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Marxism in China today?


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#1 Dark Wanderer

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 11:58 PM

What about the actuality of Marxism in China today? Is it maintained from the party in any way? Has it any real consequences?

are there marxist thoughts apart from the party?

Is marxism in china rather a dead corps or quit living?

#2 l0ckx

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 01:46 PM

What about the actuality of Marxism in China today? Is it maintained from the party in any way? Has it any real consequences?

are there marxist thoughts apart from the party?

Is marxism in china rather a dead corps or quit living?



Marxism or Communism has essentially died, considering the theory of accheiving utopia via constant struggle and revolution has proved to be bogus. The CCP used to have marxists ideologies but they faded with the influx money from capitalism economic policies (capitalism goes against the grain in marxist ideology). This leads me to believe that the second 'C' in "CCP" has faded and or longer exists. the party has not denoucned communism, nor do they embrace it. but i think they will label themselves as communists in order to maintain control. the party members know what is good for china, and it's certainly not ideology, revolutions, or sharing wealth. it's only a matter of time before the party is officially dissolved and/or reorganized into a more appropriate and non-hypocritical form of functioning govt.

#3 TaiE

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 05:08 AM

%$%#*)(%#*%*),

Edited by TaiE, 30 December 2005 - 09:34 AM.

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#4 fcharton

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 06:09 AM

As long as one is still an aethiest(Confucianist and Daoist included) and grows up in the conventional environment in China ,he is a marxist in the nature.
Marism philosophy is in the blood of most chinese. So , to some extent, I am a marxist although not being a party member of the CCP.

Marxism is a social science that systematiclly develop the traditional ancient chinese's thoughts and philosophy into modern materialism , only when other aspects followed by people it is ideology.


TaiE,

I always like your points on marxism... A couple of questions :

1- apart from "marxism the philosophy" (ie marxism as a modern form of materialism) do you think there is still a an interest in China for marxism as a political theory (class warfare, etc...)? as an economic theory (capital vs labour, ownership of production means...)? as a theory of history?

2- you seem to put Confucianism and Daoism into the atheist camp, which echoes the western conception of them as "philosophies, not religions" (I also note that you avoided buddhism, just like the Jesuits did ;) ). This would make them, if I understand you, more compatible with marxist philosophy. On the other hand, I have seen a lot of recent claims (on CHF and in recent books) that Confucianism, Daoism were religions, and that this "philosophy thing" was actually a western bias. Samely, both confucianism and daoism were attacked by the CCP, the former because it represented feudalism, the latter for being superstitious. What do you think?

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#5 TaiE

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 08:47 AM

$#@&^**()(&*

Edited by TaiE, 30 December 2005 - 09:35 AM.

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#6 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 09:48 AM

Maoism is basically a 'pure marxism' that never really create any wealth for China. The cultural revolution further turned China upside down such that by 1979, China needs a reform badly.

The gradually reform by Deng Xiaopeng (the so-called "Chinese Style Socialism") is essentially building a socialist society using 'pragmatic' way, the opening up of China by capitalist reform. Communism had already died in China, what comes next is the influx of capitalism.

Although capitalism has brought new wealth for China, there are also many social and environmental problems arising in China. For instance, the country gets too materialistic and stress less on ethics and morality, an increasing problem seen in chinese business world. There is a greater need to re-think about Confucianism values and its influence in establishing good people's relationship.

The industrialisation also brought much destruction to China's nature. There is a need to rethink about Daoism and its tendency to return to nature and restore order.
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#7 l0ckx

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 05:19 PM

As long as one is still an aethiest(Confucianist and Daoist included) and grows up in the conventional environment in China ,he is a marxist in the nature.
Marism philosophy is in the blood of most chinese. So , to some extent, I am a marxist although not being a party member of the CCP.

Marxism is a social science that systematiclly develop the traditional ancient chinese's thoughts and philosophy into modern materialism , only when other aspects followed by people it is ideology.


Marxism was developed by Karl Marx in 1848....in russia. It wasn't until the 1920's when comintern (communist russian agents) were sent to China to help instill a communist govt. i would say that it goes against traditional chinese morals such as filial piety because marxism demolishes any type of caste or class system which was, still is, and will always be a part of chinese culture.

BTW, many successful owners of private enterprises are still marxists, which didn't prevent them from earning more money, it is not of contradition especially in China and with the traditional culture.


like who? marxism/communism theory totally oppose private anything.

Maoism is basically a 'pure marxism' that never really create any wealth for China. The cultural revolution further turned China upside down such that by 1979, China needs a reform badly.


i understand you're referring to economic wealth, but you must remember...the communists did end opium trade and addiction. They also brought temporary economic stability to a much inflated china under the GMD.

#8 Kenneth

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 07:18 PM

BTW, many successful owners of private enterprises are still marxists, which didn't prevent them from earning more money, it is not of contradition especially in China and with the traditional culture.

Nope, PRC is not Marxist (see above). Good job too. Marxism is ideal, but unrealistic. Materialism is not simply Marxism. People owining the means to production is blasphemy..private enterprise is capitialism.
Capitalism is bad bad bad.
The moment you have private enterprise you are not marxist.
Anyone who has even a cursory understanding of Marxism will see the problem when the whole basis of inequality was based on people owning the means of production (industrialists, entreprenuers, profitering)and those that work for them only recieving a small part of their labour (since the boss makes profit).
Hence we have the 'haves' & the 'have nots'. Rich & Poor.
Thats the layperson version but the strata of the bourgeoise and the proletariat is what means society is uneqaul and unequitable and will result in revolution from below. Yeah! Central to Marx's observations.
If you consider the modern China Marxist then it is only because they have red stars on the hats. The terms used by Mao & the Soviets when crushing priveledged, bourgoise and land owners will not make sense, nor the reasoning. They pursued it in a tragic fashion, but to open up like Deng did (good on him to be sure) means Marxism and the concept of communism is finally dead.
The dictatorship of the proletariat is just left with the dictatorship. I dont think Marxist orthodoxy would aprove...but who cares? Marx was right about inequality but thats in the nature of people. ;)
People love money and the chance to advance in life, some people (many) are trapped in poverty but for others it has never been better! Let's party! Young Chinese overseas competing in buying sportcars (with cash too!) while countrymen use newspaper to insulate houses for warmth and harvest crops by hand suggests China is just as much as ever a country of the 'haves' & 'have nots'.
Mao would have kicked the rich kids @sses.
Marxist? Nope.
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#9 fcharton

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 07:51 PM

Nope, PRC is not Marxist (see above). Good job too. Marxism is ideal, but unrealistic. Materialism is not simply Marxism. People owining the means to production is blasphemy..private enterprise is capitialism.
Capitalism is bad bad bad.
The moment you have private enterprise you are not marxist.


Although I agree with all the points made on the economy. I do have a couple of observations...

We, in the west, have a strong tendency to see marxism as "anti-capitalism", ie the failed economic theory underlying soviet and chinese style socialism. This is dead, we all know it.

However, there is a lot more to marxism than economic theory. There was at some point a marxist theory of history (which was adopted by a number of western historians, not all leaning left, Hobsbawn being a pretty good example imho), a marxist philosophy, sociology, political theory etc...

The point is that these were taught in china (schools, university, etc...) for more than 40 years. This is a very long period, nearly three generations...

As such, it would not be unlikely that it left some imprint on modern chinese psyche, even in a modern capitalist economic setting. Just to give and example, during the recent discussions on democracy vs dictature, some of the comments (not all of them), struck me as possibly marxist (ie a certain vision of a society made of classes, one of them being more advanced, and historically charged leading the way...). Of course, it does not mean that any of our fellow listmembers are hardcore communists, but that some of the influence of those 40 years left an imprint on the way we discuss china.

Just to give an example, I remember being told in 1989 in beijing, by some students, that the future political system of china (provided the student movement triumphed) would need to be connected to marxism, and certainly not as western as some observers would have liked it to be, because all the political training of would-be future leaders/politician was marxist. Back then, it sounded pretty logical.

Francois

#10 Borjigin Ayurbarwada

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 07:56 PM

On the other hand, I have seen a lot of recent claims (on CHF and in recent books) that Confucianism, Daoism were religions, and that this "philosophy thing" was actually a western bias.


Daoism is a religion pure and simple. There is nothing Buddhism has that surpass Daoism in religious elements since religious Daoism is a virtual model of buddhism.
Of course you can say "philosophical Daoism" is not religion, however, it has every aspect of supernatural metaphysics in it. Statements such as "the beggining of heaven and earth," "how do I know the beggining of the universe, by this" is religious in every aspect. We can also say original Buddhism is not supersitious either and make that a philosophy.

#11 fcharton

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 08:16 PM

Daoism is a religion pure and simple. There is nothing Buddhism has that surpass Daoism in religious elements since religious Daoism is a virtual model of buddhism.
Of course you can say "philosophical Daoism" is not religion, however, it has every aspect of supernatural metaphysics in it. Statements such as "the beggining of heaven and earth," "how do I know the beggining of the universe, by this" is religious in every aspect. We can also say original Buddhism is not supersitious either and make that a philosophy.


I don't specifically object to this (in fact, I don't know what to think about it, due to my lack of knowledge of oriental religions/philosophies), I was just commenting on TaiE's remark.

Francois

#12 l0ckx

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 12:48 AM

Although I agree with all the points made on the economy. I do have a couple of observations...

We, in the west, have a strong tendency to see marxism as "anti-capitalism", ie the failed economic theory underlying soviet and chinese style socialism. This is dead, we all know it.


i agree on the western pov as marxism as anti-capitalism....but this is true. soviet and chinese socialist/communist govts failed because of marxist theory. communism does not work on a large scale.

However, there is a lot more to marxism than economic theory. There was at some point a marxist theory of history (which was adopted by a number of western historians, not all leaning left, Hobsbawn being a pretty good example imho), a marxist philosophy, sociology, political theory etc...


marxist philosophy and espically sociology, were used to help mobilize the proletariat. the ideas were based on the workforces congregating with one another, singing songs together, sharing work, etc. this is the core of the economic theory behind marxism/communism

Just to give an example, I remember being told in 1989 in beijing, by some students, that the future political system of china (provided the student movement triumphed) would need to be connected to marxism, and certainly not as western as some observers would have liked it to be, because all the political training of would-be future leaders/politician was marxist. Back then, it sounded pretty logical.


agreed that the tiananmen square incident was viewed as an in for capitalist and democratic policies by westerners...

the students at tiananmen square were completely unorganized and actually started warring against each other (there is theory that this was set up by thet CCP but....). the angry students reeked of corruption and if they did topple the govt (yeah right) it would have been just as, if not more corrupt than the CCP in 1989. Chai Ling, a prominant student during the protests even labeled herself "Commander in Chief". I can see her picture hanging over tiananmen gate as mao's successor...

#13 fcharton

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 05:10 AM

marxist philosophy and espically sociology, were used to help mobilize the proletariat. the ideas were based on the workforces congregating with one another, singing songs together, sharing work, etc. this is the core of the economic theory behind marxism/communism


Yes. Yet you also had the "class warfare" vision of history, which proved a pretty fruitful addition to the discipline. Even in economics, the relation between capital and labour, the theory of value (dubbed "marxian" by some economist, to avoid being termed marxist...) has been integrated in a number of modern theories.

Finally, I think there is a contribution to politics (from Leninism in fact, he was the marxist theorician of politics). For instance, I think the neo-conservative vision of politics, from the organisation of government to the use of media, owes a lot to him...

Just to make it clear, I am not (repeat, not) a marxist. However, I do believe that there is such a thing as a marxist legacy, which is bound to appear at some time, and the logical place to see it appearing is former socialist countries.

the students at tiananmen square were completely unorganized and actually started warring against each other (there is theory that this was set up by thet CCP but....). the angry students reeked of corruption and if they did topple the govt (yeah right) it would have been just as, if not more corrupt than the CCP in 1989. Chai Ling, a prominant student during the protests even labeled herself "Commander in Chief". I can see her picture hanging over tiananmen gate as mao's successor...


I disagree. There was quite a bit of organisation in the student movement, from student unions, to fund collection, etc... (or it would not have lasted for several months). What they could not do, and I think it was clear to most of them all the time, was provide a complete "replacement system" for the government. This is why there was, all through the period, a ongoing negociation with the govt (mostly through Zhao Ziyang).

Note that people like Wuer Kaixi and Chai Ling appeared at the end of the movement, when it went to the extremes, and mostly in the western media Other leaders, like Wang Dan, or the journalists of this economic paper which name escapes me (jingji somehing) had a more balanced vision of what they wanted (ie provoking a change in the CCP leadership, not toppling it).

Of course, after the crackdown, it was fair game to denounce a conspiration designed to topple the government, the victors write history...

My impression remain that there was a perestroika opportunity for China in 1989, that there was some willingness inside the Party to explore it, and that its failure was a close call (my impression is that Deng hesitated until the last minute between the reformist faction, incarnated by Zhao Ziyang, and the conservatives, Li Peng, Yang Shangkun and the shanghaiese).

But again, the idea that the students could have toppled the CCP is a wild western dream...

Francois

#14 Kenneth

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 06:08 PM

Just to make it clear, I am not (repeat, not) a marxist. However, I do believe that there is such a thing as a marxist legacy, which is bound to appear at some time, and the logical place to see it appearing is former socialist countries.


Marxs made some vaild points about the ownership of the means of production and workers being denied the full value of their labour. I see Marx as essentially a vision of strata in society.
HIs legacy is not just communist theory but a concept of solidarity between workers & their rights. We can thank philosophers like Marx and Engels for better working conditions, the 40 hour week and unions/collective agreements. Revolution is not forthcoming because Marx didnt anticipate the middle class and social mobility.
Acceptance of profiteering and the presence of poverty with expanding gaps between rich and poor seems to me however to be moving away from the positives of Marxism. Chinese youths do not sew on patches to their clothes to look more proletarian anymore. Materialism is not a substitute for equality in Marxism.
What is left, for the purposes of this thread, is something different. If you mix a paint with another colour you get something new. The more colour you add the more the change. For people to offer sympathies to the original hue is only sentimentalism if the original colour is gone. For students to say 'Marxism must have a place in modern China' to me seems rather meaningless. An imprint on the psyche will exist, as you say, but it hardly means the 'Marxism' they invoke is reflected in the direction China moves. The reality seems in opposition to Marxism.
China is becoming a powerful capitalist economy, yet the poor from 1949 are still living in poverty. We can only hope wealth trickles down to them because classes in China are being established and not abolished.
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#15 l0ckx

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 07:22 PM

I disagree. There was quite a bit of organisation in the student movement, from student unions, to fund collection, etc... (or it would not have lasted for several months). What they could not do, and I think it was clear to most of them all the time, was provide a complete "replacement system" for the government. This is why there was, all through the period, a ongoing negociation with the govt (mostly through Zhao Ziyang).


the protests lasted 1 and a half months, hardly several...also the reason why it wasn't suppressed earlier was due to Gorbachev visiting for the first time in decades. Two communist powers whom were previously rivals were finally opening up to one another. The CCP couldn't start opening fire and tearing people apart before a leader who was a strong supporter of human rights was to meet and re-establish ties. there were so many different student unions and groups which all demanded different things, many of which didn't collebrate with one another making it difficult to determine what the students really wanted.

Note that people like Wuer Kaixi and Chai Ling appeared at the end of the movement, when it went to the extremes, and mostly in the western media Other leaders, like Wang Dan, or the journalists of this economic paper which name escapes me (jingji somehing) had a more balanced vision of what they wanted (ie provoking a change in the CCP leadership, not toppling it).


simply not true. Chai Ling and Wuer Kaixi were among the first student protestors spurring hunger strikes and demanding change.

Of course, after the crackdown, it was fair game to denounce a conspiration designed to topple the government, the victors write history...


agreed.

But again, the idea that the students could have toppled the CCP is a wild western dream...


agreed.


there is a 3 hour documentary on the tiananmen square student democracy protests and it's very thorough explaining the entire incident. here is the link to the documentary website: http://www.tsquare.tv/

Edited by l0ckx, 30 December 2005 - 05:49 PM.





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