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For all their shortcomings and authoritarianism, I cannot help but not that the Party in the PRC has also overssen vast social change which has moved China from a country where women had their feet stunted on purpose in order to walk in a certain way (and certainly not ever be able to run) to a world where Chinese women are nearing equality with men on par with many if not most of the western oligarchies (and I have no doubt strides will continue to be made in this regard). I note a China whose attitudes towards homosexuality were as backwards as any in the world and see that equality in this regard is equally seeing great strides. I note a China which is far more open to tourism both of its own citizens and of peoples of other countries to the PRC, something we did not see in proper measure in other coutries with "actually-existing-socialism". And, I note that the Party is allocating resources (capital, if you will) to Green energies in a way the banks of the western oligarchies are incapable of doing, especially in Solar.
So, I'm with you on actions, I just interpret the actions a bit differently than you seem to.
before deng's reforms, you couldn't just fire women because you felt like it. these days, the radical equality of the maoist era is disparaged as "unnatural," and employers can discriminate however they want.
there are significant progresses being made on sexuality, however, although there as well it is despite the CCP and not because of it.
chinese progress on sexual equality (none / 1) is not progressing, it is receding if anything, from the high water mark in the maoist era
I suspect gini coefficient follows a similar pattern.
My guess is sometime down the line - when it no longer matters that much - historians will mark an arbitrary but neat-looking point in time when communism in China was replaced by fascism (exact point depending on what you consider the dominant feature of communism and fascism).
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Also, the fields in southernmost China were devoted to industrial sugar cane monoculture - a kind of large scale cultivation that implies proletarisation of the workers - whereas Vietnam still has, and seems to keep, small scale ( but extremely productive) rice cultivation.
China is very strongly redistributing wealth from the countryside to the big cities (Shanghai is already as modern and well-kept as your average western city ; a smaller city like Nanning, much less so...)
Also, comparing the systems of China and Vietnam (legally pretty much identically based on party rule), it seemed clear the "rule of the state" is not as strong-handed in Vietnam where the party must in some ways compose with civil society ; when the governement tried to ban facebook it was unable to do so properly so that Vietnamese still use it ; many expropriations are refused by the occupiers of the land who are able to prevent them...
Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
The fact that you couldn't fire a woman is surely overshadowed by the fact that most women still had very limited freedoms. And I think anyone who believes there was no casting couch or droit de cadre oppression of women in Maoist China may not have been looking at what was really going on.
We don't know what a non-Communist China would have looked like. But is China really any more progressive now than Taiwan or Japan, which seem like reasonable reference points?
It's certainly true that China is working towards Green energy. But China is also producing vast clouds of lethal pollution. Which is the true China?
The basic Marxist problem is that Marx took industrialistion as a given and simply wanted to give the keys to the factories and mines to the workers.
So far as I know he never questioned industrialisation as a goal. And he didn't lay down any specifics for dealing with predatory or sociopathic personalities.
Therefore, Stalin and Mao.
Now, it's acknowledged often enough that while capitalist societies have some diversity of power, even when they become oligarchies, socialist and communist societies always seem to revert to kingdoms. The king may appear to wear factory fatigues - sometimes. But the essential dynamic is even more feudal than that of Western cultures. (Although usefully, the West exports its feudalisms elsewhere while giving its citizens some extra benefits - rather like Rome.)
The point of the article remains - in the limit, feudal and industrial societies converge, and citizens in both labour for their masters rather than for themselves.
Now, it's acknowledged often enough that while capitalist societies have some diversity of power, even when they become oligarchies, socialist and communist societies always seem to revert to kingdoms.
Is this a coincidence? I don't know much about Marx, but he has obvious dislike to urban bourgeoisie, that was so common among landed aristocracy. Engels opposed land taxes as an "utopist" idea. The only goal of socialism was to be the nationalisation of industrial capital, without any idea how housing and resources would be allocated afterwards in "the dream society." When asked, he said "socialism is not supposed to be fair, it is supposed to be effective."
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