socializing strategy

Image: Zhang Kaiyv


Economic and social formation in China

A topic that is dear to my research agenda and a subject that occupies me every day and makes me have to read what has been produced about it. I'm not going to talk about “state capitalism” or things like that, I want to deal with another point here: what determines the nature of an economic-social formation? Power over the fundamental means of production or the “relations of production”? In theory, it is a simple answer that refers to what comes first, the economy or politics.

Since politics is paramount, it is evident that the nature of an economic-social formation must fall on who actually exercises power and which historical form of property is the qualitatively dominant one. For example, despite the private sector employing more people and its size in China being much larger than the public sector, private companies are not responsible for generating chaining effects on the rest of the economy, much less are cycles generated within them. of accumulation. It is the public sector that concentrates this power.

Unlike vulgar economists like Branko Milanovic who in his best sellers (capitalism alone) determines the eternity of capitalism based on a purely quantitative aspect of property relations in China, we work with what was described above. And this leads directly to another question: what is the nature of the historic bloc in power in China? It is the same as in South Korea, Germany, USA etc. or it would be of a new type, of “socializing strategy”. This answer says almost everything. But heterodox economists to demarcate with us reduce our opinion to the fact that in China there is an innumerable number of state-owned companies and economic planning. Mistaken.

Heterodox economists have no answer to what is happening today in China, they work with the idea ex ante to the matter and think that China creatively applies already elaborated theories and that makes it a replica of Japan, South Korea and the “State”. American industry. The separation between theory and history and between subject and object is easily manifested when the “new” (in our view China inaugurates a new dynamic of accumulation that we call the “New Design Economy) is not faced, because it does not succeeds in overcoming Kant and arriving at Hegel. Hence, in the face of the “new” it turns to an analysis based on “State, market and institutions” or on the so-called “variants of capitalism”

The fundamental mistake of academic/western Marxists is to place Marx upside down and propose that the relations of production determine the nature of an economic-social formation. Following this logic, it would be possible to implement socialism after slavery, for example. The technique and the deepening of the social division of labor had nothing to do with the emergence and development of capitalism and everything would be resolved with a checklist moral and prior: if it has surplus value, labor market and “exploitation” it is capitalism.

Those who work with this type of approach are in direct opposition to history, as a way of organizing thought, and consequently do not perceive the continuities and discontinuities of history. In other words, it denies Hegel and Marx for whom the concrete is the synthesis of multiple determinations and, we add, “combinations” (“a” + “b” + “c”) in favor of the principle of Kantian identity: “a” is different from “b”.

It is a “Marxism” that, far from being able to find synthesis in something, looks for the manifestation in the real movement of something that is ready and finished in their own heads. A petty-bourgeois way of thinking, as the exercise of political power requires much more than moral judgments and more commitment to reality as it presents itself. China is a society in transit from the countryside to the city and where “multiple contradictions” manifest themselves simultaneously, including those condemned by Marxists frightened by the destruction caused by the First World War: circulation of goods, social and territorial inequality, currency in its commodity form, market, private sector and capitalism.

We point out, in our book China: Socialism in the XNUMXst Century (Boitempo) that the Chinese experience should be seen as a new socio-economic formation that in its bosom emerges a still embryonic historical form and that we call socialism. This “embryonic socialism”, like everything else in life, operates under historical and geopolitical conditions not chosen by the Communist Party of China. We elaborate the concept of “metamode of production” to identify the broad restrictions imposed on socialism in peripheral realities. Hence the industrial sector and economic planning itself are market-oriented and attentive to the limits imposed by the law of value.

In other terms. We must always remember that Adam Smith perceived in the deepening of the social division of labor a characteristic of capitalism, Marx perceived in socialism the “overcoming of the social division of labor”. Big problem is that history writes straight by crooked lines.

Socialism is the only way to organize a society where you literally start from scratch. That is, in completely destroyed societies. This means that a country like China in 1949 did not even have a social division of labor, much less accumulated productive forces capable of supporting new production relations. The historical experience of the Chinese people still has a long way to go, starting with the technological strangulation imposed by the US. A surmountable obstacle that must be seen as the “main aspect of the main contradiction”, given the fact that imperialism imposes a wall on the technological development of socialism. Class struggle in its supreme manifestation.

The concept manifests itself in movement and not in human will.

*Elias Jabbour is a professor at the Faculty of Economic Sciences at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). He is the author, among other books, together with Alberto Gabriele, of China: Socialism in the XNUMXst Century (Boitempo).

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