Equ(al)ity and Community in China after Forty Years of Economic Reform
Sinicised Marxism and “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” in Crisis
We suggest a methodology that combines a refined conceptual approach with a theoretically-inspired empirical assessment, to analyse how Sinicised Marxist theory as well as practice has invariably emphasised Marx’s philosophy of history, rather than any version of Marxist egalitarian political philosophy, and therefore developed a culturally distinctive version of Marxism as totalitarian and subsequently authoritarian (rather than democratic) socialism. We argue that Chinese socialism has appropriated and applied socialist ideals to China’s post-cultural-revolution development into an economic reform agenda without political transition. We suggest that China today runs an ethically and politically problematic regime under which the people enjoy neither sufficient social justice nor decent community values. Such lack of equality and community represents a major inherent contradiction of “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” which has to accept and even accommodate increasing inequality to drive future growth. This contradiction also makes the so-called Chinese Dream more one of national aggregate prosperity than a dream for the Chinese people.
Copyright (c) 2019 Alessia A. AMIGHINI, Peitao JIA
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