Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Claudio Katz on deciphering China


In an article published here last September, Argentine Marxist Claudio Katz assessed China’s location within the global constellation of national forces and concluded that the Asian giant was neither an imperialist power nor part of the Global South of underdeveloped countries. At the conclusion of his article, I posted links to a three-part series of articles Katz had recently published in which he discussed the major features of China’s diverse class structure and socio-political regime: in particular the creation in recent years of a new urban proletariat that is already mobilizing in defense of its interests; the rise of a new capitalist class heavily involved in international trade and investment but not in direct control of the state; and a bureaucratic and autocratic ruling elite that is still autonomous of this bourgeoisie. China’s future evolution, he argued, depended very much on external circumstances, and in particular the impact of mass workers’ and popular struggles in the global context.

Those three articles are now available in English in Links, an international journal of socialist renewal. Of particular interest is Katz’s analysis of China as a society in transition. Is it tending towards socialism, or towards capitalism? The outcome is undecided, he says, but he emphasizes that China’s phenomenal development of the last three decades builds on social and economic foundations established in the first three decades after the 1949 revolutionary victory, a legacy that has not been eliminated. Interested readers can also pursue these issues by consulting some of the sources cited by Katz in the extensive bibliographies attached to each instalment.

Deciphering China (Part I): Decoupling or New Silk Road?http://links.org.au/deciphering-china-decoupling-or-new-silk-road

Deciphering China (Part II): Capitalism or Socialism?http://links.org.au/deciphering-china-capitalism-or-socialism

Deciphering China (Part III): Projects in Dispute http://links.org.au/deciphering-china-projects-in-dispute