May 12, 2006

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China's ridiculous leftists

When you're at the losing end of an ideological battle, what's the best thing you can do? Why not turn your loss into a victory, simply by wishing it to be so? In today's edition of tortured logic, the SCMP reports:

Economic globalisation will help revive the international socialist movement on its path towards inevitable success over capitalism, according to a leading central government think-tank. But mainland analysts have questioned the conclusions in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Yellow Book on World Socialism, saying they represent only the self-contradictory views of a few leftist scholars.

Academy vice-president Li Shenming unveiled the book yesterday at a seminar on leftist thinking in Beijing, according to the academy's website. It marks the latest stand in a leftist backlash against China's economic reforms..."The international socialist movement is at its low point, but the advance of economic globalisation will provide the material foundation and social conditions for its revival," China News Service quoted the book as saying. "The world socialist movement has not only withstood the powerful impact of the sudden political change in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, but also revived and progressed. It is an invincible principle that socialist societies will grow from weak to prosperous and strong and eventually surpass and win over capitalism."

The book also takes aim at the United States, lashing out at its expansion of political, economic, military and diplomatic power."The new national security strategy in the US is likely to pose the biggest threat to China's economic security. China must be put on full alert to the realistic threats posed by the US' `soft war' offensive," it warned. Hu Xingdou , a Beijing-based political scientist, said the book's findings could be interpreted as China developing a new definition of socialism, different from the authoritarian Soviet system.

"It is true that the international socialist movement has been at a low ebb and there have been various understandings of the definition of socialism," he said.

Professor Hu said it would be right to say that socialism had revived itself in a different form, which allowed people more freedom and offered protection of their personal property.

Liu Junning , a former political researcher at the academy, was more critical of the book. "The findings showed the leftist academics who contributed to the book were confused themselves," Professor Liu said. "It is ridiculous and wishful to say that globalisation, a product of the capitalist market economy, can help China revive the international socialist movement. It is simply a way to boost their own morale."

There's a prize if anyone can work out how socialism is poised for a global revival and eventual triumph over capitalism thanks to globalisation. Most impressive is the section in bold - socialism being redefined to allow for people more freedom and private property. Extra prizes to entrants from North Korea and Cuba, who's examples of socialism give us all something to admire.

If globalisation (ie the free movement of people, goods, services and ideas between countries) leads to the "inevitable" success over capitalism, I'll move to North Korea.

posted by Simon on 05.12.06 at 09:21 AM in the China politics category.


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There's always been, in communist revolutionary forecasting, the possibility/hope/expectation/myth/potential for the "success" of capitalism to finally unveil the seeds of its downfall by "going too far to be tolerable to the masses"..... we're still waiting, mind you, but the theory is unfalsifiable.

posted by: Jonathan Dresner on 05.13.06 at 03:45 AM [permalink]

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