Artículos de: Julio, 2022

Deciphering China (Part III): Projects in dispute

China’s status as capitalist or socialist will be determined by political struggles and popular battles. This dilemma is being processed within an intermediate formation with ruling classes that do not control state power. The country’s economic shifts have expressed conflicting interests rather than socialist continuities. Initial coexistence with the market differed from the later process of restoration.
Those who see a completed capitalist regression omit the fact that the fusion between the bourgeoisie and state functionaries has not been consummated. China’s socialist legacy is a major stumbling block to this integration, in a regime that is very different to any variety of state capitalism. There are various competing currents, including one for socialist renovation promoted by the New Left.
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Deciphering China (Part II): Capitalism or socialism?

China’s rise illustrates the contemporary dynamics of uneven and combined development. Its socialist foundation, a complementary market and capitalist parameters underpinned a model linked to globalisation but focused on the local retention of surplus. The absence of neoliberalism and financialisation have spared China the imbalances faced by its competitors. But the penetration of capitalism has generated overinvestment and surpluses that need to be unloaded abroad.
Orthodoxy explains China’s expansion as the result of an imaginary predominance of deregulation. Heterodoxy explains it as the result of the simple application of controls that failed elsewhere. Both omit China’s socialist foundation. The millenary viewpoint exalts a mythical destiny and assumes that these very recent processes have distant roots in the past.
Capitalism is present but does not yet dominate the economy. The new bourgeois class has also not obtained control of the state, but the socialist transition has been reversed and an intermediate status prevails. The limited restoration contrasts with the trajectories of Eastern Europe and Russia. A comparison with the origins of capitalism suggests the possibility of long transitions and mixed systems
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Deciphering China (Part I): Decoupling or New Silk Road?

China’s control of the pandemic has not cancelled out the impact generated by the virus that originated there, as it is closely intertwined with capitalist globalisation. This has made it necessary for the new power to rethink its economic strategy. Its partnership with the United States was shattered by the 2008 crisis but decoupling did not produce the expected results. The proposed New Silk Road presupposes a return to the world market to temper overproduction, but it has rekindled the dispute with Washington. The trade war has already moved on to become a currency war, but it will be settled in the area of technology. No one knows who will win this battle, but political divergences and internal social tensions will define its outcome.Leer texto completo [PDF]

The imperial system in crisis

: Imperialism safeguards the exploitation of workers and the subjugation of the periphery, using mechanisms adapted to the transformations undergone by capitalism. That adaptation is an ongoing process at present. US leadership has been undermined by economic deterioration and failed wars. It also lacks the plasticity its British predecessor had for handing over command.
Russia does not participate in the dominant group, but is driving forward the gestation of a non-hegemonic empire, one quite distinct from tsarism and the USSR. China’s protagonism is not synonymous with imperial expansion. Its defensive strategies coexist with an incomplete capitalist restoration that has incorporated the accumulation of profits at the expense of the periphery. In other regions contested pre-eminence has given new currency to the status of sub-imperialism.
The centrality of coercion to imperialism is diluted by theses that solely focus on hegemony. The current imperial system diverges from the old rivalries between powers and cannot be clarified through economic criteria alone. Geopolitical confrontations disprove the thesis of a global empire sustained by transnationalised classes and states
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