the realities of post-Mao China and how these have been impacting the lives of the peasants and workers in that society, as well as face the question of today’s China being a development model for other third world countries. And they will know, too, how the community of “critical Asian scholars,” at least the ones associated with the journal Critical Asian Studies (especially those devoted to the past, present, and future of China and of socialism) has become divergent in the world outlook its individual members hold.3 Differences surface not only in the appraisal of developments in the post-Mao China but also in the appraisal of the Mao period, as well as on the future of socialism itself.
It would hardly surprise anyone that the imperialists of the world have been hailing the dazzling gains China has made in its economy in the last two decades. They are after all the main props for this growth. These developments in China also strengthen their ideological weaponry against the voices of Marxism and socialism. More importantly, as Andrew Glyn recently pointed out,4 China has undoubtedly provided the international capital a new, and big, supply of what Marx called the “reserve army of labour.”
But Hart-Landsberg and Burkett were not too concerned, I assume, with the cheering chorus of international capital. It is the fact that even the progressive circles have been celebrating the Chinese “growth model” that bothered them. This they thought needed to be confronted and they thus became motivated to write the book. It is significant that the idea of the book gelled only after they attended an international conference on Marxism in Cuba in 2003, as they themselves tell us.5 They found Cuban economists and government officials “impressed by China’s sustained economic growth, and even more so by its increasingly successful efforts to attract FDI [foreign direct investment] and generate manufactured growth.” They observed that a “draft proposal for restructuring Cuba’s economic strategy…strongly influenced by the Chinese experience” was prepared, and that the notion of “socialism with Cuban characteristics” was being discussed.6 Hart-Landsberg and Burkett were also concerned, understandably, that many progressives they knew had little interest left in socialism and “would not see China’s movement away from socialism as a serious problem.”7 Tai-lok Lui echoes this in his contribution to the Roundtable: “Paradoxically, the negation of Chinese socialism has been repackaged into political and economic pragmatism,” justifying “almost everything happening in modern-day China.”8
The Roundtable has left Hart-Landsberg and Burkett sad and disappointed; they didn’t find from the community of critical Asian scholars the support they were seeking for their “efforts to renew a vision of and movement for a socialism based on the needs and capacities of he associated producers.”9 On the contrary, they encountered viewpoints of TINA (that there is no alternative to capitalism), as well as of TINNFA (that there is no need for an alternative). Notions like “end of history” and pronouncements like TINA and TINNFA are only expressions of international capital’s short-sighted triumphalism, floated after the iron curtain became irrelevant. But the inherent contradictions of capitalism and its imperialist manifestations have not gone away, and as Hart-Landsberg and Burkett point out10, people everywhere, and in varying ways, are constantly seeking alternatives to capitalism.
While I agree with Tai-lok Lui that the call given by Hart-Landsberg and Burkett “for a socialist rethinking of the current state of developments in China should be taken seriously,”11 I think it would have to take place principally within China and especially in conjunction with the struggles of the Chinese people. I can assure them though that such rethinking and reflection have been going on in many parts of the world, including in India. And I say this fully aware that India has not escaped the effects of the Chinese glitter. There are political parties and groups, some with even the word “Communist” on their nametag and some whose lineage goes back to the China-inspired Naxalbari struggles that started in 1967, who believe that China is still socialist, and the progress it has been making should be hailed. These could be ignored and left to be taken care of by history. But there is also much clamouring in the ruling circles, and a desire to emulate the Chinese “success” stories. There were loud talks of redoing the city of Mumbai following the Shanghai model. I do not know if they are still after that mirage, but in the last few years there has been a scandalous movement to grab tens of thousands of hectares of productive agricultural land, all over the country, to be handed over to multinationals and local big capitalists to create Special Economic Zones (SEZs), obviously on the Chinese model. Ironically, it is not the “free market” in operation here (of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund [IMF] kit); the state is using the age-old Land Acquisition Act of 1894 (yes, of the colonial period) to hand over forcibly acquired land to big capital — the peasants getting a value much below the market price. Tens of thousands of them have been agitating, protesting, only to be met with bullets and police batons, even in the province of West Bengal ruled by a Front of “left” parties, headed by a “communist” one.
This should be left aside. The Roundtable, as said before, has opened up a wide range of issues, going way beyond the initial concerns of the original book — issues about Marxism, about the history of the socialist project, about the Chinese experiment with socialism, etc. At least some of these merit comment.
A Part of the Global Emancipatory Project
The first thing, I believe, we ought to do is to not see the Chinese Revolution of 1949 as an aberration, a fluke, a misguided adventure, or even as something that shouldn’t have happened anyway, and that was doomed to failure only for the fact that it happened in China. Granting that none of the Roundtable participants are suggesting any such thing (not directly anyway), the point nonetheless needs to be made that the 1949 Revolution was an outcome of a prolonged and sustained effort by a vast multitude of the Chinese people, under the leadership of a Communist Party, to do away with imperialism and its local props (feudalism and comprador capitalism) and to lay the foundations for building a socialist society.12
Seen this way, the Chinese Revolution becomes an important landmark on the long and worldwide emancipatory project, which began precisely a hundred years earlier with the 1848 Manifesto of the Community Party. The Manifesto was indeed a significant milestone: not only for what it said but also as a signifier of the qualitatively changed times, with the working class beginning to manifest proletarian class consciousness. The first Association of workers was already formed in the 1830s (precursor of later-day Trade Unions). Communist ideas, in sharp opposition to various reformists, middle-class, or utopian socialist notions, had already taken roots among sections of the workers. It was an international association of workers called the Communist League that had commissioned Marx and Engels to draw up a detailed theoretical and practical program for them. The 23-page pamphlet printed in February 1848 in German, without even the names of Marx or Engels on it,13 and immediately translated into several European languages, was undoubtedly a product of the conscious proletarian struggles already underway. But it also became the guidepost of the worldwide emancipatory process, with firm roots in the philosophical outlook of historical materialism and carrying the banner of scientific socialism.
The hundred years that followed carried a vast sum of experiences: the workings of the Communist League, the revolutions of 1848-50, the eight-year-long experiences of the International Workingmen’s Association (1864-72), the Paris Commune of 1871 eulogized by Marx as “the glorious harbinger of a new society,”14 and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The 1949 Revolution in China was a continuation of this process, and when it happened it immediately paved the way for the emancipation of millions of Chinese people, oppressed and exploited over centuries.
When it happened, it also elated and inspired working people and toiling masses all over the world. It did so especially in the formerly (and at places still) colonized peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America, for whom the Chinese Revolution also provided a model, a distinctively “Chinese Path” — with its main focus on peasantry, with a multi-class alliance, with protracted people’s war, with the “three magic weapons” (a party, a people’s army, and a united front), and with the concepts of “National Liberation” and “New Democratic Revolution.” Scholars associated with Critical Asian Studies should know about the many countries in Asia where communist parties inspired by the distinct features of the Chinese Path have been, and still are, engaged in revolutionary struggles: applying the fundamental tenets of Marxism to the concrete conditions of their respective societies, just as the Chinese Party had done it in China. Most communist revolutionaries and intellectuals there would agree with the observation of Zhu Dongli (based in Beijing) that the question whether contemporary China is named “socialist” or “capitalist” “does not even bear posing.”15 For them the question was settled a long time ago. They would nonetheless be pleased to know from Zhu Dongli that there are “spiritual orphans” left behind in China after the departure of revolution, and that socialism, which “had all but disappeared as a topic of discussion … has found new voices in intellectual circles.”16 There are, then, a large number of articles even in the mainstream media of the Western world, highlighting wave after wave of protesting, demonstrating masses all across China, some examples of which are given by Hart-Landsberg and Burkett themselves in their Rejoinder.17 Scores of students from prestigious universities in China have begun to move out, year after year, to investigate the conditions of workers and peasants and to learn from them, as Robert Weil has observed in a few of his recent articles.18 There are also reverberations at the highest levels in China. The National People’s Congress meeting earlier this year was reportedly so “consumed with an ideological debate over socialism and capitalism,”19 that it was forced to shelve the draft law on property rights, as well as remained undecided over the future of China’s financial system and the role of foreigners in China’s banks and securities firms. The Congress was immediately followed with a private, closed meeting of officials and scholars, to thrash out the differences. Close China-watchers might know more about the final outcome of this meeting, but a New York Times article based on the leaked minutes tells us that there were clashes there too, and “many attendees emphasized that they were alarmed by the resurgence of socialist thinkers critical of the lurch toward capitalism.”20 To conclude this stream, one should also note the fortieth anniversary commemoration of the Cultural Revolution held in almost-China (Hong Kong), in June of this year, and attended by scholars and activists from very many countries, including from China. Fred Magdoff’s report on this gathering informs us that conferences to celebrate the fortieth anniversary were also held in Zengzhou and in various homes in Wuhan, despite official hostility from the Chinese government.21
What might eventually come out of the escalating and widespread agitations of the Chinese masses, and the ideological debates in the halls of power, is uncertain. What is certain is the fact that the Global Emancipatory Project is still on, in China as elsewhere, and will certainly remain so for a long time to come. There have been setbacks; these may happen in future too. But a century-and-a-half is not that long a period to undo a history of class domination, going back thousands of years, during each stage of which the small class of people who owned the vital means of production also owned the instruments of power and punishment (the state, in its various forms), as well as all the instruments of mental production, thereby dominating the entire sphere of superstructure. Yet, decisive strides have been taken in this short period, each step building on the lessons from the ones before, as we will see shortly.
But Cooper tells us, in this Roundtable, that the works of Marx may no longer be “relevant as a guide in the construction of socialism.”22 Lippit goes further: All this talk of an emancipatory project only amounts to “a utopian image.”23 Revolution and socialism, for him, cannot be on the agenda for a long time. “Capitalism will have to play out its historical role before it can be supplanted.”24 The replacement of capitalism with a post-capitalist society would have to wait “until capitalism has transformed the whole world in its image.”25
One has to wonder who assigned this “historical role” to capitalism. Maybe Lippit meant to invoke Marx’s own authority, although he has not done it. It is well known, though, that this phrase (“capitalism transforming the whole world in its image”) comes from the Communist Manifesto in the section where Marx and Engels are describing the many historically progressive and revolutionary features of capitalism — in relation to the old feudal order. “It [the bourgeoisie] compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.”26 This does not amount to assigning a historical role to capitalism. However, in his short articles on India, written for the New York Daily Tribune in the early 1850s (obviously based on insufficient information), and also in his occasional references to what he called “oriental despotism,” there are certainly indications that capitalism had had that civilizing mission for the Asian world.27 But even if it is conceded that Marx did actually believe in that global transforming mission of capital, let us not forget that he was writing some of these things at a time when global capitalism was still in its pre-imperialist, by-and-large laissez faire, stage. By the time he was writing with Engels the Preface for the 1882 Russian edition of the Communist Manifesto, one year before his death, he had already noticed that “a mass proletariat and a fabulous concentration of capitals are developing for the first time in the industrial regions.”28 As for Russia itself, Marx and Engels viewed it “as the vanguard of revolutionary action in Europe” and went on to say: “If the Russian Revolution becomes the signal for a proletarian revolution in the West, so that both complement each other, the present Russian common ownership of land may serve as the starting point for communist development.”29 That Marx was firmly opposed to Russia first going through a “capitalist transformation” before marching on to revolution is clearly borne out by a letter he wrote in 1877.30 He was refuting an allegation prevailing among Russian liberals of the time that he (Marx) believed that Russia’s most urgent task was to “destroy the peasant communal property and plunge into capitalism.”31 This is what the letter said, in part: “To be in a position to pass knowledgeable judgment on Russia’s economic development, I learned Russian and for many long years made a study of official and other publications relevant to the matter. I arrived at this conclusion. If Russia continues to advance along the path she has followed since 1861, she will miss the best chance history has ever offered a people, and will have to undergo all the fatal vicissitudes of the capitalist system.”32
This, I believe, should suffice on the matter of Marx’s views on the “historical role of capitalism before it is supplanted.” One more thing, however, needs to be added, and that is the situation in England, described by Marx in 1870 as “the metropolis of capital.”33 “It is the only country,” Marx wrote,
where the capitalist form, i.e., combined labour on a large scale under capitalist masters, embraces virtually the whole of production. It is the only country where the great majority of the population consists of wage labourers.... If landlordism and capitalism are classical examples in England, on the other hand, the material conditions for their destruction are the most mature here.... The English have all the material necessary for the social revolution. What they lack is the spirit of generalisation and revolutionary fervour.34
Further on, in the same communication, in the section dealing with the Irish question, Marx went at considerable length to show how
the English bourgeoisie has not only exploited the Irish poverty to keep down the working class in England by forced immigration of poor Irishmen, but it has also divided the proletariat in two hostile camps.…In all the big industrial centres in England there is profound antagonism between the Irish proletariat and the English proletariat,…artificially nourished and supported by the bourgeoisie.… Any nation that oppresses another forges its own chain.35
This presentation of the situation was followed by the call:
Thus the attitude of the International Association to the Irish question is very clear. Its first need is to encourage the social revolution in England. To this end a great blow must be struck in Ireland.…[Q]uite apart from international justice, it is a precondition to the emancipation of the English working class to transform the present forced union (i.e., the enslavement of Ireland) into equal and free confederation if possible, into complete separation if need be.36
The message is quite clear. One does not have to “wait for Godot,” for the capitalist bulldozer, to make the whole world into an even playfield for the workers of the world to bring about the end of capitalism. The struggles would have to be waged piece by piece, country by country. And if it was so evident in 1870 that the impetus, the blow, would have to come from the periphery, even as a “precondition” for the emancipation of the workers in the metropolis, it is all the more so in the imperialist stage that began not too long after Marx passed away.
Hart-Landsberg and Burkett have called Lippit’s position on capitalism’s historical mission “rather naïve” because, among other things, “it dismisses the contemporary relevance of imperialism.”37 I agree. Finally, the important phenomenon of imperialism entered the discourse.38 But why be confined to only the contemporary relevance, or rather machinations, of imperialism? It was not some kind of European benevolence that brought together major powers to divvy up the whole of the African continent on a drawing board, with ruler-guided straight lines cutting across rivers, lakes, mountains, and people’s historically evolved ethnic and cultural boundaries. It was imperialism, coping with its internal rivalries. After Africa was gobbled up, an intense competition rose up again to re-divide the already divided-up world, in the service of the highly concentrated, monopolized, and cartelized (i.e., imperialist) capital in different countries. The race was on for colonies, for vital resources, for strategic sea routes and locations, for capital deployment. It was a race for further growth, but also for survival. The United States wasn’t out there in the Philippines in the late 1890s to help the Filipino people fight their war against the Spanish colonialists. As a rising imperial power, and with no colonies of its own, by militarily defeating the weak colonial power of Spain it not only obtained the Philippines but also Guam and Puerto Rico as its colonial enclaves, and Cuba as well within the sphere of its domination. Imperialism is not just a matter of “contemporary relevance,” it is a platter-full, long history of global wars, of wars of aggression and occupation, of deceit and intrigue, of deposing and killing rulers, of setting up puppet regimes and military juntas, of banana and cocoa republics, of International Monetary Fund and the World Bank — all the way down to today’s Afghanistan, Iraq, and whatever other piece of earth the imperialists want to subjugate. The imperialist system was never interested, nor would it ever be, in the well-being of the people it subordinates. It would not even allow an independent capitalist class. What bourgeoisie is there, or emerges, has to be a subservient, comprador, bourgeoisie.
When Lenin began his practice as a revolutionary Marxist, capitalism had already entered the imperialist stage. He had grasped its dynamics, and understood its inner contradictions. The Bolshevik revolution of 1917 was described by Lenin as breaking the imperialist chain at its weakest link.39
The emancipatory journey established a major milestone.
Socialism in China: A Journey from Marx to Mao, and Beyond
Irrespective of the various labels used by the current leadership of China (“market-socialism,” “socialism with Chinese characteristics”), there is a consensus among the participants of the Roundtable that what obtains today in China is not socialism. These labels are expressions of “euphemism” to mystify the “increasingly proletarian or semi-proletarian production relations,” as pointed out by Cooper;40 and they are efforts to use “socialism to build capitalism,” as indicated by Tai-lok Lui.41 That capitalism has been fully restored, or is in the process of rapidly being restored, does not seem to be a point of contention among the discussants.
But some key questions remain, even though they were not central to the initial project of Hart-Landsberg and Burkett when they wrote the book that gave rise to the present Roundtable. And these are: how do we characterize the Chinese society and its political processes during the Mao period? What brought about the drastic transformation so soon after Mao’s death? And, what lessons can be drawn from the Chinese experiences for future efforts, in China and elsewhere, to build and consolidate socialism and to avoid its derailment?
Views vary, even on the question of characterizing the Mao period after the revolution. For example, Gao, after citing “empirical evidence that the political movements in the era of Mao were cruel and brutal” goes on to present a “theoretical issue,” citing Chinese liberals’ argument that “the era of Mao was not socialist at all but feudalist and dictatorial. It was not even Marxist because Marxism embraces enlightenment and humanism.”42 It is not clear whether these are Gao’s own views or are simply presented as “problems” for scholars to deal with. Lippit, on the other hand, is very clear: “The actual contest in China was not between capitalism and socialism, but between capitalism and statism.”43 Alvin So also invokes the notion of statism. After the revolution, according to him, “the Chinese society was transformed from a class-divided society to a statist society ruled by a strong Leninist party-state,” with the Chinese Communist Party “determined to create a new statist/classless society.”44
It is not simply a matter of quibbling over a label. Labels are important; in the current context they are important concepts signifying a social-political reality. “Socialism” is also a label in that sense; so also is “the dictatorship of the proletariat.” But the concept of “statism” remains highly problematic. I am reminded of Gail Omvedt in this same community of Asian scholars, who while hailing the virtues of the World Bank and IMF agenda in India, wrote that the problems of poverty, lack of development, etc., were caused by “statist regimes” in the Nehruvian and post-Nehruvian phase of Indian history.45 In other words, a semicolonial, semifeudal state, desperate to make a historical compromise between contending classes by attempting to create a bureaucratic-capitalist class, could be called statist, in the same manner as a “dictatorship of the proletariat,” trying to build socialism, could. As a concept it is not only imprecise, an encyclopedia also describes it as a “loose and derogatory term,” used by “advocates of economic liberalism to refer to any economy that does not conform to the standards of laissez-faire capitalism.”46 Maybe so, maybe not. But we could leave it at that.47
State as an indispensable instrument of building socialism
When Mao Zedong said that the countrywide victory of the revolution was only the first step in a long march of ten thousand li (about 3,300 miles), he was only summing up the lessons from hundred-years-long experiences of revolutionary struggles. The imagery carries a mind-boggling proportion: a single human step on a journey of ten thousand li, in order to complete the task of building socialism. Capturing political power, that is, capturing the state, was the first and absolutely necessary, indispensable, step. The Communist Manifesto itself had said so in 1848: “[T]he first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class, to win the battle of democracy.”48 A few years later, in a letter dated 5 March 1852 to J. Weydemeyer, Marx even gave a proper label to the “proletariat in the position of ruling class,” by calling it the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” constituting, “the transition to the abolition of all classes and to a classless society.”49 It was, however, the 1871 Commune — when the workers of Paris actually captured political power and held it for seventy days — that provided the very first, and concrete, example of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” — of the form the state would take during the stage of building socialism. In a series of Addresses, on behalf of the General Council of the International Working Men’s Association, and published later collectively as The Civil War in France,50 Marx not only analyzed the day-to-day developments in Paris, but also highlighted the salient aspects of the new state form, and was able to declare that “the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purpose.”51 The old state would have to be smashed, and a new one forged, to serve the class interests of the vast majority of the working people against those of the bourgeoisie and its partners.
All this was a part of the lessons kit. Important lessons were drawn also from the long revolutionary process in China itself all the way up to the “first step” of 1949, especially from the Yenan period. Additionally, there were lessons to be drawn from the USSR, already in existence for thirty-two years then. There were the writings of both Lenin and Stalin, underlying the necessity of continuing class struggle even during the stage of building socialism, and to prevent the restoration of capitalism.52 But the fact that Stalin had already declared, while introducing a new Constitution in 1936, that there were no longer any antagonistic classes in the USSR could not have gone unnoticed by party leaders in China. It was just a few more years later that some fundamental questions about the Soviet model of socialism would be raised.
The Why and How of the Restoration of Capitalism in China
Even if one takes the plea of Hart-Landsberg and Burkett to “renew a vision of and movement for socialism” in China seriously, which I do and I am sure many around the world do too, a significantly important question still remains: why and how the one socialism that there was came to an end, so soon after the passing away of Mao. How can one even think of trying to renew the vision without trying to learn why socialism in China, built through such a long struggle and with such an enormous promise for the people not just in China, but all over, came to such a drastic and tragic ending. This question was not even posed by Roundtable participants in the entire discussion, except by Tai-lok Lui, who only confessed that he didn’t have the answer himself.53 He summarized the explanation presented by Hart-Landsberg and Burkett, but offered no critique.54
The explanation offered by Hart-Landsberg and Burkett is this: after Mao’s death there was a definite need for political and economic changes, also desired by the great majority of Chinese people, but Deng Xiaoping had “overstated the severity of the problems and ignored other, nonmarket reform options that could have addressed them.” But the path chosen turned out to be a “slippery slope,” contradictions of one step inevitably leading to the next one — until there was a full-scale restoration of capitalism.55
This “slippery slope” notion is questionable. But before I come to it, the suggestion that Deng simply overstated the severity of economic problems and chose a wrong path to deal with them, ignores the historically well-established fact that there was a two-line struggle inside the Communist Party, going back to even pre-1949 days. Hart-Landsberg and Burkett actually mention that there were “conflicts within the party leadership,”56 but do not elaborate. Drawing from the Miltons’ detailed description of the two line struggle over a period of 40 years,57 James Peck pointedly reminded us of the defeats of Li Li-san in the 1930s, Wang Ming in the 1940s, Gau Gang and Peng Deh-huai in the 1950s and Liu Shau-qi in the 1960s as expressions of this long two-line struggle, as “controversies over the nature and applicability of the Soviet model.”58 In the days of the revolutionary struggles the differences were on whether to follow Stalin’s advice or to follow China’s own distinctive path of revolution. In the post-1949 period, especially after the mid-1950s, the two-line struggle was between the Soviet model of “socialist development” and what Mark Selden, among others, characterized as the “Chinese road to socialism.”59 The last two decades of Mao’s life saw the intensification of this struggle; it was nothing but “class struggle under the dictatorship of the proletariat,” or “continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.”
Alvin So in this Roundtable does not see it this way. For him there were no “objective bases of antagonistic classes,” and the Maoists only used the “subjective categories of ‘class’ and ‘class struggles’…in their political campaigns.” He goes on to say that what was going in China (a ”statist society,” in his terms) was not class conflict but a “conflict between the state and individuals.”60 But it was not “individuals’ that counted per se. What is important is to identify class interests and class perspectives: whether an attitude, a political practice, and a program of action serves the interests of this or that class. Liu Shau-qi and Deng Xiaoping were not called “capitalists,” which obviously they were not, but only “capitalist roaders.” The difference is important. It was the assertion, a correct one, that what they were arguing and struggling for would inevitably lead to capitalist restoration. To struggle against them was not a struggle against individuals, but a struggle between a capitalist road and a socialist road and thus a class struggle in a most profound sense.
It is good to know from Zhu Dongli in this Roundtable that as the discussion of socialism is being revived in China, Mao’s detailed annotations and comments on Stalin’s Soviet Textbook on Political Economy are also becoming a part of the discourse.61 The section he cites is significant. People could have the right to work, leisure, education, and economic security in old age or illness; but that does not amount to socialism. Mao writes as a comment on the Soviet text that the most basic rights under a socialist system are the labouring peoples’ right in the management of the state, military, industry, culture, and education. “Without them, there is no long-term guarantee to the right to work, leisure, education, etc.”62 It is impossible to realize this conception of socialism without consciously, vigorously and consistently following the mass line — by making sure that the people participate in decision-making processes at every place of work and in every level of governance, and by negating every mode of hierarchy and resolving every contradiction inherited through age-old practices and attitudes, as well as those that would inevitably rise in the expanding production sphere. Mao’s essays “On the Ten Major Relationships” (April 1956) and “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People” (February 1957) had clearly laid out what needed to be done and how.63 In a very significant sense, the contention between the two lines boils down to the contradiction between “expanding the forces of production,” on the one hand, and “deepening egalitarian, socialist, relations of production,” on the other. Mao had grasped, rightly, that a prioritized emphasis on the former would unavoidably lead to the negation of the socialist project. A struggle against that line was a class struggle: a struggle between two lines, between two classes. With an almost prophetic vision, Mao had warned that if the Chinese people did not continue with this class struggle,
“then it would not be long, perhaps only several years or a decade, or several decades at most, before a counter-revolutionary restoration on a national scale would inevitably occur, the Marxist-Leninist party would undoubtedly become a revisionist party, a fascist party, and the whole of China would change its colour.”64
Through the Great Leap Forward, and through the Cultural Revolution, the struggle continued in an ever more intensified way. Efforts to sabotage the socialist line of Mao were many. Charles Bettelheim has talked about how the right wing assumed left appearances, pushing ultra-left actions.65 William Hinton reminds us that extremes were pushed by blowing the “communist wind,” an “exaggeration wind,” a “levelling and transferring wind,” or a “hurricane of blind directives” to fan up severe disruptions.66
It was not an error on the part of Deng Xiaoping, who misjudged a situation and took a path that ended up with capitalist transformation, it was a protracted class struggle under the dictatorship of the proletariat in which the bourgeois line emerged as the winner.67
The “Slippery Slope” and Capitalist Restoration
Hart-Landsberg and Burkett have called Deng Xiaoping a “wily political strategist.”68 They are right. But his craftiness was not limited to only quickly rehabilitating himself to “become China’s paramount leader.” For the “capitalist roader” he was, or as he was called, this had to be only the first step in the journey to full-fledged capitalism.69
There is no instant formula to produce capitalism. Two ingredients are absolute prerequisites. One, there has to be a proletariat class: a mass of free, unfettered working people — free from the encumbrances of owning any means of production, free to move anywhere, and free to sell their labouring capacity to anyone who needs them as wage workers. And two, there has to be a bourgeoisie, a class of capitalists with accumulated capital that can be used to procure or build the means of production for profits by appropriating the surplus value produced by the workers. The two “opposites” — bourgeoisie and proletariat — together constitute the unity of capitalism. One cannot be without the other.
How did it all emerge in Europe is a known history. It took several centuries before the small class of traders could emerge into a powerful, hugely resourceful, mercantilist bourgeoisie; and another long stretch of time before the mercantilist bourgeoisie gave in to the industrial bourgeoisie. The smashing of the old feudal system and its fiefdoms was an essential corollary of the process, which freed up the huge mass of agrarian serfs, turning them into the unfettered class of the proletariat, owning nothing but their labouring capacity.
It goes without saying that this long historical process could not be replicated in China, or anywhere else for that matter. One could add that even the weak and subservient bourgeoisie that emerged in countries like India (first under colonial tutelage and lately under the imperialist umbrella) has a history of gradual development for at least a hundred years; and a substantial part of it had roots in mercantilism.
So what was Deng Xiaoping to do? Creating a class of the proletariat wouldn’t take much; all it required was to dismantle the communes and turn large tracks of communal property into what William Hinton had called, with tears in his eyes, “ribbon land, spaghetti land, noodle land.”70 That, combined with shutting down some state-run enterprises, was enough to let loose a whole army of “unfettered, free” workers, only too desperate to find someone willing to buy their labouring capacity. But where was the bourgeoisie to come from; especially in a society that had just gone through one of the most outstanding three decades-long experience of egalitarianism?
There was of course the recent example of capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union. That could not be very inspiring to the shrewd and farsighted Deng. If the Soviet model of socialist construction had problems for Mao, the Soviet model of capitalist restoration had problems for Deng. During the entire period stretching from Nikita Khrushchev to Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet brand of capitalist restoration had not only not created a free and unfettered proletariat, its bourgeoisie was limited to only highly pampered and privileged sections within the party and state apparatuses, and among the managers of economic enterprises. It was capitalism for sure: with workers’ remuneration tied to productivity (the commodification of labour power), with workers totally alienated not only from the product of their labour but from the productive process itself, and with economic enterprises freed from societal controls to run on a competitive basis with a profit-making orientation.
One could surmise that it was Gorbachev who was looking up to China for guidance. After pulling out the Soviet occupying forces from Afghanistan in February 1989, and after deciding to stop supporting Vietnam against Kampuchea, and Ethiopia against Eritrea, Gorbachev made a visit to China in May of 1989, but ended up running into the Tiananmen massacre. He made a hasty retreat, followed soon after by the dissolution of the USSR itself.
In any case, Deng would not go for the Soviet model of capitalist restoration. He wanted to create a real bourgeois class. This could not be done overnight. The ideology of “getting rich is good for society” had to be laid out. Besides, for capitalists to emerge required a nurturing process. They needed self-confidence through gradual doses of experience, exposure to market forces, institutional and financial support, state patronage, linkages with international capital, and all that, before they could develop the stomach for getting rich by exploiting the poor.
That is where what looked like a “slippery slope” comes in. The three stages outlined by Hart-Landsberg and Burkett approximate the three phases outlined by Tai-lok Lui in his contribution to the Roundtable71 in which he described how each phase incrementally created conditions of new classes to take shape, including the emergence of “private entrepreneurs” through “the personal appropriation of public resources.”72
Alvin So provides another detailed and instructive account of the many state-mediated, step-by-step, efforts to create the new capitalist class. As the “embourgeoisiement of cadres,” the “patronization of the capitalist class,” and the “formation of a cadre-capitalist class” happened, there was also the process of “expansion and depoliticization of the new middle class” as well as “professonalization of cadres.”73 Even the doors to membership in the Communist Party were opened for entrepreneurs, owners of private enterprises, and employees of foreign firms, who “make contributions to developing socialism’s productive forces.”74
It does not thus seem like a case of a “slippery slope’ on which Chinese socialism gradually went down. On the contrary, it was more like a well-thought-out, even a smart, plan of action envisaged by the post-Mao leadership in China to create a capitalist class, even in a rudimentary form and definitely under state patronage, in order to facilitate China’s transit into capitalism. As Pao-yu Ching also stated, “contrary to what Deng openly said, the Reform that began in 1979 not only had a clear direction but also a well-planned road map”.75 Time magazine figured it out as early as 1985. Deng Xiaoping was their Man-of-the-Year in January 1986.
Development Paradigm: Back to the “Non-Communist Manifesto” of W.W. Rostow
Lippit’s contribution in the Roundtable draws an analogy, repeatedly, between the conditions prevailing in China today and those at the beginning of capitalism in Europe and the United States. This poses some serious concerns for me. In fact I’m taken back to my graduate days at Cornell University in the mid-1960s. Walter Rostow’s Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto was all the buzz: required reading for anyone concerned with the huge mass of people in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, left far behind in the developmental march of history. Fresh from India, I could not believe what I was encountering. I had thought that McCarthyism in America was over. Forget about Marx, communism, and such things; even words like imperialism and exploitation were met with raised eyebrows. Attempts to organize graduate seminars to discuss Lewis Coser’s The Functions of Social Conflict (a totally reactionary structural-functional sociology), or Rolf Dahrendorf’s Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society (a thoroughly anti-Marxist treatise) were enough to bring on a severe tongue-lashing from professors. It actually happened. Talking of “conflict” or of “class conflict” — even as presented in these books — was a taboo in that Parsonian-Mertonian world of sociology. But Rostow’s “Manifesto” was paddled as the ultimate panacea. I no longer have the book with me, but I remember it well. The whole world, as seen by Rostow, was on an upward march; like on a ladder. There were stages along the way. Once a country reaches the takeoff stage everything becomes fine. Nothing then would be left to stop the upward move. Therefore, save, borrow, beg, tighten your belt, innovate, and take off. This is the way the advanced, developed countries of the world had come up the ladder.
I thought I had left Rostow decades behind, along with other similar horrors of doing graduate work in America. But he came alive as I read Lippit’s response to the harsh working and living conditions of the millions and millions of people in China, as presented by Hart-Landsberg and Burkett in their book. Lippit does not question those facts. He even provides some of his own: about the appalling working conditions of an assembly line worker, about millions of laid-off workers, about the death rate in coal mines (“ten times worse than in India”), about the shocking deterioration of the public health services (“millions dying because they cannot afford health care, and millions others gone poor due to health care costs”), and more. He admits that these realities are shocking and appalling. And yet he does not find them “unrelievedly grim.”76 All these “social ills,” Lippit says, “have been characteristic of the early stages of capitalistic development everywhere.”77 A couple of pages later, he repeats and elaborates: “If we compare contemporary China with the conditions portrayed in Marx’s Capital, or in fictional form in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, or Emile Zola’s Germinal, then it appears to fit right in with the classical patterns of worker abuse seen in the early stages of capitalist development.”78 And again, just in case the message didn’t get through: “It is doubtful that working conditions in China today are any worse than they were in the United States and Europe when they were undergoing their own industrial revolutions.”79
This is Rostow speaking. The working people in China (or elsewhere) should be patient. Do not forget that this is how the meatpackers of The Jungle lived in Chicago or the coal miners of Germinal lived in France. It is worth waiting for a couple of centuries or so. It may not be that long, if the rulers in China make some changes as Lippit has hoped. Ultimately they will get to the top of the ladder, as Europe and the USA did. But some questions nag. Let us set aside, for the time, the huge number of militant, and often very bloody, struggles the workers in Europe and the United States waged for each penny of wage increase, for each minute of working time reduced, and for all the other benefits some of them acquired over the years. Leaving that aside, is it really credible that the industrial revolutions of Europe and North America would have occurred and reached their heights without the long period of colonial domination and plunder, and without the imperialist subordination of people and their lands on all the continents? By one estimate, between the Battle of Plassey (1757) and the Battle of Waterloo (1815) — the birthing period of England’s industrial revolution — between 500 and 1000 million pounds sterling worth of treasure was siphoned off by the British East India Company from India.80 “The vastness of this sum can be visualized when it is considered that at the turn of the nineteenth century the aggregate capital of all joint stock companies operating in India amounted to 36 million pounds.”81 Could the spinning and weaving industries of England have gotten off the ground without the thorough destruction of India’s world famous textile industry? “England introduced twist into Hindostan and in the end inundated the very mother country of cotton with cottons. From 1818 to 1830 the export of twist from Great Britain to India rose in the proportion of 1 to 5,200. In 1824 the export of British muslins to India hardly amounted to 1 million yards, while in 1837 it surpassed 64 million yards. But at the same time the population of Dacca decreased from 150,000 inhabitants to 20,000.”82
Examples could multiply many-fold, not just from India but from the vast world: the slave trade off the west coast of Africa, silver from Mexico and Peru to pay for merchandise from China, to be later replaced with opium largely under the monopoly of the Calcutta-based East India Company. These, and many more like these, were the fountainheads of the primitive accumulation, which over a few hundred years strengthened the mercantilist bourgeoisie to begin the industrial revolution and gradually gave birth to the industrial bourgeoisie.
I am afraid that Lippit’s projection for the Chinese people’s future is utterly naïve and ahistorical.
But if he is right, and if the historical trajectory of the growth of capitalism in the West — as presented above — is also right, then the only logical course of action for China, in order to move along Lippit’s projection, would be to engage in the inter-imperialist contentions — in the manner Germany, Italy, and Japan (latecomers on the world scene, and with no colonies of their own) did in the last century. Or, at the least, China could follow the Soviet model all the way, and become a social-imperialist power. It is not an entirely unlikely scenario.
In the meantime, Confucius is coming back to China in a big way, while Marx, Mao, and references to the thirty years long period of building socialism are thrown out of the history books.
The 2557th anniversary of Confucius’ birth was marked with “lavish official celebrations” on 28 September this year. “Confucius’ birthday bash also included a forum on the role of his theories in the contemporary world, in particular the building of a ‘harmonious society,’ the popular political phrase coined by Chinese President Hu Jintao.” Addressing a meeting of senior party cadres, Hu Jintao didn’t invoke Marx or Mao; instead he began the address by saying, “Confucius said, harmony is something to be cherished.” It is also reported that one hundred Confucius Institutes will be built worldwide costing 10 billion dollars.83 Simultaneously, one hears that the new history textbooks for senior high school students in Shanghai emphasize “colourful tutorials on economics, technology, social customs and globalization.” Socialism has been reduced to a single, short chapter. The 1949-79 period of Chinese history gets one sentence. Mao is mentioned only once, in a chapter on etiquette.84
Clearly there is a big task in front of the Chinese workers, peasants, and intellectuals, including the “spiritual orphans” of the departed revolution, if they want to seize history one more time and reverse its course once again. Also, it is they, more than anyone else, who could do a thorough evaluation of the Chinese experience of building socialism, and its negation in the post-Mao period.
For those of us outside, in India and elsewhere, it is important to see contemporary China for what it is, and not be blinded by one or the other label of hyphenated socialism, and definitely not “celebrate” it, as Hart-Landsberg and Burkett have cautioned us. More importantly, it is our task to learn the positive and negative lessons from the Chinese experience and carry on with the urgent task of fighting and defeating imperialism and its hold, wherever we live; as well as lend support to the struggles for national liberation and for socialism, wherever they take place.
Vancouver, 18 October 2006
Notes1 Martin Hart-Landsberg and Paul Burkett. China and Socialism: Market Reforms and Class Struggle. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2005. (Cited below as China and Socialism.) The book has since been published in India by Aakar Books, New Delhi, 2006.
2 I have put the word reform in quotations intentionally. The term is an imperialist construct, and is paddled widely to connote a process that would bring an “improvement,” a “change to a better state,” by “abandoning evil ways,” etc. Those who are opposed to imperialism and its agenda, and I count myself among them, do not have to use this highly loaded term to describe what is going on in its name.
3 This divergence becomes all the more significant when we recall the essential contents of the “Statement of Purpose” adopted in 1969 by the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars (CCAS), which had founded the Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, the precursor of today’s Critical Asian Studies (CAS). At a time when the U.S. war against Vietnam was at its peak, and so was America’s attempted isolation of the People’s Republic of China, CCAS was formed as a “community for the development of anti-imperialist research,” to oppose “American domination of much of Asia,” and to “develop a humane and knowledgeable understanding of Asian societies and their efforts to…confront such problems as poverty, oppression, and imperialism.” As a source of inspiration for CAS till today, the founding Statement of Purpose of CCAS is published in full at least once a year in CAS issues. See for example, CAS, 37:3, p. 494. As the contributions in this Roundtable show, this community of scholars does not seem to be unified anymore around those founding principles.
4 “Marx’s reserve army of labour going global,” originally published in the Guardian (England), and reproduced in Chennai-based The Hindu, April 6, 2006. URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2006/04/06/stories/2006040604801100.htm
5 Hart-Landsberg and Burkett, China and Socialism, p. 17.
6 Ibid. p. 27. Also see footnote 20, on page 135.
7 CAS 37:4, p. 600 (Rejoinder).
8 CAS 37:3 p. 474.
9 CAS 37:4, p. 620 (Rejoinder).
10 Ibid. pp. 620-22.
11 CAS 37:3, p. 474.
12 It is significant that at the Monument to the People’s Revolutionary Martyrs in Beijing are inscribed “the names of patriots who, from the middle of the nineteenth century up to China’s liberation in 1949, had fought for Chinese national independence. What struck us was this official recognition that the Chinese Revolution encompassed a century-long process of struggle and that the Chinese Communist Party had appeared only in the last act.” David Milton and Nancy Dall Milton, The Wind Will Not Subside: Years in Revolutionary China – 1964-1969. NewYork,1976, Pantheon Books.
13 The names of Marx and Engels, as authors, were first mentioned in the Preface, written by George Harney, to the first English translation of the Manifesto published in the Chartist paper, The Red Republican, in 1850.
14 Karl Marx, “The Civil War in France,” in K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Works in Three Volumes, Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1969. Vol. II, p. 241.
15 CAS 37:3, p. 496.
16 Ibid. Also see footnote 1 by the translator, Rebecca Karl, p. 500.
17 CAS 37:4, pp. 622-23.
18 See Robert Weil, “Conditions of the Working Class in China,” Monthly Review 58:2 (2006), and his “A New Revolution? Chinese Working Classes Confront the Globalized Economy,” The Oakland Institute 1:2 (summer 2006).
19 Joseph Kahn, “A Sharp Debate Erupts in China over Ideologies, New York Times, 12 March 2006.
20 Joseph Kahn, “At a Secret Meeting, Chinese Analysts Clashed over Reforms,” New York Times, 7 April 2006.
21 Fred Magdoff, “Reflections on the June 9-10, 2006 Hong Kong Conference: ‘The Fortieth Anniversary: Rethinking the Genealogy and Legacy of the Cultural Revolution,’” MRZine, 1 July 2006. URL: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/magdoff010706.html
22 CAS 37:3, p. 463.
23 Ibid., p. 461.
24 Ibid, p. 446.
25 Ibid., p. 461.
26 “Manifesto of the Communist Party,” in K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Works in Three Volumes, Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1969. Vol. I, p. 112 (emphasis added).
27 See for example his “The British Rule in India,” ibid., pp. 488-93.
28 “Preface to the Russian Edition of 1882,” in ibid., p. 100.
29 Ibid, 100-1.
30 K. Marx, “Letter to the Editorial Board of the Otechestvenniye Zapiski,” cited by F. Engels in “On Social Relations in Russia,” K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Works in Three Volumes, Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1969. Vol. II, pp. 387-412.
31 Ibid, p. 405.
32 Ibid., p. 406 (emphasis added by Engels).
33 K. Marx, “Confidential Communication (Excerpt),” in K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Works in Three Volumes, Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1969. Vol. II, p. 175. Emphasis in the original.
34 Ibid., pp. 174-75. Emphasis in the original.
35 Ibid., p. 176. Emphasis in the original.
36 Ibid, pp. 176-77. Emphasis in the original.
37 CAS 37:4, pp. 620-21.
38 The word “imperialism” appeared only once in the original book, and that too as a part of a quotation. Hart-Landesberg and Burkett, China and Socialism, p. 76.
39 For a good analysis of the concept of “weakest link,” see Louis Althusser, “Contradictions and Overdetermination,” New Left Review I/41, January-February 1967. URL: http://www.newleftreview.net/?view=42 [The full article is only available to New Left Review subscribers. —Ed.]
40 CAS 37:3, p. 463.
41 Ibid., p. 473. The phrase goes back to Robert Weil’s formulation that the slogan “using capitalism to build socialism” would inevitably evolve into “using socialism to build capitalism.” “This is the class nature of the ‘market socialist’ system.” Red Cat, White Cat: China and the Contradictions of “Market Socialism.” New York: Monthly Review Press, 1996. p. 230.
42 CAS 37:3. p. 472.
43 Ibid., p. 444.
44 Ibid., p. 483. It needs to be pointed out that in the long Marxist tradition, the notion of “statist/classless” society can only be an oxymoron. State in this tradition is seen as an organ of class rule and would not have a place in a “classless” society.
45 Gail Omvedt, ‘Reflections on the World Bank and Liberalization,” Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars (precursor of CAS) 27:4 (1995), p. 41. My response to Omvedt is in the same issue, p. 59.
46 I Googled the term “statism,” and came up with this description in “Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,” as the very first entry.
47 The concept of statism can indeed be used in a precise and clear sense, as was done by Samir Amin when he distinguished three different developmental strategies (socialist, capitalist and statist) for the underdeveloped periphery. The example he used for a socialist strategy was China during the Mao period, for the capitalist strategy those countries that tried to develop within the framework of international capital (e.g. India), and for the statist strategy the Soviet Union between 1930 and 1980. See his The Future of Maoism, New York, 1983, Monthly Review Press. Rainbow Publishers, Delhi, published an India edition of the book, with an Introduction by Vaskar Nandy and an updated Rejoinder by Amin, in 1998.
48 K. Marx and F. Engels, “Manifesto of the Community Party,” in K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Works in Three Volumes. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1969. Vol. I. p. 126.
49 Ibid., p. 528 (emphasis in the original).
50 K. Marx, “The Civil War in France,” in K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Works in Three Volumes. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1969. Vol. II, pp. 178-244.
51 Ibid., p. 217.
52 Many relevant passages from the Collected Works of Lenin and of Stalin on these and related topics can be found in George Thomson, From Marx to Mao Tse-tung: A Study in Revolutionary Dialectics. London: China Policy Study Group, 1971. See esp. pp. 7-13 and 120-41.
53 CAS 37:3, p. 475.
54 That the explanation offered by Hart-Landsberg and Burkett is not satisfactory to him is perhaps implied in Tai-lok Lui’s observation that they took “the problems of Chinese socialism before 1978 too lightly.” Ibid. p. 474.
55 CAS 37:4, pp. 599-600.
56 Ibid., p. 599.
57 David Milton and Nancy Dall Milton, The Wind Will Not Subside, op.cit., pp 21-45.
58 Introduction to Mao Tse-tung, A Critique of Soviet Economics. New York: Monthly Review Press, , 1977. pp. 8-9.
59 Mark Selden, “Introduction,” The People’s Republic of China: A Documentary History of Revolutionary Change. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1979. pp. 4ff.
60 CAS 37:3, p. 484.
61 Translated by Moss Roberts, annotated by Richard Levy, and with an introduction by James Peck, these critical notes of Mao have been available to the English-reading world for almost three decades now. See, Mao Tsetung, A Critique of Soviet Economics. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1977.
62 CAS 37:3, p. 498.
63 Both essays are included in Selected Works of Mao Tsetung, Vol. V, Peking, Foreign Languages Press, 1977, pp. 284-307 and 384-421.
64 Quoted by David and Nancy Dall Milton, The Wind Will Not Subside, op.cit., p. 44. Also quoted by Robert Weil, Red Cat, White Cat, op.cit., p. 221.
65 Charles Bettelheim, Cultural Revolution and Industrial Organization in China. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1974. See especially, Postscript, pp. 104-28.
66 William Hinton, “On the Role of Mao Zedong,” Monthly Review 56, 4 (Sepember 2004).
67 A similar observation was made by Pao-yu Ching in her review of the original book by Hart-Landsberg and Burkett. See her “Mao’s legacy in China’s Current Developments”. http://www.chinastudygroup.org/index.php?action=front2&type=view&id=66&PHPSESSID=02efa95abcb664faef7a2cb6f236ee73
68 Hart-Landesberg and Burkett, China and Socialism, pp. 36-37.
69 It is however important to point out that formal assumption of the top government position by Deng, which happened in 1978, is not the crucial moment for reversing the course of socialist construction in China. Within a matter of months of the death of Mao on 9 September 1976, vital signs began to emerge indicating that the experiment to build socialism in China was coming to an end — to a point that on 11 May 1977, Charles Bettelheim sent his letter of resignation as chairman of the Franco-Chinese Friendship Association. This was followed by a long letter, to Neil Burton, on 3 March 1978. Bettelheim goes through a vast amount of Chinese sources, through 1977, to convincingly show that capitalist transition was on the way in. See, Neil Burton and Charles Bettelheim, China since Mao, New York: Monthly Review Press, 1978.
70 William Hinton, The Great Reversal: The Privatization of China, 1978-1989, New York: Monthly Review Press, 1990. p. 16.
71 CAS 37:3, p. 475.
72 Ibid., pp. 476-77.
73 Ibid., pp. 486-90.
74 Ibid., p. 487.
75 “Mao’s Legacy in China’s Current Development”, op.cit.
76 Ibid., p.452.
78 Ibid., p. 454.
80 Paul Baran, The Political Economy of Growth. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1957. Reference here is from the Penguin Books edition, 1973, p. 278.
82 K. Marx, “The British Rule in India,” in K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Works in Three Volumes, Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1969. Vol. I, pp. 490-91. Dacca was one of the many manufacturing centers of cotton and silk textiles.
83 Pallavi Aiyar, “Confucius makes a comeback in China,” The Hindu, 10 October 2006.
84 Joseph Kahn, “Where is Mao? Chinese Revise History Books,” New York Times, 1 September 2006.
Single Spark “China Page”
Single Spark Home Page on MASSLINE.ORG
MASSLINE.ORG Home Page