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Tom Hickey: When the torch is passed to China do you think that the Chinese will be as class oriented as the US empire is?
It's not possible to have a society without some kind of class structure. What matters is how much asymmetry there is. It's possible to have a society with social divisions and gradations; yet maintain a reasonable level of symmetry. I think that being Marxists with Chinese characteristics, the leadership gets that. Class does't work well under liberalism in that individualism leads to asymmetries that get exploited. However, if the social fabric strong and there is a lot of social cohesion, some asymmetry is tolerable.The problem with liberalism is it produces a low level of social consciousness. Socialism is the opposite, since it is based on social consciousness. Individualism is zero-sum win-lose whereas socialism is based on win-win, in principle at any rate. "Every man for himself," or "We all in this together."However, getting this to work in practice is a challenge. I don't know whether China will be able to pull it off, but I think the leadership has set this as a goal, from what I am hearing, and not only for China. they are proposing this as the basis for a new global order in contrast to Western liberalism and the asymmetries it has led to.
Under the Chinese system, they would love Tom's answer but they wouldn't have let Gary ask the question. Amazing how blinding one's ideology.
The Chinese system is actually much more responsive to the public that liberal Western democracies in which people have the illusion of freedom and are suffering from Stockholm syndrome. The Chinese leadership knows that if it doesn't deliver there will be peasant revolts. Something similar happened in Russia when the liberals backing cowboy capitalism threatened to run the country into the ground. Putin stepped up and wisely tightened the reins.
Class is inescapable under capitalism. I wouldn't want to be a Chinese worker, or a worker in any developing country. They have it rough.
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