CAPITALISM WITH CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS
This article is a continuation of our earlier
article More Leaps Backward which
appeared in 1985 (China Report,
May-June 1985). Our earlier article dealt with the developments in Chinese
economy, politics and culture between 1978 and 1983. We incorporated the
developments of that period in our post-script to the first edition of our
Telugu translation of Charles Bettelheim's book CHINA SINCE MAO (Monthly Review Press, 1978). The English version
of Bettelheim's book covered the developments up to February 1978 while the
Telugu version covered the developments up to September 1983. After a gap of
twenty years, we have now brought out the second edition of the Telugu version
and added a long post-script that covers the developments in China between
October 1983 and December 2002. These developments are presented, as far as the
collected data permitted, chronologically and thematically under the title: Exploitation with Chinese characteristics in
the name of 'Socialism with Chinese characteristics'. Barring certain
comments here and there, the entire data presented here are drawn from various
sources ¾ both Chinese and non-Chinese ¾ published during the period covered. The
Chinese sources include Beijing Review and
books published from China under 'China Basic Series'. The non-Chinese sources
include journals like Keesing's Record of
World Events, The
What follows here is nothing but the continuation and extension of the various forms of Chinese revisionism, which Bettelheim demonstrated way back in 1978.
Although, the Chinese Communist Party (hereafter CCP or Party), until 1976, that is until the passing away of Mao, could not accomplish wonderful changes, committed many mistakes and did not have enough clarity with regard to Marxism, it included a group that followed revolutionary path. The aim of this group was to fight for the emancipation of the proletariat against the class of exploiters. Whatever mistakes it made, it used to proceed in the direction of socialist transformation. It initiated both major and minor socialist changes, with or without sufficient theoretical clarity, in various spheres of society.
What the Revisionists initiated is to reverse all the socialist transformations. They, however, do not abandon the word 'socialism'. They have to depend entirely on this term. They repeatedly recite that the 'Gang of Four' (that is, the supporters of the 'revolutionary line') committed many blunders which they are now rectifying and theirs is the real socialist path. They try to sanctify the capitalist terminology by prefixing the adjective 'socialist'. They call 'market' 'socialist market'! They call 'competition' 'socialist competition'! They call 'price rise' 'socialist price rise'! They call 'profit' 'socialist profit'! This is how they call everything!
The Revisionists are able to present such daring false formulations as socialism since the labouring masses do not know well what socialism is! Any wrong formulation will circulate among ignorant people without any opposition.
If people facing problems learn the necessary knowledge, then such knowledge would turn into a great force. Until this happens, people remain powerless. The Chinese proletariat, which could see a little of newness of socialism is still far away from the theoretical knowledge and is helpless. It is needless to talk about the proletariat of other countries.
Here we will again and again see the hitherto known fact that the present day CCP had turned into a capitalist party a long time ago. Further, we will see its anxiety, zealousness and high speed in becoming capitalistic.
The Chinese Revisionists needed the help of foreign capitalists in order to destroy at the earliest possible the socialism, however rudimentary it might be, which the supporters of the revolutionary line initiated. The objective, which the exploiters of different countries have to achieve collectively, is to eliminate handful of socialist developments that occurred in one country! Here we see such total destruction.
In any society, economic, political and cultural relations are mutually intertwined. It is impossible to separate them. Yet, we need to try to understand those spheres separately as far as possible.
In order to understand how economy in any society acts as fundamental force and how it influences political and cultural spheres, changes in China¾both in the past as well as in the present¾will stand as wonderful examples. Knowledge of these experiences would necessarily give a new strength to the world proletariat.
First let us examine the economic sphere.
At the end of 1980, two trends appeared in the CCP. One trend argued for giving importance to 'market'. Deng was its leader. The second trend argued in favour of reliance on centralized State planning. Chen Yun was its leader. Deng's group, however, enjoyed majority support in the party.
Free flow of foreign capital
A change that occurred on a large scale in the
Chinese economy since 1983 was the entry of foreign capital into
By November 1983, the Chinese government bifurcated the functions of 9,028 communes located in 902 counties. The central government confined communes exclusively to economic functions and assigned the administrative functions of the communes to 12, 786 townships. The government ordered that the transformation of communes along these lines must be over by the end of 1984.
1983 issue of '
The next day, that is on April 28, the top leader of CCP, Deng, when he met Reagan, said
that he was "reasonably satisfied" with the flow of
In May 1984, Zhao, the then Chinese Prime Minister, said in the parliament that the open door policy must be implemented "resolutely" and bigger strides must be taken in using foreign capital and importing technology. "The Special Economic Zone in Xianmen will be extended", he announced. At the same time he assured that 14 more coastal cities would be opened to the foreign capitalists.
(In the beginning the Chinese government permitted foreign companies only in certain limited number of areas¾as if it were a 'minor change'! But gradually, it is extending such permission to more number of areas. This they call 'open-door policy'!)
1984, while talking to the president of the European Commission, premier
Zhao assured, "
Flag of November 1984 quoted what Deng said at the party's Central Advisory
Deng defended the current economic policy and described the fears of some 'old comrades' about reforms as unwarranted. He said that the basic means of production would remain in the hands of the State and there would be "no new bourgeoisie".
In a speech published on
The Chinese government permitted individuals and companies to carry on money lending business.
At the 4th session of the 6th
National People's Council held in March
1986, Premier Zhao declared that the trend towards liberalization and
decentralization would continue. He claimed that the reforms, including the
"policy of encouraging some people to become prosperous sooner than
others" had increased
(Although the Chinese Revisionists gave
numerous assurances to the foreign capitalists, the flow of foreign capital
In April 1988, the Chinese parliament made "Sino-foreign joint venture law" according to which foreign partners are entitled to make managerial decisions¾including hiring and firing of workers¾without governmental interference.
According to Financial Times of
Other big companies like General Electric,
Samsung Electronics, Toshiba found
Far Eastern Economic Review, which
reported all this also informed that one American Company decided to shut down
its plants in
Promotion of Various forms of private capitalism
When agricultural lands in rural areas were in the form of cooperatives and communes, the land was the collective property of the rural, agricultural people. Agricultural people used to work in collective farms and nobody did own land as his/her private property. Every person had job security. (All this happened even though the principal that 'every one must do labour' was not yet properly observed.)
The Chinese Revisionists followed the path of destroying collective agriculture. They began to break collective farms into pieces and gave the land on contract to private individuals, groups and organizations in rural areas. This had, in fact, began much earlier (since 1978).
By 1983 some peasant families in villages had owned tractors, trucks and other agricultural implements to a minimum extent. But the number of privately owned agricultural implements increased gradually.
William Hinton, an American author, who has
Promote multiform economic responsibility systems centered in contracting through public bidding. All contracts by tenders. We must encourage competition.
Try to extent the experiments in putting urban housing construction on a commercial basis and develop a real estate business.
Strive to make Special Economic Zones (SEZ) a success, open more coastal cities and create a new situation in economic and technical exchanges with the outside world. (This he called 'independent' foreign policy!)
Consolidate and improve forms of contract system whereby agricultural lands and other production enterprises in rural areas are assigned to private individuals, households or groups.
Replace the system of profit delivery with tax payments in state owned enterprises since such replacement has more advantages. The enterprises can retain after-tax profit.
Encourage individuals and collectives to run small state owned enterprises under contract or lease or payment of taxes.
Emergence of contract labourers
At the same conference, Zhao made several suggestions with regard to employing workers on contract basis: We should gradually reduce the proportion of regular workers and introduce a labour contract system so as to sharply increase the number of temporary and seasonal workers. Enterprises must reduce or stop bonuses or even withhold part of the wages of the workers when they have failed to fulfill their quotas (of the state plan) and paid less taxes and earned less profits. (This is to make workers work more, produce more and bring more profits! In case this does not happen, Mr. Prime Minister advises the capitalists not to pay full wages to workers!)
Monde, a French newspaper,
carried a part of Zhao's speech in its issue of
(All this means, it is the managers and
directors who would decide all these matters. The only thing which workers must
do is to come to the factory at the right time, do more work and return home.
They should have no role in any decision. The Chinese Revisionists are
introducing all these regulations with the sole purpose of burying all that had
been done during Cultural Revolution. During Cultural Revolution, workers
initiated great changes with regard to workers' management teams in the
enterprises. Charles Bettelehim's book 'Cultural
Revolution and the Industrial Organisation in
All powers to Directors !
Beijing Review of June 18, 1984 carried an article by its economic editor in which he described the powers of the directors of the production enterprises as follows: "Director of an enterprise has the power to decide on the production and sales of products, the purchase of raw and semi-finished materials and the technical transformation of the enterprise, and to control appointments, transfers, rewards and penalties among the workers and staff.
(While the fact remains that workers have no role in the managing the enterprises, the consequences of the appropriation of all powers by directors will be disastrous. Corruption among directors of the enterprises would become rampant. There arise opportunities for them to take bribes in every transaction¾while purchasing raw materials, while selling newly produced goods and appointing workers. Which means, the very nature of this managerial system encourages and nourishes corruption in the enterprises. If workers could intervene in all these matters in the form of 'Workers' Management Teams' by rotation, the decisions would not be made by a couple of directors and none would get an opportunity to take bribes secretly.
According to Beijing Review of
After a week, in its issue of July 30, the economic editor of Beijing Review argued as follows: "Some people think that signing contract through public bidding is a method prevalent in capitalist countries and is incompatible in a socialist planned economy. This is wrong. Experience has proved that it is an objective law which transcends the nature of society and can be used under both capitalism and socialism". (This is their experience because they have been able to introduce Revisionism easily! Contract system is an objective law, they say! This means, in order to attach value to any dirty job, add before it words like 'objective', 'logical', 'rational' or 'socialist'. This is the tactic, which the Chinese Revisionists are following.)
Emergence of rural capitalist class
The Central Committee (CC) of CCP in its document 1 of 1984 announced its policy on private ownership in agriculture. The system of contracting lands was already there. But now the government enhanced the period of contract up to 15 or more years. In case a peasant household wants to withdraw from that contract, it need not hand over the land to the government. The household can transfer that land to another household for lease. The second household would pay rent to the government. A national conference on this policy hoped that leasing or selling of land to other peasants would encourage a gradual transfer of contracted land plots into the hands of those skilled in cultivation. (But, there is scope for the first household to get some bribe from the second household.)
Another aspect of the agricultural policy is that peasants could fix prices as they wish. They called all such policies 'reforms'. (These are in fact actions that would defend private property rights and lead to exploitation.)
The conference said that a longer contracting period was necessary to encourage "more rational and effective use of land". It would give peasants an incentive to invest more capital and labour. (This means, the assigned land would become the private property of the individual or that household.) Around this time, the director of the Rural Policy Research Bureau said that in future peasants would be allowed to hire up to seven labourers. (This means, there was permission to hire less than seven labourers. Now they re raising the number of labourers.)
But none of these rules would be effective. One would hire as many labourers as he needs but would show the legally permitted number in the records. Once the system of hiring labour exists, all other regulations would remain futile.
Disappearance of collective mode of production implies loss of employment. When the system of leasing the land comes into operation, the household that took the land for lease would cultivate the land in 3 ways¾(1) without hiring labourers (2) performing labour along with the labourers or (3) exclusively by hiring labourers.
But land would gradually goes into the possession of rich households. A system becomes established whereby all kinds of agricultural labour are carried out by means of hired labourers.
After the elimination of collective farming, people who cannot afford to take land on lease and those who cannot sustain that lease would inevitably turn into hired agricultural labourers. The same director (of Rural Policy Research) is describing the process of rural population becoming rich as follows: "Currently, some people are prospering quickly, some slowly and some not at all. To let all people eventually get rich, it is necessary to let some get rich first. At the same time, efforts are being made to let others get rich gradually. To prosper together does not mean prospering simultaneously".
(It follows that those who take land on lease make labourers do labour and become rich first. Thereafter, those labourers too would get rich. After some time all people would get rich! No other expression except 'senseless gibes' is appropriate to this kind of talk. The director of the Rural Policy Research is talking so senselessly, thinking that labourers cannot understand what is wrong in his talk! Thinking that labourers would feel happy thus, "perhaps we too may get rich after some time, as Mr. Director said!"
Labourers would really feel happy if they do not know what 'getting rich' means. One gets rich only if he exploits certain portion of the labour of the labourers. If the households of masters get rich, the households of the labourers would remain poor. It will never happen that all people become rich. All people live happily if we imagine that all people do labour, that the class of masters and exploitation do not exist!
Capitalism in the rural areas began with such changes as leasing of agricultural land to private individuals, and permitting them to hire workers.
In October 1984, a resolution of the CC of the CCP defined the 'individual enterprises' as an 'indispensable complement to the socialist economy'. The individual enterprises were, initially permitted to hire 7 workers and subsequently the limit was abolished. It follows that one can hire any number of workers. (Still, it is a socialist society, according to them!)
By the end
of 1984 about 25 million rural families transferred their lands to other
families and started other businesses like workshops and small factories. All
those masters who hired labourers form rural capitalist class. They are called
'prosperous households' in
According to a Chinese official report in 1987, about 100 million people¾mostly rural¾were suffering from extreme poverty. Most of them belonged to poor peasant families. They could not retain the lands, which they took on lease from the government. As they could not provide themselves with necessary resources to carry on agriculture, then transferred the lands to the rich peasant households, left villages and began to migrate to nearby small and large towns. (Had those families cultivated those lands collectively, mobilizing resources would have been their collective responsibility. It would not have been the responsibility of a single individual family. When land is collectively owned, the portion of the 'surplus value' would remain with the collective of peasants since there won't be masters and hence it won't go into the pockets of the masters. Thus, the collective would be able to mobilize easily all the resources necessary at the place of production. Then the problem of 'livelihood' does not arise.)
In March-April 1988, the Chinese parliament made certain laws which: gave a free hand to managers in running enterprises, hiring and dismissing workers; legitimized the existence of the private sector and thereby encouraged its expansion; and legalized the right to buy and sell land.
Dependence of women
Before the introduction of privatization of land during the existence of collective farming, women used to work in the collective farms and earned their own income. But when the same lands were assigned to individual households, women in a given household would not get a specified amount of income of their own even though they do labour in their own contracted land. The entire income would be in the hands of men. Thus, the privatization and contract system make women dependent on men.
Abolition of free higher education
Law of inheritance
The CC of the CCP approved
(If it were a society without private property, property would always belong to the collectives.)
Stock exchange under 'communist' party rule
On October 14, the official Economic Daily described the development as a means "to relieve our country's shortage of capital, to develop production and make workers more concerned about the future of their companies". (The meaning of this statement is that workers would work hard in order to secure more profits if they too buy shares. When workers are totally ignorant of economic matters, every false argument would become a great principle!)
New code on labour contracts
Zhao talked about the price reforms further: Reform in the price system is an essential step in the construction of "the perfect socialist market system" and the development of a full "socialist commodity economy". (Add the word 'socialist' before the word 'market'! Add 'full' before 'socialist'! Full socialist market! Price reform is meant for such a market in which capitalists can fix prices according to their wishes!)
In defence of stock market
By 1989, the leaders of CCP described Chinese economy as the elementary stage of socialism in order to defend the stock markets, business in bonds and sale of lands to private individuals. As if all these practices are inevitable since it is an elementary stage in socialism. They said that this stage continues for 50 years and all these practices would continue. (Later, there won't be any need for 'socialist guise'! It means that they would remove it!)
They also said: This market system and stock exchanges come under commerce and they are neither socialism nor socialism. Any society can use these systems. (If these systems can be followed in any kind of society, why did they say that the stage in which these systems are followed is the 'elementary stage' and they are inevitable in this stage? They said so because there is no one to question them. They did not find it necessary to talk little cautiously while taking such gibes.)
9-11, about 1,000,000 people arrived in Shenzhen from all over
Call for 'socialist market economy'
The CC of CCP met on Novermber-14, 1993 and released a document on the establishment of socialist market economy. This document called for better conditions for the development of a market economy. (Which means, they want to develop better conditions based on 'competition' and not on 'socialist planning'!)
Inflation and public order
Speaking at the second session of the eight NPC, Premier Li Peng expressed his concern over 'public order' problems due to wide gap between urban-rural living conditions, inflation and corruption. (This is tantamount to admitting the disastrous consequences of capitalist economic maladies.)
Rise in cost of living
According to figures issued in mid-June (1994), the overall cost of living in the country's 35 major cities had risen by 23% in the preceding 12 months. More particularly, there was a sharp increase in the cost of many staple foodstuffs.
At the National Conference on Price Monitoring held in the same month, the State officials warned shopkeepers and factory managers against unauthorized price rise. (It was the State, which talked about 'price reform'! That is freedom to fix prices according to market! The same State is warning against price rise! The first act is true while the second one is false. This is a drama to deceive people!)
Deliberate destruction of state owned enterprises
According to the official conception, reform of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) takes place through a variety of means: reorganization, merger, leasing, contract operation, joint stock partnership or sell-off. All these reforms are obviously intended to destroy SOEs deliberately and convert them into Privately Owned Enterprises (POEs).
The State official who explained the nature of reforms also uttered some more great words. According to him, laying off of workers is an inevitable part of the reform process but this would be "good for economic development and the long term interests of the Working Class". (Removal of workers is good for workers, says he! This is true in a sense! If workers, due to removal, are subjected to more sufferings, and revolt against officials and drag them from their seats of power, it will do god to workers, isn't it? This official has a very good foresight!)
Privatization of land
All land in
(The Chinese revisionists are describing all this as Socialism. They argue like this, 'These properties will be in the possession of private individuals temporarily for about 50 or 70 years only. But the State possesses the actual rights; that is people possess them. Hence this is Socialism'. But, if a contract is extended for 70 more years after the initial period of 70 years, that property will continue to be in the hands of the private person. Or, if it is transferred to others it would be in somebody else's hands. By means of this, the State would only get some 'tax'. Workers must always be under the private masters. Yet, they say that all the means of production belong to people.)
Growing unemployment and plight of the workers
According to Labour Ministry statistics
published in Xinhua on
Do you know what these laws are? Minimum wages to workers. Prohibition of child labour. Eight hour working day. Maternity leave for women workers. Improvement of workplace safety measures. This is what they discovered after discussing it for 15 years! This is like, to use a Telugu saying, digging at the hill and catching a rat! Making legislation now means that relevant laws are either non-existence or non-operational. Even now, we should not hope that these law would be implemented. Those who sit in the legislature have to play some tricks and hence they play tricks like "workers' welfare".
Workers do not exhibit resistance proportionate to their suffering. It is because they do not know whom, how and why they have to resist. The Communist Party has to educate them. If this does not happen, struggles of workers won't be strong. In such a situation, they try to adjust with the problems, however varied their problems are. Yet we can find some struggles in that ignorance as well.
1997, many workers held demonstrations at their workplaces in
Some 300 workers had staged protest demonstrations in Zigong of Sichuan province in support of their demand for the payment of wage arrears. Police had broken the protests. (We have to assume again and again that police are present wherever there is a protest demonstration.)
In September 1997, President Jiang Jemin, gave a call to accelerate economic reforms in SOEs. The result was millions of workers lost their jobs.
13, People's Daily reported that
50,000 people in
Independent of December 5, reported that hundreds of
workers in the city of
On December 8, in Hufei, the Capital of Anhui province, about 400 workers staged a protest outside the provincial government offices to complain about losing their jobs.
Further protests during December were held at many places. On December 26, the State media reported that President Jiang Jemin had ordered police to step up efforts to safeguard social stability in the face of increasing labour unrest. (The president of a 'socialist' country is ordering the police to suppress the workers' protests!)
In 1999, in a speech to mark the 78th anniversary of the founding of CCP, President Jiang Jemin ruled out "full blown privatization". (As it was the foundation day of the party one should speak like that, shouldn't he?) He said that some officials had misinterpreted efforts at reform as a call for total privatization of State firms and he condemned those individuals who had sold off State assets to enrich themselves. At the end, he preached sermons to the Party members thus: Retain Marxist outlook! Don't lose faith in the "final victory" of Communism over Capitalism!.
15-17, about 3000 workers surrounded their factory and government offices
The International Herald Tribune of July 19, reported news of agitation of various sections of people. For example, villagers in the drought stricken Shandung province had killed one police officer during riots which began over access to drinking water.
About 1000 workers surrounded a factory in
Eastern Economic Review of
Steel workers, miners and oil men who received benefits like housing, health and education for 50 years are now deprived of all those benefits.
Hu Ming, a 63 year old worker who was laid off after working 40 years in a factory at Tiexi, said to the reporter of the magazine: "The cadres are eating and drinking in hotels and making stupid talk". Another worker commented: "This is not a socialist country any more¾the gap between rich and poor is very wide".
The reporter observed that workers with grievances ¾ late wages, pension payments or redundancy ¾ are no longer just getting mad but they are organizing. For the workers in the first half of 2002 launched a series of apparently coordinated strikes and demonstrations in several old industrial centers ranging from Northeast to the southeast. But the protests petered out because the party officials told the local government authorities to settle them quietly before they could mar the 16th Congress to be held in November.
Another significant news was that rather than being organised by a few intellectuals or political activists, the protests were about bread-and-butter issues and had large-scale support.
According to the Hongkong based China Labour Bulletin, the mass workers' protests, which took place, were all economically driven and work-place based.
In 2002, the life of workers in
(Fights among bourgeois leaders do not interest workers, do they? This worker indeed is right in his thinking.)
Politics of single party dictatorship
In this section, we can see how changes in economy influence politics. First let us see the attitude of Chinese Revisionists toward Marxism and what they are saying to people about it.
According to the Chinese Revisionist Party, Marxism is not relevant to the contemporary problems. Even if it is relevant there is no much use.
Don't worship Marxism 'dogmatically'. Abandon Marxism and follow Deng's theory ¾this is what they preach to people.
In the party's constitution, they still retained the old formulation that Marxism-Leninism-Mao's thought is the basis for the ideology of the Communist Party. Whenever party congresses are held, they raise slogans like 'Retain Marxist outlook!' They do so in order to give an illusory impression to people that the party is committed to the proletarian interests. The Chinese Revisionists still find the utility of citing Marxism. They are praising as well as criticizing it. Only when they are fully confident that the label is no longer necessary, they would give up the very name of the party as 'Communist' party. Then they would abandon chanting mantras of 'socialism'. All their attempts and hopes are harbored on such a 'holy day'!
Besides creation of aversion toward Marxism, another important need of the Revisionists is to root out the positive attitude of people toward Cultural Revolution. For this purpose, they initiated certain campaigns in the form of purges in the party.
Repudiation of and revenge against Cultural Revolution
On October 11. 1983 the CC of the CCP decided to sort out and expel those who rose to prominence during the Cultural Revolution. It also decided to expel from the party those cadres who resist the policies of the CC adopted since third plenum of the eleventh CC (that is, when the Revisionist line led by Deng emerged as the strongest in 1978!)
We may recall that in 1976 the Revisionists
arrested 'Four' leaders who organised Cultural Revolution and sentenced them in
1981. Again, they conducted fresh trials in a
On November 2, the Chinese foreign minister rejected Amnesty's appeal saying, 'Criminals should be given the punishment that they deserve in accordance with the law. This is routine work to maintain the public security of a country. It is the internal affair of a country".
On April 12, 1984 Nanning Radio reported that three people who had "formed factions during the Cultural Revolution, risen to power through rebellion and committed serious violations of law and discussion" had recently been expelled from the party and arrested. (This means purges in the party have been continued since 1976).
On May 29, Guangxi Radio called for the elimination of remaining leftist influence during the current party rectification campaign.
Arrests and trials of this kind continued for some more time. The main charge in all these cases was that the accused either participated actively in the Cultural Revolution or attempted to reestablish it.
26, 1984 Amnesty International
published a report alleging that
In October 1984, shortly before the publication of the details of 'economic reforms', the People's Daily had printed a first page commentary calling on all party members to renounce the policies of the Cultural Revolution. (This means, there had been stray attempts, here and there, to restore policies of the Cultural Revolution!)
On November 25, People's Daily published details of a CC directive to "earnestly carry out organization work for re-registration" of leading party members, in the coming rectification campaign, launched in October 1993. (This is another way of removing many members from the party. When a member applies for re-registration, he would be taken in only if the leadership believes that he is not a revisionist. This is a kind of expulsion, which does not appear to be so!)
The CC also directed that the political records and ideological conduct since 1979 (when the revisionist economic reforms began under the leadership of Deng) should be scrutinized before giving membership or re-registration. According to the official New China Agency, Xinhua, "those considered unsuitable for membership can be expelled and if crimes are exposed under the reassessment, the guilty party members could even end up in gaol"
On December 7, 1984 People's Daily observed, in its front page editorial, that many of the ideas of Marx and Lenin were outdated and "one cannot take a dogmatic attitude towards Marxism". (Marxism is outdated but capitalism would never become outdated! It is ever green!). It also said, "One cannot expect the works of Marx and Lenin to solve today's problems". (True! One can expect that Deng's writings alone solve the problems. In other words, flow of capital solves the problems!)
On December 10, however, the Chinese officials told foreign correspondents that this last passage was a mistake and should have read "…to solve all of today's problems". (This amounts to saying, "Marxism may solve some problems but not all! What ism will solve the problems, which Marxism cannot solve? What else? Can't we grasp this point? We have Dengism, don't we?)
Many 'blatantly heretical statements' implying the abandonment of Marxism appeared in the party press.
"Marxism has remained a closed ideological
system for a long time"¾ Statements of this type appeared many a time. Criticism of Marx's
'Capital' appeared in Social Scientist
(No. 7, 1984), published from
In a speech on economic progress, published in February 1985, Hu Yaobang, the party general secretary commented that "20 years beginning from Great Leap Forward in 1958 to Mao's death in 1976 ¾ wasted because of "radical leftist non-sense". (This means, had the party followed Deng's path during those 20 years since CCP came to power in 1949, that period too would have been very fruitful! So much 'interest' in 20 years! So many profits! Haven't they been lost or not? How wasteful that period was!)
By 1985, the total estimated party members were 40,000,000. About 60,000 officials had been expelled or had retired from the party since the rectification campaign.
In 1985, anti-Japanese student demonstrations
The CC criticized that the party's previous adherence to the principle of class struggle at the expense of educational, scientific and cultural understanding was a 'serious miscalculation' which had resulted in the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76, a 'decade of domestic turmoil'.
The CC defended open door policies of encouraging foreign investment and justified it as a "basic unalterable state policy". It said that Marxism-Leninism-Mao's thought is the ideological foundation of the State. But it had specifically rejected the concept of Marxism as a rigid dogma on the grounds that it was only natural that differences of opinion should often arise in both theoretical and practical work. (To say that differences of opinion arise in theoretical work means, that if one holds Marxism as his theory, others may hold capitalism. So differences of opinion exist, don't they? All kinds of opinions should find place, shouldn't they? Who want capitalism ¾ capitalists or labourers? This means, under the slogan that 'we must give space to differences of opinion', the proletariat has to allow the capitalist class to sit on its head! This is what 'giving space to differences of opinion' means! Then, capitalists too should give space to differences of opinion, shouldn't they? Will they give space to Marxism? Will they give up exploitative property rights, interest, profits, masterhood, domination and begin to live on their own labour? When will they give space to this kind of differences of opinion?)
Fight for bourgeois democracy
After economic reforms began in the name of 'Socialism
with Chinese characteristics' and bourgeois liberalization, the beneficiaries
of these reforms began to demand political reforms as well. This demand implies
Their line of argument is: when you are allowing capitalist forms of economy why don't you allow similar forms in the sphere of politics?
Bourgeois democracy does not simply means the right to form bourgeois political parties. It is only a political meaning of the term bourgeois democracy. The economic implication/meaning of bourgeois democracy is that one should have rights to occupy all means of production including land as private property and to hire workers. Just as slave masters had rights to own slaves in the slave-owning society, the employers will have rights to hire workers. Right to hire workers means, right to exploit some portion of the labour of labourers. That portion, however, does not appear to be 'a portion exploited'. It exists under the names, 'rent for land', 'interest' and 'profit' for land and capital. The employers would have the rights to receive these incomes.
In fact, it is neither the land that yields 'rent' nor 'capital' that yields 'interest' and 'profit'. All are parts of 'labour'. If workers perform that labour, the said parts are also grabbed from the workers. (Marxism discovered the secret truth and revealed it to the world. The class of masters also knew this secret. But it has not reached the proletariat!)
When human beings are split into two different classes: 'Workers and Masters', there won't be any democracy that is identically useful to both the sides.
If bourgeois democracy is the democracy of Masters, social democracy is proletarian democracy.
Another name of Socialist Democracy is 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat'.
Assuming that a proletarian party, whose theory is Marxism, has seized political power and begun its rule in a given country, then there won't be property rights that facilitate exploitation. There won't be 'Master-Worker relationships' in which workers alone perform labour. The class of former masters too would have to do labour and live on its own labour. Then land rent, interest and profit disappear.
All means of production would belong to all people. When all human beings in a society perform labour, some of them do not constitute 'masters' and others do not constitute 'workers'. These names would become meaningless and all would uniformly become 'producers'. Such a society would be 'communist' society.
It is the responsibility of the working class to establish communist society. It ought to do so not for the sake of any 'ideal'. Emancipation from 'slavery' and 'hardships' is not for the sake of an ideal. It is for the sake of self-protection! For the sake of its own liberation from the exploitation of labour.
When a proletarian party begins its rule, it has to remove the rights of the Master class to exploit labour. Hence, it is obliged to proscribe bourgeois democracy, the freedom of the Master-class to exploit and the bourgeois political parties.
Proletariat would not permit any theory, any freedom and any political party which asks for the rights to exploit others' labour, namely, 'Right to receive interest and profits' and 'Right to occupy means of production' and so on.
Dictatorship of the Proletariat is the sum total of all the measures and restrictions to be imposed in order to remove exploitation of labour.
To say that 'everybody must do labour and no person has any right to live on the labour of others' is the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. To say that all human beings are equal and nobody has any right to be the Master and nobody has any duty to be a Servant' is Dictatorship of the Proletariat;.
All the measures that remove the relations of domination and subordination in any aspect of any sphere of social life constitute Dictatorship of the Proletariat.
This Dictatorship demands the class of masters to live on its own labour! If the class of Masters understands what is 'justice' and what is 'truth' and agrees voluntarily for all the changes, there won't be any Dictatorship over that class. As the class of Masters does not change voluntarily, the Proletariat has to wage a struggle. Restrictions imposed by the proletariat on the class of Masters, rules which it formulates for its own development in the course of class struggle ¾ all those constitute Dictatorship of the Proletariat.
This Dictatorship is not similar to the Dictatorship of the Bourgeoisie. While the Dictatorship of the Masters is to oppress others (Workers), the Dictatorship of the Proletariat is meant for protecting from the oppression by others (Masters). This in fact won't be a Dictatorship if viewed from the point of view of 'truth' and 'justice'.
Different sections exist within the Proletariat. The interests of these sections remain somewhat different until bourgeois division of labour is transformed into Socialist division of labour. Hence, these sections will have different political parties. As all these parties represent different sections of the Proletariat, all of them oppose exploitation of labour.
If the Communist Party intends to implement Dictatorship of the Proletariat in its right spirit, it ought to reject bourgeois political parties which demand 'right to exploit the labour of others' and permit the political parties of the sections within the proletariat to function.
According to "
Wherever and whenever there is an election ¾ including when only one person files nomination ¾ election by secret ballot is the essential and the correct practice. The rule that representatives of the former class of exploiters are not entitled either to stand in elections or exercise their right to vote for some specified period of time is a separate question.)
The Chinese Revisionists are not observing correct principle in any matter. They, in fact, transformed the principle of 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat' into 'the Dictatorship of the People'. By 'people' they don't mean 'working people'. The entire population constitute people. It is because, Revisionists wanted to abandon the term 'classes'. Hence, they lumped Masters and Workers together and called them 'people'. The Revisionists wanted to abandon the term 'proletariat' and retain 'Dictatorship'. Finally, they transformed 'Proletarian Dictatorship' into 'People's Dictatorship'.
But when all are considered 'people' what is that Dictatorship meant for? Where is the other class? When there is no other class why is Dictatorship needed?
Well, when we speak of Dictatorship of the Proletariat, this Dictatorship is aimed at the bourgeois division of labour and bourgeois relations of production as represented by the effective controllers of means of production. The objective of the Proletarian Dictatorship would be to liberate itself (the Proletariat) from the shackles of bourgeois relations of production, bourgeois division of labour and bourgeois forms of management.
But, what is the objective of 'People's
Dictatorship'? When we don't have another class or group, who is not, called
people, what would be the task of this Dictatorship of the People? Nothing.
Hence, in the context of present day
The Chinese Revisionists need the word 'Dictatorship' for some time just as they need the word 'Socialism'. But, it should not be exercised over the class of owners. Hence 'People's Dictatorship' replaces the term 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat' so that it won't hurt the feelings of the class of owners. Of course, Masters are aware of the fact that it won't harm them since it won't impose any restrictions on them.
In the actual fact, this Dictatorship of the People involve Dictatorship of 'Master-people' over the 'Working-people' in the daily life. In this manner, the Chinese Revisionism welcomed bourgeois democracy into their 'Dictatorship of the People' and accordingly wide opened the door of the economy. In other words, they gave away all the rights to carry on exploitation of others' labour. But they still kept the doors of politics closed. Which means, they are not permitting other parties to grow! This policy brought them a new problem from the other parties.
Although CCP has become fully capitalist, there is no unanimity among its members on the issue of dealing with (other) bourgeois parties. Majority of the members are opposed to bourgeois parties. Group led by Deng is also opposed to it because bourgeois parties would become their rivals in elections if they are permitted. The new bourgeoisie, which emerged as a result of contract system and other forms of privatization will join (other-) bourgeois parties. And there is no guarantee that the Communist Party would win such elections. It won't be a clever action on the part of a party, which has been ruling the country like a monarch, to invite such threats from other bourgeois parties. If other bourgeois parties and elections by contest and secret ballot were not there, the Communist Party leaders can rule the country for the largest possible time under the banner of Communist Party. (If God blesses, their children would rule, and then, the children of their children!) This is such an opportunity, which is not possible in any capitalist country. They should not lose it. If (other) bourgeois parties emerge, the sun called Deng may sink into oblivion and disappear. How can the revisionists invite such a danger?
The leaders of the CCP, therefore, are not inclined to introduce bourgeois democracy into the political sphere; even if they do they are not favorable to introduce it so quickly. But, an opinion to permit bourgeois parties is not completely absent in the party. Such leaders are, however, in minority. The intention of such leaders is (or might be) that once bourgeois parties begin to function, they can slowly jump from the Communist Party to the other side. Or the leaders themselves may quit the Communist Party and form other bourgeois parties. This is why, some leaders within the CCP are in favour of permitting bourgeois parties to form and function. But, the group led by Deng has majority.
According to Deng's group ¾ All economic relations must transform into capitalist but political relations must be under the domination of a single party with the labels "Socialism" and the "Dictatorship of the People". And that single party must be under their control. All this is nothing but "Socialism with Chinese characteristics".
In September and December 1986, Mr. Deng expressed some invaluable views. Internal documents of the CC contained Deng's views which the CC's general office circulated to senior CCP members in January 1987 and to the representatives of the foreign press in February ¾ Democracy can only be achieved step by step because the adoption of "western ways" would lead to "chaos". (This means, he was appeasing bourgeoisie, 'Don't be in a hurry. If you want bourgeois democracy we will get it as well. Why are you in a hurry?)
Who would ask Mr. Deng thus, "If western ways lead to chaos why have you initiated them in the economy?" If some one asks him this, the reply would be 'execution'! Yet we have to assume that there were people who asked like this. When so many executions were taking place daily, won't there be political opponents?
Democracy, according to Deng, should be achieved step by step! But, some sections in the Chinese bourgeoisie were impatient.
Students' protests had already begun demanding
the introduction of bourgeois democracy. Referring to these protests, Deng
praised the manner in which the Polish had dealt with the unrest arising from
the Solidarity Labour Movement in December 1981 and had maintained that similar
"dictatorial methods" were essential in
The main demand heard in the students' protests was: "more liberalization and more democracy".
19-20, about 70,000 students held demonstrations in
CCP's propaganda director warned students not to adopt "western bourgeois" democratic ideals.
People's Daily commented: A handful of people with ulterior motives were trying to vilify the party leadership and socialist system and confuse people. Demand for democracy was only a pretence.
People's Daily called upon the authorities to adopt a clear cut stand in opposing bourgeois liberalization and criticized unnamed intellectuals and CCP members for their failure to combat the trend. Observers interpreted that the criticism is aimed at Hu Yaobang, the General Secretary and some other leaders. (So, the doomsday of the General Secretary is approaching!)
14, the Party expelled Wang, a well known Marxist intellectual and a
popular writer. Because Wang described the party leadership and Socialism in
On January 16, Xinhua reported that the Hu Yaobang submitted his resignation after making self-criticism in Polit Bureau that he violated the principle of collective leadership. (Pity that he made self-criticism and yet rendered resignation! Poor fellow, why resignation when he admitted his mistake?)
Enlarged meeting of Polit Bureau of the Party's CC accepted Hu's resignation and elected Premier Zhao as the Acting general secretary.
Deng's statement on
On January 23, another supporter of Hu Yaobang was expelled from the party. At that time, Hu was expected to meet the then visiting Japanese delegation. But he did not meet them. The party officially informed the delegation that Hu was "too exhausted from over work" to meet the delegation. (Perhaps, the delegation pretended as if they believed the Chinese explanation. Did they know/guess that Hu was not in his post of general secretary?)
The thirteenth Congress of the CCP began on
Workers facing unemployment in many nearly bankrupt State Owned Enterprises resorted to agitation like strike or slow down of the work.
97 strikes were held. In the first six months of 1988, 49 strikes were held. According to one survey in
Discovery of mistakes in Marx !
Students' movement for bourgeois democracy
Analyzing the situation in 1989, a
In April 1989 massive demonstrations by students started, opposing corruption and nepotism. (In any society, if a person does not do any labour and lives on the exploitation of others' labour, such conditions constitute real corruption. From this fundamental corruption, there arise the other, secondary forms of corruption. In the course of exploiting workers, it becomes an imperative on the part of the capitalists to bribe the State officials for several needs. If the corruption called 'appropriation of surplus value by the capitalist' were absent, corruption in the form of bribing would also be absent.
What moral right do the agitators have if they defend the corruption called 'exploitation' and invite the creation of bourgeois parties (which render such exploitative rule) on the one hand and fight against corruption only in the form of bribes, on the other?
It is those capitalists who benefit from the economic reforms and their followers who were demanding the political reforms.
Majority of student demonstrators might not be aware of the meaning of the demand for greater democracy. They might have thought that they were demanding democracy only!
According to an analysis of the subsequent period (which the new General Secretary of the Party Jiang Zemin made on October 1, 1989), there were two opposing views in the party regarding reforms.
(1) One that defended economic reforms, leadership of the CCP and Dictatorship of the People.
(2) The other demanded total westernization in all walks of life. In other words, it defended the creation or existence of bourgeois parties.
(This analysis is correct. But both the kinds of views are bourgeois in nature. The advocates of the first view represent 'single party capitalism' while the advocates of the second view represent 'multi-party capitalism'. This is the only difference between the two! None of these two is a communist conception.)
Scholars who watched
On May 13, Zhao made the first public remark on the students' movement. On the one hand he stressed the importance of stability and on the other hand he said that "reasonable demands from students should be met through democracy and legal means".
On the same day about 1000 students
sat on hunger strike. Many government employees and others visited the hunger
strike tents and supported their struggle. On May 14, about 1000 teachers expressed their solidarity. On May 16, about 10,000 journalists too
marched in support of students. Also doctors, lawyers and miners as well as
civil servants, police and even members of
At that time, the Soviet leader
Gorbachev was present in
Students gave a letter to the
Soviet Embassy in
The CCP and the State Council (the Govt.) appealed to students not to do anything harmful to national dignity and interest.
The police whisked away 500 students who were on hunger strike to hospital. The same day, the Standing Committee of the Polit Bureau met. In that meeting, in which Deng was also present, Zhao called upon the party to enter into serious discussions with student leaders. He had also proposed: the withdrawal of People's Daily editorial of April 26 in which it criticized the students; establishment of a parliamentary body to investigate alleged corruption of high-ranking government and party officials and publication of financial accounts of leading officials. Four Standing Committee members (that is majority members) including Li Peng rejected Zhao's proposals.
The next day, that is on May17 Zhao issued a statement praising students struggle for democracy and law, opposition to corruption and promoting reform. (Why has Zhao ¾ who said earlier that there was no question of other parties ruling the country ¾ changed like this? This means, he has separated from Deng!)
On the same day, the full 16-member Polit Bureau met and voted to remove Zhao and appointed Li Peng as the new general secretary. (It may be recalled that Hu Yaobang was removed and Zhao was made secretary earlier since Hu supported the students' movement. But Zhao too has done the same thing and lost his position.)
The same meeting approved Deng's
decision to begin the movement of military units from the provinces to
On May 19, student demonstrations and hunger strikes continued. Zhao
met students at
On May 20, the government declared martial law officially in
Large numbers of
On May 21, student demonstrators remained in
Large demonstrations were held in
By the end of May, whereabouts of Zhao were not known. (Subsequent reports indicated that he was kept under house arrest! Hu Yaobang died of illness in April.)
On June 3, around about 10,000 unarmed troops in civilian clothing and another group of armed soldiers entered the square. Just before tanks also entered.
At on June
4, the 27th Army Convoy and the foot soldiers moved in. By troops fired. At lights in
On June 5, soldiers roamed in the city and attacked the crowds of angry civilians. There were similar reports from other provinces as well.
According to the estimates of western diplomats and journalists, the casualties (including both civilians and soldiers) were about 2,000-5,000. But the government spokesman said that only 300 died, out of which 23 were students.
On June 9, Deng addressed the military commanders but the text of the
speech was not released until late June. Some points of Deng's speech: The crux
of the current incidents is the confrontation between "bourgeois
liberalization" and the four cardinal principles: (1) Socialist system,
(2) Dictatorship of the Proletariat, (3) the leadership of the CCP and (4)
Marxism-Leninism-Mao's Thought. The goal of the counter-revolutionaries had
been the overthrow of the Communist party and the establishment of bourgeois
republic entirely dependent on the west. There was nothing wrong with the basic
concepts of reforms and openness;
He pretended as if his government was following Marxism and trying to establish Socialism but the counter-revolutionaries were attempting to restore capitalism!
The group led by Deng ¾ which itself introduced bourgeois liberalization on the ground that Marxism is not relevant ¾ claims, whenever necessary, that it is following Marxism and the opponents are obstructing them. In such contexts this group uses the phrase 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat' instead of 'Dictatorship of the people'. But, the Chinese working classes do not grasp all this. Those cadres who read news papers may believe that "Comrade Deng said very well!" But there won't be any one who could question Deng immediately. No newspaper publishes criticism against the leaders.
How cruel is it to send military troops and fire at the unarmed demonstrators! How undemocratic it is! But, these revisionists are not going to allow other bourgeois parties to function. But the protestors demanded the same. The rulers answered the demand with guns!
The defect of the students' movement is this: Movements must always be based on work place. The impact of a movement would be unimaginable if main spheres of production, especially transport activities, are at standstill and if other important spheres of activities also join it.
If all the activities at work places are carried on smoothly; if the pockets of the capitalists are filled with surplus value day and night and if days pass without any problem anywhere, what will be the loss for the government even if the students ¾ who are unconnected with any work place ¾ organize procession, demonstrations and hunger strikes for any number of years. In fact the government remained unperturbed even though such demonstrations went on for about five years. The government would lose nothing even if those demonstrations continued for ten more years. However, the State ¾ following the principle that 'one should kill the snake, however small it may be, with a big stick' ¾ attacked the unarmed demonstrators cruelly.
A movement of nearly five years period died out with gun fire in a single night! Without achieving any political reform! Not even the demand of conducting an inquiry into corruption! Everything ended up without achieving any thing!
Thus, 'Socialism with Chinese characteristics' which Deng discovered could breathe more clearly despite such movements by students!
Such cruel attacks as these had never happened before the revisionist rule; that is, never happened in the past during the Communists' rule.
On June 24, Zhao was formally dismissed from 4-5 posts: as the general secretary, as Polit bureau member of the standing committee, as vice-chairman of the central military commission etc. He was dismissed from these posts since he supported the movement for political reforms. The Polit bureau 'elected' Jiang Jemin as the general secretary.
In the subsequent period also, dissidents were arrested and jailed on the charges of attempting to establish bourgeois democratic parties.
On November 12, Deng met the high ranking military commanders and said that he would continue to concern himself with party, state and military affairs.
Chiang ching passes away
Fourteenth congress praises Deng
In October 1992 Fourteenth party congress was held and Deng's followers were in majority in the Polit bureau. The congress confirmed abolition of Central Advisory Commission headed by Chen Yun, an opponent of Deng in certain matters. Presenting his 'Work Report', the general secretary of the party, Jiang Jemin praised Deng for his theory of 'Socialism with Chinese characteristics". He described Deng as "the chief architect of our social reform, of the open policy and of the socialist modernization program". He set the deadline to achieve "socialist modernization" by 2050. He assured foreign capitalists that more areas would be opened up to foreign trade and investment. He stated categorically that the goal of the reforms is to build a socialist democracy but absolutely not a western, multiparty parliamentary system.
In October 1994, there were rumors that Deng was dying, or had actually died. (This means people were not aware whether that man was alive or dead!). These rumors caused sharp stock market falls during October, but at the end of the month, the prices remained stable when fresh news came in that Deng was alive and well. (It might not be true. Deng must have died by that time. He might have come into existence once again in order to increase share prices? Can't we imagine this much. Should we believe rumors as they come into circulation?
In March 1996, some deputies of the parliament called for a new law to protect trade unions from harassment by employers particularly those in foreign funded and private enterprises. But no such law has been made.
Widespread use of death sentence
On March 13, 1996 Amnesty International released its report in which it stated that despite increased economic freedom, torture remained common in detention centers and thousands of political dissidents and members of religious and ethnic groups were in prison. It also criticized the widespread use of capital punishment, pointing to 2,000 summary executions in 1994.
According to the report the number of crimes carrying the death penalty had risen from 21 in 1980 to 68 by 1995.
The Economic Work Monthly,
a journal based in the southern-western
Communist values vs. 'Reforms'
The sixth plenary session of the
fourteenth CC of the CCP was held on October
7-19 in 'customary secrecy' in
'Real' death of Deng!
Deng died (really!) on
President Jiang Zemin headed a 459-member funeral committee.
On the day of the funeral (February 25), Zemin eulogized Deng as a "great Marxist". He spoke for about 45 minutes while frequently wiping away tears. He said that without Deng the Chinese people would not live a new life like today's and there would not be today's new situation of reforms and opening up and the bright prospects of modernization. (True, without Deng, Jiang Zemin would not have become the party's general secretary. It seems he used the word 'Chinese people' instead of 'Chinese bourgeoisie' due to slip of the tongue in these sorrowful moments!)
He pledged that
That day, all the newspapers
reminded their readers Deng's famous quotation: "It doesn't matter whether
it is a black cat or a white cat; as long as it catches mice it is a good cat:
(This great Marxist built socialism based on cat and not on Marxism! So we have
to now apply this axiom to the contemporary society. "It does not matter
whether a capitalist is of native origin or foreign origin. He is a real
capitalist as long as he can exploit labourers! Deng passed away after teaching
this principle to the bourgeoisie.
Assurance to Bourgeois
On July 1, 1997 Britain handed over Hongkong to China. Hongkong once was part of China. Britain leased Hongkong from Chinese rulers in 1898 for a period of 99 years. After the completion of the lease period China regained Hongkong. But as per the agreement between Britain and the Revisionist China in 1984, the Chinese Revisionists guaranteed the continuation of Hongkong's capitalist economy and life styles for 50 years after 1997. Tun Chee-hwa, a former shipping magnate became the chief executive of Hongkong under the auspices of the CPC.
Fifteenth congress eulogy to Deng
Fifteenth congress of CCP was held in September (12-18) 1997 and Deng group was in majority.
Jiang Zemin, the general secretary of the party dumped tons of praises on Deng in his political report: 'Hold high the great banner of Deng theory and push forward the cause of building socialism with Chinese characteristics to the 21st century in all spheres'.
He described Deng as one of the three great men (the other two were Sun Yatsen and Mao). Deng theory alone could settle the issue concerning the future and destiny of socialism, he added. (This gentleman is eulogizing Deng in so many ways. We can't say whether 'house arrest' is waiting or 'death penalty' is waiting for him!)
Underground workers union
On April 2, 1999 workers in the northern city of Tianjin announced the formation of an underground workers union dedicated to helping Chinese workers regain their place as the masters of the nation. They named it, "Chines Association to protect Workers' Rights". They declared that they formed this association because the government backed "All China Federation of Trade Unions" was not serving interests of the workers.
There had been numerous demonstrations in China during the early months by angry workers because State-owned enterprises did not pay their wages.
In March 2002 a wave of unprecedented street protests by tens of thousands of disgruntled workers were held in Liaoning. Authorities deployed thousands of additional military police to the region. In the city of Daqing, 5000 demonstrators clashed with military police. Reports said that as many as 86,000 laid off in Daqing since 1999. (Note that these workers' struggles were not aimed at any bourgeois parliamentary reforms. Merely for the sake of their livelihood. For the sake of work and wages! But no reforms would fulfil these demands except class struggle!)
The Far Eastern Economic Review of 15 August 002 described the worker protests in China from March to May 2002 as a turning point because of their size and organisation. ' The protests by laid off workers in Liaoning, Daquing and Fushun challenged the ruling party's legitimacy. It also informed that for the first time so many well organised laid-off workers and sympathizers ¾ in the tens of thousands ¾ took to the streets simultaneously and sustained their protests for weeks rather than days".
New heir of Deng
As the sixteenth party congress was approaching there were indications that the time had come for Jiang Zemin to relinquish the post of party's 'chief'. Jiang was 76 at that time and 59 year old Hu Jintao was waiting to occupy that seat. Deng, it was reported, picked Hu to be groomed as Jiang's successor making him the youngest member of the Polit bureau standing committee in 1992. He was promoted to the post of state vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission in September 1999. In 2001, he was sent to meet leaders in Russia, Britain, France, Spain and Germany. In February 2002 an unusual meeting with the U.S. President Bush was arranged at Beijing Tsinghua University.
Specialty of sixteenth party congress
As expected, Hu Jintao became the general secretary of the CCP at its sixteenth congress held in November 2002.
Jintao determined to excel Jiang Jemin, the former secretary, in eulogizing Deng.
So far, the earlier general secretaries used the phrase Marxism-Leninism-Mao's thought, didn't they? Now Jintao put Deng's name beside Marx and began to use the phrase "Marxism-Leninism-Mao's Thought-Deng's theory" and declared that the theme of the congress is to hold high this phrase.
The specialty of this congress is to invite "private sector tycoons" to a 'communist ball' as a correspondent of the Far Eastern Economic Review of November 21, 2002 aptly put it. One of the capitalists is a tycoon in power cables. Another fellow is a capitalist specialized in sewing machines industry and racked up to 100 million dollars in exports in 2001.
One of the private capitalists was made CC member while another was made alternate member of CC. Of course many more capitalists were admitted as ordinary members.
(Capitalists in the Communist Party! Capitalists in China are any way demanding separate capitalist parties, aren't they? So the Communist Party accommodated them thus, "why separate parties. Join this party".)
According to a report of the Far Eastern Economic Review of November 28, 2002, 2, 114 delegates of this congress pledged to achieve the following objectives: "Private capital will be allowed into more sectors. Discriminatory regulations on investment, financing taxation, land use and foreign trade will be over hauled. Private property will have fuller legal protection.
Culture of capital(-st) punishment
(In the previous section, we have seen how capitalist economic policies led to the demand for bourgeois reforms in the sphere of politics. Similarly, let us see how changes in the economy influenced the cultural life.)
As the capitalist property rights were permitted, property disputes gradually began to surface, also. Many kinds of crimes cropped up. Along with them, different forms of punishment increased, too. Murders and suicides increased. Owing to the abandonment of socialist policies, safety measures decreased and accidents at work places as well as outside increased. The number of orphan children increased. Superstitious beliefs became widespread.
All the problems of this kind were very common and natural in societies based on exploitation. These problems which were prevalent in pre-1949 China gradually decreased since the rule of the Communist Party. But the same old kind of problems again emerged during the revisionist rule. The reason for this is that conditions conducive to their (re-)emergence are existing in the revisionist society. We are going to see this fact now.
Cases and courts connected with property disputes, which were almost absent in the past have now reappeared. Courts established between 1980-83 tried 89,494 cases connected with business disputes. Out of these cases, 73,000 were contract disputes and involved properties worth of 2.9 billion yuans. About 400 million economic contracts were signed in 1982 and about 10% cases arose over these contracts.
Large scale executions
Unofficial estimates suggest that up to 10,000 people had been executed between August 1983 and December 1985. The accused persons were executed after being convicted of crimes including murder, rape and robbery.
Spread of pornography
The spread of pornography videotapes and unwholesome tabloids ¾ many imported from the west and Hongkong ¾ since 1984 encouraged sex offences such as abuse of young girls and day time and out door rape, even in rural areas where these crimes were unknown in the past.
In the early 1984 the government launched a campaign against so-called "spiritual pollution". The party journals Red Flag defined spiritual pollution as including primarily decadent music, pornography and the expression of bourgeois individualism. This pollution, the journal felt, was the result of contacts with the west. The campaign resulted in a stricter censorship of books, ban on some plays and films.
The real motive, however, behind this campaign was not to oppose spiritual pollution. It was meant to deflect claims by 'leftists' in the party that Deng and his supporters were permitting China to suffer moral decay in the interests of modernization. The campaign was also initiated with an intention to make the forthcoming purge of leftists in the party more acceptable to its opponents in the army and among the party cadres.
Beijing Review of August 6, 1984 reported favourably about the 'lively evenings' in big cities. It said, "Major cities are seeing more and more night life as shops introduce evening hours and restaurants and cultural centres organize concerts, tea parties and dances". It also informed that the recently opened Shanghai Hotel has extended its opening hours to 11 p.m. providing music, tea and closed circuit TV.
Beijing Review of August 15 enthusiastically depicted the changes in the fashions of young people's clothing. It reported that nowadays young people are no longer judging clothing based on its simplicity. They would like to look modern. The emphasis is on the beauty and the fashionable dress closely follows the lines of the body. Yong men prefer western style shorts and young women are fascinated by sleeved dresses, pure silk blouses, thin woolen skirts, especially shirts about 6.5 cms below the knee. The fashions begin at Shanghai and from there spread to other parts of the country. (Of all the bourgeois businesses, the business of modern fashionable dresses is the biggest one. If fashions are changed constantly, sale of new models and fashions is guaranteed. Boundless profits to garment capitalists!)
Domestic servants supplying companies
As a result of unemployment, the number of house workers increased. Beijing Review of June 18, 1984 was very happy to report the news that "China has begun to run companies providing housework services". It reported that 'The Chaoyang Housework Service Company' was the first of its kind in China. This company hires unemployed youth and retired workers, train them in various kinds of housework and supplies them to its customers. (A part of what the customer pays goes to the hired worker and the other part goes into the pocket of the company. What remains after deducting the office expenses is the profit of the company. It is workers who do the housework whereas profit goes to the company!)
According to Beijing Review of August 13, there were 30,000 housemaids and nannies in Beijing by July 1983. This numbers excludes those living outside their employer's household. Many domestic servants come from outside. Domestic servants (house workers) perform all kinds of work in the households of their masters. House cleaning, cooking, gardening, feeding and cleaning of dogs, caring of children and the old ¾ they do not one but all household chores!
If we consider the family of a master, it is the workers who do labour in the factory of that family; again it is the workers who do labour in the household!
What the members of that rich household do is killing their time with rest and recreation. The system of hiring domestic labour, which was absent before revisionists came to power, has now begun.
Higher crime rate in special economic zones
In its issue of August 20, 1985, Sociology, the generally pro-reform journal, admitted that violent crime was rare in Shenzhen and Zhuhai provinces before they became Special Economic Zones. Unsavoury elements here are imitating the underworld social organisation in Hongkong and Macao. Drug traffic, smuggling, abduction and sale of women and children had increased and on January 21, 1986, 18 people in Beijing were executed after being convicted of these crimes.
On February 19, two sons of leading party officials in Shanghai were executed after their conviction on 50 charges of rape or indecent behaviour.
On June 25, 1986 a mass execution of 31 convicted rapists, murderers and thieves was conducted.
On August 6, African students in China held a protest rally in Beijing demanding protection from further attacks (by Chinese students at Tanjin University) and an end to racial discrimination.
On October 10, 1986 Xinhua news agency reported that unauthorized production of police weapons was now common among criminals engaged in violence on a scale unprecedented in history. At the same time, Yunnan Daily contested the public security bureau's positive assessment of criminal activity and reported the recent sharp rise in the thefts and economic crimes. The newspaper warned of the crimes reminiscent of pre-liberation days such as murder, arson etc.
A study on the impact of introduction of the labour contract system observed that, in 1987, there were more prostitutes, more rapes and robberies. Unemployed young people have committed a large part of them. Many youths, according to this study, now dare to kill people, steal guns and even rob State banks!
By 1989, the public order problems in China grew more serious. For instance, big cities established mobile armed police forces.
Law as a full time profession
Before the triumph of Deng's revisionism, there were only 3,000 lawyers in China. Although population grew by more than 235,000,000 between 1957-80, the number of lawyers remained constant at 3000. Many of them were trained prior to 1949 and are in their late 60s. They pursued law as a part-time profession.
As a result of bourgeois economic reforms like contract system and various forms of privatization, number of legal disputes increased and the government found it necessary to give licenses to more than 40,000 persons to practice in some 4000 law offices set up by government. There are about 32,000 (by 1990) legal service centres established in rural areas where about 100,000 persons are functioning as para-professional staff. There were also about 15,000 notaries available in about 5,000 law offices.
In 1992, President Jiang Zemin estimated that China needed 300,000 lawyers.
In 1993, the Chinese Law minister estimated that number of lawyers would reach 75,000 during the eighth Five Year Plan and by the end of this century the number of lawyers would reach over 150,000. (The Law Minister was not ashamed of the number of lawyers in China where the number of part-time lawyers had remained constant for about three decades ¾ which fact indicates that social contradictions were at least not bad for the last three decades!)
Unsafe working conditions
On January 1, 1996 a fire in a Taiwanese-owned Christmas decoration factory killed 19 migrant workers and injured dozens more. This factory is, obviously, located in the export-driven southern Shenzhen Special Economic Zone where even the minimum government legislation safeguarding workers' rights including safety measures are commonly flouted due to widespread bribery and corruption among the officials.
Crime and punishment
On April 28, 1996 the government launched a national campaign against criminal gangs involved in drug dealing, prostitution and the abduction and sale of women and children. Needless to mention that such criminal activities were absent before the triumph of revisionists in the late seventies.
The official newspaper People's Daily of June 27, 1996 reported the execution the previous day of 231 people in nine provinces convicted of drug trafficking.
According to Amnesty International, some 650 executions had occurred after summary trials. Sentences were implemented publicly and crowds of up to 200,000 witnessed executions. (This means the people there have become so crude and cruel to witness death sentences as an entertainment.) Apart from serious crimes, executions for minor offences were also frequently reported.
In 1996, 4,367 executions were conducted. (That is more than 4,000 in one year! 12 persons per day!)
In 1997, China had executed 1,876 people. This is, according to a report of Amnesty International, more than the rest of the world combined. (All the types of crimes that occur in revisionist China also occur in all the capitalist countries. But we don't find so many death sentences in those capitalist countries. That is because, the governments in those countries have to face elections that take place among several political parties. Owing to that fear, they ignore certain crimes and try to be somewhat liberal. But in revisionist China, we find neither correct socialism nor liberal capitalism. There is a criticism that Deng's wrong policies destroyed socialist kind of relations and led to so many crimes. To counter criticism of this sort, Chinese revisionists are resorting to such severe punishments. Criticism will have no value if crimes occur less. If criminals are threatened with dire punishments, the number of crimes may decrease. Hence they argue that "it is good to have some people executed to educate others", as the Public Security Minister once said. On the one hand they created conditions that lead to crimes and on the other hand adopted a cruel means to reduce the number of crimes. They don't have the fear of facing elections since they rule like feudal monarchs. This is why the State in revisionist China is more cruel than other capitalist countries!)
'New' marriage law
In mid-October 1998, the government introduced amendments to the 1980 marriage law, under which extra marital affairs (adultery, keeping concubines etc) were to be made a criminal offence. In early November, a Party committee directive in Guangzhan of Guandong province said that married men who kept mistresses (!) or who frequent prostitutes could be sent to labour camps for up to 3 years.
According to the figures of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in early 1999 showed gender imbalance: male to female ratio 120-100. Gender imbalance is the result of one-child policy since 1979, which led to a massive upsurge in female infanticide and the abandonment of baby girls. (Authorities in Anhui province had to ban the use of ultra sound equipment to determine the gender of unborn children. Because some parents were resorting to deliberate termination of the fetus if the child was female.)
On November 12, 1999 the deputy Health Minister revealed for the first time that some 250,000 people ¾ mostly women ¾ committed suicide each year in China. The minister admitted that poverty, male chauvinism and overwork in the countryside are the causes for the high suicide rate.
The official statistics for the period 1997-2002 revealed that 118, 692 cases were registered against State officials who were involved in embezzlement, bribery and misappropriation of public funds. (What about those against whom cases have not been registered?)
Owing to poor safety measures on the part of the private owners and slackness on the part of government officials, accidents have been on the increase.
In November 1994, 233 people had been killed in a fire accident in a dance hall in Lianoning province. This accident showed inadequate safety standards in public buildings. Similarly, on December 8, at least 311 people, most of them school children were killed in a cinema fire in a town called Karamay. The cause for this tragic accident is the inaccessibility of emergency exits from the crowded building. In this fire accident, apart from those killed, about 200 people were seriously injured.
Some 5,000 mine workers died in accidents in 2000. In mid-November, 2001 in one week, 58 mine workers were killed in four mines in Shanxi province. All the four mines were designated as unsafe by authorities and should not have been in operation. It is reported that there are 23, 000 mines still operating despite having been designated as unsafe and earmarked for closure.
The day Deng's revisionism became active all religious activities too had become active. Since the third plenum of 11th CC in 1978 (when Deng's revisionism won complete victory), 1,000 mosques have been repaired or rebuilt in Ningxia, an autonomous region. In 1982, the State Nationalities Affairs Commission allocated about one million yuan for large scale repairs of a mosque in Tongxin of Ningxian.
Beijing Review of June 11, 1984 carried an interview with a Bishop on "Christianity in China". Some points in the interview: All churches were closed down during Cultural Revolution. Now at least 1,600 churches have been reopened or built so far since 1979. In the past four years (that is 1980-84) 1,300,000 copies of the Bible have been printed and distributed. The main source of income of the churches is the offerings and gifts of Chinese Christians. To a certain extent the churches still depend on the rentals that they are able to collect from church properties. The State exempts churches from taxes and give them the right to collect rentals, "quite an exceptional privilege within a socialist system." Number of new priests have been ordained and converts baptized. Local seminary to train young clergy under preparation. Ordaining of women priests began since 1979.
In December 1985, the Beitang Patriotic Catholic Association Cathedral, the largest church in Jeijing was reopened after 27 years for the celebration of midnight mass on December 24. The cathedral was repaired, using funds provided by the Chinese government.
According to Hunan provincial radio's broadcast on March 30, 1986 wealthy peasants purportedly raised funds for restoring demolished temples.
A report of Hongqi (Red Flag) on October 1, 1986 indicated that the evaporation of the CCP and the State administration apparatus in some areas had led to renew superstitious beliefs, clan associations, ancestral sacrifice and even secret societies that attacked Socialism. The party journal warned rural cadres against belief in demons and gods instead of Marxism.
Owing to the rapid evaporation of the accomplishments of the Communist Party and the consolidation of revisionism a sort of 'refeudalization' had begun. The 'new illiteracy' and the revival of extraordinary consumption such as weddings, funerals employing geomancers and having gambling sessions, evidence this. In Hebei, for instance, more than 50% of the people belonging to rich and specialised households (who take land and other means of production on lease or contract) have been involved in gambling.
Beneficiaries of the contract system in the rural areas developed an outlook to live on interest. They are resorting to tax evasion and arbitrary price increases.
Party officials in Tibet warned that the 'rapid progress of reform' had transferred 'unhealthy social practices' to their region in the form of religious revival.
On January 14, 1996, State Councilor for Religious and Nationalities Affairs, ordered al places of worship to be registered with government. He called for a crackdown on some followers of permitted faiths who were using religion to subvert the State. (This is not anti-religious action. What it says is this: Embrace religion of your choice, but give details of your religious organisation. Do whatever you want, but don't subvert the government.)
On October 16, 1997 the government released a white paper on freedom of religious belief. It lamented that Chinese religious communities had felt the "disastrous effect" of Cultural Revolution. But it expressed its satisfaction over the fact that there are more than 100 million followers belonging to over 3,000 religious organizations under the leadership of 300,000 clergy.
More bourgeois practices
Return of advertising
Advertising as a business started from 1979. Both foreign and domestic capitalists were informed that they could place advertisements on radio, television, bill boards and in newspapers. This policy is contrary to what was practiced during Cultural Revolution. At that time, advertising was described as 'apotheosis of the capitalist religion of consumption'.
There was some criticism against advertisements of cigarettes companies but the State did not stop then. It gave full freedom to foreign cigarette companies for sponsoring sports events.
In 1997, a professor of Shanghai university defended the use of advertising thus: "Developed countries use advertising as a tactic to enter Chinese market; so Chinese too should adopt the same aggressive use of advertising."
Disappearance of rural education facilities and basic medical care
Since 1980, after the abandonment of Commune system, the bourgeois reforms had reduced the ability of local communities to spend funds on education and basic medical care.
Rural schools have poorer quality facilities and relatively higher fees than urban schools. As a result of new revisionist polices, 3.7 million barefoot doctors, midwives and rural medical workers left their jobs. Village level co-operatives that offered collective insurance for health and basic medical care had largely disappeared.
Most advanced resources are concentrated in the richest urban areas and are allocated free of charge to those occupy highest ranks of the party and military hierarchies.
Merchant of death
In the past China did not produce arms on a large scale. It used to send some arms gratis to some revolutionary movements in America, Latin America and some neighboring countries of its choice. This continued up to 1976. But commercialization of arms industry began since 1978 as a result of triumph of revisionism. The chief motivation for Chinese arms sale is profit and nothing but profit. For example, it sold arms to both Iran and Iraq for about a decade and earned huge profits. It manufactures and sells various kinds of heavy weapons like ballistic missiles with largest range system, tanks, submarines, gunboats etc.
China's arms sale increased from 114 million dollars in 1977 to 3.5 billion dollars in 1988. It also held arms exhibitions abroad to attract foreign buyers. According to one study, there are many different arms export agents in China who compete and have a particular relations to the State council and People's Liberation Army. Profits from the arms sale are more likely to go into the pockets of a few high ranking officials.
Practice of gun salute
On April 26, 1984, when Regan, the then President of America arrived the Chinese government greeted him with a 21-gun salute. This bourgeois practice of gun salute was halted in 1966 during Cultural Revolution.
Reintroduction of ranks in the army
On May 15, 1984 the government passed the 'military service law' which included apart from other things, reintroduction of ranks in the army. Provisions were also made for the preferential treatment of the military personnel.
No ideals, only cash
Red Flag of June 16, 1986 expressed a little dissatisfaction over the destructive influence of market principles on party members. It said that party members now believe that ideals are far away, politics are meaningless, but cash is real. According to a study on the political reforms, large number of cadres supplemented their income through corruption. Some cadres also resigned their posts to enter into business.
In January 1996, the Chinese government announced that it had conducted a careful and thorough investigation concerning alleged torture and abuse of children in a Shanghai orphanage and the investigation established that accusations were completely groundless.
The same day the New York based group Human Rights Watch/Asia released a 331-page report with several pieces of evidence. Based on its evidence, the report concluded that more than 1,000 orphans had died in the Shanghai Welfare Institute between 1986 and 1992 as a result of brutal treatment, including deliberate starvation, torture and sexual assault. The report called on the government to open all its orphanages to international inspection.
Corroborating the evidence of Human Rights Watch/Asia, which was largely based on photographs and detailed medical records, the British television screened a documentary film "Return to the Dying Rooms" on January 9. Zhang Shuyun, a medical doctor at the institute, supplied the relevant evidence in 1988-93.
On the same day when the U.K foreign secretary arrived in China for a three day visit, the Chinese officials informed him that the documentary film has caused a serious disturbance in bilateral relations.
The Chinese government released a lengthy paper on April 3, denounced claims of Human Rights activists but admitted that the government was struggling to accommodating growing numbers of orphans, many of whom were unwanted girl babies, handicapped, or seriously ill.
Low hygiene standards
The Far Eastern Economic Review of December 5, 2002 published some health related facts based on its own investigation as well as the reports of World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund. It informed that in rural areas of China, the level of potentially dangerous injections can be as high as 100% with hospitals not meeting basic hygiene standards and dirty and unsterilized syringes spreading disease.
Abandoning class struggle and embracing capitalism
The Far Eastern Economic Review of July 18, 2002 published an interesting interview with a Chinese author, Zhang Xianliang. The brief summary of the interview: Today this writer is a successful businessman, running a film-set theme park on the outskirts of Ningxia's capital, Yinchuan that attracts 300,000 visitors a year. (Like Ramoji Film City at Hyderabad!) He smokes 555 cigarettes and drives a BMW. He is head of Huaxia Western Film and Television City.
His past history: He was born in a wealthy family in the Kuomintang-ruled area but the family lost all its wealth after liberation. He wrote a poem that spoke of "yearning for freedom". Communist Party government used that poem, condemned him on five separate occasions, each time thrown into labour camps for three years each. His fate changed after the rule of revisionists. He joined CCP and became Chairman of the party-run Writers'Association in Ningxia. Thereafter he wrote his prison memoirs as novels. One of his books has been translated into 27 languages. This writer won comparisons with Milan Kundera, the Czech novelist who suffered State repression. Susan Lawrence, the reporter of the journal asked the writer, 'How do you reconcile your past life as a prisoner with your present party membership'? Then he said, 'Easy. I have not changed, the Communist Party has changed…It is still called Communist Party of China". Then he laughed sarcastically. "It was a big, throaty laugh and spills out without warning whenever something strikes him as absurd", described the correspondent. He further remarked, "Abroad people still use this name to judge the party. They don't know that this Communist Party and the Communist Party of 20-plus years ago are already very different."
To this remark of Zhang, Susan, the correspondent of the journal gave her interpretation to the readers as follows: "True, today's party is different. It has abandoned class struggle and embraced capitalism".
Thus freedom and liberty ¾ which this capitalist, who smokes 555 cigarettes and rents film sets, needs ¾ are flourishing in China, to use a Telugu expression, like a plant with three flowers and six unripe fruits.
It is unbearable and unthinkable agonizing tragedy to see the degeneration of China ¾ the China which witnessed valorous struggles like Long March and Cultural Revolution! Yet we have to bear it and try to understand it.
A matter of justice, however true it may be, will inevitably face defeat if there are no people who grasp it.
Not only victories but also defeats will be invaluable experiences! All the experiences are lessons to be learnt!
In the past when socialist kind of relations emerged in the sphere of economy, political and cultural spheres also followed the same path. Similarly, as soon as anti-socialist relations emerged in the sphere of economy, the other spheres too took the same path. From the past to the present, China has been a great laboratory to prove that how economy operates as a primary motive force of the entire society!
In the human society, the entire past history is the history of class struggles, isn't it? So, as long as classes exist, the future history too would invariably be history of class struggles! That history will change only when classes disappear.
There has to be either a 'mode of production based on independent producers" or a "mode of production based on associated producers" if we do not want exploitation of labour or existence of classes in human relations. But mode of production based on independent producers keeps the producers as isolated and separated individuals without any connection with one another. It deprives them of cooperation from fellow human beings in sharing hardships or comforts. Mode of production based on associated producers will alone contribute to the development of higher values and higher forms of existence.
Knowledge of theory alone is the path to protect our selves. If we know the correct solution for the problems of life, we can easily recognise the nature of solutions however varied wrong forms they may assume. We will be able to avoid repetition of defeats in our path of struggle.
Communist Party alone is the embryonic form of new society which the proletariat ought to build for its liberation. So, the newness and equality must begin from there. It must appear as an ideal force to the proletariat and 'a lion in the dream' of the exploiting class. It would acquire such capacity only when it retains Marx's theory as its weapon. It would achieve so much victory as much as it has class consciousness and as much as it can educate the proletariat with sincerity.
Revolutionary Communist Parties ought to know a lot! They ought to improve a lot! They ought to overcome a series of failures!
[Frontier, dated February 8-14, 2004]