China Defines Future with Peasant Migration to City

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 2, 2008 | Go to article overview

China Defines Future with Peasant Migration to City


Byline: Norman Levine, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Contemporary China has rejected the centralized planning of Soviet Stalinism. This Chinese anti-Stalinism is illustrated by its rejection of the Soviet economic model, or contemporary China starts where the influence of Soviet economic policy ends.

Modern China also originated from its abandonment of Mao Zedong's closed-door policy to the West. Although still revering Mao as a great revolutionary leader, today's China began by negating Mao's exclusion of any cultural dialogue with the West.

The 1978 reforms of Deng Xiaoping initiated a new Chinese model of development. Deng escaped from the Stalinist paradigm of economic centralization and introduced market socialism. Deng also reversed the closed-door policy of Mao and initiated an open-door policy that encouraged the interchange of ideas between China and the West.

The Deng model exploited the capitalist system to speed the industrialization of China. The capitalist free market was employed to advance the modernization of China. This Deng model was a success because it was the catalyst for the economic miracle that in the past 30 years transformed China.

Currently, about 70 percent of the Chinese economy is owned privately, while the central government maintains control of the remaining 30 percent.

But Deng made no political reforms, and on the state level, China is still encased in the single-party system of Soviet Stalinism. Contemporary China is a hybrid: on the socioeconomic level, it is a clone of the European social-welfare state while on the political level it is still a continuation of the Stalinist single party control over the state.

But the success of the Deng model generated its own contradictions. Ideologically faithful to the theory of Karl Marx, China should be transcending capitalism in its march to communism, but the paradox of the Deng model is that China reverted backward to capitalism as a means to accomplish its advanced modernization.

The Deng model inverted the developmental pattern of Marx, who predicted that socialism would replace capitalism. However, contemporary China is suffering from a contradiction in that capitalism replaced, to a large degree, the socialism of Marx, Stalin and Mao.

This internal asymmetry between the ideal and goal of socialism and capitalist reality is evident in the class structure of contemporary China. According to Marxist theory, socialism meant a classless society; however, the reality of capitalist China is the continued existence of class divisions.

The contradiction between rich and poor is publicly advertised by the gated, gentrified Donald Trump-style 40-story apartment complexes that surround the South Lake in metropolitan Wuhan that are privately bought in perpetuity for 3 million U. …

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China Defines Future with Peasant Migration to City
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