By Fred Schwartz
Some contend that the regime in China is communist in name only. They point out that the authorities are now permitting limited economic freedom which they believe is incompatible with communism and socialism. Is this clear or wishful thinking?
Was Mao Tse-Tung a communist? Did he and his communist colleagues rule China for decades? During the communist campaign to conquer China, many influential voices claimed that the Communist Party, which Mao led, could not be genuinely communist because it was distributing land to the peasants instead of collectivizing it. Thus, so the claim went, they were actually agrarian reformers.
History reveals how wrong these judgments were. Collectivization of land had to wait until the communist conquest of China was complete.
When the communists use the word “socialism,” they are referring to the “first stage of communism,” during which the Communist Party holds a monopoly of political and economic power. The founder of the modern communist movement, Lenin, defined socialism as. “The dictatorship of the proletariat, plus electrification.” This can be translated as, “The monopolistic rule of the Communist Party, plus industrialization.” This describes the present situation in China as well.
The regime in China is definitely Marxist-Leninist in practice as well as in name. It is a communist regime. During “socialism” any economic system is permissible as long as the Communist Party controls all the levels of power. By the use of these levers, it can change the economic system by unilateral decision whenever it chooses to do so.
According to reports, China is presently making considerable economic progress. This is due to the installation of what the communists call, “a Socialist Market Economy.”
A sporting analogy may shed a little light on what is meant by a “Socialist Market Economy.” Consider a fictitious organization we may call “The Communist Football League.” This league is owned by a group of gangsters who operate it for personal power and profit. They divide the territory and organize a football team in each designated area. They make sure that the manager of each team is a member of the gang. The leader of the gang directs the managers to select coaches and players and to decide upon and enforce the conditions of employment. The leadership of the gang also designs the rules of the game and chooses the umpires.
Under the previous socialist regime of “Command and Administer,” the communist gang decided everything. It chose what games would be played, who would score the touchdowns and which side would win. The “progressive” leaders insisted that all points should be shared equally.
Since the players had little incentive, the games were insipid and the crowds diminished. The gangsters, therefore, decided to establish a football market. Each team would be permitted to do its very best to win and the winners would be rewarded both financially and emotionally. Almost immediately there was a surge of interest and excitement in both players and fans and the profits of the gang improved.
As long as their power to control was not threatened, the gang could applaud the new system. The important fact to remember is that the communist gang still retains power in China and it can use this power if conditions develop that threaten their authority. They used their power in the Tiananmen Square massacre and they can do so again as long as they retain the will to do so.
Their master, Lenin, taught that three things are necessary for a popular revolution to overthrow an existing authoritarian government. These are: 1) Mass popular discontent, 2) An organized party to harness and direct public discontent, and 3) A collapse of the unity and will of the existing authority.
The vital question which the future will answer is: “Will the Socialist Market Economy create the conditions for a successful popular revolution which overthrows the gang?”
Reprinted from Christian Anti-Communism Crusade, P.O. Box 890, Long Beach, CA 90801-0890.