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Chinese socialism


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#1
Future historian

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I really recommend you read this

https://www.reddit.c...ninist_state_a/
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#2
Erowind

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Theory is theory, that doesn't mean it translates into the real world. What I see is a country doing things real socialists never would. Like running concentration camps and pushing han supremacy which is no better than white supremacy. Also state ownership isn't necessarily socialism, monarchies also owned the means of production through the state. Worker ownership is what defines a socialist economy and workers don't have control over the means of production in China, a bureaucratic class does. Workers can use the state to mediate their ownership but that would require the state to have low levels of corruption and be highly democratic and or anarchic in nature; China is neither. Any state owned enterprise that serves the profit motive in lieu of the workers isn't socialist. If the workers vote or otherwise decide to pursue the profit motive that's different, but if it is dictated than it doesn't fit the definition. Marxism-leninism and all its derivatives make the mistake of forcing socialism on the worker, this will never work, the worker must choose socialism for the world. A socialism forced onto the worker cannot work because the workers themselves wouldn't understand why they need socialism or how to practice it. 

 

The biggest reason I support worker-cooperative federations is because thus far they are one of very few models I've seen that actually works. There is potential for planned economies considering companies like Amazon and Walmart have mass logistical chains that are clearly planned, but we'd need to learn how to apply a cooperative model to those existent logistics to make them socialist. 


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#3
Future historian

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China does not have any form of concentration camps
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#4
Erowind

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China does not have any form of concentration camps


What would you define the treatment of Uyghur Muslims as then?

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#5
Yuli Ban

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China does not have any form of concentration camps

Just because a country is socialist obviously doesn't mean it can't do evil.
The USSR kept the GULAG running, after all. 

 

Anyway, this is what I've been saying for years. China is in the "primary stage" of socialism, as outlined by Karl Marx himself. They realized that jumping straight from agrarianism & imperial republicanism as China had been straight to communism was impossible. The economy may have been growing (rapidly even), but it was going to hit a ceiling sooner or later because a lot of those gains were simply from raising the quality of life of literal peasants. The exact same kind of growth had been seen in the United States of America, in Prussia, in France, in Russia (before the Revolutions), and so on. It's sort of like the "low-hanging fruit" of economic growth. 

In 1978, the Politburo looked at what had transpired in China over the past 30 years and realized that it was going to lead to disaster if they stayed on the same Maoist path, which was similar to the way the USSR had developed.

The post-Stalin era saw no privatization until roughly the '80s, and by that point it was too late. Things had stagnated long enough and on a deep enough level for Sovietism to crumble from within. I maintain the idea that the USSR was doomed for three core reasons:

 

1: The starting position. Russia circa 1917 wasn't 100% backwards— the Tsarist regime had presided over a long stretch of progress not unlike China's development in the past 40 years (it's mostly Western and Marxist propaganda saying that Russia before the Reds was barely one-step past medieval times). However, it was still backwards enough to ruin the successor state because they had to spend so much of their history just industrializing. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of Marxism ought to know what Marx said about the conditions that would foster socialism. Hell, I found an analog with technism, but I'll get back to that later. The point is, Russia was too agrarian and rural when Marxist dogma outright says that socialism will arise most naturally in a heavily industrialized state with an overwhelmingly large industrial proletariat. Agrarian socialism is antithetical to Marxism, but that's what the Soviets had to deal with.

 

2: Constant infrastructural & demographic setbacks. Just starting with World War I, Russia & its power sphere was constantly seeing the loss of lives and infrastructure as well as the loss of the old intelligentsia (via through emigration or repression). It's like watching a nation be unbuilt. The West was always not keen on helping the Soviets for ideological reasons as well as a sense of Russia being "the other", something we couldn't control. So then factor in the Civil War, the purges of kulaks, and finally World War II and you can see how every possible deck of cards was stacked against Russia. It's one reason why I say that the USA saved civilization even if we didn't singlehanded win World War II— it's not out of nationalistic hubris but rather a morose look at what Eurasian civilization had done to itself between 1914 and 1945. Every nation from the United Kingdom to Japan was a smoldering pile of rubble and death. Without a third party in there, the world would probably still just be getting to 1970s-levels of quality of life and technology. And Russia bore the brunt of it, losing most of their old infrastructure and about 40 million citizens in a single war. It's commendable that they managed to keep afloat for another 46 years afterwards in spite of...

 

3: The Cold War. There was a worldwide union of nations standing against the USSR, constantly working to undermine it, keep it from expanding, and destroy it from within. This included the aforementioned United States of America. When the USSR stagnated in the '70s due to the effects of a horribly degenerated worker's state kicking in with no reforms made to assuage those problems, that really was it. They had no real strongman like Stalin to rally around either, especially needed when the USA got Reagan.

 

China was always standing opposed to the USSR from the start; Mao thought Stalin was a traitor to Marxism-Leninism and the two nearly got into a war with each other multiple times. It was the opposite of the general Western capitalist unity against communism (ironically a macroscale version of how leftists and rightists operate). The China likely thought the USSR to be a lost cause and figured that the Soviet model wasn't the only possible way to achieve communism. After all, they had undergone their own harrowing times just trying to get to where they were circa '78— since China was also unindustrialized in the '40s, they had to rapidly industrialize... with all the terrible pitfalls the Prussian model of growth wrought. And the Cultural Revolution didn't help with growing an educated class at all, so if they didn't find an alternative, they'd likely have collapsed soon as well. 

 

Hence why they quasi-liberalized the economy in the '80s. 

 

This is the "Primary Stage of Socialism", as mentioned by Marx, which is basically capitalism with all the contradictions that brings (though not quite as many contradictions as you'd think). With the CCP in power, they'll move into the Second Stage without the need for a bloody and potentially corrupted Revolution that may not even happen (if the development of capitalist nations in the 20th century is any indication). The CCP still have a roadmap towards communism; IIRC, they want to reach communism by 2049 on the 100th anniversary of the Revolution. 

 

Now I'm not saying they'll actually achieve any of that or that they are altruistic in their intentions. But I do understand what they're doing and why they're doing it.

 

As another issue, Chinese socialism is highly socially illiberal— much like Soviet socialism became. This is another source of confusion among Western leftists, I'm sure, because socialist politics here include intersectionalist internationalism (which is including racial, sexual, ethnic, and environmental struggle along with or— in the case of "SJW"-style progressives— entirely overshadowing class struggle). But socialist politics there don't. Socialist countries and parties in the past have often included nationalist sentiments over internationalist ones (which is how "national socialism" originally started before it became the much more purely fascist "National Socialism"). Hell, a lot of eastern European communist parties are notoriously illiberal almost to the point of being reactionary, but they're still ideologically communist.

 

 

Interestingly, though, I do find a lot of similarities between modern Xiist China and Mussolini's Italy, which is why I've wondered if they're only paying lip service to Marxism. Mussolini started out as a socialist, even a revolutionary socialist, before becoming deeply disillusioned by it and ultimately considering socialism to be a failed ideology; however, he went through that ideological evolution before taking power. It's possible the CCP is filled with these types nowadays.


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#6
Erowind

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As a note to what Yuli said above from my position. Eastern socialism cannot by definition accomplish communism while maintaining nationalism. A communist state of society is a stateless, classless moneyless one. Nationalism directly contradicts statelessness and also creates international classism where some nations are of vastly greater material status than others. Western socialism on the other hand needs to look more at its first international roots through a modern lens and forgo the liberal corruptions that have arisen overtime. Egalitarianism is not only a liberal aspiration and arguably liberals aren't even egalitarians given how their politics practically interact with the world. 


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#7
PhoenixRu

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Interestingly, though, I do find a lot of similarities between modern Xiist China and Mussolini's Italy, which is why I've wondered if they're only paying lip service to Marxism.

 

IMHO this is only a matter of definitions. Of course, they're building the "real" socialism, but they're doing this on a Chinese sociocultural background: class harmony, strong state to secure and ensure, paternalism, wise men to rule and care for the common people, faithful people work and pay with loyality, being different we're still the one team to achieve the common goal, and so on... such were/are the social ideals tested by time (in case of China - a very long time).

 

Such hierarchical collectivism may seem grotesque and "unjust" deviation to, say, Russian leftists (with their own sociocultural background leading them to egalitarian collectivism) or westerners (egalitarian individualism). But Chinese themselves (both elite and masses) don't see anything deviant here. And they're right, such is their unique road, let's see where it will lead them.

 

IIRC, they want to reach communism by 2049 on the 100th anniversary of the Revolution. 

 

Advanced socialism, not communism. And this is still a realistic goal (again, depends of how you define the "advanced socialism").


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#8
PhoenixRu

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As a note to what Yuli said above from my position. Eastern socialism cannot by definition accomplish communism while maintaining nationalism. A communist state of society is a stateless, classless moneyless one. Nationalism directly contradicts statelessness and also creates international classism where some nations are of vastly greater material status than others.

 

Nationalism is simply "our national traits and heritage are meaningful". Even in purely stateless world, cultural differences will disappear much later than class ones. During this transitional stage, there will still be different regions populated by people sharing some common traits and values. Perhaps, compared to modern states, the borders of these regions will be blurred and unclear: "Of course, Russia and China are two different countries... where is their border? Frankly, I didn't think about this... somewhere in Mongolia... is Mongolia a separate country? Why not..."


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#9
Erowind

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Nationalism is simply "our national traits and heritage are meaningful". Even in purely stateless world, cultural differences will disappear much later than class ones. During this transitional stage, there will still be different regions populated by people sharing some common traits and values. Perhaps, compared to modern states, the borders of these regions will be blurred and unclear: "Of course, Russia and China are two different countries... where is their border? Frankly, I didn't think about this... somewhere in Mongolia... is Mongolia a separate country? Why not..."


You're definition of nationalism is different than mine. No harm intended. When I think of nationalism I think of people who think their culture is inherently superior to others and that other cultures should be subjugated for their own cultures benefit. And you're right, even in communism there will be cultural differences. But in a true state of communism there shouldn't be any separate states or any state. It's not that culture should vanish, but that the idea of the state should vanish. Many states already don't reflect the cultures within them. The Basque Country within the State of Spain is an example of that.
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