Further Comment on Shamseer Keloth’s ‘Facing the Dragon’

Top political advisory body to discuss reform: Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), delivers a report on the work of the CPPCC National Committee's Standing Committee at the third session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 3, 2015.

Top political advisory body to discuss reform: Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), delivers a report on the work of the CPPCC National Committee’s Standing Committee at the third session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 3, 2015.

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Hello Shamseer Keloth,

Of cognition Lenin wrote ‘From living perception to abstract thought, and from this to practice, – such is the dialectical path of the cognition of truth, of the cognition of objective reality.’ We start with the world> we theorise about it (we look for what we think are the best/most ethical theories and consider and develop on them where we think it is possible, in relation to the world)> we (continually) test our theorising in the world. Practice (not abstract theorising) is primary.

The Chinese, through their very long history, have come to understand and learnt to do this (it can be seen in the Party’s policy developments particularly since Deng Xiaoping). In addition, for the first time in world history, the Chinese have two key elements in a developing relationship – a one-party socialist state and a rapidly rising middle class.

From this relationship will come forms of organisation which will be models for the world – economic, political and social.

The challenge to the Party will be to continue to show not only the benefits but the necessity of a one-party state (social cohesion, rising wealth and cultural development on the basis of the Party’s capacity both for long-term planning and timely decision-making [compare with the West]). Sensitivity to region and locality is just as important – the Party knows that their recent ‘crack-down’ on corruption is essential in this regard.

My view is that the Chinese are bringing to bear on their lives and future not only socialist theory but many lessons they have learnt through their history and are now getting ‘right’ what the Soviet Union was not able to.

How they continue to test and develop socialist theory in a practice which is above the merely pragmatic is central to this.

Phil

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Reply to Shamseer Keloth’s ‘Facing the Dragon’

Liu Yang, China’s first female astronaut, waves during a departure ceremony at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre, 16.06.12

Liu Yang, China’s first female astronaut, waves during a departure ceremony at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre, 16.06.12

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Hello Shamseer Keloth,

Congratulations on your article,

China will rapidly come to have an impact on the world that no nation has had. Where the one-party state of the Soviet Union collapsed under the pressure of the arms-race with the US and its allies (‘the West’) there is no indication that this will happen with the Chinese Party and state.

In fact, the reforms instituted by Deng Xiaoping, continuing now, are evidence of the flexibility, adaptability and responsiveness of both to pressures and events within and outside China.

And that is both excellent and fascinating – the retention of the potential of a socialist one-party state (consider what is going on in outmoded Western-style capitalist democracies now, the global productive forces in play and their impact on the earth) at the same time, the rapid rise of many millions into the Chinese middle class (the middle class is historically associated with ‘democracy’).

I have no doubt that the tension between these two forces will result in forms of organisation (economic, political and social) either never before seen or, at least, never developed to their full potential.

They will be models for the world. Recent and ongoing events in Hong Kong are part of this process.

What is required are forms of socialism (forms which will inevitably reflect the national characteristics of the society from which they have arisen) in which individual initiative is also recognised, encouraged and rewarded.

The Chinese are succeeding on this crucial point where the Soviet Union failed. It is the way – ‘going forward’.

Phil Stanfield

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