We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The US war on China’s economic model

Click here to access article by Stephen Gowans from his blog What's Left

Gowans is a long time Canadian political analyst on the left. I regard him as one of a handful of top political analysts in the world. 

Stephen Gowns
As far as I know, his first post was on Canadian Content in January of 2001. Later he founded his own blog at What's Left in 2007. His articles have appeared in numerous online websites. A good place to access his political views is in a November 2004 post from San Francisco Bay Area Indymedia entitled "War, Capitalism & Elections: An Interview w Stephen Gowans – Canadian Political Essayist".

In today's post he explains why the US capitalist ruling class has become so concerned about China's technological and economic progress to the point that they are now engaging in an economic war, and even considering a military war, against China. This startling turn of events was historically initiated by Deng Xiaoping in his leadership of the Chinese government back in the late 1970s. His guiding strategy is summed up by his core theme of "win-win strategy" to resolve conflicts. As I wrote in a commentary in July of 2016:
For background material on contemporary China I recommend reading the Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping (vol. 3). Ever since 1978 when Deng Xiaoping took control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), China has launched a broad policy in pursuit of economic development. To accomplish this they opened China to the outside world, particularly to Western capitalist countries, under a "one country, two systems" policy. This policy combines significant (but not exclusive) capitalist development of their economy which is under the control and direction of the CCP. This policy induced, or one might argue "seduced", Western corporations to transfer a lot of their operations to China by offering cheap labor and other inducements as a method to rapidly obtain the high technology of the West while improving China's economy, while for Western corporations the prospects of increased profits could not be ignored. Since then the CCP has pursued a peaceful strategy that attempts to use economic development as a method to deal with conflicts both internal to China and external in foreign relations.
Deng knew that Western capitalists were obsessed with profits ("profits über alles"). He lured Western capitalists to set up operations in China with the promise to make them rich with China's low-cost labor supply. Sure enough, companies like Apple abandoned their American workers and moved their plants to China and other countries to reduce their labor costs and to become rich. So, the West's capitalists became rich but also China acquired the advanced technology of the West ("win-win"). Gowans goes into details of how the Chinese accomplished this feat, and became a major economic force in so little time.