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China is not blind to this contradiction. It is admirably steadfast in its modernization and opening to the West, confident that stability and peace are in the best interest of both countries.

Ironically, the USA is the undoubted economic leader; but China leads the political direction.

In the light of dealing with contradictions, I would like to share some random considerations.

There is much confusion about the nature of Socialism among Marxists. Socialism is not a fixed economic system established in a cataclysmic qualitative change from capitalism. For Marx, the central concept of historical materialism is that "Communism is something that develops out of capitalism". Socialism is not scholastically invented, but involves a process of economic maturity to an ultimately "fully developed Communism". Between this beginning and end (Capitalism and Communism), there is incompletely developed Communism with concessions to elements of capitalism, "bourgeois rights". Marx called this the lower of two levels of Communism. The lower level begins in struggle for economic and political democracy within capitalism, emerging victorious after prolonged birth pangs from the capitalist controlled society. A dialectical approach recognizes Socialism as a developmental process shaped by particularities of the class struggle in each nation, arriving to Communism each on its own unique path while taking strength from each other against the common enemy -- capitalist reaction. Socialism, therefore, as we know it, is a most complex, most contradiction riddled moment in a society in flux, especially in a developing country with lagging feudal strains seeking modernization in a high-tech world.

For Marxists, the very question of public socialist's accumulation posits a new idea. Capital itself now has more than one character (as distinct from Marx's seminal work); privately accumulated and allocated or socially accumulated and allocated - private capital and socialist capital. This is a major threat to corporate capitalism because it establishes economic independence from the dominant system.

There is a contradiction between interdependence of national economies in world economic integration (the true process of globalization) and the independence of each nation to develop its own economy in the context of its own history and culture.

In the 20th century, accepted Marxian dialectic assumed that every qualitative change in a serial negation of the negation was a forward movement in history, failing to anticipate that a negation could be retrogressive. The Soviet Union began the historic process of Socialist Transformation in the 20th century, but failed [3]. The Chinese are on a new path to the same goal in the 21st century.

It is significant that the Soviet Union, with all its technological development, was never integrated into world economy, though it traded. There was no dependence of the Western world on Russian production as there is on China's ability to produce and compete and its willingness to face the tensions of economic integration. China's success as in independent economic and cultural entity is the measuring rod of 21st century progress. It is no accident that there are elements in the USA unhappy with stable US-China relations which reflect archaic 20th century Cold War attitudes. We hope that China's efforts to shape the direction of the outcome of manifold contradictions will in the end prove that Socialism with its national characteristics is the road to Communism.

It is heartening to witness the intensity of the ideological campaign within the Communist Party of China and ultimately its interaction with the people. This movement, undertaken out of necessity because of the intensification of contradictions and the ramifications of China's integration into world economy, is a guarantee of independent socialist construction. Zhang Jemin's emphasis on the three diversifications: technology, the economy and Chinese culture, points the way to independent development and success for the Chinese people. It stands as a model of Socialism with national characteristics, taking into account a people's history, culture, economy and development. The three diversifications are a beacon illuminating that road to Socialism in the 21st century.

Postscript

Underlying much of the frustration in economic unification of China are the impediments to political coordination between the central government and the relatively independence leaders of provinces and local administrations. This is probably the most sensitive contradiction in China. Failure of coordination is evidenced in the handling of allocations for development and social needs transferred by the central government and administered by provincial governments that do not carry out policies as directed by Beijing.

Having had to bail out two provincial international investment trusts in the past two years, Beijing has reason to anticipate provincial disregard for trade agreements with the US and others to pave the way for entry into the World Trade Organization. Local leaders are prone to nepotism and personal power in carrying out government allocations of social funds, distorting directives and retarding the tempo of economic development.

The USA system of delineating federal and states' rights is erroneously held as an example. The relationship between state and federal governments in the USA was codified in the establishment of a strong federal government of the original 13 colonies as their center, subordinating state constitution to that of the federal constitution. States that joined the Union subsequently had to accept the primacy of central government over their own laws.

In China, political unification was established through concessions by the central government to feudal leaders in the provinces which in many instances even retained control of their armed forces. Traditionally, therefore, there emerged a different relationship between the provincial and central governments in China than that of the federal and state governments of the USA.

This political contradiction has necessitated the retraining program now taking place as a central process in the ideological campaign. 2000 local and provincial Party leaders are now undergoing six months of reeducation at a special school built this year for that very purpose. During the next few years, every six months, another 2000 cadre will go through retraining. It is hoped that the results will be a more consistent political and economic unification that will enhance and speed up modernization.

October 30, 2000

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Professor Sidney J Gluck is former chairman, New York Chapter, US-China Peoples Friendship Association; emeritus professor with the Social Science Faculty, New School For Social Research; and is currently chairman, US-China Society of Friends.

Email Sidney at sjgluck {at} aol {dot} com



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Note 3: See Gluck's other article on "The Failure of the USSR in the Light of Scientific Socialism", December 2004.



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COUNT ON THE STATISTICS  100% Towels (c) Daniel Chittka
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This new section contains some interesting statistics in bribe and corruption, please check back for more as we pile up our numbers!

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GLUCK ON SOCIALISM AND CHINA Asia (c) Robert Churchill
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Professor Sidney Gluck (c) Sandi BachomI am honored to have obtained Professor Sidney Gluck's (right) permission to allow me to repost here some of his work and interview related to China and socialism. Professor Gluck is professor emertius at the New School University in New York. A classical Marxist, Gluck has been studying China for 60 years in history and modern development. He has lectured all over the U.S. and still welcomes engagement at the age of 94 – photo © Sandi Bachom

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