The point about the law of value is that it is a law. Capital tries 
its best to accumulate by reducing the value of commodities. Nation 
states get in the road of the perfect operation of the LOV, but they 
cannot prevent it from operating including its crisis effects. The 
former USSR and China in breaking with the world market suspended the 
LOV except for imports (a relatively small part of their economy). 
What the reintroduction of the market does is to reassert the 
operation of the LOV. Zhu's role has been to open up to the LOV in 
order to force the state sector to compete so that his bureaucratic 
caste can convert themselves in a new bourgeoisie.  His desperation 
is shown in the concessions made by China to the US - half of 
telecommunications opened up to the US and the US allowed to use 
anti-dumping legislation against China for another 15 years  (David 
Sanger, NYT 16 Nov). 

What is interesting about this is not that it sheds new light on Marx 
- all this stuff is old hat - but what it says about the 
counter-revolution in China. For those of us who belief that the 
degenerated or deformed workers state in China was progressive 
because it replaced the LOV with state planning, it looks as if China 
has reached the point of no return in the counter-revolution at  
which the banking, insurance and communications industries will be 
opened up to the global market. Joining the WTO symbolises this, 
but what it symbolises is that the Chinese currency becomes 
convertable and the LOV can then act upon the whole economy with 
little state hindrance. The basis of workers' property, the 
mechanism of planning and adminstered prices, is replaced by the 
market.  At this point we would have to say that the Chinese state is 
now controlled by functionaries who serve the class interests of a 
bourgeoisie, and that it is no longer even the vestige of a 
degenerated workers' state. Now that the workers of the former USSR 
have seen the effects of the LOV, maybe Chinese workers will stop the 
restoration process at the 11th hour.


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