Thursday, March 01, 2007

China Vows 100 Years of Socialism

China's Communist president made an announcement regarding the political liberalization of the country, which was much maligned in the capitalist press. I am very much in favor of much more autonomy for labor unions and political activists in China. An effective and democratic system of workers councils that have rights which supersede the bureaucracy would be very welcome.

Still, it is disingenuous for the capitalist press in the United States or the G8 world to be overly critical of China's one party system. The reality in the U.S. is that we have, in the words of Eugene V Debs one party with two wings - the capitalist party. Debs, the most influential American socialist to date, wrote the following:
As a rule, large capitalists are Republicans and small capitalists are Democrats, but workingmen must remember that they are all capitalists, and that the many small ones, like the fewer large ones, are all politically supporting their class interests, and this is always and everywhere the capitalist class.

Whether the means of production—that is to say, the land, mines, factories, machinery, etc.—are owned by a few large Republican capitalists, who organize a trust, or whether they be owned by a lot of small Democratic capitalists, who are opposed to the trust, is all the same to the working class. Let the capitalists, large and small, fight this out among themselves.(Debs, 1900)1
Today Xie Tao had the following to say:
"We are still far away from advancing out of the primary stages of socialism," he said. "We must stick with the basic development guideline of that stage for 100 years."

Still, he said that "the socialism system is not contradictory to democracy," adding: "A highly developed democracy and a complete legal system are inherent requirements of the socialist system and an important benchmark of a mature socialist system."2
China is very cautious about the effects perestroika and glasnost had on Russia. I find it encouraging that a country the size of China will continue to try to build socialism, acknowledging that the context of their doing so is highly flawed.

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