Sunday, May 22, 2011

Deng Xiaoping's Capitalism

Very interesting historical analysis on Deng Xiaoping's bringing of capitalism to China and its consequences by Mark Sumner, the quote below is from the end of the article:
"Daily Kos: Owners of the world, unite:  It's become popular to view American workers in the decades after World War II as "highly paid." The truth is they were "rightly paid," with incomes that tracked well against the value of the products they produced. This was only possible because of the tight alignment between workers salaries and the price of goods.    
"Rather than organize an international revolt of workers, Deng generated a conspiracy of business leaders willing to devalue their work force. He showed CEOs that they could become fabulously wealthy if they only reduced their companies to nothing more than nameplates and outlets – brand names for China Inc. He showed them that they could profit from the destruction of their own system. What we took as economic victory was really an invitation to economic suicide, and corporations lined up to jump. 
Deng and the leaders who followed him rightly judged that we would overlook any abuses for money. That we would not severe relationships no matter how radical their actions. That we would mouth platitudes about the connection between capitalism and democracy, long after we were fully aware that no such relationship existed."
I only disagree slightly with a minor point mentioned here.  American workers may have been better paid in the decades after WWII, but they still produced surplus value and were still exploited.  They, CEOs, are profiting as normal from "their system" and not necessarily destroying it.  Like most establishment liberals, Sumner still takes capitalism as a system for granted.   

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