Photo: AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan
Ever since the 18th Party Congress in November, China pundits have argued over whether the new leadership will or will not bring about new reforms.Earlier this month, we highlighted some important reforms to capital controls that should boost investor confidence.
But Qiushi Online, often described as the flagship magazine of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), that was once used by chairman Mao to push the principles of the Cultural Revolution, ran an article titled “The Decline of Western Market Fundamentalism” that shows that Beijing is unlikely to embrace Western capitalism anytime soon.
The article that first ran in Qiushi’s sister publication Red Flag Manuscript, is quoted in Chinascope and argues that the U.S. government had used neo-liberalism to “push its hegemony on the rest of the world” but has lost much of this power since the global financial crisis.
Starting with the Lehman bust and the financial crisis that followed, the article points out the global unemployment has spiked and that the gap between the rich and poor has worsened sparking movements like Occupy Wall Street that showed dissatisfaction with capitalism and U.S. government policies.
Here are some quotes via Chinascope:
On Capitalism nearing its end
“The crisis itself has ruthlessly laid bare many of the illusions about Capitalism. The “U.S. model” that many elites worshiped has lost its appeal and been discredited. Sharan Burrow, Secretary-General of the International Trade Union Confederation, believes that the Capitalism of the 20th century is out of date and does not fit the 21st century. World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab raised the issue of “outdated and crumbling models.” He said that Capitalism, in its current form, is no longer suitable for the world around us. IMF Chief Economist Kenneth Rogoff cited many problems with modern Capitalism and pointed out that the current Capitalism is, in essence, transitory in nature. The U.S.-U.K. model that leads the world will be replaced by other models.”
On the world embracing Marxism instead
“The world economic crisis led to the decay of Neo-liberalism and to the ideology crisis in the West. Given these circumstances, the West has been paying more attention to Marx’s writings and theories after its previous chilly political reception. Now “Marxism fever” in the West can no longer be ignored. One can see a strong contrast between the decay of Neo-liberalism and the popularity of Marxism. Today, Marxism has become a main character in Western political life.
“…The emergence of “Marxist fever” has not been organised but, rather, has been a purely spontaneous development. Had there been no global recession and had Neo-liberalism not decayed, “Marxist fever” would not have spread so quickly in the West. The revival of Marxist thought shows the inevitable trend of the development of world history. However, we must also be clear: the emergence of “Marxist fever” does not mean that Neo-liberalism and its leading scholars will give up their position. The struggle [between Marxism and Neo-liberalism and other Capitalist theories] will be long-term, with many ups and downs.”
The article is of significance because it is published by Qiushi Online, an organ of the Central Committee. The site’s aim is publicizing “the governing philosophy of the CPC”. It adds that it gets attention because it “functions as a platform for issuing and interpreting the policies of China’s ruling party”.
At his speech during the 18th Party Congress, Hu Jintao said China will “never copy a Western political system”. So, for those watching for political or economic reforms in China, this is telling.