Capitalism

Today is Grey but the Future Looks Black

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 20/01/2020 - 2:56am in

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New year, old music, from a well-known score sheet played out by... the Left. A "Left" that’s not ashamed to dress itself up in populist clothes, worn in the service of state capital on the understanding that this is the way to open up markets as a "progressive realisation of the patriotic ideal and the concept of nationhood". In the name, of course, of the people and the "concept of community" as understood by those who are ready to recite the hidden virtues of a renewed "capital-socialism".

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Nonviolent Protest Groups Placed on Anti-Terrorism List

Last week it was revealed by the Groaniad that the environmentalist group, Extinction Rebellion, had been put on a list of extremist organisations, whose sympathisers should be treated by the Prevent programme. Extinction Rebellion are, in my view, a royal pain, whose disruptive antics are more likely to make them lose popular support but they certainly aren’t violent and do keep within the law. For example, in one of their protests in Bristol last autumn, they stopped the traffic for short periods and then let some cars through before stopping the traffic again. It was a nuisance, which is what the group intended, and no doubt infuriating to those inconvenienced by it. But they kept within the law. They therefore don’t deserve to be put on an anti-terrorism watch list with real violent extremist organisations like Islamist and White fascist terror groups such as the banned neo-Nazi group, National Action.

But Extinction Rebellion aren’t the only nonviolent protest group to be put on this wretched list. Zelo Street put up a piece yesterday revealing that the list also includes Greenpeace, the campaigners against sea pollution, Sea Shepherd, PETA, Stop the Badger Cull, Stop the War, the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, CND, various anti-Fascist and anti-racist groups, as well as an anti-police surveillance group, campaigners against airport expansion, and Communist and Socialist parties.

I can sort of understand why Greenpeace is on the list. They also organise protests and peaceful occupations, and I remember how, during the ‘Save the Whale’ campaign, their ship, the Rainbow Warrior, used to come between whalers and their prey. I also remember how, in the 1980s, the French secret service bombed it when it was in port in New Zealand, because the evil peaceful hippies had dared to protest against their nuclear tests in the Pacific. From this, and their inclusion on this wretched list, it seems they’re more likely to be victims of state violence than the perpetrators of violence themselves.

Greenpeace’s John Sauven said

“Tarring environmental campaigners and terrorist organisations with the same brush is not going to help fight terrorism … It will only harm the reputation of hard-working police officers … How can we possibly teach children about the devastation caused by the climate emergency while at the same implying that those trying to stop it are extremists?”

And Prevent’s independent reviewer, Alex Carlile, said:

“The Prevent strategy is meant to deal with violent extremism, with terrorism, and XR are not violent terrorists. They are disruptive campaigners”.

Zelo Street commented that this was all very 1960s establishment paranoia. Which it is. You wonder if the list also includes anyone, who gave the list’s compilers a funny look once. And whether they’re going to follow the example of Constable Savage in the Not the Nine O’Clock News sketch and arrest gentlemen of colour for wandering around during the hours of darkness wearing a loud shirt. This is a joke, but the list represents are real danger. It criminalises any kind of protest, even when its peaceful. About a decade ago, for example, Stop the War held a protest in Bristol city centre. They were out there with their banners and trestle tables, chanting and speaking. Their material, for what I could see where I was, simply pointed out that the invasion of Iraq had claimed 200,000 lives. They were on the pavement, as I recall, didn’t disrupt the traffic and didn’t start a fight with anyone.

As for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, this is a knee-jerk attempt to link pro-Palestinian activism with terrorism. But wanting the Palestinians to be given their own land or to enjoy equal rights with Israelis in a modern, ethnically and religious diverse and tolerant state, does not equate with sympathy for terrorism or terrorism itself. Tony Greenstein, Asa Winstanley and Jackie Walker are also pro-Palestinian activists. But as far as I know, they’re all peaceful, nonviolent people. Walker’s a granny in her early 60’s, for heaven’s sake. They’re all far more likely to be the victims of violence than ever initiate it. In fact, Tony was physically assaulted in an unprovoked attack by an irate Israeli, while one woman from one of the pro-Israel organisations was caught on camera saying how she thought she could ‘take’ Jackie.

I realise the Stop the Badger Cull people have also physically tried to stop the government killing badgers, but this is again disruption, not violence. And one of those against the cull is Brian May, astrophysicist and rock legend. Apart from producing some of the most awesome music with Freddy Mercury and the rest of Queen, and appearing on pop science programmes with Dara O’Brien showing people round the Jodrell Bank radio telescope, he has not, not ever, been involved in political violence.

This shows you how ludicrous the list is. But it’s also deeply sinister, as by recommending that supporters of these organisations as well as real terrorist groups should be dealt with by Prevent, it defines them as a kind of thoughtcrime. Their members are to be rounded up and reeducated. Which is itself the attitude and method of suppression of totalitarian states.

Zelo Street pointed the finger for this monstrous shambles at Priti Patel. As current Home Secretary, she’s ultimately responsible for it. The Street wanted to know whether she knew about it and when? And if she didn’t, what’s she doing holding the job? But there’s been no answer so far. And a police spokesperson said it was unhelpful and misleading to suggest the nonviolent groups on the list had been smeared.

The Street said it was time for Patel to get her house in order, but warned its readers not to bet on it. No, you shouldn’t. This is an attempt to criminalise non-violent protest against capitalism and the actions of the authorities and British state. It’s the same attitude that informed the British secret state’s attempts to disrupt and destroy similar and sometimes the same protest movements in the 70s and 80s, like CND. And it will get worse. A few years ago Counterpunch published a piece reporting that the American armed services and police were expecting violent outbreaks and domestic terrorism in the 2030s as the poverty caused by neoliberalism increased. They were therefore devising new methods of militarised policing to combat this. We can expect similar repressive measures over this side of the Atlantic as well.

This list is a real threat to freedom of conscience, peaceful protest and action. And the ultimate responsibility for it is the Tories. Who have always been on the side of big business against the rest of society, and particularly the poor and disadvantaged.

They’re criminalising those, who seek peaceful means to fight back.

In Absorbing Science and Technology, Capital is Digging its Own Grave

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 18/01/2020 - 5:50am in

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Capitalism is now undergoing a technological and scientific modernisation that is becoming a bomb ready to blow up the whole system. Humanity finds itself swept along in a vortex of technological innovations and automation.

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Trotsky on the Failure of Capitalism

I found this quote from Trotsky on how capitalism has now outlived its usefulness as a beneficial economic system in Isaac Deutscher and George Novack, The Age of Permanent Revolution: A Trotsky Anthology (New York: Dell 1964):

Capitalism has outlived itself as a world system. It has ceased to fulfill its essential function, the raising of the level of human power and human wealth. Humanity cannot remain stagnant at the level which it has reached. Only a powerful increase in productive force and a sound, planned, that is, socialist organisation of production and distribution can assure humanity – all humanity – of a decent standard of life and at the same time give it the precious feeling of freedom with respect to its own economy. (p. 363).

I’m not a fan of Trotsky. Despite the protestations to the contrary from the movement he founded, I think he was during his time as one of the leaders of the Russian Revolution and civil war ruthless and authoritarian. The Soviet Union under his leadership may not have been as massively murderous as Stalin’s regime, but it seems to me that it would still have been responsible for mass deaths and imprisonment on a huge scale.

He was also very wrong in his expectation of the collapse of capitalism and the outbreak of revolution in the Developed World. As an orthodox Marxist, he wanted to export the Communist revolution to the rest of Europe, and believed that it would be in the most developed countries of the capitalist West, England, France, and Germany, that revolution would also break out. He also confidently expected throughout his career the imminent collapse of capitalism. This didn’t happen, partly because of the reforms and welfare states established by reformist socialist parties like Labour in Britain and the SPD in Germany, which improved workers’ lives and opportunities, which thus allowed them to stimulate the capitalist economy as consumers and gave them a stake in preserving the system.

It also seems to me that capitalism is still actively creating wealth – the rich are still becoming massively richer – and it is benefiting those countries in the Developing World, which have adopted it, like China and the east Asian ‘tiger’ economies like South Korea.

But in the west neoliberalism, unregulated capitalism, certainly has failed. It hasn’t brought public services, like electricity, railways, and water supply the investment they need, and has been repeatedly shown to be far more inefficient in the provision of healthcare. And it is pushing more and more people into grinding poverty, so denying them the ability to play a role as active citizens about to make wide choices about the jobs they can take, what leisure activities they can choose, and the goods they can buy. At the moment the Tories are able to hide its colossal failure by hiding the mounting evidence and having their hacks in the press pump out favourable propaganda. But if the situation carries on as it is, sooner or later the mass poverty they’ve created will not be so easily hidden or blithely explained away or blamed on others – immigrants, the poor themselves, or the EU. You don’t have to be a Trotskyite to believe the following:

Unfettered capitalism is destroying Britain – get rid of it, and the Tories.

Sargon of Gasbag on How the Norf Went Tory

A few days ago Carl ‘Sargon of Akkad’ Benjamin put up a video, in which he presented his idea of why the north of England and the midlands went Tory. It was based on a cartoon from 4chan’s Pol Board, and so presented a very caricatured view of the north. Sargon is the extreme right-winger, who personally did much to destroy UKIP simply by joining it. This ‘classical liberal’ – meaning libertarian – with his highly reactionary views on feminism and racism was too much even for the Kippers. His home branch of Swindon wanted him deselected when the party chose him as the second of their two MEP candidates for south-west England, and the Gloucestershire branch closed down completely. And according to Sargon, the ‘Norf’ went Tory because Blair turned the Labour party from the party of the working class throughout Britain into the party of the liberal metropolitan elite, and turned its attention away from class issues to supporting Islam, refugees, radical feminism and gay rights. This conflict with the social conservative values of working people, and particularly northern working people. As a result, they voted for Johnson, who had the same values they had.

The strip depicts the northern working class as Norf F.C., a local football team. They have their counterparts and rivals in Sowf F.C., a southern football team, and in the Welsh and Scots. The north is presented as a region of fat skinhead football hooligans, poorly educated, and suffering from scurvy and malnutrition, but who love their families, their communities and their country. In the strip’s view, these communities were traditionally Labour. But this changed with the election of Tony Blair, an Oxford educated lawyer, who took over the party. Under his aegis, it no longer was the party of the working class, but instead had a lower middle class membership. These were over-educated officer workers, who turned it towards Communism with the election of Jeremy Corbyn. They supported racism witchhunts, gay rights and flooding White communities with coloured immigrants, and were pro-EU. They despised natural, healthy patriotism. The result was that when Boris appeared, despite being an Etonian toff they recognised themselves in him. He would do something about Brexit and immigration, and would attack the radical left who support Muslim rape gangs and wanted to chop off their sons’ genitals. And who would also put the ‘bum boys’ in their place. It led to the massive defeat of the Labour party, and in particular ‘Communists’ like owen Jones and Ash Sarkar of Novara media.

I’m not going to show the video here, but if you want to see it for yourself, go to YouTube and search for ‘How the Norf Went Tory’, which is his wretched video’s title.

To Sargon, Corbyn is a friend of Hezbollah and Hamas, and to show how threatening the feminists and LGBTQ section of the Labour party he shows various radical feminists with T-shirts saying ‘White People Are Terrorists’ and a trans-activist with a baseball bat and the tattoo ‘Die Cis Scum’, referring to cis-gendered people – those who identify with their biological gender. The over-educated lower middle class people he sneers at are graduates of gender studies, who work in McDonalds, or have submitted to what he describes as ‘office serfdom’.

It’s very much a simplistic view, but there’s much truth in it as well as great deal of distortion. Let’s go through it.

The UKIP View of the North

Firstly, it represents very much the UKIP view of events. The academic study of UKIP, Revolt on the Right,  found that its members were poorly educated, working class people in the north. They had socially Conservative views, hated the European Union, resented immigration, particularly Black and Asian, and felt abandoned by the traditional parties. He is also right in identifying the change from working class representation to middle class representation with Blair’s leadership. Blair didn’t like the working class. He wanted to get the votes of the swing voters in marginal constituencies. As Sargon’s video acknowledges, he supported the neoliberalism that had devastated the northern economy and which made so many northerners hate the policy’s architect, Maggie Thatcher. Within the party, Blair sidelined working class organisations like the trade unions in favour of courting and recruiting business managers.

The Labour party was keen to represent Blacks and other ethnic minorities, women and gays due to its ideological commitment to equality. This policy became particularly important after Thatcher’s victory in 1979, when it appeared to some that the White working class had abandoned the party. I’ve also seen books published in the ’70s lamenting the right-ward movement within the Labour party due to its membership becoming increasingly middle class, so this trend actually predates Blair somewhat. However, it acquired a new importance under Blair because of the emphasis his administration place on BAME rights, feminism and gay rights. In my view, this was partly as an attempt to preserve some claim to radicalism and progressive values while abandoning socialism and the working class.

Sargon Doesn’t Understand Class and Communism

Sargon also doesn’t understand either what Communism is. He seems to believe in the rantings of the contemporary right that it’s all about identity politics and changing the traditional culture from above. That’s one form of Marxist politics coming from the ideas of the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci. But traditional, orthodox Marxism emphasised the importance of the working class and the class structure of society. Marx’s theory of Dialectical Materialism held that it was the economic base of society that defined ideology, not the other way around. Once the working class came into power and socialised the economy, the ideologies supported and created by capitalism would disappear. Gramsci’s ideas about changing ideology and culture became fashionable in left-wing circles because it was believed that the working class was actually in decline as society changed. Demographers noted that increasing numbers of people were becoming lower middle class. Hence the movement on the left towards that sector of society, rather than the traditional working class.

Corbyn More Politically Committed to Working Class

Yes, Corbyn also supported anti-racism, feminism and gay rights, but these had been key values of the left since the 1980s. I remember then how the Labour party and leading figures like Michael Foot and Ken Livingstone were vilified as Communists and Trotskyites, and how the party was caricatured as standing for Black lesbians. There were all those stories circulating in the Scum, for example, about how radical teachers in London schools had decided that ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ was racist, and insisted children sing ‘Baa Baa Green Sheep’ instead. Corbyn does come from a privileged background, but his views and the Labour manifesto are far more working class in the sense that they represent a return to traditional socialist economic policies than Blair’s. And certainly far more than Johnson’s and the Tories.

I have to admit that I’m one of the over-educated officer worker types Sargon sneers at. But I never did gender studies, not that I’m sneering at it or those who studied it. My first degree is in history. And I am very sure that most of the legions of graduates now trying to get any kind of paid work have a very wide variety degrees. I also think that many of them also come from the aspirant working class, who went into higher education in order to get on. Also, if you were interested or active in working class politics in the 1980s, you were exposed and took over the anti-racism and anti-sexism campaigns. Ben Elton was notorious as a left-wing comedian in the 1980s, but he defended the working class and ethnic minorities against the Tories.  It was not the case that the White working class was viewed with suspicion as a hotbed of racism, although sections of it, represented by such grotesques as Alf Garnet, certainly were. But it was that section of the working class that the Scum and the Tory party addressed, and so it’s now surprise that they see themselves represented by Boris.

Their belief in Boris is ultimately misplaced, however. Boris will betray them, just like he has betrayed everyone else.

He isn’t going to get Brexit done. He is going to continue with his privatisations, including that of the NHS, and dismantlement of the welfare state. The people in the northern and midlands communities that voted for him are going to find themselves still poor, and probably much poorer, under him.

But the lessons for Labour should be that there should be no return to Blairism. 

David Rosenberg and many other left-wing bloggers have argued from their own personal experience that the way of winning working class voters back to Labour and away from the far-right is through the hard work of knocking on doors and neighbourhood campaigning. This is what Blairism didn’t do. Jones showed in his book Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class that it was Blair that turned away and demonised them, and simply expected them to continue voting Labour as they didn’t have anywhere else to go. And it was the Blairites and Tories, who viewed the White working class as racist and vilified them as such. Although it also has to be said that they also courted them by appealing to their patriotism and their feeling of marginalisation in an increasingly multicultural society. And the fact that Jones took the trouble to attack this refutes Sargon’s attempt to present Jones as a ‘Communist’, who was against their interests.

Yes, you can find the misandrists, and the anti-White racists and extreme gay and trans rights activists in the Labour party. But they’re an unrepresentative minority, who are going to be controversial even in their own small circles. Attempts by the Tories to magnify their influence are deliberately deceptive in order to stop people from believing that the Labour party means to do anything for ordinary working people. Just as Sargon has tried to do in his video.

Winning back the working class from Boris does not mean a return to Blair and attempting to turn the party into the Conservatives 2.0. But it does mean returning to working class activism, representation and continuing to support real policies to benefit the working class, whether Black, White or Brown, Christian, atheist, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or whatever.

And that has to be a return to genuine socialism.

Capitalism: A Journal of History and Economics

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 04/01/2020 - 1:33am in

As we are living in the present when tragedy and farce mix and make the past look oracular, a new history of Capitalism must be introduced for the sake of the future. The new year brought with it a much-needed … Continue reading →

The West Once Again Gets It Wrong on China

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 30/12/2019 - 7:22am in

‘State Capitalism’? Or Socialist Market Economy? Which Shoe Fits Whom?

Qiushi Magazine
CCP Central Committee Fall 2018

The United States equates China’s economy with “state capitalism”, saying socialist market economy is not real market economy but state-led protectionist and mercantilist economy, which, it claims justifies the imposition of high tariffs on Chinese goods.

This is not the first time a Western country has labeled China’s economic model as “state capitalism”. Some people are re-circulating the term in the West now to hide the real reason why the US has resorted to trade protectionism and imposed high tariffs on Chinese imports, namely, their concern over China’s development road and economic system.

The US is a self-proclaimed representative of free market economy and free market capitalism, but the government’s role has been particularly important in its economic development. Let us not forget, the US has resorted to protectionism from its founding to the end of World War II.

Using free market as a ploy to make profits

In the postwar period, too, the US administration has intervened in the economy to fulfill its self-interests even while promoting trade liberalization, as Keynesianism came to play the dominant role in US economic policymaking. For example, the US’ total government spending increased from 26.8 percent of GDP in 1960 to 41.3 percent in 2010, and the number of its government employees increased from more than 4 million in 1940 to more than 22 million in 2010.

Some experts on innovation say, despite advocating “small government” and “free market”, the US has been running massive public investment programs in technology and innovation for decades, which have brought the US great economic benefits. In fact, the US government has always been a central driver of innovation-led growth, from internet to biotechnology and even shale gas development. After the outbreak of the 2008 global financial crisis, the US once again resorted to state interventionism, and introduced huge financial rescue and fiscal stimulus packages to stabilize its economy.

Since taking office, President Donald Trump and his administration have been using interventionist policies, such as protectionism and immigration control measures, to realize their “America first” goal at the cost of the interests of people around the world. Which shows the “pure” free market economy and “true” laissez-faire that the US bandies about have never existed. Instead, capitalism as we see it today is closely related to “state capitalism”. So to label China’s socialist market economy as “state capitalism” is to confuse one thing with another.

“State-capitalism” theory a result of ill intentions

After the global financial crisis, some developed economies, such as the US and some European countries, faced severe economic difficulties while China and many other emerging economies maintained relatively strong growth. The resultant rise and fall in the relative strengths of China and the US made the contradictions among the developed economies, and those between the developed world and emerging economies, such as China, increasingly prominent.

Some politicians cannot accept China’s rapid but peaceful rise under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, so they use terms such as “state capitalism” to criticize it. The intention of such people is clear: to defend capitalism by pitting “state capitalism” against “liberal capitalism” and creating an atmosphere that would curb the development of developing and emerging market economies, especially China.

On the one hand, such observers try to divert and cover up people’s discontent with the profound defects of the capitalist system, and claim free market capitalism is facing a crisis because of the threat posed by “state capitalism”. On the other hand, they try to find faults with socialism with Chinese characteristics, so as to distort the attributes of socialist market economy with the aim of shaking people’s confidence in the socialist market system, and forcing China to abandon its development path. Their ultimate is to contain China’s rise.

Such people always use double standards when it comes describing the attributes of “state capitalism”. When Western economies need state support for capital accumulation, these people advocate protectionism and state intervention. But when Western economies enjoy competitive advantage, they forcibly promote free trade and require other countries to unconditionally open up their markets, so as to benefit from it. And when the Western economies’ competitive advantages fade out due to competition from other economies, including latecomers such as China, they go back to practicing protectionism.

A pretext for not accepting reality

Many observers and politicians have attempted to include China into the capitalist spectrum, or assumed that by adhering to the rules of market economy, China will automatically embrace the capitalist system. But when they realize socialism with Chinese characteristics, compared with capitalism, is yielding better results, some of them start identifying China’s socialist market economy with “state capitalism”, instead of admitting that socialism with Chinese characteristics and socialist market economy have achieved success beyond their wildest dreams. This is the essence of their “state capitalism” argument.

Western countries have always regarded market economy as their exclusive economic system, as is evidenced from Western economic theories. But market economy and capitalism are two different things, the former being a means to allocate resources, which can be combined either with the capitalist or socialist system.

Capitalist market economy and socialist market economy share common features in terms of resource allocation and commodity relations. For example, both have clear property rights relations and require market players to maintain equal and fair competition. And both allow the market to play a decisive role in resource allocation.

The macro-regulatory policies implemented by China conform to the laws of market economy and the rules of the World Trade Organization. Yet market economy is a social and historical concept with different characteristics under different social systems and stages of development. Socialist market economy is a new type of market economy, which, despite having the general characteristics of market economy, is fundamentally different from capitalist market economy in terms of ownership structure, distribution system and institutional mechanism. So it is erroneous to identify the Chinese economy as “state capitalism” just because China has State-owned enterprises and its government plays a role in some economic activities.

Argument on SOEs untenable, baseless

Moreover, it is grossly erroneous to equate state-owned enterprises with “state capitalism”, as SOEs are just a means to ensure large-scale production through modern methods. In fact, state-owned enterprises first appeared in Western capitalist countries.

In the postwar period, some capitalist countries nationalized enterprises on a large scale, and established a large number of SOEs in many sectors. Even when the wave of privatization was at its peak, many Western countries retained a sizable number of state-owned enterprises. In fact, even after the outbreak of the 2008 global financial crisis, some Western countries took measures to nationalize a number of enterprises to offset the effects of the economic slowdown, which shows the West also uses state-owned enterprises as a means to resolve the basic contradictions of capitalism.

However, it should also be noted that the natures and functions of state-owned enterprises vary in different social systems. In Western economies, state-owned enterprises are essentially controlled by a few big capitalists backed by governments and operate to make more and more profits. In a socialist market economy, however, SOEs are owned by the people, and serve as an important tool for promoting modernization and safeguarding the common interests of the people. They shoulder multiple responsibilities, from providing public services, developing strategically important industries and protecting the environment to promoting science and technology, safeguarding national security, facilitating fair resource distribution and realizing common prosperity. These traits distinguish them from their counterparts in capitalist market economies.

Is this Western envy or jealousy?

The fundamental reason why some Western politicians target China’s SOEs for criticism is that these enterprises have become bigger and stronger than Western politicians’ expectations, and are helping China to develop into a comprehensive modern socialist power to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

Yet there is no inherent logic in using the role of the government to identify the Chinese economy with “state capitalism”. The relationship between the government and the market depends on the evolution of the economic system, with the two being mutually complementary and indivisible. This is the development law of market economy.

Capitalist market economy and socialist market economy both need effective market regulations — which only the government can provide — for the supply of public goods, maintenance of macroeconomic stability, improvement of the social security system and strengthening of economic security.

In a capitalist market economy, which is based on private ownership, the government is not only the spokesperson for capital but also serves the interests of capital. As a result, it is difficult for the government to ensure economic and social development serves the interests of the entire society, so as to resolve the basic contradictions between socialization of production and private ownership.

Govt represents people in socialist market economy

In contrast, a socialist market economy is dominated by public ownership, in which the government represents the people and serves their interests. This makes it possible for the government to implement regulations for social and economic development in order to meet the people’s increasing needs for a better life, and achieve prosperity for all.

The difference between socialist market economy and capitalist market economy, as such, is not whether the market or the government plays a decisive role in the allocation of resources, or whether state-owned enterprises exist. Instead, it depends on whether the government and market are serving capital or the people.

Those that equate the Chinese economy with “state capitalism” claim that an economy in which the government intervenes to serve the interests of capital and private ownership will be seen as following the “free market system” irrespective of the extent of its intervention. In contrast, a socialist market economy for them is equivalent to “state capitalism” regardless of the aim and magnitude of the government intervention.

This shows such observers identify Western countries with the “free market system” even if their governments support enterprises with policies and financing. But if an emerging market economy does the same, it is labeled “state capitalism”. Which is a typical example of economic hegemony.

Since launching reform and opening-up four decades ago, China has developed the socialist development road, theory, system and culture with Chinese characteristics, fulfilled the basic economic requirements to build the primary stage of socialism, allowed public ownership to develop along with private and other forms of ownership, and transformed from a planned economy to a dynamic socialist market economy.

Fostering development of high quality

Moreover, since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, China, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core, has more vigorously helped the market to play a decisive role in resource allocation. Simultaneously, the government has taken concrete measures to improve the property rights system, further deepen economic reform, and improve the socialist economic system with Chinese characteristics, in order to promote high-quality economic development.

China is committed to building a community with a shared future for mankind and improving global economic governance, by safeguarding and promoting economic globalization and free trade. In this regard, it has taken a series of measures to greatly ease access to its huge market, build a more attractive investment environment, strengthen intellectual property rights protection and expand imports.

A socialist market economy gives full play to the advantages of market economy and the socialist system, and helps build an organic bond between the government and the market. It also ensures sustainable development and market stability, which have benefited the Chinese people and contributed to human development and progress across the world.

These are the great achievements of socialist market economy and socialism with Chinese characteristics, and have nothing to do with “state capitalism”.

The socialist economic system with Chinese characteristics is the result of Chinese wisdom, the Party’s leadership and Chinese people’s efforts to build a prosperous but sustainable social and economic system, and thus a great innovation in economic development history. Chinese people, led by the Party, have embarked on the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics. And they most certainly will achieve success after greater success.

Capitalism’s Case for Abolishing Billionaires

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 28/12/2019 - 9:25am in

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Capitalism

Adam Smith wanted to keep the power of the rich in check.

The post Capitalism’s Case for Abolishing Billionaires appeared first on Evonomics.

LSE RB Year in Review: Top 12 Book Reviews of 2019

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 20/12/2019 - 2:18am in

What were you reading in 2019 on LSE Review of Books? We count down the most-read new book reviews published this year on the blog.

12. Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World. Branko Milanovic. Harvard University Press. 2019.

If capitalism has triumphed to become the sole socio-economic system globally, what are the prospects for achieving a fairer world? Published in autumn 2019, Capitalism, Alone examines the historical shifts that have led to capitalism’s dominance and proposes choices to ensure that capitalism delivers a more equitable future. Roberto Iacono praised this remarkable book as possibly Branko Milanovic’s most comprehensive opus so far.

 

11. Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. Safiya Umoja Noble. New York University Press. 2018.

Safiya Umoja Noble draws on her research into algorithms and bias to show how online search results are far from neutral, but instead replicate and reinforce racist and sexist beliefs that reverberate in the societies in which search engines operate. Helen Kara praised this as a timely and important book that sheds light on the ways that search engines impact on our modes of understanding, knowing and relating.

 

10. The Lost History of Liberalism: From Ancient Rome to the Twenty-First Century. Helena Rosenblatt. Princeton University Press. 2018.

Helena Rosenblatt gives an account of how the meanings of ‘liberalism’ have evolved through a world history of its uses from ancient Rome to the present day, recovering some of its connotations that have been lost, discarded or eroded. Alex Tebble found that the book challenges many of the assumptions held about liberalism and reveals the historical foundations of why it may well be, above all, an elusive tradition.

9. Carl Schmitt in and out of History by Joshua Smeltzer 

In this review essay, Joshua Smeltzer reviewed two recent books that return to the works of the infamous political and legal theorist Carl Schmitt: namely, Carl Schmitt, Perilous Futures: On Carl Schmitt’s Late Writings by Peter Uwe Hohendahl and Carl Schmitt’s State and Constitutional Theory: A Critical Analysis by Benjamin Schupmann. Smeltzer reflected on some of the methodological challenges of studying Schmitt’s work in historical context, questioned scholarly attempts to rehabilitate Schmitt as a liberal state theorist and called for greater attention on other protagonists in the intellectual history of German democracy.

8. Maoism: A Global History. Julia Lovell. Bodley Head. 2019.

Julia Lovell brought readers a fascinating and timely work on one of the most influential and disruptive strands of Marxist thought: that of Mao Zedong. Taking a broad view of the former Chinese leader across time and space, the book reveals the relevance of Mao to our current populist age, found Ben Margulies.

 

 

7. k-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher (2004-2016). Mark Fisher, edited by Darren Ambrose with Simon Reynolds. Repeater Books. 2018.

k-punk gathers together work written by the influential British cultural theorist and political activist Mark Fisher between 2004 and 2016, the year before his death. Despite the circumstances of the book’s publication and its sustained emphasis on the worst aspects of life under late capitalism, Sean Seeger argued that the overall impression of the volume is not despondency but rather an awareness of new possibilities, including a revitalised feeling for the utopian potential of art and music.

6. Strangers in their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right. Arlie Russell Hochschild. The New Press. 2018 [2016].

Arlie Russell Hochschild explores the ‘deep story’ behind the rise of the Tea Party and Donald Trump in the USA, drawing on close contact with her research subjects over a five-year period of living in Louisiana. While the book may struggle to ultimately explain the origins of this phenomenon, Tim Winzler nonetheless found it a valuable contribution to sociological understanding due to Hochschild’s intense immersion in the field and her use of interconnected research methods.

5. The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality. Katharina Pistor. Princeton University Press. 2019.

Katharina Pistor offers an expansive analysis of the construction of capital, showing legal coding to be at the heart of this process. Juvaria Jafri welcomed this as an interdisciplinary contribution which attaches fresh dimensions to debates on the political economy of wealth and inequality and as a valuable resource for anyone seeking to grapple with the formidable nature of global capital.

 

4. The Finance Curse: How Global Finance is Making Us All Poorer. Nicholas Shaxson. Bodley Head. 2018.

Nicholas Shaxson charts the devastation caused by the concentration and consolidation of global finance, its ideologies and institutions. As the book underscores the need for fundamental reform of business, accounting and finance education, Atul K. Shah praised Shaxson for exposing global finance as a curse, not a boon.

 

 

3. The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties. Paul Collier. Allen Lane. 2018.  

In The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties, Paul Collier offers a forthright discussion of capitalism today that seeks to diagnosis and propose remedies for the anxieties shaping divisions between families, cities and nations. Mehmet Emin Bayram reviewed this notable book that aimed to call attention to the need for pragmatism and ‘the hard centre’.

 

 

2. The Class Ceiling: Why It Pays to be Privileged. Sam Friedman and Daniel Laurison. Bristol University Press. 2019.

‘Black British working-class women have average earnings in top jobs that are £20,000 less per year than those of privileged-origin white men.’ This is just of the findings of Sam Friedman and Daniel Laurison’s analysis of class inequality at the top end of the UK labour market. The book is not only compulsory reading for anybody who still believes that the UK is a meritocracy, argued Liam Kennedy, but its mixed-methods approach allows for important, nuanced and often overlooked aspects of social mobility to be understood.

1). National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy. Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin. Pelican. 2018.

In the most read LSE RB book review of 2019, Simon Kaye reviewed Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin’s addition to the revived Pelican series, National Populism, which offers a concise examination of the rise of national populism, seeking to challenge some of the established views regarding this political shift. While elements of the book’s analysis do engage in simplification, Simon Kaye nonetheless found this a succinct, striking and thought-provoking work.

Feature image used in this post is credited to Covi from Pixabay (CCO)


The Pretension of "Class Consciousness"

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 14/12/2019 - 2:07pm in

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Capitalism, class

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A critique of "class consciousness" from an anti-Leninist perspective.

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