What ultimately matters is whether finance capitalism rules in China. 

So far the Chinese state has not shown signs of permitting this but of
keeping the reins very much in its own hands. Indeed it must have been with
Chinese approval that the Hong Kong stock exchange severely punished the
financial raiders last year.

It is true that labour power has become increasingly a commodity, but it is
unimpressive to read the schadenfreude of the west in a paper like the New
York Times when the inequalities of health care in the richest country of
the world are a disgrace. 

I note that no one contested my interpretation of the workings of the law
of value on a global scale, that there is a very steep gradient in the
value of labour power between different countries and that there is a
magnetic attraction by which value tends to be sucked towards the centres
of global finance capitalism. 

China is hopefully making a compromise which will allow it to compete more
not less effectively if this malign world environment. It cannot afford to
allow its position to sink, like virtuous Tanzania. If the combination of
more competitive world trading conditions plus state control of finances at
the highest level allows it to accumulate more surplus within its borders,
good luck to it.

But I assume Hugh was as usual trailing his coat when he wrote:

There is still no better way of understanding the workings of capitalism
than studying and understanding Capital, Theories of Surplus Value and the
other works by Marx relating to these, in the  context of Marx's whole
political and revolutionary activity. This is shown by nothing more clearly
than the complete reliance of the most successful revolutionaries of our
century (Lenin and Trotsky) on Marx's findings and method, and the
disasters produced by working class leaders (most particularly Stalin and
Mao, as usurpers of the revolutionary Bolshevik tradition...

Since dissident workers in China are now reported to be picking up Mao's
picture, could Hugh explain the criticisms of Mao's economics in relation
to the law of value.

Possibly only marxism-thaxis would be able to host such a debate.

Chris Burford


At 00:22 19/11/99 +0000, you wrote:
>Futher to the discussion on China. 
>NYT November 18, 1999
>Caught Between Eras: China's Factory Workers
>BEIJING  -- The middle-aged workers outside the aging Beijing 
>No. 2 textile factory Wednesday said that they already knew their 
>days of employment were numbered  --  that they knew it even before 
>China signed a landmark agreement this week to open its doors wider 
>to global competition. 

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