Western Marxists still have the idealistic wish for justice that spawned the modern radical left. They would be liquidated day one by the Chinese so-called communists if they ever took power. The Marxist legacy is a hopeless failure, but it is not hard to start over and repair terms.
The left must move on and redefine its terminology. Our DMNC model could easily produce an economy as dynamic as the modern capitalist systems but still, be socialist (or neo-communist). Furthermore, these capitalist dynamos can’t respond to the regrowth era and are already dinosaurs: our DMNC can accelerate growth or go into static mode: and it is free of austerity issues (at least in principle).
Update: the question arises, how explain the phenomenal growth of China in the last forty years? But as noted in the post the reason is due to capitalism imported into one area of China. In any case, rapid development is characteristic of all systems we can see: England took off after 1780 and was well developed even before the introduction of rail. Germany’s take after 1870 was well underway by 1910. Japan’s development was even faster and exceeded that of most western nations.
So it is misleading to point to the fast growth in China. You can’t really compare the two categories: the stage of the American economy is long since in an alternate universe and its phenomenal growth after the Civil War is typical, as in each case.
The discussion is meaningless because we don’t define socialism. And we have suggested the left should move on to a new terminology and set of definitions. If you call China socialist you are implying a system with gulags, mass murder and totalitarian government is socialist. The refusal of Marx to define his terms is the ultimate source of the confusion.
Our remedy is to abandon the Marxist confusion (much else is useful) and adopt failsafe definitions: DMNC, democratic market neo-communism. Something can’t be socialist without satisfying a broader definition, that includes democracy, socialist markets plus planning, a Commons that is beyond state capitalism, and a careful ecosocialist extension. By this definition China is a total nothing. The Maoists murdered a million capitalists, created an archaeo=communist monstrosity and then cheated by using capitalism to get itself out of a rut.
Our DMNC could failsafe the definition and shows the way to do the job right.
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