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Philip Galkin
Philip Galkin

Chinese Capitalism And The Modernist Vision

This position, while being based on Marxism, was criticized by Maoists at the time of being the "revisionist theory of the productive forces."[95] In a break with classical Marxism, Mao argued that the superstructure should play the leading role in the revolution, that is the political system and individuals, and not the materialist forces, which Mao considered secondary. This ideology served as a significant base for his push into communism and improving the lives of working-class people.[95] This was not a small ideological issue, and had been in the heart of Marxist theoretical debate since the era of Vladimir Lenin.[96] Lenin had argued that socialist revolutions could occur in the peripheries of capitalism, that is countries not economically advanced enough to develop socialism according to Karl Marx, since these revolutions could instigate a revolutionary wave in the more advanced countries.[96] Marx, in The Poverty of Philosophy, stated that "in acquiring new productive forces, men change their mode of production; and in changing their mode of production, in changing their way of earning a living, they change all their social relations."[96] To explain, Marx believed as the productive forces, literally the economic forces, changed social relations would change, and when the social relations changed, something new would develop.[96] In short, the Marxist founders argued that the socialist mode of production could only develop out of a developed capitalist economy, and not from a backward economy, developing it on a backward area was, according to Marx, a "chiliastic dream fantasy."[97] After the failure of the revolutionary waves of the late-1910s, early 1920s, Lenin initiated the New Economic Policy, a series of policies which reintroduced capitalist economics in the country in a bid to develop socialism in Russia despite its backwardness.[97] According to Maria Hsia Chang, Mao never grasped the central importance of the productive forces in developing socialism, and he argued until the end that socialism could be created through the superstructure alone with "revolutionary commitment, political intransigence, personal sacrifice, and selfless dedication [to the revolution]."[98] Deng, on the other hand, stayed true to classical Marxism, arguing until his death that the productive forces played the central role.[98]

Chinese Capitalism and the Modernist Vision

There seems to be little consensus to date on how globalization has affected nationalism. Nations, states and ideologies of nation and nation-state all seem to have been affected differently, and the outcome of the discussion is, so far, inconclusive. Globalization has not led to the dissolving of nationalism, and the dissolution of old national states has led to an upsurge of ethnic nationalisms of an unprecedented ferocity and virulence. Staunch chroniclers of the left like Eric Hobsbawm, who had invested hopes in the progressive capabilities of the modern national state, have expressed despair and incomprehension as the national states of the twentieth century have failed to fulfil their universalist modernist promise. In its wake, narrow nationalisms have re-emerged, demonstrating that backward- looking and narrow forms of identity have proved surprisingly durable, having persisted unharmed by capitalism and modernity. Ideologues of the right have claimed the victory as theirs, capitalizing on the demise of socialist states as vindication for the untrammelled adoption of far-right free-market ideologies as the blueprint for social action. 041b061a72


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