Mao Rolls Over in Mass Grave


Tensions between running dogs of capitalism and red guardians in China explode to the surface in a People's Daily (the central ruling party organ) commentary that analysts interpret as saying capitalist-leaning market reform is here to stay in China:

Tens of millions of Chinese, including farmers in rural areas, blue-collar workers in cities and the jobless, have become disaffected with reforms that have made millions rich. Nostalgia is widespread for the days of Chairman Mao Zedong when everyone was equally poor.

The [pro-market reform] commentary may not…completely silence leftist dissenters, who range from those who feel that the party's grip may be weakening to moderates concerned at corruption and the inequities created by a free-market economy….the commentator emphasised: "The glorious achievements in the past 28 years demonstrated that reform is the only road for China to achieve prosperity. Without reform China could not make further progress, nor could it keep the achievements that have been scored."

……the People's Daily message was unambivalent. "The urgency and complexity of reform calls for absolute determination to advance the reform."

Will the Chinese leftists give in and act according to the principles laid down? I'm certainly not enough of an old Peking hand to judge, but this is a semi-encouraging sign, though wrapped in bromides about keeping fealty to China's socialist heritage. Although China remains in the batting cage for those always looking for potential future enemies who the U.S. will have to take down hard, and is a villain for its economic growth leading to higher greenhouse gas emissions, a richer, more market-oriented China leading to a potential wealthier, healthier life for over a billion people is a Cultural Revolution worth cheering.

NEXT: Press Release Plus Palaver Packs Pulverizing Pietistic Punch

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Mao Rolls Over in Mass Grave

    It must get messy with all the blood on his hands.

    There’s a sobering yet hopeful piece in May Liberty about the brutal regime’s current restrictions on capitalistic liberty, including their theft of property and the punishment these thugs inflict on brave folks who protest the barbarism. The article also makes the case that things will probably get better. Sorry, this one isn’t archived:

    I support the unfettered right of Americans to trade with folks in china. But no taxpayer’s dollars should go to support that trade. Is trade with China supported by the World Bank or the IMF or the Ex/Im Bank? All of which, I believe, sadly receive the taxpayer’s dollars. Is there any other tax money which goes to China?

  2. Is it really news that China is capitalist now? My truly vague understanding of China’s “official media organ” is that they only say what is a consensus view in the Communist Party (CP). Since this is published it implies that the CP is through and through capitalist, which hasn’t really been news as far as I can tell for at least a decade now. Longer, by a decade or two, if you have been paying attention.

    That said, Lou Dobbs still thinks China is a communist country, and presumably his Kool Aid drinking viewers have imbibed that view as well.

    I’d love for China’s communist party to change its name to something like “The People’s Party of China”, thus ending a moronic commentator’s (guess who) ability to wrongly claim they are anything but hardcore capitalists.

  3. A link to the People’s Daily:

  4. Kool Aid drinking viewers

    But we won’t know we’ve won until the Chinese are drinking Kool Aid.

  5. Chairman Mao was always talking about the things that could be had through the barrel of a gun (say, Taiwan, S Korea, maybe someday Japan). Well who’d have thought that the Second Amendment was fashioned after Mao himself?

    We’d all spend less on our military if everybody had the Second Amendment and took it seriously. Why buy a Glock when they make bazookas? A car in every garage and a dozen bazookas in every home, that’s my motto for the Chinese people.

    In China, you just never know when you may need to knock out a tank.

  6. The old guard communists in China (the ones who brag about not having ever read a book) are OLD. In five years, there will not even be a question that China is as capitalist as they come.

  7. a richer, more [foreign] market-oriented China leading to a potential wealthier, healthier life for over a billion people is a Cultural Revolution worth cheering.

    If, against all expectations, this plan leads to mass starvation, then I hope they see fit to let us know quicker than they did during the Great Leap Forward fiasco.

    China has a history of promising economic progress and hiding corpses.

    Of course if the West has enuf economic ties with China, then they may be less than inclined to peek behind the press releases.

    Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.

  8. “I’d love for China’s communist party to change its name to something like ‘The People’s Party of China'”

    I think they should sell the naming rights on eBay.

  9. China has a history of promising economic progress and hiding corpses.

    Mmm, during the previous few decades, yes. But China’s history since the founding of the Empire 2200 years ago has been nothing if not capitalist–sure, there were plenty of guilds and government censors restricting growth, but compared to the rest of the worth through the ages, they were lightyears ahead of anyone else.

    I always found it odd that hardcore Communism succeeded in China, as in every other nation the Chinese emigrated to they became some of the greatest boosters of the local economy. But it seems that the red Commie-paint is finally peeling and the real China is showing through.

  10. But China’s history since the founding of the Empire 2200 years ago has been nothing if not capitalist

    Not really. Idealogically, capitalism and trade were merely tolerated.

    I always found it odd that hardcore Communism succeeded in China

    It’s not at all surprising if you understand Confucian ideology.

    In the Confucian hierarchy there is no such thing as individual rights, only unequal roles. “Hierarchy” is the key word here, and in the pyramid you have:

    1) the emporer
    2) his Confucian scholars who give advice and provide administration of the empire
    3) the peasant farmers
    4) the soldiers (Confucian thought has long leaned pacificst)
    5) the merchants (ideologically despised — Confucianists saw no need for them)

    Confucian thought is based on the premise that the best possible government/society (based on above pyramid) has already been figured out and established. There was no need for “advancement” and anything that would bring major change was seen as a threat. The technological advanced China achieved were in spite of their ideological beliefs, not because of them.

    Their communal, agricultural socio-economic system was in fact far closer to communism in many ways, than anything that ever happened in Russia.

    This doesn’t mean the mandarins and others didn’t engage in trade and make themseles rich. They did. But someone who was only a merchant, and not a Confucian scholar, was always at grave risk of having everything they owned confiscated by the government. It happened frequently.

    This is the main reason so many entreprenurial Chinese left China. Which also did much to contribute to the pirate population in the South China seas.

  11. China is not hard-core capitalist. The government still controls about 70% of the industry, and virtually every significant business deal must go through the wheezing bureaucracy of the CCP. There is some capitalism, of course, accounting for China’s growth. But Marxism is still the official ideology and quite a few people in China still believe in it.

  12. How much longer do we have to wait until the state withers away?

  13. Rick Barton:

    I checked any only your tax dollars are going to support trade with China. I picked up a really neat made-in-China butcher knife at Wal-Mart. Thanks.

  14. funny someone should mention China, Mao, Communism and dogs in the same teaser. I just got this bulletin…

    CLICK HERE for the article

    China’s booming southern province of Guangdong has reported more than 300 deaths from rabies [during 2005], the highest number in a decade,
    as its increasingly affluent population buys more dogs, state media said on Thursday [8 Jun 2006].

    Rabies killed 306 people in the province last year, up 24.9 percent from 2004, the China Daily said. “As living standards keep increasing, more people feed dogs, and this increased contact means more chance of infection,” Professor Guo Xiaofeng of the South China Agriculture University (SCAU) was quoted as saying.

    Pet dogs were shunned in the days of Mao Zedong as a symbol of bourgeois decadence and dog is still a popular restaurant dish. But pets have become increasingly popular in the last decade with improved living standards. During 2005, 330 000 people sought treatment for rabies in Guangdong, which borders Hong Kong, and 500
    000 were vaccinated. There were 1.5 million reported dog bites or scratches.

    Guo also said that education about rabies in rural areas, where most infections took place, was important to encourage people to vaccinate
    their dogs against the disease.

    Some 2660 people died of rabies in China in 2004, according to Ministry of Health figures.

    The Chinese are RABID for capitalism!

  15. NoStar, even if it does wither it’ll grow back again. Weeds are like that.

  16. wtf, it disabled my link! ai-YA!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.