Letter: Mao remains the model of the Chinese economy


Jamil Anderlini (“Ma personifies conflict in Chinese ideology”, Opinion, 2 March) seems perplexed by “the sharp and growing contradiction at the heart of the Chinese state”.

Clarity can come if he follows the advice of revolutionary students who, in the 1960s and 1970s, from Berlin to Baltimore, were shouting: “Study Mao!” “

In 1937, Mao wrote in his essay On the contradiction that “under given conditions, opposites have an identity, and therefore can coexist in the same entity”. Today, Chinese Communists continue to follow this principle of Marxist dialectic.

In 1949, Mao’s victorious Communists did not “just nationalize private enterprise.” Indeed, they did not declare a socialist state but a popular democracy.

They inherited a semi-colonial country dominated by feudal-paternal relations with barely 3 million industrial workers out of a population of 600 million. This dictated Mao’s economic policy.

In On the popular democratic regime, Mao invited the “national bourgeoisie” – those he considered patriots among the capitalists willing to work with the communists – to participate in the construction of a country which would gradually develop from an agricultural country to an industrial country and from what he called “a new democracy” to a socialist democracy. Now, perhaps because the minds of many Westerners are clouded by the phases of China’s development of “let a hundred flowers bloom”, “the Great Leap Forward” and “the Cultural Revolution”, they cannot see that the President Xi Jinping’s policy is a modern version of the communist plans of 1949, and therefore needs to be analyzed as such.

And, I wouldn’t be too worried about Goldman Sachs and BlackRock. If there are giant profits to be made in China, they will find a way.

Bryn rowland
Malmesbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom


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