Contradiction analysis: an explainer

A useful piece for those interested in the central function of Marxist contradiction analysis in a Chinese situation. Xi Jinping recently announced that the primary contradiction has now changed, ushering in a new era. And if you are still interested, it is worth reading (again) Mao’s two pieces, ‘On Contradiction‘ and ‘On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People‘. Crucial here is managing contradictions so that they remain non-antagonistic.

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Interview with Yukon Huang: Understanding a Socialist Market Economy

An insightful interview with Yukon Huang in the Global Times, who has recently published Cracking the China Conundrum: Why Conventional Economic Wisdom is Wrong (2017). Crucial here is that neo-classical economic theory is unable to make sense of China’s socialist market economy. So read the interview and then the book. Some excellent points, but also could go further.

Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era

In what is clearly his most important speech yet, Xi Jinping spoke for three hours at the opening of the CPC’s 19th congress yesterday morning (18 October).

You can view the full video of the opening and Xi’s speech here (with English translation). Rather stunning in its relative simplicity, especially if you keep in mind that this is not only the congress of the largest political party in the world, but the most powerful communist party in human history.

In the next post, I will provide an infographics of the key points of Xi’s speech, but it is worth noting here that it has officially been designated as a significant new phase of Marxist thought in a Chinese context: Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.

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And in a speech in which Marxism is clearly the framework, it is worth noting the continuing importance of Mao’s ‘contradiction analysis’. The key is to identify through careful analysis the primary or most important contradiction that needs to be addressed.

For Xi: ‘What we now face is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life [mei hua sheng huo]’. By this is meant democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice, security, a better environment, and spiritual and cultural concerns.