Home        About Dan        News        Books        Forum        Art
 
   
Page 6 of 6 « First<23456
Topic Options
#169127 - 05/21/19 03:28 PM Re: THESE are the most telling failures of socialism [Re: Lasombra]
Dan Simmons Administrator Offline
CEO of the Hegemony


Registered: 09/02/05
Posts: 11210
Loc: Colorado
 Originally Posted By: Lasombra
 Originally Posted By: Silence
 Originally Posted By: Lasombra
No one at the world bank, or anywhere else outside of dogmatically ideological Marxist-Leninist-Maoist circles, would attribute China’s economic success to anything other than what has been essentially the embrace of market capitalism. Deng Xiaoping dropped the inflexible and utterly immune to reality central planning that characterized the economic and humanitarian disasters of the Mao years, and replaced that system with state owned enterprises that, unlike their Soviet counterparts, focused on commercial success rather than meeting production quotas set by a government ministry. The CPC than cleared the way for the birth of an amazingly vigorous private sector. This bizarre public/private hybrid was just what was necessary to launch China into the global economy, and this arrangement was, and remains, uniquely suited to China’s demographic and political dynamic. Countries like Vietnam have had success with a similar roadmap, however such an arrangement would never have worked for the Soviets, or for African and South American communist regimes; outside of Asia, such reforms haven’t even been attempted. As unpopular as it is to claim these days, the system is not everything; markets are not insulated from the culture, language, and history of their participants. This is an important, if inconvenient, truth to point out when debating economic and social policy with someone who claims “it works in the Netherlands, why can’t we do it here?”.

China’s government is still arranged along communist lines. The military is an organ of the party, not the people, propaganda ministries have total control over all media outlets, even those that are part of the private sector, for that matter any part of that prosperous private sector could be seized overnight by the CPC if they wished, for any reason. This is one of many reasons why the idea of the RMB replacing the USD as global reserve currency is silly; there are no real legal, political, or cultural restrictions in place to prevent the CPC from doing whatever they want. Domestic capitalists and their international business partners are given access to a structure of labyrinthine arbitration laws and vaguely defined legal rights when dealing with the CPC, but the Party is the ultimate authority. Something to think about next time you want to invest in that hot new Chinese IPO.


So is China a communist or a capitalist country? If it's not purely capitalist, how can one explain that China outperforms purely capitalist countries? Is it evidence that pure capitalism is less efficient than whatever China is doing?


Is China communist or capitalist? Has a dog the Buddha-nature?



Dan S. comments:

For the most part, this has been a delightful and invigorating dialogue, but -- as faux-sensei to this forum -- I'm forced, by Lasombra's brilliant final question, to mutter . . .

"Mu." Unask the question.

Then again -- don't. Onward. (This all feels like the powerful forum of yesteryears.)

DS

Top
#169128 - 05/21/19 03:56 PM Re: THESE are the most telling failures of socialism [Re: Dan Simmons]
jmill Online   content
Full Shrike


Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 5721
Loc: Earth

Labels are important. Words matter. The first thing apologists do when they want to excuse bad behavior is to change the terminology, make it sound milder, lessen the impact on peoples' perceptions by switching to an innocuous-sounding term. So China is called state capitalist instead of communist/socialist. Does it change their actions, or make life better for the people living under their system to give it a different name? No. the only thing it does is turn people away from the reality, allow them to sigh in relief and say “Oh, good, I thought their system might abuse peoples’ natural human rights to self-determination, but the word capitalist is in their title, so it must be okay.” Does calling it state capitalist lessen the impact of the bullets they fire into their dissenters’ heads, or make their imprisonment in reeducation camps less than prison? Did being called state capitalist magically stop the tanks rolling through Tiananmen Square in the 1980s? Does it make their rules limiting child birth, enforcing abortion, telling people where they can live, or how they can make a living any less onerous? No, it only gives people an excuse to ignore the hard choices that stand before them. China is a problem, just as Russia continues to be a problem, and it all stems from their lack of freedom. Never lose sight of that key fact. I don't care what kind of diplomacy we practice, the bottom line is the Chinese (and the Russians) would love to destroy us so they can be preeminent. Not because it would make the world a better place, but because that is the fundamental nature of megalomaniacal, totalitarian governments.
_________________________
"Long is the way and hard that out of Hell leads up to light." -John Milton

Top
#169130 - 05/21/19 10:49 PM Re: THESE are the most telling failures of socialism [Re: jmill]
Enright Offline
Super User


Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3595
Loc: CA
 Originally Posted By: jmill
Labels are important. Words matter. The first thing apologists do when they want to excuse bad behavior is to change the terminology, make it sound milder, lessen the impact on peoples' perceptions by switching to an innocuous-sounding term. So China is called state capitalist instead of communist/socialist. Does it change their actions, or make life better for the people living under their system to give it a different name? No. the only thing it does is turn people away from the reality, allow them to sigh in relief and say “Oh, good, I thought their system might abuse peoples’ natural human rights to self-determination, but the word capitalist is in their title, so it must be okay.” Does calling it state capitalist lessen the impact of the bullets they fire into their dissenters’ heads, or make their imprisonment in reeducation camps less than prison? Did being called state capitalist magically stop the tanks rolling through Tiananmen Square in the 1980s? Does it make their rules limiting child birth, enforcing abortion, telling people where they can live, or how they can make a living any less onerous? No, it only gives people an excuse to ignore the hard choices that stand before them. China is a problem, just as Russia continues to be a problem, and it all stems from their lack of freedom. Never lose sight of that key fact. I don't care what kind of diplomacy we practice, the bottom line is the Chinese (and the Russians) would love to destroy us so they can be preeminent. Not because it would make the world a better place, but because that is the fundamental nature of megalomaniacal, totalitarian governments.

The whole Marxist argument is based on the implicit and explicit premise that "capitalism" is one thing, and its proposed replacement "socialism" is another. Without that separation, it doesn't make much sense to talk about "abolishing capitalism." That is why the argument that "socialism" is really just "state capitalism" was so resisted by the Marxists, and so popular among its critics, historically.

It seems to me that if we look at various economic systems in a series, i.e., private capitalism (individual owners), group capitalism (corporations), state capitalism, e.g., China, and international capitalism, we leave little or no room conceptually for utopian "socialism" as such.

It is true that the "state capitalism" terminology still leaves people free to admire such systems for their posited superiority, as some people admired the Fascist economies of the 1930s for their efficiency (FDR even sending his brain trust to Italy to see how Mussolini did it), but compared to the classical Marxist ideal, that's a much less motivating argument for, say, killing people in a revolution to bring a new world about.
_________________________
Jim

Top
#169132 - 05/22/19 06:25 PM Re: THESE are the most telling failures of socialism [Re: Silence]
ScottSA Offline
CEO of the Hegemony


Registered: 05/19/06
Posts: 14322
Loc: Canada
 Originally Posted By: Silence
 Originally Posted By: Lasombra
No one at the world bank, or anywhere else outside of dogmatically ideological Marxist-Leninist-Maoist circles, would attribute China’s economic success to anything other than what has been essentially the embrace of market capitalism. Deng Xiaoping dropped the inflexible and utterly immune to reality central planning that characterized the economic and humanitarian disasters of the Mao years, and replaced that system with state owned enterprises that, unlike their Soviet counterparts, focused on commercial success rather than meeting production quotas set by a government ministry. The CPC than cleared the way for the birth of an amazingly vigorous private sector. This bizarre public/private hybrid was just what was necessary to launch China into the global economy, and this arrangement was, and remains, uniquely suited to China’s demographic and political dynamic. Countries like Vietnam have had success with a similar roadmap, however such an arrangement would never have worked for the Soviets, or for African and South American communist regimes; outside of Asia, such reforms haven’t even been attempted. As unpopular as it is to claim these days, the system is not everything; markets are not insulated from the culture, language, and history of their participants. This is an important, if inconvenient, truth to point out when debating economic and social policy with someone who claims “it works in the Netherlands, why can’t we do it here?”.

China’s government is still arranged along communist lines. The military is an organ of the party, not the people, propaganda ministries have total control over all media outlets, even those that are part of the private sector, for that matter any part of that prosperous private sector could be seized overnight by the CPC if they wished, for any reason. This is one of many reasons why the idea of the RMB replacing the USD as global reserve currency is silly; there are no real legal, political, or cultural restrictions in place to prevent the CPC from doing whatever they want. Domestic capitalists and their international business partners are given access to a structure of labyrinthine arbitration laws and vaguely defined legal rights when dealing with the CPC, but the Party is the ultimate authority. Something to think about next time you want to invest in that hot new Chinese IPO.


So is China a communist or a capitalist country? If it's not purely capitalist, how can one explain that China outperforms purely capitalist countries? Is it evidence that pure capitalism is less efficient than whatever China is doing?
It's evidence that when one starts at ground zero economically, and is fed a virtually bottomless market to sell into, the growth rate is going to be much higher than the growth rate of the market you are selling into. Labour and capital inputs were free flowing into cities in China for years, and now they're not, which explains why 10% growth has become 6% over the past few years and is still slowing. Further, technology - the only economic driver left to China - as firmly in the grasp of the capitalist west, and all China can do is keep stealing it or fall behind.
_________________________
If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what is an empty desk a sign?~Albert Einstein

Top
#169134 - 05/23/19 12:59 PM Re: THESE are the most telling failures of socialism [Re: ScottSA]
jryan Offline
Hardcase


Registered: 06/08/07
Posts: 8611
Loc: Oakton VA
Sorry to dumb this down a bit, but the easiest argument for capitalism is to use the very argument against capitalism by those who dream of socialism:

Capitalism has a tendency, when left unchecked, to create hugely powerful, corruptible, giant mega-corporations with the power and money to buy off those whose job it is to police them.

Socialism from the start is one powerful, corruptible, giant mega-corporation in charge of the police.
_________________________
“Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts” - Richard Feynman

Top
#169135 - 05/23/19 02:28 PM Re: THESE are the most telling failures of socialism [Re: jryan]
jmill Online   content
Full Shrike


Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 5721
Loc: Earth

Haha, that's a great way to put it, jryan.
_________________________
"Long is the way and hard that out of Hell leads up to light." -John Milton

Top
Page 6 of 6 « First<23456


Hop to:

Generated in 0.044 seconds in which 0.015 seconds were spent on a total of 13 queries. Zlib compression disabled.

Home    Books    Curtis on Publishing   Previews    Bio    Bibliography    Snapshots     Foreign News    Reader's Forum    Art