[Marxism] China Drafts Law to Boost Unions and End Labor Abuse (NYT)
walterlx at earthlink.net
Sat Oct 14 22:32:57 MDT 2006
No disagreement here. No claim was ever made in what I said that
the unions in China are independent of the state in any meaningful
sense, or that they would be engaging in organized strikes or other
kinds of activities of which the Chinese government would not want
to have happen. No one can cite one word I said which suggests
anything of that sort. So why all the heat? Why is there so strident
an urgency to insist that capitalism has been restored in China?
Why is that apparently so important to some individuals? Beats me.
The only consequence of any interest, it would seem, is the question
of theory: can you have a peaceful transition from a workers state
to a capitalist state.
OK, let's suppose, for argument's sake, that China WAS that queer
capitalist state whose government is led by people who call their
party the Communist Party, who call their ideology Marxist, and
who say they are building socialism with "Chinese characteristics".
What would that mean? Has the theory of state capitalism been
vindicated? Are the ISO and the British SWP right after all? This is
the kind of theoretical conundrum which those so anxious to insist
on China's being capitalist are compelled to wrestle with.
Louis Proyect demanded that I engage in a rigorous study of this
problem and reminded readers that Joseph Hansen spent three
years on figuring out the class nature of the states of Eastern
Europe. I'm not sure how long ago Louis Proyect discovered that
capitalism had come into existence, replacing the previous one
of a bureaucratically-deformed workers state. I guess, then you
could say that I'm in even LESS of a hurry than Louis is to decide
that China today is capitalist.
Since most of us live in capitalist societies, perhaps the urgency
to declare China capitalist is some kind of "misery loves company"
kind of thing? China-bashing, particularly when it's done by people
on the left, won't find much opposition in the universities of the
capitalist world. Indeed, it adds a certain cachet to the attack
to have it come from the left. Remember how the media exulted
after Chomsky, Zinn, Saramago and others criticized the Cubans
in 2003? They got more coverate in the capitalist media than
ever before, for the moment as it was useful to the bourgeois
Being a China-basher from a U.S. university post isn't likely to
bring anyone any headaches. But if someone were to become
known as a China-defender, or a Cuba-defender, they might not
be so easily able to get away with it during working hours...
I'm sure glad we didn't have Internet access back in the day
when I was employed...
China Bets on Harmonious Society
Beijing, Oct 8 (Prensa Latina) The 6th Plenary of the 16th Central
Committee of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started on Sunday in
Beijing with an agenda centered on the construction of a harmonious
According to official sources, the meeting will focus on that issue
and also on the rough draft of the CCP Resolutions on important
matters related to the construction of the new society and will last
until October 11.
The document is expected to become a valuable guidance in order to
achieve such purpose, considered the Xinhua News Agency.
A harmonious socialist society is defined as a democratic society
based on the empire of law, equality and the stable, vigorous and
controlled justice where humans live in harmony with nature, Xinhua
The Communist Party considers that the Chinese society is harmonious
in general terms. However, there are still some differences and
problems preventing it from genuine social harmony.
Leaders of the important Asian organization have realized that an
inappropriate management of those contradictions and problems would
lead the nation to the economic stagnation and the social
hr isn jhb
MARVIN GANDALL wrote:
if labour reform is being more actively contemplated by the CPC
leaders, it is not because, as "Communists", they are more
"encouraging" of independent unions. In fact, independent unions and
the right to strike are effectively banned in China. What the Chinese
authorities want to do is to strengthen state labour standards,
particularly those relating to unemployment, and to extend the role
of the official trade union federation, the ACCTU, to preempt the
development of independent unions, especially in the largely
unorganized private sector, starting with the multinationals.
As the Chinese themselves acknowledge, there is serious labour unrest
in the country, characterized by illegal strikes, demonstrations,
attempts to form independent unions, the arrest and detention
of rank-and-file workers' representatives, etc. There is also the
economic dimension I alluded to previously: the need to develop the
home market in the interest of more balanced economic growth, and
to shift the burden of providing benefits from the state to private
Recognizing that there is little to distinguish the labour policies of
the CCP from capitalist governments, including that of FDR, is not
to suggest that there are not important contradictions between China
and the US in the sphere of world politics that we should take note
of and take sides on.
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