Following on from my last post, a chart of the major issues dealt with at the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC):
Supply-side reform, charity law, and what’s this about lifting people out of poverty? The working class isn’t lifted out of anything, it uses its labour power. If it were in power, which in a supply-side approach it sure isn’t.
Perhaps the workers can apply to some charity, disgusting.
This is a common perspective from outside China and from some within China. But my sense is that the situation is more complex than this. In this light Xi Jiping recent comments are worth noting: ‘During his speech, Xi reaffirmed the importance of both public ownership as well as the non-public sector, explaining that these two significant components of China’s socialist economic system should complement rather than contradict each other.
“China must unswervingly strengthen and develop the public sector and also unswervingly encourage, support and guide the development of the non-public sector,” Xi said, urging the non-public sector to become even more successful.
Xi’s remarks laid out the dynamic guiding China’s economic development – China will adhere to its basic economic system, with public ownership playing a dominant role and diverse forms of ownership developing side by side.
In addition, it is China’s overarching policy to offer consistent support to both the public and non-public economy’. http://en.people.cn/n3/2016/0307/c98649-9026173.html
Thanks for the nuanced view, usually I’m inclined to take such a view as well of China. It’s just the terminology, as if China is going too much on the failed Western path since the 1970s.
I read in the first article on the current use of supply-side that one official cited Thatcher very favourably (as did Perestroika era officials). Perhaps from an elite perspective that makes sense. Yet that kind of approach has long moved from cutting the fat to athrophying the muscles. Britain today might look healthy from an elite point of view, one taken by an official in a CP, but it has really failed in the sense of providing a healthy society with a sustainable economic base.
Of course, when dealing with a country like China it would be amiss to read to much into one official and certain words, but it’s disconcerting that they use words like supply-side and charity. It always seemed to me that their success was helped a lot by the flexibility and experimentalism they allowed in their planning. Perhaps these are just try-outs like that, rather than the wholesale transformation they were for Reagan and Thatcher.
My sense is that Chairman Xi’s words (this is the Chinese title for him, even though it is translated as ‘President Xi’) are quite important. I have been working through some material by Marxist economists in China, who have been warning against the problems of allowing the non-government sector to become too strong in relation to the publicly controlled companies. Xi’s signal with these comments is that they want a healthy, significant and powerful public/state sector to be a vital part of the economy. This is what post-revolutionary ‘reform’ means in his parlance. It is also an aspect of the old Chinese approach in which opposites do not annihilate one another but rather learn to work together in a non-antagonistic way (think the old yin-yang).