flynavy
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China: Communist?

Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:24 pm

Since, according to some choice members of the forum, I was misinformed that China is a communist country, I decided to start this topic so as to not de-rail another topic currently running.

So, is China a communist country?

Consider:

1. The Communist Party of China, also known as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is the founding and ruling political party of China and, ironically, the world's largest political party. The party controls all government apparatus in China.
2. Its paramount position as the supreme political authority in China is guaranteed by China's constitution.

So, pray tell, is my analysis flawed? Where did I go wrong?  Yeah sure
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N1120A
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RE: China: Communist?

Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:34 pm

They can call themselves whatever they want, they are definately not a communist state.

They have an authoritarian government with a brutal-capitalist economy with a heavy dose of nationalism.

Nothing like Marx described and nothing like the Paris Commune he based much of his writing on.

If anything, the U.S. is more of a "communist" state than China is.
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Blackbird
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RE: China: Communist?

Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:37 pm

I would probably classify them, modern day, as a fascist dictatorship.

Even though Communism and Fascism are considered opposite on the political spectrum, both of them are dictatorships. So it's possible for the pendulum to swing the opposite way into fascism while a dictatorship to remain (dictatorships often go to great lengths to protect themselves from their own people)


Blackbird
 
N1120A
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RE: China: Communist?

Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:40 pm



Quoting Blackbird (Reply 2):
I would probably classify them, modern day, as a fascist dictatorship.

While China is rife with authoritarianism tied to nationalism, it lacks the idea of a "rebirth" of a failed nation/race to make it a truly fascist regime. I would say that Mao's government was more fascist than today's China, though it also had more communist elements.
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Mir
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RE: China: Communist?

Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:10 pm



Quoting N1120A (Reply 1):
They can call themselves whatever they want, they are definately not a communist state.

 checkmark  North Korea calls itself "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea", but does anyone really think that the country is at all democratic? Names mean nothing.

China certainly has communist elements to it, but to put them in the same category as North Korea, Cuba or the Soviet Union would be a mistake - there are significant differences between them.

-Mir
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skyservice_330
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RE: China: Communist?

Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:15 pm



Quoting N1120A (Reply 1):
They have an authoritarian government with a brutal-capitalist economy with a heavy dose of nationalism.

 checkmark 

From an economic standpoint, I struggle to call it Communism...it is more like centrally controlled capitalism. That said, they have retained many of the authoritarian traits shared by other Communist leaders.
 
Acheron
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RE: China: Communist?

Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:19 pm



Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Reply 5):
.it is more like centrally controlled capitalism.

State capitalism.
 
N1120A
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RE: China: Communist?

Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:21 pm



Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Reply 5):
That said, they have retained many of the authoritarian traits shared by other Communist leaders.

The issue there is that authoritarianism is incompatible with true communism. The problem is that the key resource in communism is this notion of "power", that is the power each person has as part of the whole. Power acts like money does in capitalism, where shifting it around is what makes the system keep going. The problem is that, much like with capitalism, there is always a concentration of the critical resource that keeps the system going in a small group of people and you never get a "true" system.

What that means is you end up with these authoritarian states that call themselves "communist" and you get massive rich and poor disparities in "capitalist" states.
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slider
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RE: China: Communist?

Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:41 pm

Ya’ll can get into a semantic taffy pull all you want over what –ism is most appropriate to describe China.

But they’re not “free” that much is for damn sure.
 
United Airline
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RE: China: Communist?

Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:59 am

China is opening up and capitalism is performed in special economic zones. However, overall China is still very communist in many ways, though things are changing
 
B2443
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RE: China: Communist?

Sat Aug 16, 2008 5:27 am



Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Reply 5):
they have retained many of the authoritarian traits shared by other Communist leaders.

"....shared by their OWN imperial emperors" would be a more accurate description. Mao was known for his knowledge of the Chinese history, not for reading the works by Carl Marx or Lenin for that matter. You have to realize 30 years of import of western communism could not have had too much impact on the Chinese society of thousands of years. Mostly they are doing their own things. China was not all that innocent in terms of civil liberties before the communists ( or a bunch of peasants called themselved CCP) took over. Everyone in the west only wants (or be told) to look at the "after" part, thinking every problem in China is caused by the "communists" leadership. That's propaganda, too.

I am glad China has become such a hot topic here...good or bad...People definitely are paying more attention to China now.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: China: Communist?

Sat Aug 16, 2008 5:42 am



Quoting B2443 (Reply 10):
China was not all that innocent in terms of civil liberties before the communists ( or a bunch of peasants called themselved CCP) took over. Everyone in the west only wants (or be told) to look at the "after" part, thinking every problem in China is caused by the "communists" leadership. That's propaganda, too.

Actually up to the Chinese revolution of 1949 (the communist takeover), it was quite common to see the town executioner walk through the streets of the town with his execution sword as a constant reminder to obey the authorities. Executions were carried out publically in the streets. And the custom of displaying the condemned with signshanging from their necks stating their crimes also reaches back to imperial times.

Jaan
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B2443
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RE: China: Communist?

Sat Aug 16, 2008 5:59 am



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 11):
And the custom of displaying the condemned with signshanging from their necks stating their crimes also reaches back to imperial times.

Basically you could trace all the "freedom"/"brutality" problems back to the imperial times. "Freedom" is truely a western concept and it is no part of the ancient Confucious or Mengzi, Zhuangzi, Laozi philosophies, which basically ruled the Chinese society at all levels dynasty after dynasty. Thinking 30 years of communism has completly wiped out the deep roots of Confucious minds would be ignorant.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: China: Communist?

Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:13 am

Quoting B2443 (Reply 12):
Basically you could trace all the "freedom"/"brutality" problems back to the imperial times. "Freedom" is truely a western concept and it is no part of the ancient Confucious or Mengzi, Zhuangzi, Laozi philosophies, which basically ruled the Chinese society at all levels dynasty after dynasty. Thinking 30 years of communism has completly wiped out the deep roots of Confucious minds would be ignorant.

It is still basically the children obey the mother, the mother the father, the father the village headman, the village headman the civil servants and the civil servants whomever is running the government, let it be the emperor or the chairman of the communist party.

China was since millenia ruled centrally (except during the civil war period of the 1920s-1930s, there the emperor was gone without a replacement and the provincial governors set up private armies to grab as much power as possible).

BTW, a good friend of my brother (since elementary school) is a direct direct decendant of Mengzi. His father was one of my professors at university, but is now retired. He was researching and teaching theoretical physics, specialised in elementary particles.

Jan

[Edited 2008-08-16 00:20:15]
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jetjack74
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RE: China: Communist?

Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:17 am

Oh dear god.
Are we seriously debating this for real?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 1):
They can call themselves whatever they want, they are definately not a communist state.

BS. The Chinese are the very definition of the modern day communist state. It may not be Stalinist, Leninist or any old world-style communism, but it's commuism in an updated style.

Evrything infrasturcture-wise tied to daily living is still governemnt controlled, media, healthcare, etc. They still have political prisoners held captive without being charged. Chinese citizens still have to request perminssion to leave China. The gov't still limits children, only allowing 2 girls per family, up from 1(how nice of them). They can't own any property, they can only lease it from the gov't for 50 or 100 years. Slave labour is still widespread.

You don't have ANY right to say what you want. Most average Chinese don't engage western peple unless they're paid to (for business or public relatons). People still live in fear of being persecuted. There are no elections period, not real ones anyway. Phoney puppets are elected.

And if that's not enough proof, It's run by the CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY!

The whole image of China is a total sham. They've pulled off a brilliant trick, far better than any other attempt in history. Just like the knockoffs they sell. Indistinguishable to the average person.

It's not authoritarianism, it's not facism, it's communism pure and simple
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flynavy
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RE: China: Communist?

Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:27 am



Quoting Jetjack74 (Reply 14):
Are we seriously debating this for real?

My reaction as well.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: China: Communist?

Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:29 am



Quoting Jetjack74 (Reply 14):
Oh dear god.
Are we seriously debating this for real?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 1):
They can call themselves whatever they want, they are definately not a communist state.

BS. The Chinese are the very definition of the modern day communist state. It may not be Stalinist, Leninist or any old world-style communism, but it's commuism in an updated style.

Evrything infrasturcture-wise tied to daily living is still governemnt controlled, media, healthcare, etc. They still have political prisoners held captive without being charged. Chinese citizens still have to request perminssion to leave China. The gov't still limits children, only allowing 2 girls per family, up from 1(how nice of them). They can't own any property, they can only lease it from the gov't for 50 or 100 years. Slave labour is still widespread.

You don't have ANY right to say what you want. Most average Chinese don't engage western peple unless they're paid to (for business or public relatons). People still live in fear of being persecuted. There are no elections period, not real ones anyway. Phoney puppets are elected.

And if that's not enough proof, It's run by the CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY!

The whole image of China is a total sham. They've pulled off a brilliant trick, far better than any other attempt in history. Just like the knockoffs they sell. Indistinguishable to the average person.

It's not authoritarianism, it's not facism, it's communism pure and simple

First, healthcare is also government controlled in manycountries, which are not considred communist, like e.g. the UK.

Then, the absence of democracy (real, not fake elections etc.) are just a sign of a dictatoraship, not necessarily communist (or doo you think the elections under Marcos in the Philippines or Pinochet in Chile, who were openly anti-communist, were for real?).
The same applies to political prisoners and slave labour (which was e.g. very common in 19th century capitalism, including the US).

China left the communist theory in practice when they permitted private ownership of businesses and factories (a key doctrine of communist philosophy).

The party kept the name "communist" to appease the proletarian part of the population, but in fact has turned into something like Victorian sweat shop capitalism (e.g. during the 19th and early 20th century many capitalist countries used the military to crush strikes. Unions were banned, just like in China today).

The whole "communist" thing in the name of the ruling party of China reminds me of the "socialist" in the Nazi party's name: just intented to appeal to the workers and to b*llsh*t them, while in reality cooperating with big business.

Jan
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flynavy
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RE: China: Communist?

Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:37 am



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, smells like a duck...

...it's frigg'n duck. M'kay?
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MD11Engineer
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RE: China: Communist?

Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:45 am



Quoting Flynavy (Reply 17):
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, smells like a duck...

...it's frigg'n duck. M'kay?

So Pinochet was a communist, same as Galtieri, Marcos etc.?

Read some Marx and other books on communist theory, not just pamphlets by the late senator McCarthy.

Jan
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skyservice_330
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RE: China: Communist?

Sat Aug 16, 2008 4:53 pm

Quoting B2443 (Reply 10):
Everyone in the west only wants (or be told) to look at the "after" part, thinking every problem in China is caused by the "communists" leadership. That's propaganda, too.


For many people, an 'enemy' is essential to maintaining a dichotomous world view which makes social and political life simple and easy to understand. Communism was/has been the 'enemy' for the better part of the last decade to the West so it is not surprising that this type of reaction emerges. Communism=bad, therefore, bad things in China=result of communism.

typo.

[Edited 2008-08-16 09:55:52]
 
swiftski
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RE: China: Communist?

Sat Aug 16, 2008 5:00 pm



Quoting United Airline (Reply 9):
China is opening up and capitalism is performed in special economic zones. However, overall China is still very communist in many ways, though things are changing

Agreed.

Quoting Flynavy (Thread starter):
So, pray tell, is my analysis flawed? Where did I go wrong?

You're not wrong.

Where some people go wrong is presuming that censorship = communism.
 
Acheron
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RE: China: Communist?

Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:54 pm



Quoting Flynavy (Reply 17):
If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, smells like a duck...

...it's frigg'n duck. M'kay?

That probably works for simplistic minds and black&white-only points of view, but generally, things are way more complicated than that.
 
PPVRA
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RE: China: Communist?

Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:44 pm

Quoting Acheron (Reply 6):
State capitalism.

That term is contradictory. A free market simply cannot be "state".

A better term is what we see today under "democratic socialism" in some countries, like Pemex in Mexico, and other state-owned companies.

[Edited 2008-08-16 15:48:21]
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huskyaviation
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RE: China: Communist?

Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:32 am



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):
China left the communist theory in practice when they permitted private ownership of businesses and factories (a key doctrine of communist philosophy).

What you say I believe to be true, but from what I understand, the rural portions of China (where a majority of the population still lives, thus we're talking about 700m+ people), collectivism and communist practices are still very much alive. China is not only the hyper-capitalist special economic zones.
 
Zone1
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RE: China: Communist?

Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:35 am

After Tienanmen Square the Chinese Authorities realized their days would be numbered if they didn't give something back to the people. They decided to give them economic freedoms over anything. It's basically a modern day "bread and circus" to keep the people of China happy and prevent them from overthrowing the government. With that said, just because you can now run a business in China, doesn't mean it is any less communist than before.
/// U N I T E D
 
slider
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RE: China: Communist?

Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:59 pm



Quoting Zone1 (Reply 24):
After Tienanmen Square the Chinese Authorities realized their days would be numbered if they didn't give something back to the people. They decided to give them economic freedoms over anything. It's basically a modern day "bread and circus" to keep the people of China happy and prevent them from overthrowing the government. With that said, just because you can now run a business in China, doesn't mean it is any less communist than before.

Bingo.

The saga of Tiananmen is well chronicled. The party realized they might have a massive revolution, so they threw out some carrots to quiet the masses.

What they did really was quite genius, however, it’s something that I think is dangerous for the Communist party in China—this will test just where the equilibrium point is between being free and being sheep under central control. Is freedom an all or nothing proposition? Will they be happy with some of the reforms they have? Is there a greater disquiet bubbling under the surface? To what degrees will the government go to keep control?

We’ve seen with the Olympics what they’ll do. And now with today’s report about visitors with Bibles being confiscated, it’s no surprise. There is the State, and there is everything else, which is to say, nothing.
 
B2443
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RE: China: Communist?

Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:49 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 13):
It is still basically the children obey the mother, the mother the father, the father the village headman, the village headman the civil servants and the civil servants whomever is running the government, let it be the emperor or the chairman of the communist party.

That explains partially why people "accept" the leadership, contrary to western question of it being "legitimate". Many journalists in the west are trying to ask whether the CCP leadership is legitamate and hoping an ordinary Chinese is going to ask that same question. To an ordinary Chinese, it's irrelavent. It's been like that since Xia, Zhou, Qin, Han,....Ming, Qing, Republic of China, or the People's Republic of China. When so many of us use OUR 'standards' to measure what happens in other cultures, of course everything is 'wrong' since we so believe OUR believes are universal; OUR press is righteous; OUR websites are the truth; and OUR religions are the best. We are so unhappy when OUR believes struggle in other cultures. We've heard so many "horrible" stories of China in the west how 'bad' the government is and believe OMG, every Chinese must hate their government. Fact is they don't hate their government, not enough at least. Our journalists are so focused on the few 'dissidents', as if their views are the normalized Chinese view. It is not, in fact, it's OUR view.

For that standpoint, I am not sure discussing the "label" WE give to Chinese is all that meaningful, even for OUR own benefits.

Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Reply 19):
For many people, an 'enemy' is essential to maintaining a dichotomous world view which makes social and political life simple and easy to understand. Communism was/has been the 'enemy' for the better part of the last decade to the West so it is not surprising that this type of reaction emerges. Communism=bad, therefore, bad things in China=result of communism.

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark 

As long as China is still "Communist" the the OP suggests, they are just bad, and we have "facts" to prove its bad over and over. It smells cold war all over, or is it never stopped?

Quoting Slider (Reply 25):
The party realized they might have a massive revolution,

If you were Chinese, would you anticipate another 'revolution' after so many of them really didn't work out? Many in the west see "revolutions" in "Communist" countries as western "victories". At least that's what our governments and jounalists would like us to believe. I am sure most of Chinese would agree to that. Aren't we "supposed" to "respect" differences? Why is it always about me, us, the west?
 
sw733
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RE: China: Communist?

Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:20 pm

Put me down in the list of people who say they are only Communist on paper. I've been to China and when you're there, you certainly can't tell they are Communist! I certainly felt it much more in Cuba.
 
iairallie
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RE: China: Communist?

Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:47 pm

They are not a pure communist society.

Just as the US is not a pure Democracy.
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N1120A
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RE: China: Communist?

Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:33 pm



Quoting Jetjack74 (Reply 14):
The Chinese are the very definition of the modern day communist state. It may not be Stalinist, Leninist or any old world-style communism, but it's commuism in an updated style.

And that shows you know absolutely nothing about communism.
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jetjack74
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RE: China: Communist?

Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:53 am



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):
First, healthcare is also government controlled in manycountries, which are not considred communist, like e.g. the UK

Huge difference. NHS is gov't-sponsored collectively by England/Wales, Scotland and Northern Island. There are some aspects of the healtcare system that are privately funded unlike in China where absolute control is in the hands of the government. And furthermore, the media, nor are 100% other basic services in the UK or most other countries isn't controlled by parliment

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):
Then, the absence of democracy (real, not fake elections etc.) are just a sign of a dictatoraship, not necessarily communist

But when the Communist Party is in the only party recognised, that's a pretty good indication of where they are on the political spectrum.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):
(or doo you think the elections under Marcos in the Philippines or Pinochet in Chile, who were openly anti-communist, were for real?).

No, they were dictators, not communists. They just took everything, much like what the Democrats are seeking to do in Election '08.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):
The same applies to political prisoners and slave labour (which was e.g. very common in 19th century capitalism, including the US).

The 19th century ended over 100 years ago. As I said, this China is not the same as the old China. Today's China is doing what past dictatoial regimes failed to do. Germany and Japan attempted to conquer the world militarily. After war, they conquered the world in certain aspects of commerce, with Germany and Japan building the best cars, state of the art electronics. That was was China saw as the foundation for economic dominaion. Fight wars through economics, and save the military conflicts for a future time period

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):
China left the communist theory in practice when they permitted private ownership of businesses and factories (a key doctrine of communist philosophy).

They do not permit private ownership. The gov't can confiscate anything at anytime should they choose to. No Chinese citizen fully owns anything.
I would just like to know, how many times a month or year do you visit the PRC?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 29):
And that shows you know absolutely nothing about communism.

And it wouldn't surprise me that you think you do, since you seem to love socialism so much.
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N1120A
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RE: China: Communist?

Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:25 pm



Quoting Jetjack74 (Reply 30):

And it wouldn't surprise me that you think you do, since you seem to love socialism so much.

Don't tell that to my socialist friends.

Quoting Jetjack74 (Reply 30):
The gov't can confiscate anything at anytime should they choose to.

So can the state, local and federal governments in the US.

Quoting Jetjack74 (Reply 30):
They just took everything, much like what the Democrats are seeking to do in Election '08.

 sarcastic 
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B2443
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RE: China: Communist?

Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:30 pm

A foundamental difference between the modern day "communism" and "capitalism", both invented in the west, is the ownership of properties. If you use this as the sole criterion, China is mostly "communist". Also it's a common understanding (at least in the west) that when you measure the degree of freedom in a political system, you don't measure what you can do, you measure it if what you can do is protected by the law. Therefore China is indeed mostly 'communist' and indeed mostly NOT free by these measures.

Theories (mostly western in this field) aside, I do not think it is wise to think these only happened since 1949. Not having ownship on properties and lack of freedom were true in China 2000 years ago, 1500 years ago, 1000 years ago, 500 hundred years ago and 100 years ago. You can't separate China from its historical reality. Emperors owned everything, you name it they owned it. They indeed could confiscate anything if they pleased. They of course did not allow you to say anything you wanted.

With that said, I am seeing China more of re-vadlidating its cultural roots/traditions than desperately holding on to the communist doctrine. Of course it's esay to tell something to a 3 year old with a simple label. And I am afraid that's what's being taught here in the west.

Quoting Jetjack74 (Reply 30):
But when the Communist Party is in the only party recognised

They also recognize KMT (Kuomingtang or the China Nationalist Party that was defeated and fled to Taiwan). The currently China-Taiwan relationship is mainly played upon CCP-KMT platform, instead of 'governmental' level.

Quoting Jetjack74 (Reply 30):
They do not permit private ownership. The gov't can confiscate anything at anytime should they choose to. No Chinese citizen fully owns anything.

Hmmm...that would be questionable. They OWN cars. There's property law in place that says certain properties are protected by it. Not owning the land does not mean they don't own anything. They are going to introduce "property tax", what does that mean? One thing is true though, China is not going the way by what is deemed "the only way" in the west. When they say they are going "socialist with Chinese charateristics", they are saying we are going our own way, regardless how it is interpreted by the west.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: China: Communist?

Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:14 pm



Quoting Jetjack74 (Reply 30):
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):
China left the communist theory in practice when they permitted private ownership of businesses and factories (a key doctrine of communist philosophy).

They do not permit private ownership. The gov't can confiscate anything at anytime should they choose to. No Chinese citizen fully owns anything.
I would just like to know, how many times a month or year do you visit the PRC?

Same as anti-communist Suharto did in Indonesia. You owned property one of his cronies or his family members fancied, he would just take it. I know somebody who lost prime beach property this way in Bali.

I've never been to the PRC though my mother has. But having grown up in West Berlin, I know former communist East Germany quite well. This is my comparison.
I see the Chinese government just acting like any other dictorship, plus a bit of traditional Chinese communalism added in the rural areas.

Quoting Jetjack74 (Reply 30):
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 16):
The same applies to political prisoners and slave labour (which was e.g. very common in 19th century capitalism, including the US).

The 19th century ended over 100 years ago. As I said, this China is not the same as the old China. Today's China is doing what past dictatoial regimes failed to do. Germany and Japan attempted to conquer the world militarily. After war, they conquered the world in certain aspects of commerce, with Germany and Japan building the best cars, state of the art electronics. That was was China saw as the foundation for economic dominaion. Fight wars through economics, and save the military conflicts for a future time period

Concerning capitalism, they are where Europe and North America were around 1850.

Jan
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planewasted
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RE: China: Communist?

Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:56 pm

A chinese friend to me said that China is an "Evil Capitalism" country. :p
But please don't bash China to much. The people is good and have mostly very good moral values.
 
B2443
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RE: China: Communist?

Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:14 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 33):
Concerning capitalism, they are where Europe and North America were around 1850.



Quoting PlaneWasted (Reply 34):
A chinese friend to me said that China is an "Evil Capitalism" country. :p

Now that begs for the question: how was communism came around in Europe in the first place? I would tend to believe "communism" was/is a nature event of world history development. If it's fit, it'll survive. Time will tell as it always has.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: China: Communist?

Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:46 pm



Quoting B2443 (Reply 35):
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 33):
Concerning capitalism, they are where Europe and North America were around 1850.



Quoting PlaneWasted (Reply 34):
A chinese friend to me said that China is an "Evil Capitalism" country. :p

Now that begs for the question: how was communism came around in Europe in the first place? I would tend to believe "communism" was/is a nature event of world history development. If it's fit, it'll survive. Time will tell as it always has.

IMO, the various socialist ideologies (from moderate, reform oriented social democracy to hardcore revolutionary Marxism) were responses to a "no holds barred" capitalism, which caused many people in Europe to drop to poverty as a result of the industrial revolution.
How politics evolved depended on the individual countries, in 19th century Germany even theultraconservative and aristocrat chancellor Bismarck realised that without changes there would be a bloody revolution (if people have nothing more to loose they'll become desperate) and initiated social reforms, like medical insurance and social security, which removed the worst grievances. Most traditional blue collar workers are actually no revolutionaries, they want to earn enough to feed a family and have a few comforts, but are not much interested in political theories. Through the reforms, which gave the workers some security the tensions were defused in most western countries before there was a revolution.
In the western world, socialist revolutions were mostly led by f*cked up intellectuals, like lawyers, students or teachers, mostly people, who think that hey'll have to create a "better" human (see Lenin, Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, the leader of the Sendero Luminoso, I forgot his name, in Peru as example).

China and other countries don't have a capitalist tradition in the western sense.
Western capitalism evolved out of the decreasing influence of the aristocrat class and the rise of the bourgois class, which didn't have an inherited title or possession of agrarian land, but money and means of production (originally masters of trades and merchants, later industrialists). They pushed the idea of democracy, but in the beginning only for themselves (like the Prussian three class voting system, where the more tax you paid the more your vote counted). Even in the middle ages, there existed at least two lower layers, these were employed journeymen without workshops of their own and the unskilled labourers.
The new ruling class tried to keep power away from these classes. In the German speaking countries the journeymen organised themselves into associations with secret rituals (still do today in their tradition of travelling for three years after finishing their apprenticeship, this goes mostly for construction trades like house carpenters and masons, the rituals and meetings had to be kept secret in the old days, because these journeyman associations were similar to today's unions and not liked by the masters).

China IMO started quite late with capitalism and is currently undergoing a similar phase we had 150 years ago, but they are catching up fast.
I find this whole development very interesting, but I'm not going to simplify, as some posters here do, that anything not resembling modern, western style capitalism is communism. Sure, there are also many communalist traditions involved. I'm quitesure that Chinese farmers hundreds of yearsago were working together e.g. during harvest. Here they did it as well, when harvesting grain required a large amount of manpower, the farmers of a village would help each other to bring the harvest in.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Flighty
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RE: China: Communist?

Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:15 pm

China is busily forging new ground, building a new category of government.

Is it communist? Sure. More nationalist however. China does indeed provide free health care, free education to its citizens. It does indeed have a massive diaspora of state-owned assets and industries. China does indeed have a guarantee of food for all.

We all know China has no respect for individual rights. For example the rights of property owners in Beijing. But this is collectivist at its heart. Individual property is nothing if the collective will is to build skyscrapers there.

What limits the corruption of Chinese officials? Fear of death. This is potentially a stable form of government, the single-party utilitarian collectivist state. As long as officials fear the death penalty for corruption, they will be substantially honest. China is far from perfect. Yet, they possess unique mechanisms that allow them to feed and clothe themselves, and potentially far far more (the mechanisms of compulsory collective action).

Maybe they don't have freedom, but this does not mean they have forsaken the public good. Their achievements on behalf of their public are so astounding, that to dismiss their collective priorities as window dressing is to dismiss one of the most striking improvements of all time in the human condition. I think that's hasty. They are doing a big experiment over there, and for ther most part -- they have sacrificed individual liberty for things that are quite worthwhile, at least for now.

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