Socialism with Chinese Characteristics: A Guide for Foreigners

China, Demographic

Socialism with Chinese Characteristics: A Guide for Foreigners

Ever since the reform and opening-up from 1978, and especially during the last few decades, China has often been portrayed as an economic and a political hybrid: an officially socialist country which has, under the aegis of its Communist Party and its leaders’ continuing declarations of allegiance to Marxism and building socialism, embraced two key components of capitalist systems: private ownership over the means of production and a market economy. For many, this hybridity is also an insoluble contradiction which, similar to the classical liar paradox, involves a range of mutually invalidating opposites lining up with popular understanding of ‘authentically’ Marxist/socialist/communist economic and political values, practices, etc., and respectively ‘authentically’ capitalist/liberal/neoliberal values, practices, etc.

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‘Stakeholder Capitalism,’ the Climate Wars, and Democracy

Economy, Policies, Society

‘Stakeholder Capitalism,’ the Climate Wars, and Democracy

The leftist objectives of “woke capitalism,” a phenomenon which is intertwined with “socially responsible” investment (SRI) and has at its base, stakeholder capitalism, have obscured the way in which this combination works owes far more to fascism than to socialism. Nearly 90 years ago, Roger Shaw, a progressive writer, described the New Deal as “employing Fascist means to gain liberal ends.” Overwrought, perhaps, but not without some truth to it. He would recognize what is going on now for what it is.

How clean water is linked with environmental and human health

Policies, Water

How clean water is linked with environmental and human health

Recently, California experienced its most significant persistent drought period. The occurrence threatened the agricultural industry and human health. Unfortunately, water scarcity is a rising global issue.

Water conservation is essential to humanity’s and the global ecosystem’s longevity. Environmental scientists and engineers developed methods of extraction and filtration, limiting the exploitation of natural resources. Before evaluating the water scarcity solutions, we must examine the origin of the problem.

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The weapon of criticism cannot replace the criticism of the weapon: What knowledge do we need for revolution against capitalism

Economy, Policies

The weapon of criticism cannot replace the criticism of the weapon: What knowledge do we need for revolution against capitalism

A world in crisis

The ongoing pandemic has resulted in millions of death.1 Millions of people have been pushed to extreme poverty due to COVID-19. According to the World Bank, “The COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to push an additional 88 million to 115 million people into extreme poverty this year, with the total rising to as many as 150 million by 2021, depending on the severity of the economic contraction”.2 The consequences of the 2007 economic contraction have not been fully neutralized. Hundreds of millions are under- or unemployed: “Almost half a billion people are working fewer paid hours than they would like or lack adequate access to paid work” (ILO, 2020). And those who are lucky to be employed are subject to “a global wages scandal, with some countries even having a minimum wage that is lower than the poverty line”.

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The 21st Century Nuclear Arms Race

Policies, Security

The 21st Century Nuclear Arms Race

A new report by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)—focusing on nuclear weapons spending– following on the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recent decision that their Doomsday Clock, should be set as close as it has ever been to nuclear catastrophe. should serve as a wake up calls for humanity.

Preparations for genocidal or omnicidal nuclear war are undeniably suicidal madness. Worse, with provocative military actions by the U.S., Russia, and China in the Baltic, Black, South and East China Seas, and in relation to Ukraine and Taiwan, an accident or miscalculation could all too easily trigger a life ending nuclear cataclysm.

At a time when scientific, financial, and diplomatic cooperation are desperately needed to stanch and reverse the climate emergency and to overcome and prevent the current and future pandemics, 21st century nuclear arms races are already claiming lives and threatening our future with national treasures being wasted in preparations to end all life as we know it.

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Russia: Frustrating Foreign Wars

Demographic, Russia

Russia: Frustrating Foreign Wars

Russia admits that about a third of its population is living in poverty. Many Russians, and foreign economists, believe the real rate is nearly 70 percent. Russian living standards have suffered continuous disasters since 2013 when the price of the major export (oil and has) fell by more than half and has not recovered. In 2014 Russia declared it was at war with NATO and Ukraine. That resulted in economic sanctions that have gotten worse since then. When the current Russian government took power in 2000 it became very popular by keeping a key campaign promise; to reduce the poverty rate. The poverty rate fell from 29 percent of the population in 2000 to just under 12 percent in 2012.

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Dialect and Nationalism in China, 1860–1960

China, Demographic

Dialect and Nationalism in China, 1860–1960

Chinese nationalists who wanted to create a modern nation in the twentieth century had to contend with the dozens of regional forms of spoken Chinese, which they believed hindered the creation of a unified culture. Tam argues that these speech forms are not just dialects but distinct languages, as different from one another as many of the languages spoken in Europe. To solve the problem, modernizers designed a common language based on the vocabulary and pronunciation found in Beijing and claimed that the regional languages were mere offshoots of this main idiom. Mao Zedong’s regime forced all Han people to learn the common language.

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The Chinese dreamers vs. the U.S. Hegemon

China, Demographic, Economy, Policies

The Chinese dreamers vs. the U.S. Hegemon

Do China and the U.S. have fundamental goals that constitute a contradiction, that is, goals so profoundly at odds with one another that the goals cannot coexist? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

Such a contradiction means that one side must abandon its aims if a disastrous conflict is not to ensue. Which country should step back? Is there a moral, ethical or common-sense basis for making that call, a basis on which humankind can readily agree?

What are these contradictory goals?

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India’s COVID-19 crisis: A call for people’s unity

Demographic, India

India’s COVID-19 crisis: A call for people’s unity

There is no enmity between the working class people of each country. Rather than being duped by the bourgeoisie into stirring hostilities under the banner of “patriotism,” we should instead unite to mutually resist our capitalist oppressors.

In recent days, the pandemic in India has rapidly deteriorated. Without a doubt, it is India’s working class people who suffer the most.We have always advocated treating our neighbors with kindness, as indicated by the words “世界人民大团结万岁” (“Long Live the Great Unity of the World’s Peoples”) inscribed on the banner atop the Tiananmen gate tower.

So it is perplexing that some of our nation’s pundits took the opportunity to jeer at India in order to flaunt their own superiority.

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The world economy The new geopolitics of global business

Economy, Policies

The world economy The new geopolitics of global business

Twenty years ago this week the share price of a startup run by an obsessive called Jeff Bezos had slumped by 71% over 12 months. Amazon’s near-death experience was part of the dotcom crash that exposed Silicon Valley’s hubris and, along with the $14bn fraud at Enron, shattered confidence in American business. China, meanwhile, was struggling to privatise its creaking state-owned firms, and there was little sign that it could create a culture of entrepreneurship. Instead the bright hope was in Europe, where a new single currency promised to catalyse a giant business-friendly integrated market.

Creative destruction often makes predictions look silly, but even by these standards the post-pandemic business world is dramatically different from what you might have expected two decades ago.

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